On a rafting trip, the Marshall family is deposited into another world after a huge earthquake sends them over an uncharted waterfall. The presence of three moons in the night sky is their first clue that they’re no longer on Earth, and yet the jungle world is populated by dinosaurs straight out of Earth’s prehistoric age.
On the run from a tyrannosaurus rex, Will and Penny Marshall stop to help a chimp-like Paku named Cha-Ka. In his own flight from the T-rex, Cha-Ka has broken his leg. Will and Penny’s father, Rich Marshall, reluctantly allows them to offer shelter to their new friend. Cha-Ka is fascinated by the humans’ ability to create fire seemingly from nothing, and sneaks out of the Marshalls’ “home” cave with a lighter. The Marshalls follow him, only to find themselves at the mercy of the dreaded T-rex once more. But will Cha-Ka lead them to safety or sacrifice his new friends to make his own escape?
Cast: Spencer Milligan (Rick Marshall), Wesley Eure (Will Marshall), Kathy Coleman (Penny Marshall), Sharon Baird (Paku), Joe Giamalva (Paku), Philip Paley (Cha-Ka)
Notes: A fondly-remembered cornerstone of NBC’s Saturday morning children’s lineup for three years, Land Of The Lost is populated – at least behind the scenes – by veterans of the original Star Trek. David Gerrold wrote the pilot and numerous other installments, as well as script-editing the series (and, in interviews for the DVD release of the series, Gerrold says he was responsible for nailing down the series concepts into a coherent writers’ bible, although Allan Foshko and executive producers Sid and Marty Krofft are credited with creating the series). Art director Herman Zimmerman would be later be involved with Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and virtually all of the Star Trek feature films that were released during those two series’ run. Original series prop and monster-maker Wah Chang created the detailed animated dinosaur models, which were truly impressive for a television show in the early ’70s, and Michael Westmore – credited as “Mike” – handled the series’ creature makeup. Other Trek veterans crop up during the series’ run – see if you can spot them all!
LogBook entry by Earl Green