Season two is just wall-to-wall horrors for kids, isn’t it? Prior to this episode, Marie and I gave Daniel a short lesson in gravity so he’d have a better understanding of what the heck is going on in this episode. About halfway through, they make the educated guess that the reason everybody – human, Paku, and dinosaur – keeps getting pinned to the ground by an unseen force is that the Zarn is up to something in the Mist Marsh.
And up to that point, Daniel was doing just fine. There’s a very slight comic edge to everybody falling over, and again the animators gave so much character to the dinosaurs. When Spike finally gives up and stomps away, he cracks a tree with a grumble. But the Zarn is weird and off-putting at the best of times, and he’s in no mood to listen to the Marshalls. He doesn’t believe that a time doorway is necessary to return home; he thinks that the gravity drive of his spaceship can get him into space. He doesn’t understand that there’s nowhere to go; this Land is all there is inside the doorways.
When the Zarn gets bored of discussing physics with the Marshalls, he shoos them away with a robot guardian. Roughly dinosaur-shaped, about nine feet tall and lacking arms, he calls it Fred, and it scared the bejezus out of Daniel, especially when another gravity storm leaves the humans trapped on their backs as Fred, screeching, marches closer to them. Nobody has ever been so relieved as he was when Fred is struck by lightning and collapses, its circuits fried.