Into the Labyrinth 3.1 – Lazlo / 3.2 – Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde

Now it’s back to 1982, and never mind the low budget, in the eyes of a kid, Into the Labyrinth is “a crazy show where anything can happen.” This time out, people get turned into dogs, shrunk, and zapped in the rear with magical bolts. There are swordfights and Victorian-age floozies and all the usual mayhem. Bob Baker wrote the first episode and Robert Holmes wrote the second. This time, the music is full of womp-womps and cues that say “comedy.” Honestly, they should have gone the whole hog. I started pretending there was a laugh track and enjoyed it more.

The plot this time is that one of the kids – HTV wisely figured there was really no need to pay for three leads when one would do – gets pulled into a parallel time track called Delta Time which runs through our world’s fiction. There, he meets a fast-talking time traveller and small fry magic user called Lazlo, and he’s got another macguffin that the evil witch Belor covets. So in episode one, they battle with Long John Silver and in episode two, Lazlo becomes Dr. Jekyll and Belor takes over his alter ego’s gang as “Fanny Hyde.”

I was surprised by that turn of events, actually. Lazlo is played by an actor named Chris Harris, who was very well known for his stage work in the UK, both highfalutin’ and pantomime. The second sentence of his Wikipedia entry says that he was a pantomime dame, so when I saw the title of the second installment, I expected him to don drag as Mrs. Hyde. So while our kid enjoyed the two episodes enormously, and was both thrilled and amused, the only surprise that they had for me was that they didn’t stick Harris in a dress.

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