Sunday, April 07, 2013

Nostalgia Theater: The Lost Land of the Lost

With Jurassic Park back in theaters, I thought I'd dig up a different artifact from the early '90s that saw humans interacting with prehistoric monsters, though admittedly without the added "oomph" that cutting edge CGI technology offers. But first, a little context. Back in the early '70s, kidvid producers Sid & Marty Krofft served up Land of the Lost, a live-action NBC Saturday morning series about the Marshall Family who, while on "a routine expedition" are spirited to an alternate dimension populated by dinosaurs and other creatures. Catch the intro below:

Honestly, whenever I hear that song, I half expect the Duke boys to drive by in the General Lee. Anyway, the show lasted three seasons and spawned a 2009 feature flop starring Will Ferrell. Between the original and the Ferrell flick, though, there was another TV take on the Land of the Lost, this time on ABC, which preserved the premise but updated the crappy stop-motion special effects with...slightly less crappy stop-motion effects. While I freely admit to no particular attachment to the '70s show (though it has its fans, for sure), I do have some fondness for the reboot, almost entirely because of the strangely catchy theme:

FYI, actor Timothy Bottoms, who the credits helpfully inform us played paterfamilias Tom Porter, would go on to headline the short-lived 2001 Comedy Central sitcom That's My Bush! as a buffoonish President George W. Bush (he'd then go on to play a more serious version of Prez 43 in a 9/11 TV movie). While one would assume the quality of writing was about par with the effects, but nonetheless, the '90s Land of the Lost found enough of an audience to last two seasons, garnering an action figure line in the process, courtesy of Tiger Electronics:

Since the rebooted Land of the Lost completed its twenty-six episode run in December of 1992, it's toiled in almost total obscurity, with few people even realizing it exists. Except for a brief rerun cycle on cabler Nickelodeon shortly after its network run, there have been no reruns to speak of either. Indeed, while the original got a lavish (and cheap!) "complete series" release on DVD to tie in with the Ferrell flick, there's been no similar showing of love for the 1990s iteration, which has remained just as lost as its titular locale.

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