May 28, 2022



(CBS, September 7-December 21, 1974)
Hanna-Barbera Productions
Melanie Baker – Tana
Shannon Farnon – Kim Butler
Joan Gardner – Gara
Kathy Gori – Katie Butler
Jackie Earle Haley – Greg Butler
Alan Oppenheimer – Gorok
Mike Road – John Butler
Frank Welker – Glump, Digger, Lok
Don Messick – Narrator
Valley of the Dinosaurs was a prehistoric-themed animated series created by Hanna-Barbera actually not connected to The Flintstones franchise. Along with their live-action entry Korg, 70,000 B.C. on ABC, and Krofft ProductionsLand of the Lost on NBC, it was the third dinosaur-themed program to hit Saturday mornings that year.

The Butlers and Gorok's clan.

The show centered on modern family the Butlers—high school science teacher John (Mike Road), his wife Kim (Shannon Farnon), teenaged Katie (Kathy Gori), young Greg (Jackie Earle Haley) and their dog, Digger (Frank Welker)—as they embarked on a rafting trip down the Amazon River. However, they hit a rock and capsized, leading to them being swept through a cavern and into a whirlpool. When they emerged, they found themselves in a lost valley where dinosaurs continued to thrive.

Lok, Katie and Glump relaxing by the fire embers.

Their survival might have been questionable if not for a chance encounter with a kindly family of Neanderthals that took them in. They were clan leader Gorok (Alan Oppenheimer), his wife Gara (Joan Gardner), teenaged son Lok (Welker) and young daughter Tana (Melanie Baker), as well as their pet baby Stegosaurus, Glump (Welker). The Butlers had to overcome their prejudices about the primitive family and the clan their distrust over the new strangers to work together. The Butlers introduced modern scientific advancements to the valley such as wheels and levers as situations arose, and Gorok’s clan taught them basic survival skills in the wild and served as their guides while helping them find a way home.

The dinosaurs of the valley.

Valley of the Dinosaurs debuted on CBS on September 7, 1974. Like Korg, the series was meant to be entertaining while also educational; teaching basic science and engineering and prehistory (while of course taking liberties with that as humans and dinosaurs were living together, although the nature of the valley’s origin was never fully explored). The series was written by Peter Dixon, Peter Germano, James Henderson, Ernie Kahn, Ben Masselink, Dick Robbins, Henry Sharp and Jerry Thomas, with Sam Roeca serving as story editor. Marty Murphy was the character designer with Hoyt Curtin as musical director and Paul DeKorte as music supervisor.

The DVD cover.

Much like Korg, Valley ended up being cancelled after its sole season; leaving the similarly-themed Land of the Lost the undisputed winner of dinosaur shows, lasting three seasons. Valley was shown in syndicated reruns from 1976-83, then found its way to Cartoon Network off and on between 1993 and 2004, and finally on Boomerang from 2001-11. From 1975-76, Charlton Comics published a comic series that ran for 11 issues. Harvey Comics reprinted several stories from the Charlton run in a new one-shot in 1992, which was topped off with a couple short stories from Charlton’s The Flintstones comics. Rand McNally also published a storybook adaptation in 1975. 1977 saw the release of the board game from Arrow Games Ltd. In 2011, Warner Archive released the complete series to DVD as part of their Hanna-Barbera Classics Collection

Harvey Birdman captured by the cavemen of the valley.

The 2005 Harvey Birdman, Attorney At Law episode “Beyond the Valley of the Dinosaurs” took place in the valley, with Harvey (Gary Cole) and Peter Potamus (Chris Edgerly) being sucked down to it through a hot tub. Gorok (Edgerly) and Tana (Mary Birdsong) appeared. Glump (Fajer Al-Kaisi) would later appear on the 2021 episode of Jellystone! titled “Ice Ice Daddy” as a patient of therapist Top Cat (Thomas Lennon), discussing his fear of meteors.

“Forbidden Fruit” (9/7/74) – Greg ignores the warnings about harvesting a certain fruit which ends up luring a Brontosaurus to the gave and trapping them all inside.
“What Goes Up” (9/14/74) – The humans must work to defeat the threat of voracious army ants that frighten even the dinosaurs.
“A Turned Turtle” (9/21/74) – The Butlers use a giant shell to create a submarine to explore an area ruled by a hungry Tyrannosaurus.
“The Volcano” (9/28/74) – The Butlers attempt to save the village from an erupting volcano.
“Smoke Screen” (10/5/74) – The Butlers must fortify the village when they inadvertently anger a tribe of primitive “missing links”.
“Pteranodon” (10/12/74) – The two families must work together to get the ingredients needed to cure Kim’s illness.
“The Saber-Tooth Kids” (10/19/74) – Greg and Tana must rescue Glump from a pack of hungry wolves.
“After Shock” (10/26/74) – The Butlers are amused by Gorak’s desire to replace their guardian statue’s head until a string of bad luck befalls them.
“Top Cave, Please” (11/2/74) – Lok faces exile when he’s accused of losing the village’s lucky hunting mascot.
“S.O.S.” (11/9/74) – When Tana spots a plane the Butlers get to work trying to make contact with it for rescue.
“Fire” (11/16/74) – A malicious brush fire prompts the Butlers to introduce firefighting tools and methodology to the valley.
“Rain of Meteors” (11/23/74) – The Butlers and the tribe accidentally injure the Sky People chieftain’s son, which he takes as an act of war and holds Lok and Katie hostage when they try to explain.
“To Fly a Kite” (11/30/74) – Greg’s kite-flying skills may be what saves his family from foul weather and an angry Iguanodon.
“Test Flight” (12/7/74) – John builds a glider plane that he must use to find Tana and Greg who are lost in a thick fog.
“The Big Toothache” (12/14/74) – Gorak, Lok, Katie and John investigate what strange creature is causing stampedes in the valley.
“Torch” (12/21/74) – The Butlers plan to block the mountain pass to keep night raiders out of the village.

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