A once in a lifetime experience, Walking With Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular is everything it says on the poster and more.

Following its invasion of Manchester’s M.E.N at the start of the month, this multi-million pound production has headed to Liverpool’s Echo Arena.

Based on the original BBC series, the show originated in Australia, where after years of planning, it came to life at Sydney’s Acer Arena in January 2007. The show proved itself such a sensation, that the American tour was fast-tracked. It began just three months after completing its sold out engagements in Australia.

In Liverpool, the set is a giant array of rocks that reveal their own secrets, backed by a vast screen that leaves nothing to the imagination and splits dramatically to allow the dinosaurs to enter. The lighting and the music are both intensely energetic and set the scenarios and the battles off with great power so the audience are never given chance to take their eyes from what’s happening.

Our guide through pre-historia is Dominic Rickards who, as a palaeontologist known only as Huxley, narrates the facts in such a way that it’s not so much natural history but rather naturally entertaining and never gets in the way of what is an engaging and incredibly interesting show for all the educational reasons.

But of course, it’s the dinosaurs who are the real stars and, from the hatching Brachiosaurus to the giant Tyranosaurus Rex it is easy to see where £10million has been spent in creating the ten dinosaurs on show. These creatures are as marvellous feats of engineering as the animals they are representing ever were, with the attention to detail going down to the last ripple on the skin, the last spray of saliva and the last blink of a Plateosaur’s heavily armoured eye.

Spectacular is how they’ve billed it and spectacular Walking With Dinosaurs certainly is. From first to last, the creators at BBC, in association with Creature Production Company, have developed a show that will have audiences young and old spellbound and going away wanting to find out more.

- Chris High