Unquestionably, the 1980s were the best decade for television cartoons, giving us numerous classic programmes like He-Man, Thundercats, G.I. Joe, and others. There were no restrictions on how imaginative and outlandish these concerts could be, and many of them were set in bizarre, avant-garde settings.
One such animation was “Dinosaucers,” which followed the exploits of dinosaurs that had evolved on the remote planet Reptilian! The Dinosaucers, a Michael Uslan creation, quickly rose to prominence as one of the 80s’ most-watched animated series. Today, we will examine every aspect of the programme and fill you in on all there is to know about the Dinosaucers!
What was the show all about?
Dinosaucers was an animated children’s television program from the 1980s that had 65 episodes in one season. The program chronicled the exploits of the “Dinosaucers,” who fought the evil Genghis Rex and his Tyrannos. Both the Tyrannos and the Dinosaucers originated from the planet Reptilon, and both were made up of different types of extinct dinosaurs. The “Secret Scouts,” a group of young people who supported the Dinosaucers in their conflict with the Tyrannos, were also enlisted as allies by the Dinosaucers.
Dinosaucers, like many other shows in the 1980s, was created with the goal of increasing toy sales by introducing a line of toy figurines based on the show’s premise. After the show’s 1987 cancellation, it was put on hold. However, in 1989, after the program’s successful Brazilian premiere, it was revived. Michael Uslan also participated in the creation of a comic book adaptation of the show in 2018, but the comic was abandoned and the five-part miniseries ended on a cliffhanger.
Let us look at the first several episodes of the programme to gain a sense of the Dinosaucers’ overarching narrative!
Exploring the first few episodes and the overall story arc
On September 14, 1987, the first episode of the program, named “Dinosaur Valley,” debuted on television. A group of teenagers discover several alien dinosaurs at the start of the episode. Since then, they have been collaborating with the “Dinosaucers” under the name “Secret Scouts.” In addition to being given magical rings that gave them special abilities, the Secret Scouts joined the Dinosaucers in their fight against Genghis Rex and the wicked Tyrannos.
The Tyrannos discover a secret valley while flying their ship above Earth in this episode. They choose this valley as the location for their base since it will allow them to conquer Earth and deal with Dinosaucers quickly. The vehicle’s engines begin to malfunction as they are ready to dock the mothership, which is home to all of their other vehicles and ships. The Tyrannos conclude that this is happening because of the ore in the valley, and there seems to be some powerful force emanating from within the valley too.
Brachio wonders if this powerful force can be used against the Dinosaucers, and the Tyrannos decide to land in this valley. Genghis Rex, leader of the Tyrannos, asks his team to inform the rest of the Tyrannos that they are landing there. It appears that some of the Tyrannos had set up their Earth base under a tar pit.
In the meantime, Paul, one of the Secret Scouts, tries to find out what Genghis Rex is up to and locates him in the valleys. He contacts the Dinosaucers and tells them that some of the Tyrannos are in South America and are up to no good. Allo, leader of the Dinosaucers, asks Paul to keep an eye on Genghis Rex and also assemble the rest of the Secret Scouts. The Dinosaucers then ready their spaceships and set out to meet Paul.
In the meantime, Genghis and a few of his trusted Tyrannos enter the mountains beneath the valley. They walk through these mountain tunnels and then come across a clearing where they locate some dinosaurs. Quackpot exclaims that the dinosaurs on Earth had died years ago, and Brachio concludes that this valley might have protected some of these animals. Genghis Rex decides to make these dinosaurs work as their slaves and make them gather ore for them to build their new base. He also intends to use these dinosaurs in their war against Dinosaucers.
The Dinosaucers and the Secret Scouts learn about the Tyrannos’ plan. They decide that they need to stop them from enslaving the dinosaurs, and they get ready to go to the Tyrannos’ valley. In the meantime, the Tyrannos prepare some technologically advanced collars to trap the dinosaurs. The Secret Scouts help the Dinosaucers find the right way to reach the valley, and they swing from tree branches in order to make their way through the valley. They come across the tar pits and even cross some air plants to finally reach the clearing where the Tyrannos spotted the ancient dinosaurs.
