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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138-at-popapostle-dot-com

Land of the Lost: Life's a Beach "Life's a Beach"
Written by Len Janson and Chuck Menville
Directed by Frank DePalma
Original airdate: October
10, 1992

A trip to a beautiful beach triggers Christa’s memories of her mysterious past.

Didja Know?

The title of this episode is a take-off on the idiom "life's a bitch" or "life's a bitch and then you die." In this case, the title has a less negative connotation in that it refers to the fact that the beach our heroes travel to unravels Christa's memories of how she became stranded alone as a child in the Land of the Lost.

This episode introduces Namaki, a sort of merman played by Tom Allard, the same actor who plays Shung.

Didja Notice?

During the teaser, Scarface is chasing the Porters' Jeep through the jungle in a scene similar to the T. rex chase in Jurassic Park. But this was produced a year before that movie was released!

Apparently, there are a large number of items tied to the roof of the Jeep, covered by a blue tarp, similar to when the Porters arrived in the Land. But what all did they bring just for a day at the beach that it couldn't fit in the back hatch? (When they arrive at the beach, we see Kevin grab a boogie board from under the tarp.)

Throughout the close-up driving scenes shot into the windshield of the Jeep, you can see at the top of the screen that not only are the tarp and supplies missing from the roof, but it is also completely black in the background; no sun or jungle to be seen. Obviously, these shots were filmed back at the studio in a motionless vehicle and without the benefit of a bluescreen in the background.

As our heroes arrive at the beach, we see two Camerasaurs (the same species as Big Guy) wading in the ocean waters.

At 3:02 in the episode, Kevin exclaims that the beach they've arrived at is just like California. In fact, these scenes were filmed at Point Dume in southern California. Many films and TV shows have filmed there. Among these is the famous scene of the Statue of Liberty half buried in the sand at the end of the original Planet of the Apes.

At 3:43 in the episode, Stink runs onto the beach, towards the ocean but, like a dog unfamiliar with swimming, runs away to avoid getting wet as the water rolls in. Besides being a funny character bit, I imagine the producers did not want the furry Pakuni costume to get wet. A minute later, Tasha does the same thing, but does get her feet wet.

In another demonstration of Tasha's anthropomorphic qualities, at 4:41 in the episode, after Stink throws a sandball at her, she scoops up some sand herself and squishes it into a ball, throwing it at Stink's rear.

At 5:23 in the episode, as he runs to save Kevin from a sea creature in the water, Tom again has his trusty baseball bat (as seen in "Flight to Freedom"). It seems to be his weapon of choice!

I haven't been able to identify the type of creature that attacks Kevin in the sea. Perhaps it is not an actual prehistoric animal but one made up for the series; it looks more like a sea serpent than any kind of ichthyosaur. At one point it coils itself around Tom, trying to pull him down into the water.

You might not notice it during a casual viewing, but at 6:36 in the episode, the Porters are putting up the tarp as a sun shelter. Annie is pounding the long brace poles securely into the sand while standing on Kevin's back, who is down on all fours! And Tasha is holding the pole in place for her.

At 6:57 in the episode, there appears to be a cave in the cliff in the background. Is this the same cave in which the Porters go on to meet the siren in the later episode "Siren's Song"?


What is Christa's swimsuit made of? It seems to have a sort of silvery sheen to it. Is it the hide of some water creature?

At 10:25 in the episode, more anthropo-Tasha. After being frightened by Namaki in the brush along the beach, she attempts a pantomime to tell the Porters what she saw.

At 11:22 in the episode, Christa is wearing Tom's overshirt which he was wearing earlier! I guess he gave it to her to help keep the sun off her shoulders.

This episode is the first time we hear that Mrs. Porter died in a car accident two years ago. Since "Dreammaker" establishes the date of that episode as September 19, 1992, Mrs. Porter must have died in 1990.

It's a nice touch that when Namaki speaks, he seems to have a similar accent as Christa. Presumably, Christa has the accent due to her exposure to Namaki when she was a girl. Many times, Christa's accent has reminded me of the accent used by Mary McDonnell as Stands With A Fist, a white woman who was raised by the Sioux tribe of Native Americans, in the film Dances With Wolves.

Tom Allard is wearing contact lenses to give Namaki the appearance of vertically-slitted pupils.

Pakuni translations
Time in episode Pakuni English
2:44 Stink says, "Mazogude." This word is unknown, but from the context would seem to mean "not far".
10:07 Stink says, "Komadi, Tom Porter." "I'm sorry, Tom Porter."

Memorable Dialog

hilarious hoo-ha.wav
just like California.wav
she is so helacious.wav
this looks like it's from my world.wav
show my dad.wav
lay off the wild bananas.wav
I have no family.wav
why did they leave me here alone.wav
I lose one family, I find another.wav

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