Saturday, December 5, 2009
Every kid who grew up watching the original Land of the Lost wondered whatever became of the poor Marshalls. Last we saw of them, Will, Holly and Uncle Jack were still trapped in the Land of the Lost, while Rick was last seen spiraling away through the "door of time." Did Rick survive? Did Will, Holly and Jack make it back to Earth? It seemed we'd never have an answer to these questions.
Well, now we (sort of) do. While you hear a lot about how Sid and Marty Krofft "created" the show, the fact is that somebody else really did the heavy lifting for the show's first two seasons: David Gerrold. Gerrold's the guy who wrote the series bible for Land of the Lost, oversaw the scripts, etc. If anybody created the show, he did.
In the late '80s Gerrold wrote a writer's guide for a planned sequel series to Land of the Lost called Land of the Lost: The Return, and it he detailed the fates of the Marshalls. The show was never produced, but if we take Gerrold's ideas as "canon," things did not go well for the Marshalls at all.
On this site, Bryan Derksen describes the writer's guide in detail. The first surprising thing is that Gerrold apparently ignores the original show's third season completely. (Gerrold left the show at the end of the second season, and the third season had a very different tone.) So, no Uncle Jack. We follow another generation of Marshalls into the Land of the Lost, where we learn that a tyrant lizard-cyborg has taken over, and he rides around on a giant robot dinosaur. Rick was killed years ago, and Will lives with the pakuni and he's de-evolved into a Tarzan-like jungle man. Holly has become a beautiful "sky princess" who travels in a ball of light and only appears to one of the Marshalls in times of need.
The original show was trippy as all get-out and a lot darker than people tend to remember, and Gerrold's plans to revive it certainly continue in that vein. But Land of the Lost: The Return sounds like Gerrold just sat down and tried to imagine the grimmest possible fates for the characters from the original series. Not only did the Marshalls never return home, but Rick's dead, Holly's some ghostly presence and poor Will is a grunting savage. And here I thought that the movie was depressing!
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