Land of the Lost (1991 TV series): Wikis

  
  

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Land of the Lost
Format Children's television series
Country of origin  United States
No. of episodes 26
Production
Running time approx. 0:22 (per episode)
Broadcast
Original channel ABC
Original run September 7, 1991 – December 5, 1992

Land of the Lost is a half-hour Saturday-morning children's series that debuted on ABC in the fall of 1991. The series was very popular ranking #1 on Saturday Mornings during its first season and ran for an additional season. However, it was not renewed for a third season as Disney elected to run its own programming after purchasing ABC. Re-runs were later picked up by Nickelodeon. Tiger Toys received the license to produce a toyline 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.

Contents

Synopsis

Because of the success in syndication of the cult 1974 series Land of the Lost, Sid and Marty Krofft created a remake.[1] The new Land of the Lost saw advanced special effects and a lighter, less survivalist-oriented tone.

The series ran for 26 episodes spread over two seasons, with each season consisting of thirteen episodes. It featured the Porter family—father Tom, son Kevin and daughter Annie—trapped in a parallel universe after their Jeep Cherokee (referred to as a "truck" in the series) 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 revisualized as Christa and Stink).

Intelligent natives of the Land of the Lost include chimpanzee-like Pakuni and the lizard-like Sleestak, and there are many species of dinosaurs filling 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 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 human who befriended Christa when she was just a little girl.

The first eight episodes of Season 1 were released onto videocassette at two episodes per video. As of 2010 the series has yet to be released on DVD.

Characters

The Porters

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 predators. They have improvised an "early warning system" of sorts by stringing up a series of empty tin cans surrounding the treehouse perimeter.

  • Thomas "Tom" Porter (played by Timothy Bottoms): Tom is the widowed father of two kids. After his wife, Natasha, died in a car accident, he spent the next few years burying himself in his work as a lawyer. Before his wife's death, Tom would take his family camping most weekends in order to devote more time to them. Continuing the tradition, he arranged to take his children on the camping trip which ultimately led to their arrival in the Land of the Lost. As a result, he feels enormous guilt for trapping his family in this dangerous place and strives to find a way back home to San Francisco at every opportunity. He is a compassionate man with a deep sense of morality and fairplay even when dealing with those who would threaten him or his family. Tom is a devoted and protective parent but is not above giving his kids "space" when he feels it is acceptable to do so. Back home, he often spent his afternoons jogging, hoping one day to win a marathon race.
  • Kevin Porter (played by Robert Gavin): Kevin is Tom's son. He is the most laidback member of the family and would rather relax than do chores. Not only does he accept their situation but he actually grows to like it. Unfortunately, his carefree attitude breeds indifference to the dangers around him and he often finds himself in more peril than he expected. He likes to think of himself as an adult and will often disobey his father if he thinks Tom is being unfair. Of all the Porters, Kevin is the one most reliant on the comforts and conveniences of the modern world. In addition to the usual camping gear, Kevin also smuggled in a portable six-inch TV, a camcorder, a boom-box, and a bag of various junk foods which he keeps hidden from the others. His goal is to one day become a world-famous director, and he carries the camcorder with him at all times to capture the sights and wonders of the Land of the Lost. He expects this footage to propel him to stardom once they return to their own world. However, his real talent lies elsewhere. He is a capable, self-taught mechanic, and one of his primary responsibilities is taking care of the family truck to ensure that it is running smoothly when they need it. Kevin often prefers to explore alone and dislikes having to "babysit" his little sister Annie. He thinks of her as being a bit of a "nerd" and often trades insults with her. However, deep down he's very much a caring brother and won't hesitate to act if she's in danger. Kevin also has a crush on Christa and often goes out of his way to impress her. His catchphrase is, "Fabulous," which he will usually sarcastically say when he is annoyed.
  • Anamarie "Annie" Porter (played by Jennifer Drugan): Tom's 10-year old daughter. She is very bright and intuitive for her age and resents her family (especially Kevin whom she considers a a "dork") for treating her like a baby. She has had to grow up rather quickly in a hostile environment and has shown that she is more than capable of taking care of herself on many occasions. Annie is a vegetarian, and one of her responsibilities is maintaining her garden at the base of the treehouse. The sorceress Keela also takes her on as an apprentice and entrusts her with her spellbook when she has to leave for extended periods. Annie is extremely protective of the dinosaur Tasha and treats her not as a pet but as a member of the family. She is also a bit of an artist, as seen when the Porters gave Christa a birthday. Her full name is revealed to be Anamarie in Annie In Charge. Her catchphrase is "Oh, my gosh."

