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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
Land of the Lost: Hot-Air Artist "Hot-Air Artist"
Written by Jon Kubichan
Directed by Rick Bennewitz
Original airdate: October 30, 1976

An adventurer from the 1920’s crash lands in a hot air balloon.

Read the complete story summary by Nels Olsen

Didja Notice?

The title "Hot-Air Artist" would seem to have two meanings. One is that Colonel Post is the pilot of a hot-air balloon. The other is that he is full of hot air in the way he brags about his accomplishments and courage and pretends to be interested in Cha-ka's well-being over his own.

There is a strange, high-pitched pulsing sound when Cha-ka first spies the falling hot-air balloon. Is it supposed to be an indication that a time-doorway opened in the sky to admit it? It doesn't sound quite like the pulse heard when the doorway opened in the sky in "Hurricane".

Jack bends back a sapling to catapult a rock at Grumpy. Grumpy is quite the wimp these days if he can deterred by that.

Speaking of Grumpy, it seems he has migrated to the Lost City side of the crevasse! We get frequent glimpses of him near the Marshalls' Old Temple home. Perhaps after the huge quake of "After-Shock" the crevasse has been narrowed, making it easier to cross?

At 5:06 on the DVD, after Colonel Post says "you've got a bargain" and before Jack speaks again, you can hear a faint voice say "hey". Was it the accidentally captured voice of a crewmember on the set? Listen: hey

At 6:55 on the DVD, as the eye sockets of the Wisdom Skull pulse, you can see the light also seeping from the base of the skull's neck.

As the humans plan their escape from the Land in the balloon, Cha-ka asks if he will get to fly in the sky too. Colonel Post responds he wouldn't leave Cha-ka behind for a million dollars. That's probably about how much the Colonel figures to make by displaying "the missing link" to the people of Earth.

To find dinosaur egg membranes to patch the balloon, Holly leads Colonel Post to hundreds of what she says are brontosaurus egg shells right outside the Lost City. It doesn't seem wise of the bronto mothers to have laid their eggs right at Big Alice's doorstep!

For their final meal in the Land of the Lost, Cha-ka says he'll make stone soup!

At 16:54 on the DVD, Will refers to the final meal they just ate as "the last supper" (obviously a reference to the famous mural painting of Christ's last meal called The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci). Jack then laughs and says, "Remember what happened the last time you said that?" What is Jack referring to? I don't recall Will saying that before. Here, Torchy suddenly appears, and Will says "I swear I will never say 'last' anything in my life ever again," suggesting that something menacing occurred after the previous supper reference as well. Perhaps a cut scene had him saying those words before the Sleestak tore apart the patched balloon earlier in the episode?

Cha-ka shows Colonel Post two blue crystals. He throws one as a demonstration and it explodes on impact with the ground. Since when can a single crystal do that?

Colonel Post places the second blue crystal in his pocket while speaking to Cha-ka. If he ever made it back to Earth, he has quite a scientific curiosity to show the science community. Come to think of it, there might also be some interest in the dinosaur egg membranes patching his balloon.

Although Colonel Post's early departure seems to be to steal Cha-ka away for eventual exhibition on Earth, he does also explain that when Jack used up some of the hydrogen to fight off Torchy he left only enough of the gas to take two individuals in the balloon.

Unanswered Questions

Will discovers Pakuni footprints in the jungle and he and Jack follow them to the face of a sheer cliff where the prints just stopped as if "they'd disappeared into the air." So what happened to the Pakuni? If it was a "sheer" cliff, as Will described, it doesn't sound as if they could have climbed it.

Memorable Dialog

what in the name of Jupiter.wav
I can see the headlines.wav
light as a feather and tough as leather.wav
the missing link.wav
a million dollars.wav
back to the Colonel's time.wav
goodbye Sleestak.wav
all over the world.wav
Colonel Roscoe T. Post presents.wav
Pakuni hunt.wav
no more Pakuni.wav
stone soup.wav
fly in sky.wav
to adventure.wav

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