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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Land of the Lost: Fair Trade "Fair Trade"
Written by Bill Keenan
Directed by Bob Lally
Original airdate: October
18, 1975

This page last updated 9/20/2020

The Sleestak capture Rick as a food source for their hatching young.

Read the complete story summary by Nels Olsen

Notes from the Marshall Timeline

I swapped the order of "Nice Day" and "Fair Trade" because it seems as if the Marshalls learn about the Pakuni fear of wild pigs in "Nice Day" and then comment on it in "Fair Trade". There is also a reference to the Library of Skulls in this episode, which the Marshalls only just learned about in the episode "The Longest Day".

Didja Notice?

The Sleestak use a pickaxe to dig a hole up from the cave tunnel to the surface.

The Sleestak have a periscope made out of what may be a hollowed-out stalagmite. Is this a technology the Sleestak know how to make themselves or is it an artifact leftover from the Altrusians? Maybe the Library of Skulls told them how to make it.

The pig seen in this episode is spotted with large blue spots haloed with red.

Holly wears a pink ribbon in her hair in this episode.

When Ta tries to steal Will's knife, Will calls him "slippery fingers." Doesn't he mean "sticky fingers?"

Spencer Milligan looks almost too casual as he is about to step into the camouflaged pit trap. He also makes kind of a funny sound as he falls in. Listen: Rick falls

After falling into the pit trap, Rick stands in the direct sunlight of the hole above to keep the Sleestak away. But it is a small circle of sunlight; the Sleestak could easily still grab him and drag him off without having to look into the sun.
saved by the light

Enik holds a small, clear sheet of plastic when Will and Holly confront him in his cave. See "Unanswered Questions" below.

During the Grumpy/Spot hunter/prey chase, it seem unlikely that they would keep running through the same spot in the jungle three times over. Could Spot have been intentionally trying to get Grumpy to fall into the hole?

In the scene just before Grumpy gets out of the hole, Spot can be seen lurking around behind the trees in the background. Suddenly he slips out from his hiding place, bites Grumpy on the tail, then runs off! (Thanks to Robert Porter, who first noticed this.)
See Spot bite

At 10:53 on the DVD, Enik refers to Will as Master Will. Is the honorific of Master an important one to the Altrusians?

The Sleestak leader wears the same pendant he wore in "The Longest Day" that seems to allow him to speak to the Libary of Skulls.

The scene of Rick tied up as food for the soon-to-hatch Sleestak young seems like a precursor to the alien egg chamber in Aliens.

In the Sleestak egg chamber, one of the eggs is moving, about to hatch!

This seems like a good sound byte for your computer! Listen: information, not solutions

When Will and Holly use the same pit trap again to trap a pig to exchange for Rick they do a lesser job of camouflaging the hole than the more primitive Sleestak did!

Why does this scene remind me of a Benny Hill skit?
Benny Will

While haggling with Ta, Will says, "It took me three whole weeks to make this knife. Not to mention finding the old spear." What old spear?

At 20:47 on the DVD, Will oils down the rope over the pit with half a melon to keep Ta from climbing away.

At 23:10 on the DVD, Will tells the Sleestak, "Look, I know this is going to sound corny, but take us to your leader." This is a reference to the science-fiction catchphrase about proverbial aliens who land and tell the first person they encounter, "Take us to your leader."

Unanswered Questions

What is the flat object Enik is holding when Will and Holly find him in the time doorway chamber of the Lost City? It seems to be a clear, crystalline sheet with some colored upwellings which he sets down over a portion of the crystal matrix table with some precision. Later, Will examines the sheet while waiting for Enik to return from the Library of Skulls with news of their father. Could it be a sort of schematic of what Enik believes to be the correct layout or touch-pattern of crystals to open the time doorway to his own time? In production terms, I suspect the sheet is the mold used to make the crystal props for the show.
crystalline sheet

Pakuni translations
Time on DVD Pakuni English
2:14 Ta says, "Ku! Abi emu!" "Go! (Abi) pig!" "Abi" is not in any known glossary.
2:20 Ta says, "Une!" "Une" is not in any known glossary.
2:29 Ta says, "Icheye y aye domo aroka!" I am unable to translate this sentence.
2:38 Ta says, "Wam! Wam!" "Run! Run!"
3:33 Ta says, "Me tobi ye. Me tobi yeni." "I greet you. I greet you all."
3:37 Will says, "Me tobi ye." "I greet you."
3:45 Ta says, "Sa efi? Sa efi?" "What is it? What is it?"
3:55 Ta says, "Nefa ting emu?" "Knife push pig?" "Nefa" is Ta's attempt to pronounce "knife".
4:03 Ta says, "Emu! Emu!" "Pig! Pig!
17:41 Will says, "Amura." "Friend."
17:48 Ta says, "Ta? Amura?" "Ta? Friend?"
18:41 Ta says, "Me?" "I?"
18:44 Ta says, "Nooo." "No."
22:09 Ta says, "Amurani! Amurani! "Friends! Friends!"

Memorable Dialog

slippery fingers.wav
rip-off artist.wav
I know someone.wav
who dares.wav
ways of persuasion.wav
I will go.wav
knowledge of the Library of Skulls.wav
knowledge of our ancestors.wav
I wish you'd whistle.wav
they must have nourishment.wav
colossal smoke of ignorance.wav
trade your father.wav
information, not solutions.wav
time of the newborn.wav
hi, Ta.wav
is it right.wav
Ta wheeeee.wav
take us to your leader.wav
pretty rotten deal.wav

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