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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Land of the Lost: Hurricane Land of the Lost
TV episode
Written by David Gerrold and Larry Niven
Directed by Bob Lally
Original airdate: December
21, 1974

Will inadvertently opens a time portal, admitting a hypersonic glider from Earth’s future.

Read the complete story summary by Nels Olsen

Notes from the Marshall Timeline

I placed "Hurricane" before "Elsewhen" simply due to my own leaning towards the artistic estheticism of having "Elsewhen" be the first season finale, seeing as how I've invalidated "Circle" as same.

Didja Notice?

There are several references to past episodes. Will mentions Holly's lost perfume from "The Paku Who Came to Dinner"; Holly mentions the devastating shock Rick received from two crystals in "The Search"; Holly and Will mention the events of "Skylons"; Will remarks on the circular river of "Downstream".

At 4:16 on the DVD, a hole in the High Bluff set piece can be seen as Will climbs up. Lumber supports of the framework of the set piece are visible. hole in High Bluff set piece

Before Will opens the pylon he and Holly find on the mountaintop, Holly warns him to be careful, saying, "Remember what happened last time." What exactly is she referring to? The last time they dealt with a pylon was in "Stone Soup", where the Pakuni had removed the crystals from the matrix table of a weather pylon. But, it seems a specious arguement for her to be talking about that instance because it was the Pakuni who were at fault, having removed all the crystals from the matrix table of the pylon; the Marshalls replaced them, fixing the weather issues. She might be referring to the events of "The Possession", where first Cha-Ka, then Holly becomes possessed by the spirit of a malevolent (or, at least, morally ambiguous) Altrusian who describes himself as the "watcher of the pylons".

After Jackson bails out of his glider alone, why are there seem to be two parachutes on the ground when Will and Holly find him? Will and Holly find one parachuts lying open on the ground, apparently attached to a duffel bag. I guess Jackson dumped a bag of survival gear or something as well?

At 8:15 on the DVD, the actors aren't aligned well with the miniature background on the blue screen...Will and Holly are standing on the top of a fern instead of the ground!

Jackson tells the Marshalls he's from Fort Worth, Texas.

The episode opened with Will and Holly heading to the carrot patch before they got sidelined by their trek up the mountain. When they finally arrive back at the cave, before noticing Jackson in tow behind them, their father asks them somewhat acerbically, "Did you bring anything home that's edible?" This may be a reference to the events of "Stone Soup", where the kids' laziness and fighting about the gathering food for their cave home caused their father to play a bit of a prank on them in his exasperation.

Jackson remarks that he was flying his hypersonic glider between Phoenix Port and Space Station 5 when the gateway intercepted his transit and brought him to the Land of the Lost.

After the Marshalls tell Jackson about Enik having fallen into the Land through a time doorway, Jackson asks if he got home again and Rick responds, "We never found out." In "The Stranger", the Marshalls met Enik and learned his story and of his attempts to return to his own time. They don't see him again until "Circle", where they learn he has been unable to pass through the time doorway, seemingly due to the paradoxical presence of the Marshalls themselves in the Land. The Marshalls seemingly return home near the end of that episode, ending the time loop that was preventing Enik from passing through. But in our current episode, Rick is probably referring to "The Stranger", as "Circle" was technically the season-ending episode in the original air sequence; I changed that episode's place in the chronology because the Marshalls are there depicted as discovering, for the first time, the Sleestak in their dormant season, hence it seemed only logical that it should take place sometime before "Follow That Dinosaur" in which the Marshalls are already aware of the Sleestaks' hibernation status and actually witness the end of their dormancy when the lava rises in the Devil's Cauldron. I also was forced to speculate in the study of "Circle" that something must then happen to undue/prevent the events of "Circle" since the Marshalls continue to exist in the Land of the Lost after seemingly going home in that episode and they never even mention those events in any subsequent episode this season or the next two seasons.

After hearing Jackson's story of his journey, Rick comments he must be from a different time than he and his family because where they came from they didn't have any space shuttles yet. It is interesting that Rick refers "space shuttles" and that, in their time, they didn't have them "yet." He must have been aware that a space shuttle was being designed by NASA for future use. In fact, NASA's Space Shuttle Task Group was formed years earlier in 1968 and construction of the prototype test vehicle, called Enterprise, was begun in June 1974, so Rick could well have been aware of it through national news reports before the family's ill-fated expedition.

As Jackson and the Marshalls tentatively plan to escape the Land through the gateway in the sky he came through, Jackson remarks, "You wouldn't mind getting back about 20 years after you started now, would you?" This indicates that Jackson came from around 1994.

At 14:49 on the DVD, you can see in the background the dividing line between two panels of the painted set.

When Jackson first steps into the pylon, he exclaims, "It's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside!" Essentially this same statement has been made innumerable times on the TV series Doctor Who in regards to the TARDIS, the Doctor's time-space travelling ship. It's quite likely that Gerrold wrote the line of dialog as a nod to the other series.

If the gateway is gone as Rick says, destroying itself when it swallowed the pylon, why do we see still see it receding into the distance as the last shot of the episode? This is one reason I placed The Dinosaur Adventure after this episode, speculating that Dr. Potts arrived through that same gateway shortly after this episode.

Unanswered Questions

Both the pylon and one of the skylons get sucked into the time doorway. Does this mean there's a pylon and a skylon now on Earth?

Notes from the audio commentary by David Gerrold and Larry Niven

Gerrold notes that "Hurricane" was inspired by the story "The Wind Between the Worlds" by Lester Del Rey.

Gerrold wrote Beauregard Jackson as a character to possibly be portrayed by himself as the actor. Jackson's colorful dialog was written by Gerrold to be fun for himself to deliver. (It would have been interesting to see Gerrold in the role. But, as it is, Ron Masak does a great job with it.)

Gerrold mentions that in early drafts of the series treatment, he wrote Will as a younger version of himself.

The original draft of the script of this episode had the punchline that not only was Jackson from the future but also from an alternate Earth. It was to be revealed his country was the United States of Texas (or something along those lines).

Memorable Dialog

always a new mistake.wav
don't care what church.wav
buy yourselves a house.wav
point me to a telephone.wav
mighty fine stories.wav
hypersonic glider.wav
some time in our future.wav
starting to feel awful lost.wav
you little buzzard.wav
scarier than them dinosaurs.wav
bigger on the inside.wav
confused enough already.wav
their signals just made it worse.wav
that skylon.wav
bat out of Philidelphia.wav
no television for a week.wav

People, Places and Things (Provided by Michael Taylor)

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