They come across a wild Styracosaurus, and Allo tries to befriend the giant dinosaur. Allo tells the dinosaur not to be afraid, and that they are friends. In the meantime, Styraco creeps up on the dinosaur from behind and uses their new technology to collar this dinosaur and turn it into their slave. Rex then orders Styraco to put collars on the rest of the dinosaurs and make them work in the tar pits. The Dinosaucers tell the Secret Scouts that these collars were also used by the Tyrannos back on their home planet of Reptilon, and the only way to stop them is by disabling the control box.
Allo comes up with a plan to Dinovolve into a traditional ‘Allosaurus’ shape. Dinovolving was a process by which the dinosaurs could turn into their ancestral selves for some time by pressing a button on their suits. The Dinosaucers warn Allo that he might not be able to fight the Tyrannos if they put a collar on him, but Allo is willing to take that risk. He says that he will try to get the control box, and he then Dinovolves himself. Allo tells the Secret Scouts to get the other dinosaurs free, while Rex spots Allo in his dinosaur form and orders Styraco to collar him.
Allo ends up getting collared, and the Dinosaucers worry that he might not be able to get his hands on the control box in time before returning to his normal state. The Dinosaucers and the Secret Scouts hurry to get the collar off Allo but face another obstacle as the water levels have increased, and they need a way to pass through the water. Bronto Thunder then helps the group pass through the water, and they hurry to free Allo.
In the meantime, many wild dinosaurs make an appearance, and Styraco struggles to put a collar on all of these dinosaurs. Quackpot also manages to trap Bronto Thunder and tries to put a collar on him. However, Bronto overpowers Quackpot and flings him to a distance. The rest of the Tyrannos then spot the Dinosaucers and the Secret Scouts, and try to capture them. However, the Secret Scouts manage to outwit them.
Allo shows up in front of Rex, who orders one of his dinosaurs to attack Allo. However, Allo uses his intelligence to defeat the dinosaur and then asks Rex to give up the control box. Allo finally gets his hands on the control box and frees all the dinosaurs. Allo then warns Rex to leave the valley and tells him that the dinosaurs can sense that he is the enemy who tried to enslave them. Rex accepts defeat and leaves with the Tyrannos, while Allo proposes that they should seal the valley so that no one will bother the dinosaurs again.
In the next episode, titled ‘Take us out to the Ballgame,’ the Secret Scouts and the Dinosaucers have a fun time playing baseball together. Bronto Thunder wishes to watch some television, but he comes across a channel where a baseball match is being aired. Since he does not know these sports, Bronto assumes that the two teams are at war with each other and that something terrible is happening. Two of the Secret Scouts show up, and they tell him that this is just a baseball game. They collect the other Dinosaucers and start playing baseball.
On the other side of the Earth, Rex concludes that the reason the Dinosaucers keep defeating them is because they have allies in the form of Secret Scouts. Rex decides that they must collect some wealth so that they can also hire an army of mercenaries. Rex asks Ankylo to find the most valuable thing on this planet, and he tells Rex that mammals value diamonds a lot. Ankylo does not really know what a diamond is, but he claims to know the location of the world’s largest diamond. Rex decides to leave for this location right away and orders the Tyrannos to ready their mothership for departure.
In the meantime, Allo puts up an invisibility shield around their ship, and the Secret Scouts tell them that they will play baseball in the ‘Houston Astrodome.’
The Tyrannos fly over Texas, and Ankylo apparently messes up the directions. They prepare to land at the nearest fuel station to ask for directions, and they scare away some humans in doing so. Finally, one of the people at the fuel station tells them that diamonds are for sissies and that they must look for gold instead. The man also hands them a metal detector in exchange for some money from the Tyrannos.
At the Astrodome, the Secret Scouts try to track the basics of baseball to the Dinosaucers. They teach them the rules and assign positions, but the Dinosaucers don’t really get the hang of the game. Nevertheless, they have a fun time trying to play it.
In the meantime, the Tyrannos walk through barren lands with the metal detector when the detector buzzes. Ankylo and Rex dig up the ground and find a chest of gold. Though they are not sure what gold looks like, Rex hopes that this will suffice to get an army of followers to defeat the Dinosaucers. On the other side, the Dinosaucers continue to struggle with baseball.
