Walking with Cavemen (2003– )

TV Series  |   |  Documentary, History
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The great follow-up to 'Walking with Dinosaurs' and 'Walking with Beasts', presented by Professor Robert Winston, explains the story of human evolution.

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Robert Winston ...
 Himself - Presenter (4 episodes, 2003)
...
 Narrator (USA version) (4 episodes, 2003)
Christian Bradley ...
 Various hominids (4 episodes, 2003)
...
 Various hominids (4 episodes, 2003)
Oliver Parham ...
 Various hominids (4 episodes, 2003)
David Rubin ...
 Various hominids (4 episodes, 2003)
Florence Sparham ...
 Various hominids (4 episodes, 2003)
Marva Alexander ...
 Various hominids (3 episodes, 2003)
Rachel Essex ...
 Various hominids (3 episodes, 2003)
Faroque Khan ...
 Various hominids (3 episodes, 2003)
Suzanne Cave ...
 Various hominids (2 episodes, 2003)
Ruth Dawes ...
 Various hominids (2 episodes, 2003)
Anthony Taylor ...
 Various hominids (2 episodes, 2003)
...
 Various hominids (2 episodes, 2003)
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Storyline

The story of human evolution is told through the stories of representative members of the various species leading up to modern homo sapiens. It is ongoing climate changes that force human ancestors to develop, one by one, the unique characteristics of the modern humans. Though earlier species were superbly successful in their environments they were unsustainable when the environment changes. Written by David Foss

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Eye-to-eye with your ancestors.


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Release Date:

27 March 2003 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Caminando entre cavernícolas  »

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(4 episodes)

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some scenes were recycled form Walking With Beasts and. The Mammoth was recycled from this show as well. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Seattle Creation Conference: Dinosaurs and the Bible (2006) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Potentially good program ruined by ridiculous presentation
15 February 2007 | by (Perth Australia) – See all my reviews

I wanted to enjoy the "Walking With Cavemen" series and there were moments that were informative and sufficiently awe inspiring. The atmosphere of a serious look at human evolution was severely compromised, however, by the completely ridiculous insertion of the presenter, Robert Winston, into the action, as if he was traveling back in time to witness our ancestors first hand. Not only does Robert Winston have a silly looking mustache and an annoying manner, but we have to watch him racing about the prehistoric world in a variety of vehicles, as if he was the star of an action movie. In several hilarious moments, we even see Winston exchanging "meaningful" glances with our ape-like ancestors. By the time I saw Winston hovering above Africa, observing our ancestors from a hot air balloon, I was about ready to chuck the DVD out of the window in despair.

Even if you take Winston out of the equation, this documentary is sketchy and implausible at best. The "script-writers" can't seem to resist building narratives out of the lives of our ancestors, for example, in the whole situation with "Lucy" and her baby, which is presented as if it was an actual scenario that took place. Every point that is made is essentially presented as "fact", and while I am no expert on the subject, I found myself immediately questioning how they could possibly know these things. For example, Winston seemed quite insistent that the Neanderthals had "no imagination". Philosophical speculation about imagination being an essential component of consciousness aside, the discoveries of what appear to be burial grounds, complete with residues of garlanded flowers about the skulls of dead Neanderthals, was completely ignored, and would suggest that the Neanderthals did indeed have sufficient imagination to at least have some sort of concept of an afterlife. The documentary went on and on, presenting little in the way of evidence for any of the assertions it put forward or the scenarios that were constructed, which were often embarrassingly cheesy and played for comic effect.

As a work of fiction and imagination, perhaps, the "documentary" did succeed on some level, and the overwhelmingly interesting nature of the subject matter could not be completely sabotaged by the manner of presentation. But even the make-up, acting and special effects employed in the depiction of our ancestors had not progressed to any significant degree from 2001: A Space Odyssey, a film made more than thirty years beforehand. Particularly laughable was a moment when several of our ancestors were confronted by a giant and angry gorilla in the prehistoric jungles of Asia, which played out like something from a fifties B-movie about Cavemen vs. the Monsters.

"Walking With Cavemen" is still a mildly entertaining and informative program, if not to be taken entirely seriously as a genuine presentation of science. The less heralded (and unfortunately still unavailable on DVD) Channel 4 presentation "Neanderthal", was a much better effort.


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