Geoduck's World

Random Events in a Disorganized Universe

The Future is Wild

TFIW
The Future is Wild is a companion piece to the Discovery Channel series of the same name. As you might expect, while it is CGI like the original documentary, it is simpler and more 'cartoony' than the former. I'd compare it to Jimmy Neutron for animation quality. How it differs from other animated series aimed at this demographic is in the writing. They developed the characters very well. Much better than is commonly done for a children's cartoon, not to mention a spin off riding on the coattails of another show. They put more than an average amount of effort developing back story, relationships and such. This is a character and storyline driven work, not just a bunch of silly pratfalls or pseudo ninja battles. It is the story of CG who is piloting the TimeFlyer through the future looking for a new home for humanity. She needs help and picks up Ethan, Emily, and Lewis from the 21st century and Squibbon from 200my in the future. This is the story of their encounters and adventures 5my, 100my, and 200my in the future.

One part of the series did strike me as odd though. While individual episodes were well done the overall story arc was very disjointed. They'd encounter an animal in one show and then in the next they would not know what it was and would have to look it up. They'd use a device in one show and then a few shows later they'd explain "Oh we have a force field generator". In one Squibbon would be hidden from CG's father, in the next her father knew about Squibbon, then a few episodes later they'd be back to hiding him. It just seemed surprisingly random for a show that was otherwise so well written.

It struck me that maybe the disjointed feel of the show was a programming accident. I wondered if perhaps, the episodes were not broadcast in the order intended by the writers. I had a week to kill so I watched the whole series, making notes of what they knew, what they looked up, what they used and such. Then I re-sorted the episodes so these events made sense. After doing this I discovered that the show HAD been written with an overarching story line but for some reason when they came to air it, they pulled the episodes out at random. Once you have the program in the right sequence it makes a lot more sense. There are several threads that only become apparent when seen in the right order. So here is The Future is Wild as it should be watched. I should add though that this might not be exactly right. A couple of the episodes could have gone in more than one spot. In those cases I just made a judgement call. Even if not perfect though, it's a lot closer than the original.
Sequence
Episode Number – Title
Reasoning

1

05 - Think Big

100My Bengal Swamp:They looked up the Toraton. Did not know the Lurkfish. Did not know Swampus. Used the chamiliographic helmet, probably for the first time.

2

01 - The Electric Fisherman

100My Bengal Swamp: The TimeFlyer was broken. They looked up Lurkfish. They knew about Toraton.

3

06 - Squibbon See Squibbon Do

100My Bengal Swamp: They looked up the Swampus. They knew Lurkfish. Made and lost squeaky toy.

4

04 - Toratonnage

100My Bengal Swamp: They knew Toratons. Departed Bengal Swamp but not to a different time.

5

07 - A Poggle's Not A Pet... Yet

100My Great Plateau: Arrival at Great Plateau. They looked up Poggles. Looked up Silver Spiders. CJ discovers her arachnophobia, CJ's father does not know about Squbbon.

6

03 - Sky High Anxiety

100My Great Plateau: They looked up Windrunner. Knew about Silver Spiders. Used tractor beam, appears to be for the first time.

7

08 - Phantom Fear

100My Shallow Sea: The ship says arrived in location 100my but was not clear if they'd time jumped or, more likely just changed location. They looked up Reef Gliders, Spindletroopers, and the Ocean Phantom, CG had her arachnophobia, Ethan discovered his claustrophobia.

8

15 - Shallow Pals

100My Shallow Sea: They looked up Spindletroopers and the Ocean Phantoms which they'd seen before but not looked up. Everyone but Ethan was sick from CGs cooking

9

17 - Around The World In Eighty Minutes

100My Started in Antarctic Forest but hit all locations in this time: The TimeFlyer had been repaired and they were testing it. CJ's father does not know about Squibbon. In the end they depart 100my

10

14 - Sweet Home Pangaea II

200My Northern Forest: They looked up Megasquid, Slithersuckers and fFysch. CG discovers the force field generator in her communicator. This was where CJ's father sees Squibben.

11

23 - Cure for the Common Megasquid Cold

200My Northern Forest: Not decided where to move humanity to yet. They know what a Megasquid, Flysh and Slithersucker are. Lewis more neurotic than usual.

12

11 - Sign of the Timeflyer

5My Amazon Grassland: This appears to be their first visit to the grasslands. They looked up Babukari and Karakillers.

13

18 - Monkey Brains

5My Amazon Grassland: They used the chameliographic helmet.

14

12 - De-Tour de France

5My Northern European Ice: On the site of Paris. Found out that Emily had been an exchange student. They looked up Snowstalker and Shagrat. First use of laser drill. Used tractor beam. Timeflyer hull cracked in landing and repaired.

