Tuesday, September 01, 2015

land of the lost: 'dopey'

If "Land of the Lost" was an edgy show for children, with monsters like the Sleestak; it was still very much a Saturday morning show that competed with cartoon fare.

That's shown in Episode 3, "Dopey," where Holly Marshall becomes enamored of the latest dinosaur the family has encountered. Out foraging giant strawberries for food, she and Will discover a giant egg, hatched, and wonder what could have come from it. They don't have long to wonder, because they soon encounter a baby brontosaurus whom Holly names Dopey.

The episode becomes a classic stray dog episode, as Holly begs her father to let him keep her new pet. When it becomes evident that they can't make a 4,400-pound brontosaur leave if it doesn't want to, Rick reluctantly agrees; and Holly sets about showing how useful he can be. In short order she is training him how to fetch, riding on his back, and hitching him up to the cart.

The downside is that Dopey makes a lot of noise when he's hungry, and his cries keep attracting Grumpy, the T-Rex, and putting the Marshalls in danger. Thus it is not long until Rick Marshall is telling his daughter the sad news that she has to give up her new pet and let him be with other brontosauri.

"Dopey" isn't an adventure episode like "Cha-Ka," or a suspense episode like "The Sleestak God." Instead, it's very much rooted in family, with children wanting to adopt wild animals as pets, whining about chores; and a parent setting boundaries and enforcing good behavior. We also see signs that Rick Marshall is a handyman: Like the good folks on "Gilligan's Island," he has managed to make a wooden cart with wheels, and a dinner table, using only the natural resources available.

We also get a little more speculation about the nature of the Land of the Lost. In the first episode, Rick Marshall told his children that they weren't on earth, judging by the three moons he had observed, and said that when they fell down the waterfall it seems like they were traveling through some sort of "space warp." Now Will tells Holly that their father things they are in an entirely different universe, one that connects to all space and time, which is how there can be dinosaurs there the same time as humans.

No comments: