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The Ballad of Big Al

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The Ballad of Big Al
Title of Big Al
General information
SeriesWalking with Dinosaurs
Episode numberSpecial
Featured creaturesBig Al
Broadcast information
Original airdate25 December 2000
Chronological information
Previous episode
Death of a Dynasty
Following episode
Big Al Uncovered

The Ballad of Big Al - broadcast in North America as Allosaurus: A Walking with Dinosaurs Special - is the first special in the Walking with Dinosaurs franchise.

Full synopsisEdit

The story starts in the University of Wyoming Geological Museum on a stormy night. We see a fossilized Allosaurus named Big Al. We see his ghost roaming the museum, passing by his skeleton. The episode moves back in time to 145 million years ago, to a Jurassic Nest.

Inside the nest are eggs from a female Allosaurus. The young hatch out of the eggs, whilst the mother carefully digs them out. Once they get out of the eggs, they have trouble walking. They have a lot to learn about standing on their feet.

Al and his siblings were gathering around. They were watched by a pair of hungry Ornitholestes but the mother Allosaurus defends her young and needs to leave the place with her young in case of other Predators.

The next year, the baby's target is the insects and Al accidentally fell into water and the others have a lot to learn about catching prey. The Mom abandons her young in search for her on food, Another Allosaurus watches them and attacks and kills on of them but luckily, it wasn't Al.

The next year, he now hunts alone. He wants dinos for breakfast, he find Dryosaurus, Othnelia and a mother Ornitholestes. He was about to attack the mother and her young but despite being puny, the mother was more aggressive than Al so he walks away and focuses on the Dryosaurus, he charges but he misses and walks away.

Later some apatosaurs were crashing threw the forests and Al finds a lizard and gulps it although not much of a snack, it was enough to satisfy his hunger. Al encounters a mud pool, which can the latest victim was a stegosaurus and the smelly carcass attracted other carnivores and a two Allosaurus get trapped while eating the carcass. Al watches from nearby only escaping the same fate because he had learned to avoid carrion and the large carnivores that it usually attracts. That evening, 2 more carcasses lie near the stegosaurus and pterosaurs come to feast.

Hunting on a giant salt lake for Diplodocus is Al, who is now 5 years old. After an intense fight, the Allosaurus separate the old and sick one from the rest of the herd, who leave them behind. Despite being weaker than most of her kind, Al was still hit. The Diplodocus, after many hours of being surrounded by the Allosaurus, dies of illness and overheating, and the predators gather for the feast. A fully grown female later joins in for the feast the younger ones that took down the sauropod let her has some of it. Al tries to find a safer place to eat by caring a chunk of flesh like a plastic bag.

The next year, Al comes for a drink now that he is 6 years old, but was kicked out by a Stegosaurus pair. Later he finds some dung on the floor and makes a mating call, the female who is not far is not interested and she got annoyed and started attacking Al then later Al managed to escape.

The Dry season continues like in the previous episode and one carcass was dried and a pterosaur went eating the inside then got attacked and gulped by Big Al, he hates dried meat and tries to find any fresh or cooked meat (if there was any). He finds some dryosaurs and charges. He focuses on the target but trips over a fallen log by accident.

Apatosaurs are still facing the dry season and Al wasn't recovering very well and he as unable to hunt but he can still live a bit longer. 2 allosaur chicks are hunting insects, but find something bigger - the dead body of Big Al in a dried-up riverbed. Eventually, the rains finally arrived, and buried his body for 145 million years.



  • In the game Dinosaur World, the mud trap appears along with Big Al and the Stegosaurus.
  • The online singleplayer RPG game Big Al Game roughly picked up the events of this film.


Original airdateEdit

  • 25 December 2000 16.35 BBC One


  • 25 June 2001 20.30 BBC One

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