The OTHER Land of the Lost | Science | Smithsonian
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The OTHER Land of the Lost

Today the big screen adaptation of The Land of the Lost opens in theaters, and everyone is comparing it to the campy original television series on which it is loosely based. I will be checking it out tomorrow morning (watch for a review next week), but my expectations won't be influenced by the 197...

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Today the big screen adaptation of The Land of the Lost opens in theaters, and everyone is comparing it to the campy original television series on which it is loosely based. I will be checking it out tomorrow morning (watch for a review next week), but my expectations won't be influenced by the 1970s show. Instead I'll be thinking of the short-lived 1990s re-incarnation of the series that many people seem to have forgotten.

In the fall of 1991, ABC premiered a re-imagining of the Land of the Lost that would run for only two seasons. It vaguely resembled the original (dad and kids fall through time warp) but it had its own quirks, like a one-eyed Tyrannosaurus named Scarface, a Jeep Cherokee that never ran out of gas (if only we had those now!), and a giant, pig-like cyborg alien. It was probably just as well that the show ended in the second season; once producers start introducing people with magical powers (i.e. the sorceress Keela) you know things are going downhill.

The part of the show that stuck with me the most, though, was the new theme song. Ever since the new film was announced, the 1990s series intro has intermittently popped into my head, causing me to hum the lines "But don't you turn your back, you'll become a snack" and others as I go about my day. It would be a blessing if I could forget the infectious tune.

Given the rotten reviews the movie has received, I don't think we will see another remake of The Land of the Lost anytime soon. It is probably for the best. As much as I love seeing dinosaurs on screen, I think this franchise has jumped the Styracosaurus.
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About Brian Switek
Brian Switek

Brian Switek is a freelance science writer specializing in evolution, paleontology, and natural history. He writes regularly for National Geographic's Phenomena blog as Laelaps.

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