|The Jim Henson Hour|
|Air Date||1990 (UK)|
|Written by||Anthony Minghella|
Living With Dinosaurs is a television special that originally aired on Channel 4 in the UK on December 30, 1990. "Living with Dinosaurs" was written by Anthony Minghella, and directed by Paul Weiland, both of whom also worked on The StoryTeller. In the special, a socially awkward young English boy named Dom deals with his fears about his unemployed artist father (Lee), his pregnant mother (Vicky), and his asthma, with the help of his favorite doll, a stuffed dinosaur named Dog.
The 53 minute special was a TVS Films Ltd. production in association with the Jim Henson Organization.
After airing in the UK, the special was re-formatted to become an episode of The Jim Henson Hour for NBC in the US. However, the series was cancelled before the reformatted version aired (intended as episode #11).
The reworked The Jim Henson Hour episode consists of the standard framing element of Jim Henson appearing in the digital environment speaking to the audience, and no MuppetTelevision segment to accommodate the "Living with Dinosaurs" story.
The original special (without Henson's bookends or The Jim Henson Hour titles) later aired on Nickelodeon in the US in 1993.
In 2000, a pilot script was written for a new series based on Living With Dinosaurs, but it was never produced.
Official Plot Summary
This sensitive drama deals with the fears and fantasies of Dom, a boy nearing his tenth birthday, who suffers from asthma and has trouble adjusting to a new school and changes in his life at home. Dom's only friend, a stuffed dinosaur named Dog, comes to life and helps him cope with his problems. Feeling isolated from his parents, who are preoccupied with their jobs and a new baby on the way, the confused, unhappy boy confides in Dog, an outgoing, understanding friend who helps him with his homework and offers moral support. The two make a list of all the people whom Dom believes are ruining his life, and together they plot creative ways of eliminating them. Dog tries to convince Dom that his father and the new baby should not be included on the list, but Dom is convinced that they are the source of all his problems. Through his active fantasy life with Dog, Dom struggles to come to terms with the changes in his life, and Dog proves to be a valuable friend during this difficult transition period.
As far as is known, no Jim Henson Hour episodes aired in the UK. There is currently no evidence that the Jim Henson Hour version of Living With Dinosaurs (with Jim Henson's opening and closing scenes) aired anywhere at all, though a copy has circulated among fans.
- Michael Maloney as Lee
- Juliet Stevenson as Vicky
- Gregory Chisholm as Dom
- Patrick Malahide as Uncle Adrian
- Darren Bastable as Victor
- Gwyneth Strong as Teacher
- Myron McKay as Friend
- Byron Spiers as Case
- Pippa Ford-Jones as Girl
- Producer: Duncan Kenworthy
- Jim Henson's Creature Shop: Peter Brooke, David Housman, Lesja Liber, Mike Osborn, Neal Scanlan, Cheryl Henson, David Dunsterville
- Creative Supervisor: John Stephenson
- Music: Rachel Portman
- Costume Designer: Ann Hollowood
- Production Designer: Simon Holland
- Photographed by Peter Hannan
- Produced in association with TVS Films Ltd.
- Henson.com page
- Jim Henson's Red Book entry
- Tough Pigs Anthology -- The Jim Henson Hour: A Lost Muppet Classic
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