|Land of the Lost|
|Created by||Krofft Entertainment|
|Based on||Land of the Lost|
by David Gerrold
|Voices of||Danny Mann|
|Country of origin||USA|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||26 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||approx. 22 minutes (per episode)|
|Production company||Krofft Entertainment|
|Original release||September 7, 1991 –|
December 5, 1992
|Land of the Lost (original series)|
Land of the Lost is a half-hour Saturday-morning children's television series that debuted on ABC in the fall of 1991, a remake of the original series of the same name which ran from 1974 to 1976. Re-runs were later picked up by Nickelodeon from 1995 to 1997. Tiger Toys received the license to produce a toyline based on the series, which included regular and "talking" action figures, several dinosaurs and playsets, an electronic "Crystal Sword", as well as an electronic LCD game and a board game.
Motivated by the success in syndication of the cult 1974 series Land of the Lost, Sid and Marty Krofft created a new version of it. The new Land of the Lost had advanced special effects and a lighter, less survivalist-oriented tone. Frequent writers Len Janson and Chuck Menville had previously crafted numerous scripts for assorted Filmation series, while producer Jerry Golod had earlier collaborated with George A. Romero on Tales from the Darkside.
The series ran for 26 episodes spread over two seasons, with each season consisting of 13 episodes. It featured the Porter family - teenage Kevin, his young sister Annie, and their widowed father Tom - trapped in a parallel universe after their Jeep Cherokee fell through a time portal while exploring the back country. They soon meet another human, a beautiful jungle girl named Christa who came from 1960s San Francisco. Christa became trapped in the Land of the Lost when she was very young and grew up alone (an earlier concept would have featured an adult Holly Marshall as the "mystery girl", along with Cha-Ka, but, due to casting, the characters were re-visualized as Christa and Stink).
The Porters live in a large "treehouse" (although it is actually built between a series of large logs and not rooted trees) that the family built after they realized their tents provided little safety from dangerous dinosaurs. After their first encounter with the Scarface, they devised an alarm system by stringing up a series of empty tin cans surrounding the treehouse perimeter that would shake and make noise if Scarface were to show up again.
Intelligent natives of the Land of the Lost include the chimpanzee-like Pakuni and the lizard-like Sleestaks. Also, many species of dinosaurs fill the jungle. A Paku named Stink and a baby dinosaur named Tasha were befriended by the Porters. Acting as antagonists were a trio of exiled Sleestak criminals named Shung, Keeg and Nim. Shung is their leader and possesses a powerful Crystal Sword. Another major obstacle faced by the Porters was a one-eyed Tyrannosaurus rex named Scarface, who lived near the area where the family made their home and frequently chased after them in an attempt to eat them.
A sorceress named Keela with genuine magical powers was introduced in the second season and appeared in two episodes. Another character added in the second season was Namaki, a strange fish-like humanoid who befriended Christa when she was just a little girl. 12 episodes of Season 1 were released onto videocassette at two episodes per video. As of 2020, the series has yet to be released on DVD or Blu-ray.
Like its 1970s counterpart, the inhabitants of the Land of the Lost are mostly dinosaurs. An iguana can be seen occasionally. A creature, called an "osongi", which resembles an iguana, once bit Tom. A spitting viper called the "shika" is seen in the Valley of Death, and it blinds Kevin temporarily. Termites have also been found.
One of the main dinosaurs in the show is Tasha, an orphaned baby Parasaurolophus (played by Ed Gale, voiced by Danny Mann). After the death of her mother at the claws of Scarface, Tasha's egg was rescued by Annie. Upon hatching, Kevin was the first person she saw and she immediately imprinted on him. However, possibly because he ignores her, Tasha treats Annie as her mother instead living with the Porters as a pet. What will happen to her if the Porters ever find a way home, is a frequent subject of discussion. Annie names her after her mother. Tasha appears to be quite intelligent for a dinosaur exhibiting almost human behavior at times. Through pantomime, body language, and an extensive range of vocal emotions she is surprisingly capable of communicating with humans. She seems to understand complex commands and inquiries and is even able to grasp and manipulate items in her claws (like throwing a ball). For a short time, Tasha was given the ability to speak by Keela. Tasha has a voracious appetite for a herbivore and will try to eat almost anything within reach. However, she prefers melons.
A Tyrannosaurus, whom the Porters named Scarface (this series' reboot of 1970s' Grumpy) lives in the area. He has a scar through his right eye, hence his name, which is a lasting testament to his aggressive nature. Scarface is blind in his right eye because of the scar, leaving him able to see only through his left eye (an advantage to his prey). Scarface is one of the Porters' worst threats, as he could take down their treehouse and has tried to before.
