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SYFY WIRE Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous

'Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous' returns for a special interactive episode full of Easter eggs

Where does this one-off, interactive Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Hidden Adventure episode belong in the series? Showrunner Scott Kreamer explains.

By Tara Bennett
T-Rex, Ben, Yaz, Sammy, Ben, and Brooklynn in Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous

If you thought Darius and the kids of Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous had finally gotten some peace with the airing of the series finale back in July, well... surprise! There's one more journey to go on with the "Nublar Six" in this new interactive special, Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Hidden Adventure, which hit Netflix on Nov. 15.

Showrunner and executive producer Scott Kreamer returns to SYFY WIRE for an exclusive conversation about how this unique special was crafted, where it lands in the canon of Jurassic World, and how they decided on the "Big Bad" dino.

***Spoilers below for Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Hidden Adventure***

Netflix has a few other interactive shows in their library, but when in the process of making Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous did they order one from your team?

Yeah, we've known for a while. I fought it kicking and screaming, if I'm being honest with you. Because, as you know, just doing the show was enough. But we figured it out at the end of our production schedule, which I thought was smarter because I know other productions have done their interactive episodes right in the middle and it's hard. I thought I'd be smart and put it at the end, not considering that we'd be writing this at the same time as we were writing our series finale. [Laughs.]

What was your thought process on when it should take place in the series timeline?

It didn't make sense to do it at the end because where are we gonna go? So, it felt like wouldn't it be fun to go back to Isla Nublar and go to those earlier character models before the kids have been through the trauma of the Scorpios rex? [Laughs.] That's where it just made the most sense to us, post-Mitch and Tiff, and pre-Scorpios rex. And just tell a sprawling adventure survival story and to revisit some old friends and old locations and new locations on Isla Nublar.

As with all series, some ideas just don't make it into production. Was the secret Hidden Adventure Park an idea like that or was this an original concept made for this special?

Well, we wanted to go someplace new. Back in the early days when we were breaking the seeds of Season 1 of Camp Cretaceous, when we were going over Jurassic World like it's the Zapruder film, and going through everything online, what we found is there was a waterpark on Nublar. It's a little inside baseball, but in the episode where they ended up on the river adventure, originally we were going to set that in this waterpark. We just couldn't pull it off. But the idea of all these other attractions that Jurassic World would have had, it just felt like this makes sense. I did not realize that our art department and lighting team and animation team was going to make such a gorgeous set. Once the viewer gets into the third act and finds the Hidden Adventure, it really all just came together beautifully.

Speaking of the third act, was that roller coaster inspired by the Jurassic World coaster at Universal Studios, Orlando?

Boy, now that you say that, that would have been smarter. We didn't think that far ahead. [Laughs.]

Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Interactive Special

The whole episode reminds me of the Choose Your Own Adventure books that Gen X grew up on. Is this just the much cooler version of that?

I love those books, too. We do this so kids can have an escape. It's hard being a kid, especially in the last three years. And so to let kids get transported to Nublar, or to be one of the "Nublar Six" just takes it to the next level. Posing that Yaz thinks you ought to do this and Sammy thinks you ought to do this, so what do you want to do is fun. And as daunting and as hard and difficult as it was to make, there's something about that, that is very cool. I hope that kids who watch and play enjoy it.

Lemme ask, is there a baked-in path to success in this episode by following the mantra: W.W.D.D., or What Would Darius Do?

To a certain extent, you are led by Darius. But we generated enough content for this for three episodes, so it's a lot. We tried a number of different ways like if you've made a bunch of safe decisions, or having a bunch of risky decisions. At the end of the day, we just go, "Okay, these are your choices. What do you want to do?"

One of my favorite surprises was realizing that Bill Nye the Science Guy voices Brimford. How did that happen?

We liked this idea of like an old Imagineer from Jurassic World who was friends with John Hammond. We were trying to seed in this mystery, and can we trust him? Can we not? Our amazing casting team gave us a bunch of different choices and one of them was Bill Nye. I grew up in Seattle where Bill got his start, so I've been watching Bill Nye on television since I was in high school. It was pretty great and he couldn't have been nicer. And then a month after that, he spoke at my daughter Roxy's science class. We had like a solid month of Bill. When they suggested him. It was like, slam dunk, please. Hopefully, he'll do it. And he did.

Last but not least, the primary dinosaur terrorizing the gang this time is the Tarbosaurus. Why does he get to do the dino curtain call?

We had this list from when we're developing Camp Cretaceous with all the species that are officially on Isla Nublar and another list of plausibly there. We always stuck to that list. And Tarbosaurus was on there and it's just a cool dinosaur. 

All seasons of Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous, including Hidden Adventure, are available now on Netflix.

Stream Jurassic World Dominion on Peacock