Rex returns to the man who handed them the metal detector, who tells the Tyrannos that they missed out on the greatest real estate deal. The Tyrannos don’t really understand how any of these deals work, and they hand him all their gold in exchange for a deed that names them as the owner of Brooklyn Bridge.
The Tyrannos wonder how they can carry this bridge back to their tar pits, and Rex returns to the man angrily. He demands to get the world’s largest diamond, and the man hands him a map to find the diamond. Ankylo asks him if this map will lead to the Astrodome, and the man asks him if he is looking for the diamond in the Astrodome.
The Tyrannos reach the Astrodome and come across the Dinosaucers. The Tyrannos assume that the Dinosaucers are guarding the diamond and intend to trap them there and destroy the place. Allo asks them what they’re doing here, and Rex tells them to drop the act and hand over the diamond. Rex asks for the ‘baseball diamond,’ and the Secret Scouts tell them that baseball diamonds are different from actual diamonds.
Rex is furious to find out they have been fooled again, and he tells Allo that he has rigged the place with rockets. The Tyrannos fire blasts at the Dinosaucers, but they use their baseball bats to deflect these attacks. The Dinosaucers then get the remote controls for the rockets from Rex, and the episode comes to a happy end as Bronto Thunder proposes another round of baseball.
In the show’s third episode, titled ‘Happy Egg Day to You,’ the Dinosaucers and the Secret Scouts come together to throw a party for Paul, one of the Secret Scouts. Paul is very excited to celebrate his birthday, but Allo rains on his parade by saying there is no time for a party right now since Rex could be planning to attack them. Paul dejectedly leaves the room, after which Allo and the other Secret Scouts start planning a surprise party for him. Allo even arranges for a birthday egg that consists of a party toy animal. The Secret Scouts chip in, get a portable CD player for Paul, and even arrange for party decorations and a birthday cake.
In the meantime, Rex and his Tyrannos make a plan to steal the secret of Dinovolving from the Dinosaucers’ Lava Dome. Rex is optimistic that he can finally defeat the Dinosaucers if only they had the same advantage as them. He looks for an opportunity to break into the Lava Dome and steal the Dinosaucers’ technology.
In the Lava Dome, Paul is quite upset about not having a party. He finally sets out on his own to find Rex’s plan so that the Dinosaucers will agree to have the party. Sara steps out to find Paul and bring him to the surprise party room, and the group finally discovers that Paul is missing. They try to locate his cycle and learn that Paul is heading to the Tyrannos’ base at the tar pits.
On the other side, the Tyrannos spot the Dinosaucers leaving the Lava Dome, and they prepare to break into the place. They successfully enter the Lava Dome and find Bonehead monitoring the Dinosaucers’ base. Bonehead accidentally sets off the Dinosaucers’ alarm system while the Tyrannos sneak around the place.
Meanwhile, the Dinosaucers look for Paul and discover that the Tyrannos are not at their base. Paul finds himself stuck without any fossil fuel in his bike and tries to contact the Lava Dome. However, Bonehead does not hear his distress calls, and Paul finally gives up and decides just to run his way back to the Lava Dome.
Back at the Lava Dome, the Tyrannos look around to find the secret to Dinovolving. The Dinosaucers also return to their base and first turn off the alarm. They then trace Paul’s location and learn that he is on his way back, and they all return to the party room and get ready to surprise him. They turn off the lights to surprise him, but the Tyrannos stumble into the party room instead.
A fight breaks out, and Paul enters the room when Rex corners Allo and points at him with his fossilizer gun. Paul finds a gun and throws it in Allo’s direction, who then defeats the evil Tyranno. Rex accepts his failure and leaves the Lava Dome with the Tyrannos, while the Dinosaucers and Secret Scouts wish Paul a happy birthday. The episode ends on a celebratory note, and Paul exclaims that this is the best birthday he has ever had!
The next episode, ‘Hooray for Hollywood,’ follows the adventures of the Dinosaucers and the Tyrannos as they visit Hollywood to find some dinosaurs. While Bonehead and Stego visit Hollywood to see a dinosaur show at ‘Worldwide studios,’ Rex and Ankylo plan to recruit these dinosaurs and make them some of the Tyrannos.