Because of his violent nature, Scarface is an enemy to everybody in the series, including the Sleestaks. When Cy arrived, it was thought that he killed Scarface in their fight, but it was eventually revealed that Scarface was simply unconscious and used mud to heal himself. Also, upon being hit by a "light gun" found by Kevin and Stink in old Sleestak ruins, Scarface quickly recovered.
Some fans speculate that Scarface is actually Grumpy of the original series. In that series, they often encouraged Grumpy to leave their cave by pushing a large sharpened log called the "flyswatter" out of the cave entrance and into Grumpy's open mouth. Some believe that one encounter with the "flyswatter" scarred Grumpy's eye. The Porter family, being new to the Land of the Lost, named the T. rex for his facial feature, rather than his grumpy attitude. If this were true, it would make Scarface and Christa the only two characters that existed in both TV series (if Holly and Christa were one and the same)
Pakuni are a tribe of hairy, humanoid primates native to the Land. In this series, their appearance is slightly different from the original 1974 series and 2009 movie.
A race of intelligent, reptilian humanoids, the Sleestaks were highly advanced until their own pollution drove them to live in caves to avoid the dinosaurs ("thunder lizards" in their tongue). The Sleestaks seen in the show are a group of criminals who were exiled to the surface world, their version of the death penalty. Omnivores, they will consume anything and have threatened to eat the Porters and their companions on several occasions. The trio took up refuge in an old, abandoned temple and have only managed to survive because of Shung's power crystal.
According to the toy's "bio", the temple contains a maze of labyrinthine corridors that lead to various openings on the surface cleverly concealed with large rocks. Utilizing these hidden tunnels, the Sleestaks can pop out and surprise hapless prey much like a trapdoor spider. However, these passages were never depicted on the show.
It is revealed when Shung is injured by Scarface that the Sleestaks' blood color is green. According to Shung, when he lived in the Sleestak underworld, there were huge arenas where the best gladiators fought "until only one was left." This may very well have been the illegal activity that resulted in their banishment to the surface world. Their name for Scarface is the "Scarred One". Their appearance is closer to that of the native dinosaurs than the insectoid-like features in the original 1974 series and 2009 movie.
As with its 1970s counterpart, the Land of the Lost (never actually named within the series) exists in an entirely different dimension. It is a world similar to prehistoric Earth but it has three moons. The area in which the Porters live is a tropical jungle, although mention has also been made of a vast desert far away.
Unique to this world is a peculiar type of quartz-like crystal that can be found in various caves throughout the Land. The Sleestaks often use Pakuni slave labor to mine these special crystals which can function as an energy source. In "Kevin vs. the Volcano", Kevin falls down a shaft covered in Sleestak markings (often marked by pictographs of lizards) and finds a huge shard nearly twice his size. Exposure to the sun reactivates this crystal and it causes it to pulsate, exerting a force which draws Kevin towards it when he tries to climb out of the shaft. Tom posits that the Sleestaks probably used these giant crystals to power their underground cities. It also might have been placed as a controlling device (not unlike the pylons from the 1970s series) for a nearby volcano as its destruction somehow reverses the volcano's eruption. In "Power Play", the Porters use the smaller pieces to act as surrogate "batteries" to run their flashlights and portable devices, but larger crystals (like Shung's) are much more powerful.
Even the smaller shards can be powerful when grouped together in a certain fashion. The Porters discover such a grouping hidden inside a stone carving in a cave in "Dreammaker". They find a number of crystals, varying in length, set into a device very similar to the matrix tables of the 1974 series. This particular table is able to create very realistic illusions (but with physical substance) drawn from one's mind, designed to lure them in to a carefully constructed — but very real — trap. Tom believes that the Sleestaks probably built it to be a psychic weapon.
