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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Land of the Lost: The Musician "The Musician"
Written by Dick Morgan and Tom Swale
Directed by Gordon Wiles
Original airdate: November
15, 1975

The Marshalls and Cha-ka investigate the newly discovered old temple.

Read the complete story summary by Nels Olsen

Notes from the Marshall Timeline

I moved "The Musician" to a position significantly sooner in the chronology because it seems logical to say that the Marshalls would investigate the temple almost immediately after it was found by Will and Holly in "The Test".

Didja Notice?

  • At the beginning of the episode, Holly is trying to teach Cha-ka to play the old lullaby "Rock-a-bye Baby" on a bamboo flute. He fails miserably, seemingly tone deaf.
  • Rick speculates that the Old Temple was not built by the Sleestak. Will then says, "...if this place wasn't built by the Sleestak, it was built by a basketball team. Look how tall everything is." I wonder if that line was written as sort of an in-joke about the fact that the Sleestak were portrayed by UCLA basketball players.
  • At 8:39 on the DVD, you can see that there is a plant growing inside the temple. I suppose there are cracks in the ruin inside as well as out, although it seems unlikely a real plant could grow in a closed room with no light.
  • As Phillip Paley points out in the audio commentary, at 9:30 on the DVD, Will blows the dust off the matrix table right into Cha-ka's face!
  • At 10:03 on the DVD, there is a pinpoint of blue light behind Will's head. What is it?
    Will Marshall

  • Holly comments that the ring they find in the temple is "pretty". It doesn't look so pretty to looks like one of those cheap plastic rings you used to get in the 25-cent vending machines at the supermarket!
  • At 12:36 on the DVD, the matrix table starts lighting up and making noise before Cha-ka even walks off screen, yet he acts like he doesn't notice. Also, notice the sounds from the matrix table sound like a push-button phone of the 1970's!
  • At 12:58 on the DVD, for a split second Holly almost looks like she is going to run out and visit with Junior even though Big Alice is with him. Notice how her father grabs her and pulls her behind the stone column as they all run for cover from the large carnivore.
  • At 13:36 on the DVD, notice how Big Alice protects Junior from the the red Builder figure by curling her tail around him. Junior ducks down out-of-sight within the coil, but then can't resist peaking back up as the Builder walks on past.
Builder and Alice Builder and Alice
Builder and Alice
  • This is the first episode in which Ta and Sa seem to acknowledge that the Marshalls are superior in dealing with the more mysterious aspects of the Land. They go to High Bluff to tell the humans about the voice they heard calling their names and the strange light in the sky.
  • At 21:02-21:08 on the DVD, as Ta and Sa flee the voice telling them they have failed, you can follow their shadows and see that after disappearing off the right side of the screen, they just circle around behind the camera!
  • At the end of the episode, Cha-ka successfully plays "Rock-a-bye Baby" quite nicely on the bamboo flute, seemingly a gift of evolution from Builder.

Unanswered Questions

  • Who built the old temple? Humans? Pakuni? The door and the matrix table seem to respond to Cha-ka's touch but not the Marshalls'.
  • What is the significance of the letters written on the stone block in the courtyard of the temple? The Marshalls comment that some of them look like characters from the their own Latin alphabet such as A, M and R. stone markings
  • What was the red light that appeared in the sky after Cha-ka touched the matrix table? Was it a portal that admitted the red being?
  • Who is Builder? In her entranced state, Holly indicates that Builder built the Land. If so, what was the Altrusians' role in the creation of the Land, since Builder appears to be of human relation?
  • Why does Builder's voice switch from boy to man and back again?
  • What happens to the ring after this episode? We never see it again even though Cha-ka is still wearing it as he plays the flute at the very end.

Pakuni translations
Time on DVD Pakuni English
1:35 Holly says, "Cha-ka wachi shi." "Cha-ka do it now."
2:52 Cha-ka says, "Ta?" It sounds like Cha-ka says "Ta" here but I don't know why he would. It seems more like he should say "Sa?" which means "What?"
2:54 Rick says, "Ye meki ku ya meni eh?" Rick asks Cha-ka if he wants to go with them. Ye=you, ku=go, meni=us. "Meki" "ya" and "eh" are not in any known glossary.
2:57 Cha-ka says "yo". "Yes."
3:59 Will says, "Chiri?" "Quiet?"
4:05 Will says, "Pu, Cha-ka?" "Understand, Cha-ka?"
4:07 Cha-ka says, "Cha-ka pu." "Cha-ka understand."
4:39 Rick says, "Chiri." "Quiet."
8:38 Holly says, "Ye wesachi, Cha-ka?" "Are you good, Cha-ka?"
8:40 Cha-ka says, "Ye me bu ku." Will seems to translate this as "the wall went," but the words don't translate that way; it seems to say "You me can go."
11:21 Cha-ka says, "Oganza." "Magic."
11:32 Cha-ka says, "Oganza bisasa!" "Big Magic!"
11:36 Cha-ka says, "Yeni ba, yeni ba! Fusachi!" "You come, you come! Quickly!"
11:44 Cha-ka says, "Yeni de! Yeni de!" "You do! You do!"
11:50 Cha-ka says, "Oganza!" "Magic!"
12:04 Cha-ka says, "Ku? Onam meni ku." "Gone? Our food gone." This sentence doesn't make sense in context. It seems like maybe he should have said "epi" (light) in place of "onam" (food).
12:14 Rick says, "Sa efi ye wu?" "What did you see?"
12:16 Cha-ka says, "Nooo efi." "Nothing."
14:45 Ta says, "Oyu fo Ta." "The wind called for Ta." Will translates this sentence for us. "Oyu" and "fo" were not previously in any known glossary.
17:15 Cha-ka says, "Cha-ka ku yan ye." "Cha-ka go (yan) you." "Yan" is not in any known glossary.
20:46 Cha-ka says, "Meni ka ran wa ni. Yeni dong. Ye dong." "We (ka) help her (ni). You (dong). You (dong)." "Ni" and "dong" are not in any known glossary.
20:56 Ta says, "Anu." "No."
21:09 Cha-ka says, "Cha-ka ko shi ra. Cha-ka ko ra. Cha-ka ko ra." These statements seem to basically be saying "Cha-ka help." ra=help, shi=it. "Ko" is unknown.
21:33 Cha-ka says, "Anu! Anu! Ra Ari!" "No! No! Help Holly!" Cha-ka seems to be responding to Builder's statement, "You failed."
21:58 Cha-ka says, "Cha-ka fu. Cha-ka fu." "Cha-ka happen. Cha-ka happen." Sounds like a bumper sticker.

Notes from the Audio Commentary by Phillip Paley, Wesley Eure and Kathy Coleman

Phillip Paley portrayed not only Cha-ka in this episode, but also the boy form of Builder. When the Builder boy is face-to-face with Cha-ka, Paley's sister is in the Cha-ka costume.

Kathy Coleman mentions that her sister named her daughter Holly.

Memorable Dialog

just plain dumb.wav
not quite fair.wav
a million years of evolution.wav
child prodigy.wav
where does genius come from.wav
doesn't look like the Sleestak.wav
built by a basketball team.wav
built by humans.wav
it just opened.wav
look around.wav
yes and no.wav
no, Will Marshall.wav
Cha-ka, Sa, Ta.wav
it is time.wav
time for you.wav
Cha-ka before.wav
Cha-ka after.wav

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