Saturday, April 29, 2006

Land of the Lost


Anyone out there remember the Saturday morning TV show Land of the Lost? You know, the one with Marshall, Will, and Holly, on a routine expedition, their raft falls down a waterfall, they get swallowed by a rift at the bottom opened by an extremely conveniently timed earthquake, go back in time, and end up in a world where dinosaurs, cavepeople, and Sleestaks coexist, though not so peacefully?

I was only about five or six when I started watching Land of the Lost, and the fuzzy bits I do remember included claymation dinosaurs, terrible 1970s lighting, and an annoying caveboy named Chaka, but, being five, I remember I was still fascinated.

I never thought I'd see the show again, but lo and behold, it's out on DVD. I discovered this when it popped up on my "Amazon.com recommends" page while I was buying a present for one of my brothers. Anyway, the link Amazon so kindly provided took me to the DVD for the third and final season. Now, the 1970s were not a decade of fine, edifying television by any means, but judging from the comments, the third season took LOTL beyond normal 70s kitsch and into the land of Saturday morning crap. The comments on Amazon give a pretty hilarious glimpse at the main plot points of the final season, in case you either want to relive your childhood or are younger than I am and have no clue what I'm talking about:

* The season starts off with the death of Rick Marshall, Will and Holly's father, who is conveniently replaced by an uncle wearing the same clothes. Says Shelley: "Rick Marshall is gone and we don't know why [actor] Spencer Milligan left the show. To explain his absence, a new horrendous theme song is introduced-- written by Wayne Osmond of the famed Osmond family--the song explains how during yet another earth quake, another time shift occurs. Rick is playing with the crystals in one of the pylons when the earthquake hits and he is sucked into a time doorway. Instead of chasing after him so they can at least be in the same time period as dear old dad, Will and Holly just stare and scream for their father."

* Even though Will and Holly have been in the Land of the Lost for three years, Colette points out, "Holly is somehow still wearing the same jeans and shirt she was lost in, in spite of the fact that she's a foot taller and developing a bosom. Months/years of running from dinosaurs and climbing rocks seems to have not worn any holes in the knees or made any stains on the shirt. I bet a lot of parents wish they could buy their kids an outfit like that."

* Colette also notes a last-ditch attempt by the writers to introduce some drama: "Apparently having exhausted their store of science-fiction ideas, fantasy elements are added. These include a fire-breathing dino, a two-headed dino, a unicorn, Medusa, the Flying Dutchman, etc. The Marshalls accept this all without so much as a 'What the heck?'"

* Brewzerr, however, appreciates one of the season's new fantastical creatures: "Torchy, the fire-breathing dinosaur who is without a doubt the biggest bad-ass in the land of the lost." Given that the other badasses were claymation dinosaurs, being the land's "biggest badass" was probably not hard.

* Another notable change occurs with the show's music. W. Smith notes that "in the tradition of Greg Brady, Will picks up a banjo made out of a cantolope and a stick and sings a few romantic folk songs every few episodes."

* Eric claims the season lost all logic, citing this example: "Holly, trapped in a frozen part of the Land of the Lost, complains repeatedly about how cold she is, but she never even rolls down her sleeves!"

* So should you buy or rent the third season, just for kicks? Not according to E. Baxter, who warns, "Wow, this [season] is awful. It's bad, but not in a fun nostalgic way, just bad."

* Adds John Q., "The show was always crap."

12 comments:

MaryF said...

I remember, but I don't think I ever made it to season 3! I'm wanting to rent it now, just for kicks!

Tracy Montoya said...

I vaguely remember Rick Marshall spiraling into the abyss during the theme song of season three. But Mary, everyone on Amazon says seasons one and two are better, so you might want to start at the beginning!

Mariann said...

As with Gilligan's Island, I was always puzzled as a child with the cleanliness of everyone's clothing, not to mention the poor selection. Still... it was better than that other kids' show with the sea monster.

Tracy Montoya said...

I don't remember the one with the sea monster--do you have a name? But Gilligan's island was always puzzling. Didn't Ginger's dresses grow long again after Mary Ann cut them off when she hit her head and thought she was Ginger for awhile?

Carla said...

TRACY!! You hot mama, you! How're the babies and doubly-hot DH? *ewg*

I was just scrounging around in blog world, clicking here and there, and found YOU! {{{{{{HUGS!}}}}

Anyhooo, methinks you kids are trying to conjure up Sigmund and the Seamonster. Or Sigmund, the Sea Monster. And then there was the faboo *snort* H R Puffenstuff.

Hey, *I* remember watching the original Mickey Mouse Club, and the Jack Lalane early a.m. exercise show - what can I say? hehe.

Carla, blowing kisses to Tracy and family!

Tracy Montoya said...

Carla, you crack me up. Thanks for stopping by! I was just thinking about you the other day....

The babies and dh are well--I'll tell Jose you asked about him. : D

I remember Sigmund now, though I don't think I chose to watch him. The name is familiar.

Email sometime--we miss you on the series loop.

Karen said...

Oh wow! I was all ready to find my way over to Amazon and blindly order this ... and I really don't stop to read reviews. Glad you warned me.

I'm better off with that warm fuzzy 30 odd year old glow from my memories. No need to ruin it ;)

Tracy Montoya said...

Karen, the reviews are better for seasons one and two--apparently LOTL jumped the shark in season three. So you COULD go ahead and order the first season. Not that I'm enabling you or anything.

Jen said...

Oh my gosh! I remember Land Of The Lost! I remember the lizard things, what were they called? And all the running around. I'm afraid I kind of liked it when I was a kid. Who am I to say? My kids like Transformers.
I don't think I was old enough (or smart enough) to really get the whole "How do their clothes stay so nice?"

Tracy Montoya said...

Jen, those would be the sleestaks, and I loved LOTL when I was a kid. I didn't notice Holly's clothing when I was little, either!

The Queen-a Athena said...

This one sounds familiar, though I think I was past the point of Saturday morning shows when it came on (bummer). But HR Puffenstuff! YEAH! And that all-time classic, the Bugaboos ... and I vaguely remember a Beatles cartoon, though that's REALLY fuzzy. It still beats the memories of Scooby Doo :-)

Tracy Montoya said...

I don't remember HR Puffenstuff, Chris, though the name is familiar. Don't remember the Bugaboos. Don't remember the Beatles cartoon. Do remember Scooby Doo, and how Scrappy jacked it up.

This was one of my most commented-on posts. How hilarious is that?

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Tracy Montoya writes romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue.

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