Michael Avila writes at
Hollywood is attempting to cash in on our old Saturday morning
favorites, including Land of the Lost. But, how likely
are we, the fans, to enjoy these remakes based on shows that, he
says, weren't very good to begin with? He argues that LOTL and
other '70s/'80s Saturday morning fare do not hold up very well
when viewed with adult eyes (and brains); we judge these shows
by the childhood memories they evoke. He even quotes Timothy
Burke, pop culture professor at Swarthmore College and co-author
of Saturday Morning Fever: Growing Up with Cartoon Culture:
“Most of the shows we watched as kids only hold a lot of value
for us because we watched them as kids...in the cold light of
day, they're pretty awful, or the good, creative material in
them are struggling to get out from underneath cheapness and bad
dictates from anxious network flacks and hack producers.” I
suppose Burke's remarks about the good struggling to get out
from underneath the cheapness could be applied to LOTL. What do
Read Avila's article:
Hollywood's Got Saturday Morning Fever
Real Phillip Paley Please Stand Up?
An interview with
Phillip Paley in
character as Chaka.
Now This Is How It's Done!
Unlike the bad retro TV article presented below
this retroview, originally intended to be published in
Cinescape before it went out of business, by John Kenneth
Muir is very well done and contains information I'd not heard
before about the original Land of the Lost via
interviews with Allan Foshko, Linda Laurie, Herman Zimmerman,
Michael Westmore, Walker Edmiston, Joe Kubichan, and Robert
Here's another archival entry (courtesy of
the wonderful Internet Archive) of another now defunct
webpage. TV Now still
exists, but the TV Then section by television columnist Steven
Lance has gone the way of the dinosaur. In what is par for the
course when writing for the internet, in this particular
"Land of the Lost Dinosaurs", Mr. Lance makes a number of
errors and typos that any true Lostie could have corrected for
him. In the following excerpt, I've highlighted the errors in
orange. Have I missed any?
"During the show's very successful run
Saturday morning viewers were treated to elegant, albeit short,
scenes of animated dinosaurs. The main characters were, the
Marshalls, Will (Wesley Eure), his sister Holly (Kathy Coleman)
and their Dad Rick (Spencer
They build a very Tarzan-like tree house
to be safe from the reptilian inhabitants, doing frequent battle
with a Tyrannosaurus Rex
referred to as "Scareface"
because of a huge healed over gash along the right side of it's
Holly named a lovable baby
short) after her mother who didn't make the trip with them.
In the second episode the Marshalls were
befriended by a cute missing link type creature that was half
ape and half human. Known as the Pakuni, the gentle
Cha-ka (played by Phillip Paley) and his
female companion, Sa (played by Sharon Baird) were befriended by
Later on in the series the
character of Zarn was introduced. Like the Marshalls he too was
lost in time. He may have also been in the wrong galaxy as he
sounded an awful lot like Robby the Robot from
That's because Zarn's voice was provided by the former attorney to the
Millionaire, Marvin Miller.
Making matters worse were a species of
humanoid lizards not unlike the Gorn from Star Trek named
Sleestaks. These highly intelligent
bipedal lizards, were
more than intelligent, they were an advanced race that held the
secret to time travel and the Marshall's way back. Walter
Koenig, known to
Star Trek fans
as Mr. Chekov, once told me that in the episode he wrote that
introduced the head Sleestak, Ekik,
the name actually got corrupted by the producers. The original
name he wrote was "Eneg," which is Roddenberry's first name
"Gene" spelled backward. Walter's way of tipping his hand to the
man responsible for his long and successful career.
At the opening of the 1976/1977 season
Marshal made it out of the Land of
the Lost only to be replaced by his brother, Jack (Ron Harper)
the new father figure in the series. A year later they were all
replaced on NBC's Saturday morning schedule on TV Then."
Lance seems to have
cut-and-paste LOTL70 and LOTL90 into a single Frankenstein
monster of a show! And mixed up the devolved Sleestak with their
high-brow ancestors the Altrusians. Not to mention confusing
Enik with his twin brother Ekik. I've also found errors in other
of his columns. What happened to fact-checking and
Who is Scareface? I think he was in the Hellraiser
I didn't realize Sa was Cha-ka's "female companion." That
explains a lot. I guess Cha-ka was getting a little pakuni when
he'd go missing on those Saturday nights.
And, c'mon, Holly named her pet dinosaur after her mother
Natasha? Everyone knows her mother's name is Dopey.
Heavy Metal Memories
Whole Pop Magazine Online (a weblog of
pop culture of the past) used to have a contest
called Heavy Metal Memories which gave a series of
clues that were designed to help the reader identify
the character associated with a mystery lunchbox (of
the classic metal variety). This
link from the
Internet Archive reveals the contest they did about
the Land of the Lost lunchbox. Taken all together,
the clues are pretty easy for a true Lostie to
figure out, although clue #3 referencing an '80s
singer might throw you off a bit since the show was
on during the mid-70's!
He was a stranger in a strange land.
His food would've been too big for the
lunchbox that bears his picture.
Other characters shared names with two
Disney dwarfs, a 1980s singer, a Christmas
decoration and a famous writing sister.
His name was screwed up even in the theme
He was usually called "Dad."
In the third season, he was replaced by his
He and his kids ended up in a prehistoric
world after a time vortex opened up in "the
greatest earthquake ever known."
And while we're on
the subject of the LOTL lunchbox, in 2006 Hake's
Americana and Collectibles was the authorized
Michigan Senator Phil Arthurhultz's vast collection
of lunchboxes, including LOTL. Oddly (it seems
to me), Alex Winter,
the General Manager of Hake's, commented "The
Senator even has a lunchbox for as obscure a show as
the Sid and Marty Krofft 1975 series, Land of the
Lost. This is truly an amazing collection." An
obscure show? C'mon, Mr. Winter...you just don't know!
And one final topic on the Land of the Lost
lunchbox. I've noticed that while there are a number
of photos of the large, main panels of said
lunchbox available on the web, the images on the sides are not to be
found. So, I finally scanned all six sides of the
one in my possession (obtained at the San Diego
Comic-Con some years ago). The images can be found
(By the way, does anyone
know who painted the images for the lunchbox?)
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