One of the most bizarre shows ever to come out of Hanna-Barbera Productions was its live-action caveman action-adventure show called Korg: 70,000 B.C.— bizarre for reasons including the fact that it was live action. Although Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera had dabbled with live-action shows prior to Korg, most notably with The Banana Splits, Korg was the first live-action show from Hanna-Barbera to be completely dramatic and follow a single narrative. Loosely based on The Waltons, Korg told the story of caveman Korg and his family as they struggled to make ends meet in caveman times. It was sort of a serious attempt at The Flintstones! Curiously, the show debuted at the same time as Hanna-Barbera’s fully animated Valley of the Dinosaurs. Hanna-Barbera presumably couldn’t decide whether to do an animated or live-action show set in prehistoric times, so why not do both? Apart from the prehistoric setting, the two shows are very dissimilar. (Hanna-Barbera did dabble further into live-action material with less than spectacular results, including The Skatebirds and a 1979 theatrical film called C.H.O.M.P.S., starring Valerie Bertinelli. None of these are very memorable.)
FROM TV TO COMICS
Korg was filmed in the hills of the Palos Verdes Peninsula in California, in the spring and summer of 1974—and, coincidentally, only a couple of miles from my boyhood home at the time. As a six-year-old, I was fascinated that a show could be filmed so close to my house. Even though Hollywood was nearby, it was still a good 30 miles away. The completed show was nothing much, to be honest, but some folks have fond memories of it. Korg was supposed to be educational, based on the best research about Neanderthal life available at the time. Korg aired on ABC-TV from September 7, 1974 through August 31, 1975. There were 16 episodes produced and the show was not renewed for a second season. Episode titles include: “Magic Claws,” “The Guide,” “Exile,” “Eclipse,” “Trapped,” “Story of Lumi,” “Moving Rock,” “Beach People,” “Running Fight,” “The Ancient One,” “Tor’s First Hunt,” “The Hill People,” “The River,” “The Web,” “Picture Maker,” and “Ree & the Wolf.” Korg starred Jim Malinda as Korg. Bill Ewing was Bok, his best friend. Naomi Pollack portrayed Mara, Korg’s wife. Christoper Man was Tane, Korg’s eldest son. Charles Morteo was Tor, Korg’s youngest son. Janelle Pransky was Ree, Korg’s daughter, and Eileen Deetz portrayed Sala, another friend of the family. Veteran character actor Burgess Meredith, best known
Man vs. Dinosaur Cover paintings by the too-often-overlooked Pat Boyette make Charlton Comics’ Korg: 70,000 B.C. a visual treat. Cover to issue #3 (Oct. 1975) courtesy of Heritage Comics Auctions (www.ha.com). © 1975 Hanna-Barbera Productions.
Born to be Wild Issue
BACK ISSUE • 47
Jungle and barbarian characters that are “Born To Be Wild”! Shanna fans will be bedazzled by a star-studded line-up of creators who tell all...