Visitors to the Land

  • Christa (played by Shannon Day): Like the Porters, the beautiful cave-girl Christa is from San Francisco back on Earth but was born in Chicago. Her family was trapped in the Land of the Lost through similar circumstances to the Porters. At one point, Christa's family built a raft to try and sail to the other side of the ocean, hoping to find signs of civilization. In a subsequent storm, Christa was washed overboard but found refuge on a floating treetrunk where after several days of drifting she found her way to a far away beach. Separated from her parents, Christa grew up practically alone, and by the time the Porters met her, had repressed almost everything about her previous life. She is fiercely independent and feels safe and at home in the jungle. However, she's not oblivious to its many dangers and uses her knowledge of its topography, inhabitants, and various medicinal plants to aid the Porters whenever she can. She is fluent in Pakuni often greeting her human friends with "Acuba Ne" to express either "hello" or "goodbye". She is like an older sister to Annie and the object of Kevin's infatuation. Flashbacks of Christa as a child were seen in "Life's a Beach". Young Christa was played Farrah Emami.
  • Sir Balen (played by Bobby Jacoby): A squire who pretended to be a knight from King Arthur's Court. After "borrowing" his master's armor and sword while he's asleep, Balin sets out into the moors and is enshrouded in a "blue bubbling fog" and winds up in the Land of the Lost just to save Christa from the Sleestaks. After Shung hears of this, he sends the Sleestaks after "Ironface"'s "magic blade" (his sword). Balen's desire to protect "M'lady Christa" causes friction with a jealous Kevin as he sets out to escort her home not aware that she can take care of herself. Kevin is guilted into going after him when they again encounter Scarface ("The king of all dragons"). After eluding him, the ground shakes and another doorway appears. Balen offers Kevin his morning star in recognition of his bravery and disappears through the gate.
  • Keela (played by Adilah Barnes): A sorceress from another time who was banished to the Land for not using her magic to aid Magas. She arrived through a green dimensional gate located in a desert on the other side of the Land of the Lost. She is gifted in the ways of magic and sorcery but is not powerful enough to send the Porters (or herself) home. The Porters helped her defeat her enemy, Magas, whom Keela had turned into a one-eyed beast. Keela trusts the Porters entirely, even accepting Annie as an informal apprentice and asking her to guard her spellbook while away. She is a very compassionate person, but admits that even she has times when she abuses her powers (i.e. turning her older brothers into toads) although she may have been joking.
  • Magas (portrayed by Ed Gale): A short, cruel sorcerer and the brother of the late queen whom Keela served. She recognized him as a heartless person and turned him into a Cyclopean dinosaur-like beast, similar to a T-Rex, thus sealing his magical powers. Over time, he slowly regained his power and hunted Keela down to the Porters' treehouse. He was defeated by Keela with Tasha's help but not before Keela restored him to his true form.
  • Siren (played by Marta DuBois): She was once a beautiful woman, but her beauty became more important than her family. So she was sentenced to the Land with no hope of ever seeing the ones she loved in the afterlife. And she used her music to bring the Porters to her, and disguised herself as Tom's wife, Natasha. After talking to Tom about her past, she was finally able to ascend to the heavens.
  • Simon Cardenas (played by Danny Gonzalez): A teenage time-traveler from San Francisco Island in the year 2064. After "borrowing" his father's time-belt, he collides with a Myzarnian Cyborg while traveling through the time/space corridor, and his damaged belt drops him off in the Land following a dimensional shift. He wears a "inter-trans" suit that apparently works in conjunction with the belt, possibly protecting the wearer from the forces involved in such travel. He frequently speaks using a form of "futuristic slang" that involves a shortening of modern adjectives (for example, "pendous" for "stupendous" or "morb" for "morbid"). He returns home once the belt's auto-recall device is activated.
  • Cy, also known as the Myzarnian Cyborg, it is a gigantic rancor-like cyborg from the planet Myzar-3 who became trapped in the Land of the Lost after colliding with another time traveler in the dimension corridor, damaging his time device. He is exceptionally intelligent, and his strength alone makes him more than an even match for the dinosaur Scarface. Some of his cybernetic enhancements include the ability to see in the infrared spectrum in one eye as well as heightened senses. He lives in a cave in the mountains that he has made into a base of operations and attacks anyone who comes near. The entrance to his lair is booby-trapped with auto-defense mechanisms which include a form of nerve gas that causes temporary memory loss in humans and renders them unconscious. He wears a device on his wrist which can perform a similar function. Because he comes from a world rich in hydrogen and oxygen, he becomes winded easily in the Land due to the thinner air. In addition, this particular model was recalled due to being particularly succeptable to ultraviolet light.

