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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138
-at-popapostle-dot-com
Land of the Lost: The Dinosaur Adventure
The Dinosaur Adventure
Written by Jane Godfrey
Art by John Purtle

Page numbers come from the 1st printing, 1975

A flying saucer arrives in the Land of the Lost.

Read the complete story.

Notes from the Marshall Timeline

I've placed the story here in the thought that the time doorway opened by Will in "Hurricane" may still be opening and closing problematically in the sky after the loss of the mountain-top pylon. Perhaps Enik discovered the issue during his continued attempts to open a doorway to his own time and made some final adjustments to close it shortly after this story.

Didja Notice?

On page 7, Rick tells Will and Holly that Professor Potts seems to be very unfriendly, yet he tells them, if they help him find the dinosaurs he wants to study, he might take them both for a short ride in his spaceship. Does this seem like a wise idea? Allowing his children to go for a ride with an (unfriendly!) stranger? What kind of message is this to send to the kids who were presumably reading this book in the 1970s?

Page 8 makes references to multicolored sky snakes. This story must have been written when the "Sky Snakes" script was planned for production, before the objects in the sky were changed to "Skylons". For continuity purposes, this reference should probably be reinterpreted as skylons. Presumably the "sky snakes/skylons" are present here due to the doorway through which Professor Potts has passed.

On page 12, Will mentions a place called Dinosaur Lake where the dinosaurs went to drink. I don't know that I'd go so far as to call it a lake, but this must be the swamp the river passes through, which we've seen in numerous episodes of the TV series.

On page 13, Will, Holly and the Professor discover a number of dinosaurs at the lake, including Dopey, Grumpy and Big Alice. This would seem to suggest that one or more of the dinosaurs had to cross the crevasse to reach the lake. If the "lake" is, indeed, the swamp, Big Alice would have had to cross the crevasse to reach it, an unlikely scenario when such episodes as "Repairman" suggest there are open bodies of water on the opposite side of the crevasse from which she could drink.

The Marshalls bake a carrot cake for the Professor from the 3-foot carrots found in the Land of the Lost. The pictures in the book suggest they must also have some means of making frosting! Is there also some giant sugar cane in the Land?

On page 22 the sky snakes are depicted as actual snakes, with eyes and forked tongues. As far as I can tell from the original script, the term "snakes" was just used for descriptive purposes, to suggest the generally long, narrow, undulating form of a snake, not a living creature.

Pages 21-26 suggest that dinosaurs of all types (including Big Alice) are interested in eating carrot cake! While thus occupied, they even allow Professor Potts to count their toes and measure their tails. Seems unlikely.

Unanswered Questions

How did Professor Potts come to arrive in the Land of the Lost? As I speculated above, perhaps Will's messing with the pylon in "Hurricane" brought him there. Or, perhaps, Enik's messing around with the time doorway opened a portal in a manner similar.

The book ends with Will and Holly going for a ride on the Professor's spaceship and getting a close-up look at the sky snakes. And that's it! How did the Professor escape from the Land? Why didn't he take the Marshalls with him? A lame story and, worse, one with no real ending! I like to think the Professor's flying saucer crashed during the sky snakes investigation and only Will and Holly emerged alive. 

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