HBO Will Have A Bone To Pick With Us

Anyone with more then a standard childhood love of dinosaurs will have heard of the Bone Wars. Anyone who hasn't is missing out. It's the palaeontological equivalent to the War of the Currents that played out between Edison and Tesla. Between 1877 and 1892, 142 species of dinosaur were discovered, which considering that only a handful had been discovered since the 1825 discovery of Iguanodon was a significant achievement on its own. The Bone Wars also generated a huge amount of public interest in dinosaurs, an interest that has never really abated, and helped along the way by the works of Arthur Conan Doyle, Ray Harryhausen, and Michael Crichton.

The Bone Wars themselves were between, like Edison and Tesla, two leaders of their field. Edward Drinker Cope of Philadelphia and Othniel Charles Marsh of Yale started out on good terms, even naming species after each other. However, over time, their dispositions led to a very public battle to discredit the other, ultimately leading to the financial and social ruin of both men (personal bias: Marsh discovered my favourite dinosaur, Allosaurs, and therefore wins my vote. Also, he had a more impressive beard). The tale was told in graphic novel form in the fantastic, if not entirely accurate, Bone Sharps, Cowboys, and Thunder Lizards, by Jim Ottaviani.

HBO has decided that this period piece will be the subject of a new comedy series, which will star Steve Carell as Cope and James Gandolfini as Marsh (despite Paul Giamatti being far better suited for the role). There is no expected air date, as the project doesn't even have a writer yet, which seems like putting the taxonomy before the fossil excavation, but I'm sure HBO knows what its doing.

I hope they know what they are doing.

Via /Film.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.


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