Land of the Lost—Season 1

6.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 2/10

Weird continuing storyline, so-bad-it-is-good

Horrible acting, poor visuals


You’re living in the Land of the Lost!!!

Rick Marshall (Spencer Milligan) and his children Will (Wesley Eure) and Holly (Kathy Coleman) find themselves lost in a prehistoric world between time when their raft is swallowed up in an earthquake.  Now, every day is a fight for survival for Will, Holly, and Rick as they explore their new world in their quest to return home.  Be it the dinosaurs like Grumpy and Alice, allies like Cha-Ka, or the deadly Sleestaks, the Land of the Lost is never ceases to surprise the Marshalls.

Land of the Lost—Season 1 aired from September 7, 1974 to December 28, 1974 on NBC.  The series produced by Sid and Marty Krofft ran three season and gained a cult following over the years.  With reruns in the ’80s and a new version of the series in ’90s, the movie found new fans with the release of a big budget theater version in 2009 starring Will Ferrell, Danny McBride, and Anna Friel.

I was too young for the original run of Land of the Lost but did watch it frequently in the ’80s.  The goofy series had something endearing about it and you couldn’t stop singing the theme song (though I don’t understand why it is Marshall, Will, and Holly…since Marshall was the last name…it would have made more sense if it was Rick, Will, and Holly).



Watching the series in order and uninterrupted, it was interesting to see that there are continuing storylines.  The show actually asked a lot of its viewers in remembering events, characters, locations, and concepts.  It is a bit of a surprise…I always remember the show as more of a series of stand-alone episodes (and maybe that does happen later in the run).

The next surprise about Land of the Lost is that some of the ideas are high science-fiction.  The story had a surprising number of strong science-fiction writers like Ben Bova, Larry Niven, and David Gerrold…many of them wrote award winning stories and stuff like Star Trek (and I just imagine these guys writing the adventures of Dopey and Grumpy).  The last story in the season really did end the series essentially.  The Marshalls discovered they were caught in a time loop and had to return to Earth to end the loop.  It really feels like an end (despite the following seasons).


It’s an Alice/Grumpy showdown!!!

The show has horrible acting.  Spencer Milligan, Wesley Eure, and Kathy Coleman are all “challenged” when it comes to convincing acting.  With few guest stars they really struggle.  Fortunately creepy characters like the Sleestaks help…who over the course of the series had professional basketball players Bill Laimbeer, Dave Greenwood, and John Lambert portray them.

The show looks awful.  It relies heavily on chroma key for its presentation and the chroma key never matches up (including the famous opening which looks like they are a pebble on a trickle of water).  The claymation dinosaurs are better, but still not great.

Land of the Lost—Season 1 is surprisingly better than I remember it.  It is poorly acted and funny in a bad sense, but the core concepts of the series are solid.  I just wish that the series had more time to explore it, the pylons, and the bubble universe idea.  With continued popularity, Will, Holly, and Rick will always live on in the Land of the Lost.

Land of the Lost—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:



1.1       Cha-Ka Airdate:  09/07/74

Rick (Spencer Milligan), Will (Wesley Eure), and Holly Marshall (Kathy Coleman) are on a camping trip when an earthquake causes them to fall into a prehistoric world.  On the run from a tyrannosaur they’ve nicknamed Grumpy, Holly and Will discover a young injured Paku named Cha-Ka (Phillip Paley).


“The Sleestak God”

1.2       The Sleestak God Airdate:  09/14/74

Holly and Will set out for water and discover evidence of a lost civilization.  When they run into Cha-Ka they are warned of the Sleestaks…and find themselves prisoners.



1.3       Dopey Airdate:  09/21/74

Holly and Will find a baby dinosaur which follows them back to the cave.  When Holly wants to keep Dopey, it causes danger for everyone.

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1.4       Downstream Airdate:  09/28/74

An attempt to escape to the ocean leads Will, Holly, and Rick to becoming trapped in a cave.  When they encounter a Civil War era soldier named Jefferson Davis Collie (Walker Edmiston), they learn Collie may never let them leave…and uncover even worse news about their chances of escaping the Land of the Lost.



1.5       Tag-Team Airdate:  10/05/74

When out foraging for food, Holly, Will, and Rick find themselves forced to team with Cha-ka’s people the Pakuni when Grumpy targets them.


“The Stranger”

1.6       The Stranger Airdate:  10/12/74

Holly, Will, and Rick discover a device called the Megeti which has magical powers that could get them home.  Unfortunately, a Sleestak lost in time named Enik (Walker Edmiston) has laid claim to it and Will, Holly, and Rick must team-up to get jewels from the Lost City to power the Megeti.



1.7       Album Airdate:  10/19/74

Will finds himself drawn to the Lost City and Will and Holly discover a device which allows them to see their greatest desires…which means a return of their mother.



1.8       Skylons Airdate:  10/26/74

The pylon has been opened and Will and Holly enter when Grumpy traps them.  When they discover a device that affects the weather, Will, Holly, and Rick must find a way to stop the destruction.


“The Hole”

1.9       The Hole Airdate:  11/02/74

A trip to the Lost City leads Rick to fall into the Sleestak God’s pit.  Forced to team with a Sleestak named S’Latch for survival, Rick must find a way to escape from the Hole of No Return as Will searches for help.


“The Paku Who Came to Dinner”

1.10     The Paku Who Came to Dinner Airdate:  11/09/74

Holly has a new perfume that seems to attract all the creatures in the Land of the Lost.  When she is kidnapped by the Pakuni, Rick and Will must get her back…but Grumpy wants her too!


“The Search”

1.11     The Search Airdate;  11/16/74

An attempt to manipulate the crystals leads to Rick being critically wounded.  As Holly tries to get her father to safety, Will seeks out Enik…but must make a decision between home and saving Rick and Holly.


“The Possession”

1.12     The Possession Airdate:  11/23/74

Cha-Ka and his family find a mysterious wand inside the pylon that possesses Cha-Ka.  When Holly takes the wand, she finds herself possessed by the power of the baton and sets out to harvest the power of the Land of the Lost’s crystals.


“Follow that Dinosaur”

1.13     Follow That Dinosaur Airdate:  11/30/74

Holly discovers that Grumpy and the other dinosaurs are attracted to a strange “dinosaurnip”.  When she and Will uncover a dummy, they learn that another man could be hidden in the Lost City with a means of escape.


“Stone Soup”

1.14     Stone Soup Airdate:  12/07/74

A drought has hit the Land of the Lost and food is scarce.  When Rick begins to make a stone soup, Holly and Will wonder if Rick has gone crazy.  When Rick, Holly, and Will discover a dead pylon, Rick realizes that the pylon must be restored to fix the weather…and make peace with the Pakuni.



1.15     Elsewhen Airdate:  12/14/74

Will, Holly, and Rick go to the Lost City in an attempt to escape the Land of the Lost.  When Holly encounters a strange woman named Rani (Erica Hagen), she learns that she might be the only hope for Rick and Will.



1.16     Hurricane Airdate:  12/14/74

Holly and Will discover a new pylon on a mountaintop and open a portal to Earth.  When a man named Beauregard Jackson (Ron Masak) falls through time, Holly, Will, and Rick wonder if Jackson can help them find the way home…or if the portal to Earth could destroy the Land of the Lost!



1.17     Circle Airdate:  12/28/74

The discovery of a cave under the water hole reveals an access to the Sleestak’s Lost City.  When Will, Holly, and Rick discover Enik, they learn how they might have come to the Land of the Lost…and escape once and for all!

Related Links:

Land of the Lost—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Land of the Lost—Season 3 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Land of the Lost (2009)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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