As a huge Jurassic Park franchise fan I have always enjoyed finding out more about the franchise I love, through the websites, video games, fan films, and expanded backstory which have been created. One fan made audio creation that has stuck with me for a very long time is Jurassic Time: The Memoir of John Parker Hammond by Derrick Davis. This memoir was put together from audio obtained from the video game Trespasser- The Lost World: Jurassic Park which was released in 1998. The name Jurassic Time: The Memoir of John Parker Hammond was derived from the video games strategy guide. The first version of this Memoir made its debut in 2007 and has since seen 5 different editions being made, these editions saw various edits with added sound effects, additional tracks and other enhancements being made. The Anniversary Edition (2017) is the most recent version of the Memoir and there was a minor track updated in 2018 to include the Chaos Island dialogue.
John Parker Hammond played brilliantly by the late Richard Attenborough has always been a favourite character of mine within the Jurassic franchise. I have always been intrigued by Hammond’s story pre and post events of Jurassic Park, before the events of The Lost World : Jurassic Park and subsequently after. Jurassic Time as an expansion is a more personal insight into Hammond’s world which we only had glimpses of in the films.
This article will break down the Anniversary Edition tracks and will also share the Memoirs impact on me.
01- Whispering Memories (3:57)
Whispering Memories features clear audio from Richard Attenborough as John Hammond from the films Jurassic Park and The Lost World: Jurassic Park. This audio track serves to share Hammond’s vision for Jurassic Park as well back story to Site B and how the dinosaurs were transported from Site B to Isla Nublar for Jurassic Park. An echo effect has been applied to not only pay tribute to how his voice was originally heard in Trespasser, but to also give the sense that these are memories of the past. The track ends with the explanation of the dinosaurs living free on Site B as heard in the Lost World and Hammond’s work to protect the island and the dinosaurs from human interference.
02- John Parker Hammond (1:47)
John Parker Hammond is the start of the Jurassic Time Anniversary Edition Memoir. The dialogue no longer has echo, like it does in the retail version of Trespasser, giving a more direct presence. Hammond explains that this is to be a record of certain events that he took part between the years 1980 and 1987 on an island that he will call Site B. This audio track serves to explain Site B’s significance, how INGEN had succeeded in recreating the dinosaurs and the importance of this work. It goes on to suggest that the Memoir will explore the true history of such events, how it began, what the reasons were? What were the costs? This audio track sets the scene for what the Hammond memoir will be focusing on.
03- Conception Of The Century (4:44)
Conception of the Century focuses on Hammond’s backstory from an early age and his dream of dinosaurs living again. It focuses on a young John Hammond traveling at the age of 15 to London seeking his fortune. Hammond emphasizes his humble beginnings, having no fortune, education or connections. The memoir goes on to explain Hammond as being a shady investor, multi-millionaire, and a jovial mad scientist. In the films we had some sense of his beginnings, his Petticoat Lane monologue being a major reflection moment in Jurassic Park. This audio memoir track goes deeper exploring more about how Hammond coped very early on in his life and ultimately his dream of recreating dinosaurs: “what if a mosquito sucked the blood of a dinosaur?” and what if the dinosaur blood could be preserved? The Memoir then jumps ahead in time to Hammond outlining his plans for INGEN and his plans for reassembling the dinosaur DNA. Hammond shares that this scientific breakthrough in genetics would be historic, conquering times power over life, being as profoundly life changing as the atomic bomb.
04- Arriving At Isla Sorna (5:27)
Arriving at Isla Sorna focuses on Hammond exploring Isla Sorna in 1981. The memoir discusses the creation of a crude satellite link a few weeks after the INGEN team landed on the island. Hammond notes the history of the island, that it was once a coffee plantation in the 1860s, and that the ruins of the plantation still stand. Hammond takes a journey to the site, where he further discusses his feelings about what the Jurassic jungle might be like. This audio track is interesting because it directly suggests Sorna had a human history before INGEN started operations on the island (this is a plot point and nice nod to the original The Lost World Novel by Michael Crichton).
