The first episode shows audiences the American Serengeti that was once North America, and the unearthing of a Clovis child who came from some of the earliest settlers of Montana. The people... See full summary »








Series cast summary:
Ian Holm ...  Narrator 3 episodes, 2007
William Hootkins ...  Narrator (US Version) 3 episodes, 2007


The first episode shows audiences the American Serengeti that was once North America, and the unearthing of a Clovis child who came from some of the earliest settlers of Montana. The people hunt Caribou and Mammoths as they hide from the Smilodon and run from Arctodus simus - the dreaded Short-Faced Bear. The second episode is set 65,000 years ago, Australia was a forested land of many green plants and megafauna such as Diprotodon. The continent also housed territorial large birds like genyornis and the menacing giant monitor lizard Magalania. The ancient Aborigine found their way to the shores of this strange land of giant Marsupials and Reptiles. The third and final episode is set in the 1200s, and we catch a glimpse of the Maori traveling to New Zealand after their hero Kupe first discovered this magnificent world of birds and flightless bats. They develop a taste for Giant Moa just as the amazing Haast's Eagle had a new taste for man. However, the fastest extinction process wiped ... Written by Preston

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Did You Know?


Like previous prehistoric documentaries by BBC, there is a combined use of Animatronics and computer-generated animations. It should also be noted that a large number of living animals were used to portray their extinct relatives. Examples include a Lioness playing an American Lion and a Haast's Eagle being live-acted with a Harpy Eagle. See more »


The US version refers to Dinofelis as a scimitar-toothed cat. This is an error because scimitar cats refer to Homotherium (which also appears in this program), Machairodus, and Xenosmilus. See more »

Alternate Versions

The US release was renamed "Land of Lost Monsters". There are also different narrators (William Hootkins in the US, and Ian Holm in the UK) and some footage appears in the US version that does not appear in the UK release and vice-versa. In addition, the UK's "Monsters We Met" presented the show in three episodes of a miniseries, while the US version released the show all as one special. See more »


Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Extinct Animals (2015) See more »

User Reviews

A fine irony, not what I had expected, but very nice.
29 September 2007 | by sideriteSee all my reviews

At first I had expected this to be a documentary about the prehistoric giant animals that people actually met during their evolution. In part, this is exactly what it was about, each episode describing the strange fauna encountered by small groups of human explorers. The first one was the Americas, the second episode described the human colonization of Australia and in the end New Zeeland.

But even from the first episode, one could see the animals for a short bit, then humans would cause their extinction, through over hunting either them or their prey. Soon after each human infestation of a new place, weird and wonderful animals disappeared completely, whether we are talking of the giant lizard Megalania 15 thousand years ago or the Haas eagle, in the 13th century.

In the end, a thing that had become clear only through watching, without the narrator hinting to it one bit, was made obvious: humans spread like a bacterial disease, uncontrolled, destroying everything natural in their path, their destiny, repeated again and again, being to remain out of resources, fight each other and either learn to moderate their consumption or perish completely, like was the case of the Easter Island civilization: the only Polynesian civilization to produce writing, transforming their island in a barren land, unfit for life, then collapsing into brutal wars and cannibalism.

Bottom line: even if a bit slow at times, it made for excellent watching. It shows a pattern of human behavior that is not described in any history book and spans too much time to be learned from experience. What was funny is that both Amerindian and Maui cultures reached a point in which they respected the land and nature and did not hunt or overuse resources indiscriminately, after wreaking havoc on their lands. Then the Europeans came. How are we going to end up?

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Official Sites:

BBC [UK] | NDR [Germany]


UK | Germany



Release Date:

2003 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Land of Lost Monsters See more »

Filming Locations:

Australia See more »

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