Both these parties travel to Hollywood, and Stego and Bonehead try to find these dinosaurs. In their search for the dinosaurs, they explore make-up trailers in Hollywood and even scare an actress. They then visit the wax museum and finally end up in a ‘dinosaur cave.’ Here, they come across mechanical toy dinosaurs and mistake them for real ones.
In the meantime, Rex and Ankylo also reach Hollywood and head toward ‘Dinosaur Land.’ Stego and Bonehead finally realize that the dinosaurs in the cave are fake and decide to leave the place. However, they end up running into some visitors and are stuck pretending to be dinosaurs for a while. Finally, they decide to hide in the dinosaur cave until the studio closes, when Rex and Ankylo also enter the cave. Stego and Bonehead spot the Tyrannos, and both parties end up in a fight.
Ankylo ends up in some trouble with a human, and Rex decides that he has had enough of the visitors. He picks up his gun and decides to shoot at the humans to turn them into fossils, and Stego and Bonehead scramble to protect the humans from Rex’s gun.
However, the Secret Scout David appears at the very last minute, saves the Dinosaucers, and even scares the Tyrannos away. He then returns to the Lava Dome with Stego and Bonehead, and they all have a good laugh about this incident.
The show’s fifth episode was titled ‘Divide and Conquer,’ wherein the Tyrannos fake news about a new energy source to trick the Dinosaucers. David and Allo set out to travel to New York to find this energy source that Allo can use to help his home planet. Rex waits until they leave and then plans to attack Bronto Thunder.
Inside the Lava Dome, Bronto throws a tantrum over not getting to go to New York. He finally decides to leave for New York alone, and Sara accompanies him in his travels. The duo set out in a vehicle and pass the Statue of Liberty when the Tyrannos launch an attack on them.
In the meantime, David and Allo realize that they were fooled by fake news. Allo calls Dimetro, who tells him that Bronto Thunder and Sara left for New York. Allo asks Dimetro to meet them in New York City while Bronto Thunder and Sara try to deflect the Tyrannos’ attack. Sara sabotages the Tyrannos’ ship, causing it to crash to the ground. The Tyrannos then try to move the Statue of Liberty, but Allo and David reach in time to stop them. As soon as Allo reaches the place, Rex corners him and aims his gun at him in the hopes of turning Allo into a prehistoric Allosaurus. However, he accidentally aims at Brachio instead, and the Tyranno turns into an evil Brachiosaurus.
He then shoots the gun at Brachio again, hoping to turn him into an egg but accidentally shoots at David, which turns him into a caveman. Finally, David lunges into an attack on Rex and scares him and the Tyrannos away. Dimetro arrives in time, and the Dinosaucers try to capture David, who has escaped in order to explore the city. David stirs up quite some trouble in the city, and the Dinosaucers finally locate him. They go to a subway station, where David starts jumping on the electricity poles and exploring the place. In the meantime, Allo reverses the polarity of his gun and shoots it at David, transforming him into his usual self, and the episode ends on a happy note.
In this way, the Dinosaucers and the Secret Scouts went on many adventures together and saved the Earth from the menace of Genghis Rex and his Tyrannos!
Looking back at some of the memorable characters in the show
The main characters of the show were the Dinosaucers, Secret Scouts, and the evil Tyrannos.
The Dinosaucers were united under the leadership of Allo, and consisted of Dimetro, Stego and Bronto Thunder, among others. They had the ability to ‘Dinovolve’ into their primitive dinosaur state while being able to retain their intelligence and ability to speak. The Dinosaucers had a technology for this process of Dinovolving, and they had a switch on their uniforms that helped them in this transformation.
Allo was the leader of the Dinosaucers, and he was a developed species of an Allosaurus. Allo was the nephew of the rulers of Reptilon, and he was quite a calm and collected leader of the group. He could Dinovolve into a 40-foot tall gigantic Allosaurus.
Dimetro was the group’s mechanic, and he was an evolved Dimetrodon that could return to his primitive state by Dinovolving. Bronto Thunder was an evolved version of an Apatosaurus, and he was essentially the strongest member of the team.