Native inhabitants

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.

A Triceratops named Princess is sometimes used as transportation for Christa and Stink. Christa (perhaps unconsciously) named her after a dog her family once owned. Princess is distinct from the other Triceratops in that her right horn is broken in half. A male Triceratops was seen in "Siren's Song" and "In Dinos We Trust".

A Stegosaurus named Spike once fought with Scarface. Shung once used his crystal to make Spike fight with Princess.

Tasha's mother, a Parasaurolophus was killed by Scarface. Another one, named Momma TwoLegs, appears frequently. An Apatosaurus whom the Porters sometimes call Big Guy also appears frequently, mostly browsing on the vegetation, either at big lakes or at the Porters' treehouse. He once helped Annie down from a tree when Kevin took away a ladder, and saved Tasha from the Sleestaks. Big Guy and Momma TwoLegs can sometimes be seen at the lake. In "Life's a Beach", Big Guy is seen with another Apatosaurus, possibly his mate.

A Pteranodon tried to make a meal of Kevin when he diverted the creature's attention while Christa picked some special plants to help heal his dad who was bitten by a poisonous lizard. One also tried to eat Kevin in another episode as he was looking for a birthday present for Christa.

At the beach, there are also dangerous marine predators; something resembling a small Mosasaur once attacked Kevin, until it was shooed away by Tom and Christa. There is also a tentacled creature that dwells within a oil pool seen in "Opah". Also it was noticed that there is a pack of Dire Wolves that chase Kevin in "Something's Watching" and Smilodon bones have also been found in the valley of death.

Tasha

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.

Scarface

A Tyrannosaurus, whom the Porters named Scarface (this series' version 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 through his left eye. He frequently chases the Porters, trying to make a meal out of them. Scarface is one of the Porters biggest enemies, as he has attacked the Porter treehouse many times.

Because of his reputation of being a carnivore, 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 survived and can heal himself even if he's injured. Also, upon being hit by a "light gun" found by Kevin and Stink in old Sleestak ruins, Scarface quickly recovered.

His scar bears a striking resemblance to the facial scar that Red Claw, another villainous Tyrannosaurus, in The Land Before Time. However, Red Claw has his scar on the left side of his face, not the right, and can see through both eyes.

Pakuni

Pakuni are a tribe of monkey-like primates native to the Land. In this series, their appearance is slightly different to the original 1974 series and 2009 movie.

  • Stink (played by Bobby Porter): Stink is a Paku, whose parents died as slaves in Shung's crystal mine when he was very young. Some time later, he met Christa as a little girl and they helped each other to survive becoming inseparable friends. Despite his animal-like appearance, Stink is very intelligent, with an intense knowledge of plant and animal life. He is also extremely adaptable and quickly picks up modern slang, idioms, and mannerisms from his human friends although sometimes he uses them inappropriately. He is gifted with keen senses, incredible agility, insatiable curiosity, and a wacky sense of humor. Stink is very close to Annie. The two of them often work and play together, even teaming up against her brother and father. Stink has an easy friendship with Kevin as well, and sometimes a not-easy friendship with Tasha. Possibly because of his ape-like ancestry, Stink has an affinity for bananas and suinaku fruit, as well as a fear of termites.
  • Opah (played by Jonas Moscartolo): An elderly grey-haired Paku and Stink's grandfather. Opah taught Stink almost everything he knows about the Land and its native flora and fauna. He carries a flute which allows him to "charm" Scarface and other beasts (much like a snake-charmer) and passes both the instrument and the knowledge onto his grandson before he leaves to die. He also shows the Porters how to tap certain trees which contain a special sap which they can use to fuel the truck.

Sleestaks

A race of intelligent, English-speaking reptilian humanoids, the Sleestaks were highly-advanced until their own pollution drove them to live underground 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. Carnivores, they will consume any meat and have threatened to eat the Porters and their companions on several occasions, but more out of desperation for survival than malicious intent. The terrible 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 Sleestak can pop out and surprise hapless prey much like a trapdoor spider. However, these passages were never depicted on the show.

According to Shung, when he lived in the Sleestak underworld, there were huge arenas where the best gladiators fought until only one was left. Their appearance is closer to that of the native dinosaurs than the insectoid like features in the original 1974 series and 2009 movie.

