Rick decides it’s time for the Marshall family to seek newer pastures by following the nearby swamp to a river, which he hopes will lead them to other signs of civilization. But when the river begins running a little too fast for them to navigate safely, Rick realizes that their raft is moments away from a waterfall. The Marshalls bail out before they go over with it, climbing into a cave next to the river. They find signs of another human being there, and then they see him: an old-time gold prospector who thought he was the only human here. It appears that he’s been here much longer than the Marshalls – possibly since the American Civil War – and the isolation has taken its toll on his mind. But this prospector has hit a motherlode of glowing crystals, in a cave where Holly finds the skeleton of a long-dead Sleestak. With that find, the Marshalls are ready to leave, but their new neighbor refuses to show them how to leave the caves – and he still keeps the escape route to himself even when more Sleestaks appear.
Cast: Spencer Milligan (Rick Marshall), Wesley Eure (Will Marshall), Kathy Coleman (Penny Marshall), Walker Edmiston (Jefferson Davis Collie), David Greenwood (Sleestak), William Laimbeer (Sleestak), John Lambert (Sleestak)
Notes: This is Walker Edmiston‘s (1925-2007) first appearance in Land Of The Lost, but not in his more familiar recurring role of Enik. He had worked on several earlier projects for the Krofft brothers, providing voices in H.R. Pufnstuf, The Lost Saucer and Sigmund The Sea Monster. Other appearances include the final Buck Rogers episode (The Dorian Secret), the dubbed voice of Balok in the Star Trek episode The Corbomite Maneuver, numerous voices in the original Planet Of The Apes pentalogy, and Inferno in the original Transformers series. Writer Larry Niven is best known for his Known Space novels chronicling the Man-Kzin Wars, though he was no stranger to Saturday morning science fiction: he wrote an episode of the animated Star Trek series which integrated his warlike Kzinti into the Star Trek timeline (at least for one episode). Amusingly enough for a show aimed at a juvenile audience, the prospector offers Holly a drink that will “put hair on your chest” (presumably alcohol); she politely declines. It seems he’s been too busy drinking to notice that there are dinosaurs on ground level, as he doesn’t know what a tyrannosaurus rex looks like.
LogBook entry by Earl Green