These often blue (but sometimes green) swirling mists are portals to other worlds and times. They appear to be triggered by earthquakes and are accompanied by sudden winds just before they open and only for a few moments. In this version of Land of the Lost they seem to materialize at random but can be tracked through their electromagnetic interference using the Porter's portable TV. Tom Porter believes these gates will get them home even though he cannot be sure where or when it will take them.
|Title||Original air date|
|1||1||"Tasha"||September 7, 1991|
|Annie and Kevin find a dinosaur egg in the forest while getting water. They take it home and it hatches. Annie names the baby dinosaur Tasha.|
|2||2||"Something's Watching"||September 14, 1991|
|While searching for a mystery woman Kevin caught on film, Tom is bitten and poisoned by a lizard. The mystery woman, named Christa, goes with Kevin to find an antidote.|
|3||3||"Shung the Terrible"||September 21, 1991|
|Tasha is kidnapped by lizard people called Sleestaks. Tom and Kevin go to rescue her.|
|4||4||"Jungle Girl"||September 28, 1991|
The animals and dinosaurs of the land act strangely as the result of a lunar eclipse. Meanwhile, Tom is desperate to find Christa again. |
Note: Although it aired after "Shung the Terrible", this episode seems to take place before the events of "Shung the Terrible" and "The Crystal", seeing as in "Shung the Terrible", the Porters already knew where Christa was, and in "The Crystal", they had already encountered the Sleestaks.
|5||5||"The Crystal"||October 5, 1991|
|Stink brings Annie a powerful Sleestak crystal, which causes her personality to mirror Shung's.|
|6||6||"Wild Thing"||October 12, 1991|
|After causing too much trouble, Tom decides the best thing to do is send Tasha back into the wild.|
|7||7||"Day for Knight"||October 19, 1991|
|A knight named Sir Balen appears in the land through a portal very similar to the one that the Porters arrived in.|
|8||8||"Kevin vs. the Volcano"||October 26, 1991|
|While trying to help his family stop an erupting volcano from destroying their home, Kevin falls into a cave and gets stuck there by Scarface.|
|9||9||"Mind Games"||November 2, 1991|
|Shung uses a crystal to control Christa's mind.|
|10||10||"Flight to Freedom"||November 9, 1991|
|After an earthquake, the family discovers weird noise and static coming from Kevin's TV. Tom theorizes that they can use the TV to track down one of the portals that brought them to this land and use it to get home, but Tasha and Stink must stay behind.|
|11||11||"Heat Wave"||November 16, 1991|
|During a heat wave, Tom and Kevin go to find water while Stink and Tasha look for fruit. While out, Tom and Kevin come across Nim and Keeg and try to lure them away from their home, so that they do not find it.|
|12||12||"The Thief"||November 23, 1991|
|When the house is ransacked, Kevin is quick to accuse Stink of doing it.|
|13||13||"Power Play"||December 7, 1991|
|When all their batteries die, Tom sets out to take crystals from the Sleestaks to see if they can power the electrical items.|
|Title||Original air date|
|14||1||"The Sorceress"||September 12, 1992|
|Annie befriends a sorceress named Keela, who was banished to the Land by a king.|
|15||2||"Dreammaker"||September 19, 1992|
|While searching for the source of a mysterious TV signal from Earth, the Porters come across their old neighborhood, thinking that they have found their way back home. However, everything is not what it seems to be.|
|16||3||"Opah"||September 26, 1992|
|Stink's grandfather comes to pay one last visit.|
|17||4||"The Gladiators"||October 3, 1992|
|Tom and Kevin are captured by Sleestaks and Shung forces them to fight each other for their lives.|
|18||5||"Life's a Beach"||October 10, 1992|
|A day at the beach brings back haunting memories of Christa's past.|
|19||6||"Future Boy"||October 17, 1992|
|A young boy from the future arrives and unknowingly brings with him a dangerous and intelligent enemy.|
|20||7||"Siren's Song"||October 24, 1992|
|The Porters are lured to a hidden grotto with an image of Tom's late wife.|
|21||8||"In Dinos We Trust"||October 31, 1992|
|After Kevin is blinded by a spitting viper, he is forced to rely on Tasha to lead him to safety and his family.|
|22||9||"Annie in Charge"||November 7, 1992|
|Annie must take over after Tom and Kevin lose their memories in one of Cy's defensive traps.|
|23||10||"Make My Day"||November 14, 1992|
|Kevin discovers an ancient Sleestak weapon and plans to use its power to even the odds with Shung.|
|24||11||"Cheers"||November 21, 1992|
|Kevin becomes intoxicated from fermented fruit and winds up in trouble with Christa, his family, and even the Sleestaks.|
|25||12||"Sorceress's Apprentice"||November 28, 1992|
|Keela entrusts Annie with her spellbook while she is away for a few days, but Annie cannot resist trying out a little magic.|
|26||13||"Misery Loves Company"||December 5, 1992|
|Stink injures his leg while helping the Porters and finds that he enjoys all of the extra attention a little too much.|