For the Adherent of Pop Culture
Adventures of Jack Burton ] Back to the Future ] Battlestar Galactica ] Buckaroo Banzai ] Cliffhangers! ] Earth 2 ] The Expendables ] Firefly/Serenity ] The Fly ] Galaxy Quest ] Indiana Jones ] Jurassic Park ] Land of the Lost ] Lost in Space ] The Matrix ] The Mummy/The Scorpion King ] The Prisoner ] Sapphire & Steel ] Snake Plissken Chronicles ] Star Trek ] Terminator ] The Thing ] Total Recall ] Tron ] Twin Peaks ] UFO ] V the series ] Valley of the Dinosaurs ] Waterworld ] PopApostle Home ] Links ] Privacy ]

Land of the Lost links:
Pylon Express | The Portal | Library of Skulls | Fan Fiction | LOTL Movie News
Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
Land of the Lost: After-Shock "After-Shock"
Written by Jon Kubichan
Directed by Joe Scanlan
Original airdate: September 11, 1976

Rick falls through a time doorway back to Earth, leaving Will and Holly stranded in the Land of the Lost.

Read the complete story summary by Nels Olsen

Didja Know?

This episode begins the third season, which was shot at a different studio than the previous two seasons. Since sets had to be rebuilt at the new location (and since Spencer Milligan would not be returning and the decision had been made to replace his character of Rick Marshall with his brother Jack) it was decided to build a new "home" set for the family. Thus, the Old Temple was designed and constructed (though this Old Temple is clearly not the same as the Old Temple seen in the second season episodes "The Test" and "The Musician").

The spelling of Phillip Paley's name was incorrect during the first season opening credits (Philip) but corrected for the second season. This season it has gone back to the wrong spelling! And, as for Phillip's alter-ego Cha-ka, he is constantly referred to as a Pakuni instead of the proper singular form of the word, Paku.

Didja Notice?

Throughout the third season episodes the pylons all have a different look than they did during the first and second. The diamond shape of the doors now opens all the way to the ground; previously they left an overstep in the metal of the pylon surface.

Pylon door (1st and 2nd season) Pylon door (3rd season)
1st and 2nd season pylon doors 3rd season pylon doors

The pedestals of the matrix tables have also changed in the third season. Previously, they had a glass (or crystal) stalk attaching the base to the pedestal; this season they are all shown made entirely of stone.

Matrix table (1st and 2nd season) Matrix table (3rd season)
1st and 2nd season matrix table
(plus Enik showing some leg; beefcake is big in Altrusia apparently!)
3rd season matrix table

When the matrix table falls over during the quake, you can see the set piece's power cord in the right of frame. And, as the camera jiggles to simulate the jarring of the quake, you can see the edge of the pylon set on the left of frame. Also notice that the pylon interior no longer appears pitch black and has discernible dimensions.

Matrix table power cord visible edge of pylon set visible
Matrix table power cord on right Edge of pylon set on left

The scenes of the falling rock in the mountains, splitting earth, and falling trees that occur during the quake are recycled from "Gravity Storm".

After losing their father through the time-doorway, Will seems to say, "With the pylon in the matrix table smashed, we can't bring him back and we can't follow him." Wesley Eure must have flubbed the line slightly; he should have said "...the matrix table in the pylon..."

Will acts as if nothing is recoverable from the buried cave at High Bluff. But they don't really get close enough to see that for sure. Plus, you can see that the natural "window" of their cave still appears to be open. Though it might be difficult, someone could probably climb up or down to the window and salvage the supplies inside. It seems to me that, once they were sure the after-shocks had subsided, Jack would insist on checking it out.
High Bluff buried

Realizing they need a new place to live, Cha-ka suggests he'd like to live in a tree, but Will and Holly note that a treehouse would not be very secure considering the types of threats in the Land like Grumpy and the Sleestak. Kind of ironic that in LOTL90 the Porter family decides to live in a treehouse! Of course, according to the series bible of LOTL90, Tom Porter was an architect, so presumably was able to design a strong and secure treehouse (notice that while it was constantly referred to as a treehouse, it is not actually built in a tree but on top of four tree trunk support posts secured into the ground).
Porters' treehouse

I like how, throughout this episode, Will rises to the occasion of being the elder after the loss of Rick. He really assumes command and attempts to honorably fill his father's shoes. He does, however, seem relieved to relinquish the responsibility when Uncle Jack shows up.

