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

Land of the Lost: Siren's Song "Siren's Song"
Written by Phil Combest
Directed by Earnest Farino
Original airdate: October
24, 1992

While visiting with Namaki, the Porters are confronted with visions of Natasha Porter.

Didja Know?

This episode gives us our first "live" glimpses of Natasha Porter, portrayed by Marta DuBois (we also saw a photograph of her in "Dreammaker"). We see her in Tom's nightmare of Natasha being menaced first by Shung, then by Scarface. Then, shortly after waking up, Tom sees a vision of his wife walking up the beach, which turns out to be Christa. And we meet a siren, known from mythology, wearing the guise of the late Porter matriarch.

Star Trek fans may recognize Marta DuBois as the villainous Ardra in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Devil's Due."

This episode is reminiscent of the LOTL70 episode "Album" in which Will and Holly are entranced by a strange sound and led to the Lost City where they see an image of their dead mother.

Didja Notice?

While speaking with Tom at the beach, Christa comments that she is going to the next valley and won't be back until the next sun. This fits in with Christa's frequent absences in many episodes. It would seem that, although she has a permanent home in the valley, she also has a wanderlust and explorer mentality that keeps her away for days at a time. If not for her friendship (guardianship?) with Stink, would she have wandered off permanently long ago?

At 5:33 in the episode, Kevin puts the earphones of his Walkman on Namaki so he can sample some rock and roll. Amusingly, just like many people, Namaki starts shouting to hear himself over the music. We also learn that Namaki is not able to hear the actual music; to him it sounds like the roar of the ocean and Tom remarks that he should consider himself lucky, a poke at Kevin's taste in music from a typical parent's perspective.

In these second season episodes, the Porters have adopted Stink's phrase of "funny hoo-ha" in (often sarcastic) reference to jokes they make to each other.

At 5:55 in the episode, Tasha is about to bury the Porters' volleyball in the sand and Kevin comments to her that it's a ball, not a bone. But why would an herbivorous dinosaur have the instinct to bury a bone? Possibly she could have an urge to bury nuts the way a squirrel does and Kevin should have remarked "it's a ball, not an acorn." (However, in the later episode, "Make My Day", Tasha does seem to enjoy chewing on a bone that Kevin gives her.)

Namaki must be tone-deaf. Not only can he not hear the music on Kevin's Walkman, he does not hear the music of the siren either.

When Annie disappears after running behind the rock outcrop on the beach, Tom goes looking for her. We later learn she was enticed by the siren's music and led to her cave. But how did Annie's footprints in the sand also disappear? They are not visible while we watch Tom as he calls out for her. When Tasha later finds some Annie footprints on the beach, they would seem to be heading the wrong way, towards the ocean rather than towards the rocky cliffside where we later see the siren's cave; I suppose Annie may have been wandering along the contours of the cliff and outcroppings, taking her alternately towards and away from the ocean until the music led her to the cave.

At 12:15 in the episode, a scene from the first season episode "Something's Watching" is borrowed, depicting a pterodactyl flying over Vasquez Rocks. Here, I suppose it is intended to be flying over the rocks near the beach.

For some reason, there is a large stick leaning against the cliff outside the entrance of the siren's cave as Kevin enters at 12:49 in the episode. It is still there when Tom enters later. But it is gone at 17:56 when Namaki, Stink, and Tasha approach to rescue the Porters. However, Namaki is suddenly depicted with a large stick in his hand at 18:19 (it appears to be the same one) which he uses to fend off the serpent of the cave.

Although the traditional sirens of mythology are usually depicted as half woman and half-bird (or sometimes as mermaid-like), the siren presented here appears more as a deformed human with sagging skin. Like the visions of Natasha Porter, she is portrayed by Marta DuBois, now disguised with fright makeup.

The lyre played by the siren has some symbols on it, but they are not very distinguishable in the video image.


It is interesting to note that Namaki speaks some Pakuni. At one point he says "anu" (no) to Stink.

At 15:22 in the episode, Namaki says something unintelligible to Stink before saying "this way." Possibly he is saying something in Pakuni, but it sort of sounds like he says "To help, this way," which makes some sense in that Namaki is trying to lead Stink and Tasha in a certain direction in their search for the missing Porters.

With the kids already present, Tom finally arrives in the siren's cave and she says "The children and I have been waiting for you, Tom." This is similar to the dialog "I've been waiting for you" delivered by the image of Mrs. Marshall to Will and Holly in "Album". Listen: Mrs. Porter  Mrs. Marshall

Is it just me, or does the cave serpent guarding the siren look like a modified version of the sea serpent seen in "Life's a Beach"? Notice the placement of the jagged teeth (though the cave serpent has more of them) and the ridge above the eyes.
Cave serpent from "Siren's Song" Sea serpent from "Life's a Beach"

The siren seemingly destroys the serpent guarding her simply by throwing her (magic?) lyre at it. If it were that easy, why didn't she do so before?

The siren says she was given her ugly form and exiled to this world when her beauty became more important to her than her own family. Tom remarks to the siren that he understands what she is saying because he once considered his work to be the most important thing in his life. Although Tom's career on Earth is never mentioned in the series, other sources have conflictingly described him as either a lawyer or an architect. The design of the tree-house may argue for his being an architect. As there is little chance to practice jurisprudence in the Land of the Lost, there are no significant arguments for the lawyer position!

For the first time, Tom reveals that he and Natasha argued about his career-oriented mentality the day she died (in a car accident).

Pakuni translations
Time in episode Pakuni English
4:11 Christa says, "Anu, Tom Porter." "No, Tom Porter."
4:43 Christa says, "Daiyay, Tom Porter." "Thank you, Tom Porter."
15:15 Namaki says, "Anu, Stink." "No, Stink."
15:24 Stink says, "Musica." "Music."

Unanswered Questions
 
The siren says that she was sentenced to this world (the Land) when her beauty became more important to her than her own family. Who sentenced her? What world was she from? Could it be the same world that sentenced Keela and Magus to the Land?

At the end of the episode, the siren seems to escape her captivity, emerging from the cave as a yellowish wisp of energy to rise up and disappear into the sky. Where did she go? Did she return to her own world? Is she on her way to the "next world" as she called it (presumably the afterlife) to join her family?

Tom reveals in this episode that he and Natasha argued about his career-oriented mentality the day she died (in a car accident). Might it also be that they actually argued in the car while he was driving and his own anger during the argument caused him to drive recklessly or without closely watching the road, causing the accident that killed her?

Memorable Dialog

the past is past.wav
I hurt my family.wav
waiting for you.wav
don't look at me.wav
I've been trying to make it up to my children ever since.wav
guilt can eat your life away.wav

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