15

20 - Scared Safe

5My Northern European Ice: Knew Gannetwhale and Snowstalker. I did not catch anywhere in any episode when they looked up the Gannetwhales.

16

26 - Snowstalker in a Strange Land

5My Northern European Ice/Amazon Grassland: They knew what a Snowstalker, Karakiller, and Babukari, were. Used tractor beam and force field.

17

02 - Extreme Bird Watching

100My Antarctic Forest: TimeFlyer working normally. Ship announced "time jump complete to 100MY". Looked up Spitfire Birds and Falcon Flies

18

16 - Parent Trap

100My Antarctic Forest: Arrival announced but might not have been time jump. They tested a tree like they did at 200my but no decision on moving humanity yet. They examined Squibbon dung, knew Falcon Flies and Spitfire Birds

19

10 - Be True to Your Crew

100My Bengal Swamp/21st Century: CJ's father wants her to send Emily, Ethan, and Lewis home. We get backstory on how they all met and why. Lewes mentions “We examined Squibben dung together”. CJ's father knew about Squibben.

20

09 - The Future is Underground

200My Central Desert: They jump from 100my to 200my. They looked up Terabytes. On landing they broke the TimeFlyer's water reserve tank. Repaired and refilled water reserve. This was the first use of molecular shrink ray.

21

13 - Night Crawlers

200My Central Desert: They knew Terabytes. They had planned to leave but didn't because everyone did their own thing and then they were caught by meteor storm. CG Takes Charge.

22

19 - Swimming With Slickribbons

200My Central Desert. They were leaving but couldn't because the Timeflyer needed washing. They looked up Slickribbon and Garden Worm. They mentioned when they first first shrunk each other. This was the second use of drill.

23

21 - He Might Be Giant

200My Northern Forest/Central Desert: They were familiar with Megasquid and referenced the other time they shrank and enlarged each other. They were experimenting with a hybrid tree for central desert just like they did at 100MY. Used the tractor beam. No decision on where to move humanity.

24

22 - A Ghost in the Machine

100My Antarctic Forest: They jumped to 100my. Decided to move humanity to 100MY Antarctic Forest. CG's father knew about Squibben. Trying to come up with a Falconfly repellent.. Squibbon learned how to fly the ship. Think they jumped back from another time.

25

24 - Queen of the Squibbons Part 1

100My Great Plateau: Started at 100my great plateau, Emily stranded at 200my. The rest are trying to get back to her.

26

25 - Queen of the Squibbons Part 2

100my Antarctic Forest was where they ended up but on the way hit all sites and times. Appears to be intended as the Last Episode. At the very end CG's father asks if they are ready for their "Next Mission".

Note the original episode number. With the exception of The Queen of the Squibbons, they didn't run any of them in order. Even then while Queen of the Squibbons is clearly the finale, they followed it with Snowstalker in a Strange Land. A good episode, but one that makes nearly no sense as the last episode.

With the episodes in the revised order:
CG grows and becomes less stiff and robotic over the span of the series. She even develops a sense of humour and plays the occasional joke on the others.
The budding relationships between Emily / Ethan and CG / Lewis grow over time.
They decide to move humanity to the Antarctic Forest at the very end. In the broadcast sequence their are several episodes where they're still saying "IF humanity is going to move here" when they are elsewhere, but have already announced that humanity is going to the Antarctic Forest.
The trees they tested at 200my and 100my are both before the decision point. This was the case in the broadcast version but this makes it more clear that the trees were part of a series of tests at all sites and happened before they decided to move humanity to 100my Antarctic Forest

Reorganizing the episodes like this makes the series much more logical. As a story arc it just makes a lot more sense.

One thing I keep wondering about though, what happens when the mission is over? Sure they can return to the 21st century but will they want to? After all they've seen, regular High School will be pretty tame. Would it even be good for the timeline for them, especially Lewis, to return to the 21st century. With the knowledge of what they've seen and learned, they could really screw up the future. I don't think the TimeFlyer was invented in the 21st century. For that matter, they mention in the show that they've been travelling for months. Let's assume they are gone at least a year. They will obviously have grown a lot, both emotionally and physically. How will they fit in with their peers any more? Won't their parents wonder what happened in the half hour they were gone that morning? CG's father was right. Reintegrating into their own time would be hard. But then I don't know if they could live among future humanity either. We've seen that the people of the future think of them as "primitives". Imagine someone from 12,000 years ago were dropped into today. Sure they could learn our language, and they could function in our world, but there'd be problems. A million little customs, habits, heck subtle physical attributes, that would make fitting in very hard. Ethan, Emily, and Lewis would face all the same problems if they stayed with humanity 100my in the future. Either returning home or staying in the future would be difficult.

And what will become of Squibbon?

I see room for Fan Fiction here.