During the past two years or so I have almost stopped watching TV since when I do get time to watch it and my son is awake I am less likely the one deciding what to watch. Currently my son’s favorite show is Dinosaur Train. Shows like this did not exist when I was a kid and I am a bit jealous of that. It provides good information about dinosaurs and some other Mesozoic animals (birds [yes, I know they are dinosaurs…], pterosaurs, tortoises, at least one mammal and one amphibian).
For those not acquainted with it, it is about a Late Cretaceous Pteranodon family (including a baby T Rex who for some reason has ended up in the Pterosaur nest). Members of the family always take a ride on the Dinosaur train and travel to some other period and sometimes another continent in search of a dinosaur and an event associated with a characteristic feature of this dinosaur (such as watching ankylosaurs playing a ballgame with their massive clubs at the end of their tails, or hearing a corythosaur concert, etc.). The train is managed by two clever troodons. One of them works as a conductor and introduces the dinosaur species to the pterosaur family (and the human viewers) and let everyone know when they are about to enter a time tunnel.
If one ignore the obvious fact that the dinosaurs speak human languages, the pteranodons have bat-like wings, and all of them have access to train and time travelling devices one should perhaps point out the problems with plate tectonics. Are these railways and tunnels stable through time when continents drifted apart? If you have a time travelling train, are all trains on schedule? If so, SJ (the Swedish railway company) should learn a thing or two from this show. Further, all train stations look neat as if they were cleaned and maintained all the time. Considering the fact that they must be millions of years old they must have had remarkable construction material as well. In one episode when the pterosaur family goes to see a game of ankylosaurs playing a ballgame the father says something like “today there is a game”. Can one say that when one then travels in time to reach this event? I wonder if these creatures ever go back in time to meet themselves? What happens then? Will we ever find the “fossil” or remains of a time travelling device, will it ever become old? And finally, why does my son seem to have no interest in these issues?