05- Where Our Secrets Lie (4:05)
Where our Secrets Lie discusses the characters we have come to know in Jurassic Park and its subsequent sequels. Robert Muldoon is the first character mentioned though only briefly, Dennis Nerdy is then singled out for his idiosyncrasies with Hammond noting that he is years ahead of his competition. Dr. Henry Wu is also talked about with Hammond discussing his early attention at MIT due to his undergraduate thesis. Hammond talks about the genetic replication, how the work was long and the power needed on the island, with three Cray XMPS moving more data faster than any computer centre in the Americas. Hammond shares more about the automation of the Site B systems which are the same automation systems which led to the downfall of Jurassic Park. The end of the track focuses on Hammond remembering the long nights of work trying to get the genetic code to work (the track ends and this is continued in Bringing it Up the Well).
06- Bringing It Up The Well (2:01)
Bringing it Up the Well sees Hammond talking about the last days of genetic recovery. Was the DNA there? Could we bring it back? Up the well? Hammond remembers how him and his team were locked away in a quiet room running the genetic extraction sequence. He notes the importance of this event, being at a turning point between two planetary eras: the million year reign of man and the age of the dinosaurs. This has been a dream of Hammond’s for a very long time, and when the code reads true, he notes how both him and Dennis Nedry stared at the computer monitor in disbelief that it has finally worked, the greatest discovery of the 20th Century.
07- Rulers Of The Island (7:22)
Rulers of the Island is the longest track in the Anniversary Memoir. This track covers how in 11 months Site B became the most powerful genetics facility in the world. A lot of history is covered here, most notably surrounding the test fertilization of an artificial ovum in 1983. Hammond was directly involved in this work, the creation of the first Velociraptor, the first raptor was released on April 2nd 1985. Hammond describes it’s behaviour having been released on Sorna and that it had come back to the genetic facility through the sewage pipes.
Hammond states that they monitored the raptor for 4 months whilst it preyed on herds in the southern forests. He goes on to mention that they never knew why it grew so large (a nice nod to the Jurassic Raptors being based on Deinonychus). The rest of this Memoir track deals with Hammond talking about some of the dinosaurs that were created, tagged and released on Sorna: Brachiosaurus, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Triceratops, Albertosaurus and Velociraptor. Hammond goes on to share that the most dangerous dinosaurs were tagged with radio collars which transported a warning signal and workman carried little boxes which played a tone when a dinosaur came near, at which point the workmen would flee in terror. SFX of dinosaur calls and roars are neatly added here providing a tense and scary moment.
It closes with Hammond discussing the dinosaurs reaching full size and the ecosystem of another era beginning to reassert itself.
08- Expanding The New Empire (5:17)
This track focuses on how Sorna operated as a INGEN site of operations with Hammond explaining the building work taking place, keeping members of staff happy and the procedures that INGEN had to take. Hammond talks about a power station which was built to generate electricity for the genetics facility and other amenities on the island such as a rail system, which was in the works to unify the island. Hammond also mentions the building of foundations for a hotel for visiting scientists and businessmen in May 1989. He goes on to talk about the main harbour for Site B with the docks being the life blood of the island with the transportation of Amber, synthetic egg shells and livestock being only possible through the docks. Hammond also talks about The Emily, a tug for bringing in the bigger freighters which was used occasionally to watch dinosaurs from off shore and for sweeping the tide for traces of INGEN’s operation.
09- Shattering Of A Dream (4:02)
Shattering of a Dream deals with Hammond discussing the events of Jurassic Park. He talks about October 3rd 1989 where he was called to testify to a government panel, being called to account for the events on Isla Nublar. Hammond discusses going bankrupt, how workers dropped their tools and walked away. This track also shares more about how Site B was left after the events of Jurassic Park.
10- Hunted Hunters (4:51)
Hunted Hunters deals with events we saw in The Lost World where Peter Ludlow and INGEN return to Isla Sorna to salvage INGEN by taking the dinosaurs off the island. Hammond recounts the INGEN hunting parties plan and the events as a of result. He then lists a number of hunters who were part of Ludlow’s team who are missing as a result of the Sorna incident and talks about other hunters who he knew, who again haven’t been heard from. Including a rather interesting fellow by the name of Harold Greenwood, who created a strange device he built from plans found on the internet.