  • Shung (played by Tom Allard): Self-proclaimed leader of the Sleestak criminal band. He is arrogant, self-absorbed, and contemptuous of anyone but himself. He calls himself the ruler of the Land of the Lost, and he claims all that lives there (including the Porters and their truck) belong to him. While he possesses great strength and cunning, he is often depicted as lazy, preferring to send his minions, Nim and Keeg, out into the jungle to bring him food and to perform any other task he feels is beneath him. He enforces his will with a powerful crystal that can perform amazing feats of both telekinetic and telepathic prowess and even gives him the ability to control minds. However, there is a price for this power; it gradually corrupts the mind of its user, as Annie discovers in "The Crystal". As a result, Shung is now addicted to the crystal's unique energy, and, if separated from it, will quickly weaken. Shung often refers to those he considers inferior (meaning everyone) by nicknames, such as calling his underlings "Wartsnippers", Christa "Long Hair", and Kevin "Quickmouth".
  • Nim and Keeg (played by R.C. Tass and Brian Williams/Ross Kramer and Bret Davidson, respectively): Shung's underlings. Nim appears to be the smarter one and was able to recite and use a spell Annie cast after hearing it only once. Keeg appears to be the dumb one as he did not know what a chariot was. However, he is a strong fighter (his peripheral vision is his chief weakness) and an excellent tracker. He is the most submissive of the pair. Despite their differences, they both try to please Shung with whatever they catch for him. However, their efforts almost always go unnoticed or unappreciated.

Others

  • Namaki (played by Tom Allard) is a strange, piscine-like humanoid who lives in a hut-like shelter on a beach miles from the Porter treehouse. Years ago, he befriended Christa's family and helped them build a raft to cross the ocean. They were reunited many years later when Christa (whom he refers to as "Christas") brought the Porters to that very same beach to relax. Despite his aquatic physiology, Namaki has never been to the other side of the ocean, afraid to attempt the crossing because of the frequent storms and the dangerous marine predators. Namaki is unable to hear music possibly due to his aquatic physiology. It is revealed that Namaki has a dislike for dinosaurs ("thunder lizards"), because of a scar he received on his right shoulder years before. But after the incident with the Siren, Namaki comes to like Tasha.

Unseen characters

  • Natasha Porter: Annie and Kevin's deceased mother. It was revealed in Life's a Beach that she died in a car accident two years before the episode. Her name was revealed to be Natasha in the first episode, as Annie decided to name Tasha after her mother.
  • Stink's Mother and Father: Sometime before the series, Stink's parents were worked to death by Sleestaks, along with many other Pakuni.

Features

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 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.

Crystals

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 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 ones 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.

Dimensional Gates

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.

Crew

  • Directors: John Carl Buechler, Anthony Bona, Jeff Burr, Len Janson, Frank De Palma, Ernest Farino, John Strysik, Gabe Torres
  • Writers: Phil Combest, Jules Dennis, Janis Diamond, Len Janson, Chuck Menville, Richard Mueller, Gary Perconte, Michele Rifkin, Marianne Sellek, Reed Shelly
  • Producers: The Chiodo Brothers/Sid and Marty Krofft
  • Executive Producer: Jerry Golod
  • Music: Kevin Kiner

Episodes

Season one

Episode number Title Airdate
1 Tasha September 7, 1991
2 Something's Watching September 14, 1991
3 Shung The Terrible September 21, 1991
4 Jungle Girl September 28, 1991
5 The Crystal October 5, 1991
6 Wild Thing October 12, 1991
7 Day For Knight October 19, 1991
8 Kevin vs. The Volcano October 26, 1991
9 Mind Games November 2, 1991
10 Flight To Freedom November 9, 1991
11 Heat Wave November 16, 1991
12 The Thief November 23, 1991
13 Power Play December 7, 1991

Season two

Episode number Title Airdate
14 The Sorceress September 12, 1992
15 Dreammaker September 19, 1992
16 Opah September 26, 1992
17 The Gladiators October 3, 1992
18 Life's A Beach October 10, 1992
19 Future Boy October 17, 1992
20 Siren's Song October 24, 1992
21 In Dinos We Trust October 31, 1992
22 Annie In Charge November 7, 1992
23 Make My Day November 14, 1992
24 Cheers November 21, 1992
25 Sorceress's Apprentice November 28, 1992
26 Misery Loves Company December 5, 1992

See also

DVD release

The series has yet to be released on DVD.

References

External links








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