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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
Land of the Lost: Ancient Guardian "Ancient Guardian"
Written by Peter Germano
Directed by Joe Scanlan
Original airdate: November 20, 1976

The Marshalls foolishly remove an ancient Sleestak statue which the Sleestak believe protects the valley from a beast in the mountains.

Read the complete story summary by Nels Olsen

Didja Notice?

At the beginning of the episode, the Marshalls are being chased by an unseen menace. At one point the creatures seem to be in the trees and throw a branch at them. A little later, a shrill shriek is heard from the pursuers before they vanish and Holly comments "that's not the Sleestak." What were these creatures? We never learn. It wasn't Kona; he has a deeper growl and was still trapped in the mountains by the Guardian at this point in the story.

While being pursued by the creatures mentioned above, Will comments they are in a "forbidden area." Forbidden by whom? After finding the Guardian statue, Holly asks, "I wonder why would they put it here, on the edge of a forbidden area?" Is it an area forbidden by the Sleestak? If so, how do the Marshalls know this?

temple interior temple interior
The opening to a secondary room can be seen behind Cha-ka in the Marshall's Old Temple home. And, besides the sealed door directly behind him, a tertiary room can be seen behind and to the left of Will.

At 6:10 on the DVD, we see that while the Marshalls sleep in their homemade cots, Cha-ka sleeps on the floor next to Holly's cot!

At 7:01 on the DVD, Kona nearly falls down himself as he hurls a Sleestak away.

Speaking of sleeping arrangements, here we see Enik's quarters for the first time. He sleeps on a flat stone slab.
Enik's quarters

At 7:52 and 14:35 on the DVD, Enik holds a large, green crystal which he uses to fire a phaser-like beam at Kona. In my fanfic "Doubleback", Enik obtained this device when he took it from Zarn. 

When the Marshalls see Kona for the first time, Will says "It looks like...I don't know what!" You would think he'd say Kona looks just like Tapa (from "Abominable Snowman")...they're nearly identical! It appears to be the same costume except that Kona's fur and skin have been darkened.
Tapa Kona
Tapa (from "Abominable Snowman") Kona (from "Ancient Guardian")

I like the scene in which Kona enters the Sleestak egg chamber, pokes a hole in the top of one egg and quickly sucks the fluid out of it. You can understand why Kona has a chilling effect on the Sleestak.

At 16:11 on the DVD, Holly seems to say to Will, "I wouldn't give you a penny for your thoughts." Shouldn't the phrase be just, "A penny for your thoughts?"

At the temple, when Jack accidentally moves the statue into a position where its eyes focus the sunlight into a heat beam and causes a burst of fire in the brush, Will angrily asks Cha-ka if he's been "playing with the coal fires again." Sounds like a slight flub by Wesley, shouldn't it be "fire coals"? Also, the line seems to imply that Cha-ka has been caught playing with fire in the recent past; I guess fire would be as fascinating to him as it is to a human child (and as the Pakuni had not yet mastered the art of fire from what we saw in the first season).

At 17:27 on the DVD, Will asks Jack a question and it sounds like he addresses him as "Dad!" Listen: Dad

At 18:41 on the DVD, Jack is writing out equations with chalk and slate in his deciphering of the statue's symbols. The final equation he writes on line three of the slate is actually Einstein's famous formula of mass-energy equivalence, E=mc2.

At end of the episode, Jack opines, "I hope it's taught us a lesson...leave things alone that we don't understand." I doubt it! The Marshalls learned this lesson a number of times before he arrived and they continued to mess with things anyway.

Selections from the Repertoire

Will sings a song at the end of the episode. I am arbitrarily calling it "Troubles Pass Away".

I wanna let you know
Somethin' tells me so
Time is short and the waiting won't be long
We're gonna see the day
When troubles pass away
That's how it's gonna be for you and me
When we can see the day
That troubles pass away
We'll find a better place for you and me

Memorable Dialog

little Sleestak.wav
got anything good to eat.wav
what do we say to people.wav
why has the ancient guardian forsaken us.wav
Cha-ka have strong nose.wav
the Sleestak are angry.wav
the old ones made it.wav
I warn you.wav
don't be such a drag.wav
penny for your thoughts.wav
I think you've hit it.wav
all are doomed.wav
your lizard kinsmen.wav
I hope it's taught us a lesson.wav
how about a song.wav

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