11- Looking Back (2:52)
Looking back is probably one of the most reflective tracks within the Memoir. Here Hammond talks about where his work lies. He asks if there is anyone brave and clever enough to take it and restore the keys to time, perhaps the foundation of a new empire, pointing to Hammond wanting someone to continue his legacy, his work. The Memoir continues with Hammond again reaffirming his belief that creation is an act of shear will and that next time it will be flawless. He closes by remarking on how leaving Sorna he could see that a savage primal age had begun again, he leaves Sorna in a helicopter for the last time.
12- Hammond's Diskette (4:45)
Hammond’s Diskette focuses on some of Hammond’s personal papers being transferred to Diskette (Floppy Disk). This track was recently updated with audio from Richard Attenborough from the game Chaos Island where he talks about Dilophosaurus, Compsognathus and Triceratops. The Memoir continues after the Chaos Island section focusing back on the events in the Trespasser game a year after the events of The Lost World with Hammond attending a charity lunch society event. In the game, Anne finds the diskette herself inside Hammond’s mansion, and hears these files play out before her. Noted in the “Excavated” book, and by Anne in the game, the files date from 1951. It appears to chronicle Hammond’s desire for someone he meets at a lunch, but is unrequited. Because of this experience, Hammond dramatically vows it’s the last time he will fall in love again. However, we all know he must have been with someone at some point in order to have Grandchildren, but it is unclear both in Trespasser, the films, or the novels the fate of his relationship or who it was ever with. The track closes with Hammond reading the poem Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley: “And on the pedestal these words appear: 'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings; Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!' Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
13- Isolated Memory- Petticoat Lane (2:58)
This Isolated Memory features the audio from the film Jurassic Park of Hammond’s Petticoat Lane monologue. Hammond recounts the flea circus petticoat lane and wanting Jurassic Park to be different, not an illusion but something that was real, something people could see and touch, not devoid of merit. It should be noted that Laura Dern’s Ellie Sattler is not present in this edited version, despite the entire music track carrying on.
14- Isolated Memory- Life Will Find A Way (2:09)
Features audio from the film The Lost World: Jurassic Park where John Hammond appears on TV calling for the protection of Site B and it’s dinosaurs. However, unlike the film version, the music doesn’t end with the Jurassic Park theme, but the original music that was intended in its place.
15- Hammond's Requiem (5:11)
A musical track featuring a cover of Bill Brown’s Trespasser theme, and John Williams themes from The Lost World and Jurassic Park. These were all arranged and performed by Bernard Kyer.
16- Awakened Ruins (0:56)
This track features audio from Trespasser of an announcement from the CRAY computer, and from the a dilapidated monorail platform speaker.
Total Time Approx.: 01:02:24
The Memoirs Impact on Me
I have to admit I have lost count the number of times I have listened to the Gold Edition (2015) of the Memoir and more recently the Anniversary Edition. The Gold Edition with the added SFX is still my favourite version of the Memoir, it is always nice to just listen to it and get absorbed into Hammond’s “Jurassic World”. Life could find a way, as there may be an updated version with SFX returned. For me as a fan it is a joy to be able to listen to more audio content set within the Jurassic franchise.
The Jurassic Time Memoir is a fitting tribute to the characterization of the film version of John Hammond and to Richard Attenborough who gave a fantastic performance. For Jurassic fans it is great to know that even though Richard Attenborough is no longer with us, we can all share in listening to an incredible audio performance which helps shine a light on of one of the most appreciated characters from the Jurassic Park film franchise.
Derrick Davis recently released the entire full recordings of Richard Attenborough’s performance from Jurassic Time, enabling Hammond’s story to be preserved for all time. I highly recommend checking out this and all the other different versions of the Memoir at the Jurassic Time website here. You can also listen to the Anniversary Edition Memoir here on Youtube, which also features artwork by Felipe Humboldt.
My hope is that more fan made Jurassic audio content like this will be made similar to Jurassic Time and Total Chaos which Derrick also arranged. I have always thought we could do with a Memoir for Dr. Henry Wu or a Memoir relating to Ian Malcolm. Hopefully in the near future!
Big Thanks go to Derrick Davis for help with the editing.