Jack says he's been looking for the missing Marshalls for 6 months, ever since they disappeared. We get no indication though of how much time has passed in the Land while Jack was searching.

Apparently Holly has decided that Lulu is female, saying, "Be glad she's near-sighted."

Jack mentions that he's a "pretty good engineer." Does he mean professionally or as a hobby? The episodes were never specific about his occupation and I've never heard of a revised series bible for the third season that might reveal these types of details.

Is it just me or does the upper right corner of the temple doorway appear to have been scorched by flame? Was there a large fire in the temple at some time in the past? (Although the rest of the interior/exterior of the temple does not appear that way.)
temple doorway

Jack mentions that it's almost sundown and then, given what he's seen so far, asks, "The sun does go down here, doesn't it?" to which Will answers, "Most of the time." Jack seems to take that as a joke, but Will must have been thinking of the events of "The Longest Day"

Unanswered Questions

When did the Marshalls first discover the Old Temple of which they make a home in this episode? It does not appear to be part of the temple previously seen in the second season. That temple appeared to be of humanoid origin while this one appears decidedly Altrusian in structure and design; the temple doors even have the same "sun symbol" on them as that above the Lost City entrance.

Will tells Jack that the Sleestak leader is the only one "...who can least to us." When did the Marshalls first meet the Sleestak leader? There has previously been no indication of a single leader. How can this leader speak to the Marshalls? Is it true speech or telepathy like Enik uses? Is he a throwback to the Altrusians like S'latch (he doesn't seem intelligent enough to be)? Or does the necklace worn by the leader enable him to speak telepathically?

What happened to the other Pakuni? Cha-ka says he was separated from them by a split in the ground during the quake...but how long could that split have possibly been? Couldn't they just walk around back to solid ground and reunite? And even if they couldn't do that, they could walk to their opposite ends of the valley and eventually meet due to the closed universe nature of the Land. But then, later episodes this season seem to show the Land as not a closed universe; did something change to "open up" the world of the Land of the Lost between seasons two and three?

Notes from the Audio Commentary by Ron Harper

Ron reveals that third season producer Jon Kubichan played Rick Marshall in the opening sequence as Rick manipulates the matrix table and falls through the time doorway.

Land of the Lost was his daughter's favorite of all the shows he did.

Ron attended the bar mitzvah of Phillip Paley.

Ron says he enjoyed the stories on LOTL more than the ones on his previous series, Planet of the Apes. POTA, he says, became formulaic, always resulting in one of the three main characters being captured by the enemy and requiring rescue by the other two.

Ron points out something I hadn't noticed before. Holly calls his character Uncle Jack, but Will just refers to him as Jack. It makes sense that the older (and male) Will would be more comfortable skipping the affectionate title.

Memorable Dialog

you know Dad.wav
he's gone home.wav
we can't follow him.wav
someone on the outside.wav
what other damage.wav
no more Pakuni.wav
Pakuni on one side, Cha-ka on other side.wav
we'll be our own family.wav
Cha-ka no like monster.wav
Cha-ka hungry.wav
everything's gone.wav
live in tree.wav
I thought I saw something fall.wav
Cha-ka climb tree.wav
one lu for each head.wav
it's a raft.wav
maybe Dad did come back.wav
it's Uncle Jack.wav
I thought I'd never find you.wav
ever since you disappeared.wav
you came to the Land of the Lost the same way.wav
we're glad you're here.wav
Cha-ka like Jack.wav
I'm a pretty good engineer.wav
what is she so angry about.wav
there goes the neighborhood.wav
same to you.wav
new quarters.wav
just about sundown.wav
worth their weight in gold.wav
Sleestak time.wav
you didn't tell me they were so ugly.wav
the Sleestak leader.wav
give us the temple.wav
go back to your tunnels.wav
home sweet home.wav

Back to Episode Studies