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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Land of the Lost: Power Play "Power Play"
Written by Len Janson and Chuck Menville
Directed by Anthony Bona
Original airdate:
December 7, 1991

Tom goes in search of power crystals to replace the equipment’s failing batteries.

Didja Notice?

At 0:24 in the episode, Kevin comments that he's so hungry he could eat a T-rex burger. Possibly this is intended as an in-joke variation on the Flintstones brontoburgers.

As Tom and Kevin make their way home in the night from a scouting expedition of the Land, their flashlights are getting dimmer and dimmer due to low batteries. Tom comments they used up the last pack of batteries. As I've said before, why did Tom allow the family to waste precious battery life on non-essentials like their boom box? The only no-prize explanation I can come up with is that the flashlights were the only "essential" electronic items in their equipment and they may use a different size battery than the non-essential ones. In other words, the flashlights may use D-size batteries and the other items all use C-size or smaller, so there's no reason not to use up the C-size.

Perhaps because this was the final episode of the season, the writers include a string of dialog that is similar to some spoken in the premiere episode "Tasha". In "Tasha", Tom gets chased by Scarface and in this one he is chased by Spike the stegosaur. Listen to these two strings of dialog from the episodes: dialog from "Tasha" and dialog from "Power Play". Of course Kevin's comment about Spike having Tom for dinner doesn't make a lot of sense considering stegosaurs are herbivores! Still, the Stegosaurus could have killed him by trampling or smacking him with his spiked tail while protecting his territory.

In this episode we see that Annie keeps a diary. In it, she writes that Kevin was counting on his videos of the family's time in this world to make him a big Hollywood producer when he gets back to Earth.

At 3:43 in the episode, Tom is mixing and matching all of their "dead" batteries to find two with enough juice left to power one flashlight for a while. The batteries he has all appear to be disguised Duracells; the producers have used some silvery material to partially or fully wrap each battery to cover up the logos. The distinctive "copper top" of Duracell batteries are visible on a couple of them.

At 5:01 in the episode, when he gets the idea to possibly use power crystals to power their devices, Tom flicks on his one working flashlight so that it's shining in his face; the equivalent of a light bulb appearing over a character's head in a cartoon when they have an idea!

Apparently, Sleestak, like Star Trek's Vulcans, have green blood! After narrowly escaping Scarface, the injured Shung stumbles into the cave in which Tom is hiding and he appears to have green blood oozing from a cut on his head. Does this mean their blood is copper-based like the Vulcans rather than the iron-base of red blood?

While Kevin, Annie and Stink try to entertain themselves, Kevin dares Stink to "make me laugh". Stink immediately dresses in drag and even behaves in an exaggerated female flirting behavior with Kevin! How does Stink know anything about how human females on Earth would dress and behave? His only exposure to human females is Christa (who doesn't remember Earth or its customs) and Annie (who hasn't had an opportunity to flirt with boys...unless she was attempting to woo Balen off camera in "Day for Knight"!).

At 12:31 in the episode, the anthropomorphism of Tasha continues as we see that even she finds Stink's drag costume hilarious.

Oddly enough, both LOTL90 and LOTL70 have episodes featuring a Paku in a dress; Stink here (although he is actually just wearing a beach towel wrapped around himself) and Cha-ka in "Baby-Sitter", in which he is modeling Holly's homemade dress for her while she hems it.

At 21:16 in the episode, we see Tom place a crystal in one of the flashlights. As he screws the cap back on he holds it down below the table the viewing audience can't see the stagehand exchange it for an identical one with batteries so Timothy Bottoms can turn it on and show that the crystals work in place of batteries!

After Tom turns on the flashlight and is thrilled at the resulting beam, he then immediately turns on the boom box and portable television. Apparently he placed crystals in all the devices before he powered on the flashlight to see if his idea even works!

Pakuni translations
Time in episode Pakuni English
9:15 Stink says, "Acuba ne, Porters." "Greetings, Porters."
12:37 Stink says, "Acuba ne, Kevin Porter." "Greetings, Kevin Porter."
15:46 Stink says, "Ayu. Ayu." "Yes. Yes."
19:44 Stink says, "Shung! Shung malu!" "Shung! Shung evil!"

Unanswered Questions

How are the crystals able to power the Porters' electronic devices? Even if the crystals do contain power, it seems unlikely that just tossing a loose one inside an electrical device would power it. There's a reason there are metal contact points in electrical devices that the batteries must be in contact with to work. It would have made at least slightly more sense for the Porters to find that they could re-charge their old batteries with the crystals instead.

Memorable Dialog

T-rex burger.wav
might find a way home.wav
the old flashlight trick.wav
kiss civilization goodbye.wav
wherever Shung found his crystal.wav
good riddance.wav
gross me out.wav
this just isn't your day.wav
Stink, you have a spider on your dress.wav
a million bananas.wav
plenty of room in this land.wav
seal him up.wav
wimping out.wav

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