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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138
-at-popapostle-dot-com
Land of the Lost: Medicine Man "Medicine Man"
Written by Jon Kubichan
Directed by Joe Scanlan
Original airdate: December 4, 1976

The Marshalls attempt to befriend an American Indian and the U.S. cavalry captain who has chased him into the Land of the Lost.

Read the complete story summary by Nels Olsen

Didja Notice?

When we first meet Lone Wolf, the background music is sort of a LOTL version of the "indian tribe" music that was often played in old western movies and TV shows. Listen: indian tribe music (Variations on this music play in various scenes throughout the episode.) 

I wonder if writer Jon Kubichan was inspired by the comic book, Turok, Son of Stone, when writing this story of a Native American who finds himself trapped in the Land of the Lost. Turok is a comic book character created in 1954 who was a Native American who found himself trapped in the isolated Lost Valley which was populated by dinosaurs and from which he continually sought escape. Turok has also appeared in video games, trading cards, an animated DVD and is currently alleged to be in pre-production as a live action film. Turok was originally portrayed as a pre-Columbian Native American while Lone Wolf describes himself as one of the Nez Perce of North America of 1877. Lone Wolf's head feather and pony-tails are similar to the depiction of Turok in comics.
Lone Wolf Turok

At 4:16 on the DVD, it almost looks like there is a throne in the Old Temple. Jack sits on it while conversing with Lone Wolf. It is just to the left of Jack in the screenshot below.
temple throne

Lone Wolf mentions knowing Chief Joseph, who was the actual leader of the Wallowa band of Nez Perce from 1871-1904. In fact, Ned Romero, the actor portraying Lone Wolf, also portrayed Chief Joseph in the docudrama, I Will Fight No More Forever, filmed the same year as this season of Land of the Lost (1975).
I Will Fight No More Forever

Lone Wolf says he is from 1877. It was in October 1877 that Chief Joseph surrendered the Nez Perce to the U.S. Cavalry after a 3-month running battle across Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. Presumably, it is during this running battle that his tribe contracts the epidemic of which Lone Wolf speaks and why the cavalryman, Captain Diggs, is pursuing him.

A nice bit of "costuming" shows that Captain Diggs' horse is wearing a bridle with a U.S. eagle symbol on it, presumably to suggest U.S. Cavalry property. I've been unable to determine whether this particular symbol was actually used by the U.S. Cavalry.
eagle symbol

In the scene from 7:09-8:55 on the DVD, we see that Will seems to have some familiarity with both guns and horses; he seems to handle them well. 

As Cha-ka races past Lulu after collecting water, watch the scene change at 11:45 on the DVD. The blue screen image of Lulu in the swampy waters does not fill the whole picture screen, there is the black of soundstage to the right. You can see Cha-ka run from the stage to the set proper.
Lulu Lulu and Cha-ka
Cha-ka also makes a "nyahhh" sound after he successfully evades Lulu's heads! Listen: nyahhh

At 14:55 on the DVD, Jack goes looking for Lone Wolf, who has failed to return with the things he needs to make the fever remedy for Captain Diggs. He says Lone Wolf won't be hard find because he's riding the only horse, Captain Diggs' horse, in the Land of the Lost, so they just need to look for hoof prints in the ground. But what about Lone Wolf's own horse which threw him? The horse may or may not be in the Land (or still on Earth) as well. Also, Corny the unicorn (from "Abominable Snowman") is still around unless he's been eaten by now! But Corny's hooves are small and Captain Diggs' horse is probably the only one of the three that is shoed.

Jack uses the same lame "rock and tree as a catapult" trick on Grumpy that he used in "Repairman". It seems highly unlikely that a Tyrannosaurus would be afraid of a single rock hurled at him. In fact, the rock never even appears in the stop-motion scene in which Grumpy is roaring, we hear the rock strike him (or something) and he turns and stalks away!

When Jack finds Lone Wolf again, Lone Wolf says Grumpy attacked him before he was able to find the supplies he needs to make the fever remedy. This seems to be a pretty firm indication that Lone Wolf was not even looking for the ingredients and was instead on his way out of the area to search for a way home. It was earlier indicated that some time had passed at the Temple without Lone Wolf's return when Jack decided to go look for him, so Lone Wolf should have had ample time to find at least some of the items required. (Although when Jack asks Lone Wolf that very question near the end of the episode, it is implied, though not quite said, that Lone Wolf intended to do the honorable thing and return with supplies as promised.)

At 17:50 on the DVD, as the Marshalls and Cha-ka observe the ritual Lone Wolf performs to prepare the fever remedy, Cha-ka can be seen sitting between Holly's legs! While a young child might be permitted to do that, it seems a bit odd here! And as the scene fades to the next, you can just see in the background that Holly is startled by the bursting flames in the cook fire when Lone Wolf throws some kind of dust into it; she flings out her arm and gropes for Jack's hand.
Holly and Cha-ka

At 20:58 on the DVD, you can see the edge of the Temple's exterior wall to the right of the screen. There appears to be nothing behind the wall!
Temple set

Selections from the Repertoire

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

A place that I see
In a memory of me
As every day
I'm drifting away
To where life is free
And is calling to me
Come back again,
I'm dreaming again
Of home, my home, my home

Unanswered Questions

Lone Wolf says his horse threw him during a dust storm and wandered off. We never do see his horse, just Captain Diggs' horse; it's questionable whether the horse is in the Land of the Lost or still on Earth. If it's in the Land, might the Marshalls have found the horse shortly after this episode and made use of it?

Memorable Dialog

Cha-ka like stone soup more better.wav
who would want to steal boiled water.wav
off to the old west.wav
I wound up in this strange place.wav
I'm seein' things.wav
that's no buffalo.wav
a lot of good men.wav
an epidemic of fever.wav
the only horse in the Land of the Lost.wav
short memory.wav
that savage.wav
I have an obligation.wav
hard to say.wav
listen to this song.wav

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