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TV Notes: WPXI to air adventure film about Galapagos Islands

Tuesday, September 05, 2000

By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor

With all the tortoises, seal pups and birds on display, you may think you're watching Animal Planet. With the far-flung location, you might think you've stumbled upon the Travel Channel. Do not adjust your set. It really is WPXI, which will air "Galapagos Adventure" at 7 p.m. Saturday.

WPXI videographer Scott Dobson traveled to the Galapagos Islands last year on a trip sponsored by the Carnegie Science Center. He was on loan from Channel 11 to shoot video for a Carnegie Science Center Webcast of the trip. When he got back, he decided to edit the footage into a half-hour program, thinking that if the show even got on the air, it would probably be relegated to PCNC. Instead, it wound up in a prime spot on WPXI. And deservedly so.

The swift-moving, tightly edited "Galapagos Adventure" includes a little science (the finches that played a role in Darwin's theory of evolution), some history (a "post office" that dates back to 1793) and loads of animals. The sequence features two birds with long beaks that engage in a joust-filled courtship display that looks like something out of a Loony Tunes cartoon.

Dobson -- who usually works on Channel 11 special projects and sweeps features with reporter Andy Gastmeyer -- wrote, photographed and edited "Galapagos Adventure." He enlisted anchor David Johnson to narrate the half-hour program.

Although no additional "Adventure" programs are in the works, Dobson said he would jump at the chance to produce more.

"It certainly would be interesting if a franchise like that came along somewhere down the road," Dobson said. "We'll have to figure out whether Pittsburgh has a market for stuff like that."

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