Stego, an evolved Stegosaurus, was a relatively slow member of the team who had exceptional combat skills. He often did not realize this strength and frequently had panic attacks in stressful situations. Nevertheless, he always braved his fears when his friends needed his help.
As the name suggests, Tricero was an evolved Triceratops who used to work in the law forces before joining the Dinosaucers. He has a superpower of creating strong vibrations with some help from the two horns on his eyebrows.
Other Dinosaucers such as Bonehead and Ichy were evolved species of a Pachycephalosaurus and an Ichthyosaurus, respectively. Bonehead was not very smart, but he had good combat skills, whereas Ichy had the ability to talk to sea creatures.
Teryx was the only female Dinosaucer, and she was an evolved species of the ‘Archaeopteryx,’ a half-dinosaur and half-bird species. Teryx has the ability to talk to birds, and at some point in the show, she also turned into a human being when the Dinosaucers were testing out a new technology. Teryx was in a relationship with Ichy, but she was often pursued by the enemy Tyranno Genghis Rex.
The Secret Scouts were a team of teenagers who helped the Dinosaucers, and they were given special magic rings that gave them powers. The team was led by Ryan Spencer, the smartest and most athletic member of the group. His younger sister, Sara, was the only girl on this team and her magic ring gave her the ability to boost her physical strength. Paul and David were the other members of the Secret Scouts, and their rings gave them the ability to run at great speed and increase their physical strength, respectively.
The Tyrannos were the show’s main antagonists, and the evil Genghis Rex led them. Genghis usually went by the name ‘Rex,’ and he was an evolved Tyrannosaurus. Though he was an evil being, Rex was an honorable foe and can be considered a rival rather than an enemy to the Dinosaucers.
Rex had an older sister named ‘Princess Dei,’ who was an evolved Deinonychus. She was more intelligent than Rex, and it is also believed that she was the one who first led the Tyranno movement on their home planet of Reptilon.
Other Tyrannos included Ankylo, Quackpot, Brachio, Styraco, Plesio and Terrible Dactyl. Ankylo was an evolved Ankylosaurus and served as Rex’s assistant. Quackpot, an evolved Hadrosaurus, was the prankster of the group. Brachio was an evolved Brachiosaurus and was the strongest member of the Tyrannos.
Styraco, as the name suggests, was a version of the Styracosaurus. He often fought against Tricero, and was an intelligent member of the team who sometimes helped develop their technology. Plesio was an evolved Plesiosaurus and was the scientist of the group. Terrible Dactyl was an unreliable Tyranno who occasionally stirred up trouble by reporting false news to Rex. He was an evolved Pteranodon and had the ability to fly.
Marvelous Verdict: Evergreen classic with the fun addition of dinosaurs!
Dinosaucers was one of the most popular cartoon shows in the 80s and had garnered quite a fanbase. The show’s premise centered around dinosaurs, along with some elements of sci-fi, fantasy and magic that made it a thoroughly enjoyable watch. The dinosaurs that came from outer space paired with a teenage group of heroes with power rings altogether made for a very cool concept, and was quite a breath of fresh air.
Fans especially liked the wide variety of dinosaurs that were incorporated in the show, who all had their different powers and abilities. Moreover, the character designs were exceptionally well-done, and the voice actors also did an incredible job of bringing the characters to life. The show’s setting sometimes explored places such as Hollywood, New York, and Texas, making it quite fun to watch.
The writers did an excellent job at creating an engaging storyline; wherein all the different characters had their fair share of moments in various episodes. Moreover, the animation was well-done, and the show also had a catchy theme song. The creators had introduced a toy line, which also garnered the interest of many viewers who wished to collect the figurines of their favorite characters.
To sum it up, Dinosaucers was one of the best cartoons from the 80s that garnered a lot of viewers, primarily due to the dinosaur aspects of the show. A comic series based on the Dinosaucers was also launched later in 2018, but it was left on a cliffhanger after the comic was discontinued. Nevertheless, Dinosaucers remains to be a very well-remembered cartoon that gave us many fond memories back in the day!