Land of the Lost 2.1 – Tar Pit

Season two of Land of the Lost began with what I remembered as a pretty inconsequential story with dinosaurs and Pakuni – and non-threatening dinosaurs, at that – but I had overlooked that Daniel would become very worried for Dopey when the “two-ton” dino gets caught in the tar pit. That’s really all the plot is for the episode; the humans and the reluctant Pakuni make several attempts to free Dopey.

I really like the way that Margaret Armen’s script wasn’t afraid to give huge chunks of time over to the Pakuni arguing about whether to help. About a third of the dialogue isn’t in English, which is really impressive.

Some minor changes in between seasons: they found a new brown shirt for Wesley Eure to wear, and Ta is played by a new actor. Joe Giamalva had played the character in season one, and Scutter McKay, who played various costumed parts in H.R. Pufnstuf, took over the role here. I really like how McKay and Philip Paley debate whether to do some nebulous task or whether Cha-Ka is going to paint Ta’s portrait. When the Pakuni all finally arrive to see that Dopey is sinking in tar, Ta can’t be bothered to help. He dismisses Dopey’s problem with a dismissive “bye-bye” wave.

Behind the scenes, Dick Morgan became the story editor, and Tom Swale the associate producer. Between the two of them, they’d be responsible for seven of this season’s thirteen episodes, including the really big one that’s coming up next.

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