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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Land of the Lost: Heat Wave "Heat Wave"
Written by Len Janson and Chuck Menville
Directed by John Carl Buechler
Original airdate: November
16, 1991

A heat wave sends the Porters in search of water and Stink in search of his favorite fruit.

Didja Notice?

At the beginning of the episode, the Porters seem to indicate that the Sleestaks live far away from the tree-house. Based on the frequency with which the humans bumped into them in earlier episodes, they don't seem that far away!

At 3:17 in the episode, Kevin says "the problem isn't the gumby Sleestaks." I hadn't heard the term "gumby" used in this way before. In fact, I hadn't heard the word at all except in relation to the famous claymation character called Gumby. According to the Babylon Dictionary, the prime definition of gumby is:
/guhm'bee/ n. [from a class of Monty Python characters, poss. with some influence from the 1960s claymation character] 1. An act of minor but conspicuous stupidity, often in `gumby maneuver' or `pull a gumby'.
...and according to Wikipedia, the Monty Python characters known as Gumbys often behaved in a manner of "violent and oafish clumsiness." That sounds like the Sleestak all right!

At 5:43 in the episode, as Annie is about to tend to her garden, Kevin warns her to "watch for those killer tomatoes." This may be a reference to the 1978 camp-horror-spoof Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.

As Tom and Kevin push the cart through the heat on their trip to the water hole, Tom comments he'd rather be sailing around San Francisco Bay. Perhaps sailing is one of his hobbies? He also mentions that he's been known to do some running in his day.

When Tom and Kevin see Nim and Keeg filling their water bags on the other side of the lake, Tom comments that the drought must have driven them south. This would indicate that the Sleestak lair is North of the Porters' tree-house.

Keeg manages to sniff out the humans' presence at the lake. He even comments at one point that he can smell a human a mile away (though Tom is hiding unnoticed in the branches above him and Kevin under the fallen tree trunk on which he is sitting, when he says this). This may indicate that he has a better sense of smell than Nim, perhaps even trained to track by scent, since he was also the one who was able to track down the humans in "Day for Knight" (though scent was not specified in that episode). Nim also asks Keeg why he didn't smell the thunder lizard when they are chased by Scarface.

The ants in the Land of the Lost are extremely strong and cooperative, even for ants; they are seen carrying away Stink's leaf-wrapped meal (about the size of a hot dog)! And after carrying it into their large ant hole and finding it unfit for consumption, they don't carry it out again, they throw it out! They also apparently have a sound-making ability; we hear a "peeyew!" as the foodstuff is forcibly ejected from the mound (it sounds like Danny Mann, who is also the "voice" of Tasha). Listen: peeyew.

The suinaku fruit that Stink so loves looks like purple eggplant. Even the interior, when cut into slices, looks like eggplant. However, Tom comments that the sliced fruit looks "nice and sweet", so the Porters do not seem to recognize the resemblance. When the Porters taste the fruit, they all make faces and run to spit it out as if it tastes bitter; eggplant is known for a bitter taste, especially if eaten raw. In one episode of LOTL70 ("The Stranger"), Holly picks from a bush a purple fruit that looks like suinaku.

In my study of "Shung the Terrible", I speculated that perhaps the Porters were able to understand the Sleestaks' speech as English due to the telepathic properties of Shung's crystal (or telepathic abilities of Shung himself). But neither Shung nor the crystal are near when Tom and Kevin encounter Nim and Keeg, yet they are able to understand everything they say, even when eavesdropping on the two Sleestaks' conversation. So, how is it that the Sleestak have come to speak English?

At 19:36 in the episode, as the Porters and Stink use sound and motion to attract Scarface's attention and get him to chase the Sleestak, Kevin appears to be using his karate moves, first seen in "Day for Knight".

Pakuni translations
Time in episode Pakuni English
5:59 Stink says, "Bawmi! Bawmi!" "Come! Come!"
6:23 Stink says, "Bawmi, Annie Porter." "Come, Annie Porter."
6:25 Annie says, "No bawmi." "No come."
9:24 Stink says, "Tasha, poosafoosa!" "Tasha, quick!"
9:54 Stink says, "poosa" this way
12:06 Christa says, "Acuba ne, Annie Porter." "Greetings, Annie Porter."
12:22 Christa says, "zabanay" nasty or mean
12:41 Christa says, "Osu." "Water."
13:41 Stink says, "Tasha! Malu!" "Tasha! Bad!"
13:46 Stink says, "anu" no
18:34 Stink says, "Stink mabuki." "mabuki" is unknown.
21:42 Stink says, "Zabi, Porters. Zabi." "zabi" is unknown but, from the context, may mean "help yourself" or "have some".

Memorable Dialog

nightmare about Sleestaks.wav
they live so far away.wav
gumby Sleestaks.wav
yeah way.wav
rather be sailing.wav
secret inspiration.wav
crazy bananas.wav
what if the Sleestaks get lucky.wav
Stink love suinaku.wav
lizard lips.wav
back off Sleestaks.wav

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