LAND OF THE GIANTS-The Golden Cage, The Flight Plan, Manhunt

Chase - Posted on 27 July 2009










Dan drags a giant carrot into the ship's passenger compartment where Valerie gives Fitzhugh a small pea dinner. Betty and Barry come running inside, warning about two giants who spotted them near the picnic grounds. Fitzhugh, using this distraction as a moment to sneak himself some potato chips, chokes. Dan covers Fitzhugh's mouth to prevent him from bringing the close by giants right to the spaceship (kind of silly since they are inside a spaceship that has a hull that can protect them from outer space and really should be sound proof to the outside world). The giant men pass. Steve and Mark find an empty food can and spot a light high in a tree which reveals an overturned glass or plastic round jar. Inside it is a beautiful blond girl on a couch cushion, combing her hair.


Steve forbids Mark from freeing the girl, calling her a trap. They return to the ship, moody and quiet until they tell the others what they found (Val earlier having warned Fitzhugh to stay away from the food or she'd maul him; Fitz worried Mark and Steve haven't eaten--"it's all for one and one for all"). Betty and Dan, earlier, had found some potato chips under a giant plate which Dan had to hold up while Betty took some out from under. When Mark turns in, Steve tells them even if the girl were ugly, Mark would still want to save her--that's the way he is. Betty tells Steve that's the way he is, too. Upset, they all turn in for the night. In the morning, Mark heads out from the ship, followed by the others, who pick him up on the radar (Dan on watch). Putting his tie back on, Fitz says, "Mark can't be that stupid."  Betty says, "Mark isn't stupid."   Steve doesn't care to comment, "We'll argue about that later. Right now we have to go after him."  Mark frees the girl who calls herself Marna but the two of them get cornered by two giant men.



With distractions from Steve, Mark and Marna escape into the woods. The giants take the empty jar. At a tree, Mark deduces Marna is Marna Whalean, daughter of Charles Whalean--whom he calls one of the greatest engineers who ever lived. He, his baby daughter, and wife left 15 years ago from the Space Flight and Research Center in Florida, heading for Paris, France. It never arrived. She asks, "You are my father's friend?"  Mark honestly answers, "Let's just say he was my friend. Marna tells him the giants saved her and are her friends. The others break up into smaller search parties, having to ignore the major food shortage right now. They are to meet in two hours. Barry and Fitzhugh hide from a giant turkey which is also hungry. In a beautiful, flowering part of the forest, Steve and Betty catch up with Mark and Marna. Steve refuses to let Mark bring her to the ship. Betty takes Marna aside to show her "this beautiful place"  while Steve tries to talk sense into Mark. Steve can give Marna his help but not his trust. He also refuses to let Mark leave the group, saying, "You're a part of the group,"  and he won't let the group security be endangered. Mark tells Steve that Marna's father helped him out when he needed it. When Mark wants Steve to let go of his arm, the two end up fighting roughly with the girls watching, Betty trying to verbally stop it.   



The punch and roll fight ends with Steve knocking Mark down and hurting his own knuckles. When Betty tells Mark he is part of their group and can't leave, Mark tells her they've (he and Marna) have already left. They do even though Steve apologizes to Mark, "I'm sorry, Mark."  Using discarded giant suspenders and a tree as a slingshot, Fitzhugh hopes to harpoon the turkey much to Barry's criticism. Marna feels bad about the fight between Mark and Steve; she and Mark kiss (a rare thing in an Irwin Allen show--see VOYAGE-TIME BOMB, LOST IN SPACE-MR FRIEND MR NOBODY, and possibly TIME TUNNEL-ATTACK OF THE BARBARIANS and RENDEZVOUS WITH YESTERSAY). Dan and Val witness Fitzhugh's first shot on the turkey. The harpoon misses but the bird gets caught up in the suspenders. Barry and Fitzhugh let Valerie think that was their plan all along. Val asked Fitz to be honest; Barry winks at Fitzhugh. They shake hands. The four leave to meet up with Steve and Betty. They discuss what to do about Mark--go after him. Fitz still has his turkey but Dan tells him if he stays around here in this world--he won't even have a Thanksgiving. Fitz says, "How depressing."  Val puts it another way--Mark is an engineer who can fix the spaceship, if not they eat stale potato chips and cold carrots and peas for the rest of their lives. Marna takes Mark through a giant fence where a little door their own size is--and beyond inside the fenced in area is Marna's quaint, little, decorated house. But the door on the fence shuts by itself and Mark cannot get it open--Marna tries to stop him from trying to open it.



The others arrive outside; Val threatens to drag Fitzhugh inside by  the ears if the captain gives the word. Inside, Marna's home, a TV reveals a giant who talks English to Mark from his lab site and tells him Marna's parents are dead. Marna gives Mark jello which comes from a door when she presses certain buttons. Marna cannot show him her garden out back because the giants have put out a white line. Mark goes to open the back door but an electric shock jolts his hand. Mark gets angry and shouts at her that she is a prisoner. Marna tells him she must follow the rules and cries, "I'm happy! Don't spoil it!"  She wants Mark to go and bring the others, giving him a giant ruby in a case as proof of her friendship. Mark goes, meeting Steve, who just found his way to the outside door of the fence. He was going to flush Mark out (?). Mark believes the ruby is a transmitter which will track him to the spaceship Spindrift and the others. He tells the others that Marna didn't want anyone hurt--she's just brainwashed, not setting up a trap willingly. The giants track Mark and Steve while the others will take different routes. Fitz still wants his ruby--which gives Steve an idea. While the others take off ahead of the two, Mark and Steve are tracked by the giants again--who are dangerously close.



Dan and Steve tie the ruby box to the turkey's leg and cut it free of the suspenders; Dan, the athlete, angers it with a stick--throwing it like a javelin to get it moving off---this leads the giants after it. At night back at camp: Mark broods outside while Fitzhugh laments the loss of "his"  turkey. Steve comes out of the ship and sees Mark, goes to him, and tells Mark that maybe Marna isn't just an empty shell. He believes Marna tried to keep Mark from being hurt--it doesn't make her a heroine--but perhaps Mark rekindled a spark and maybe someday she may come out of it. Valerie kids Fitzhugh about his turkey, "Don't worry, Mr. Fitzhugh, maybe someday we'll run across a nice, giant wolf with a taste for brave white hunters."  The others and Val laugh as Fitzhugh, half heartedly says, "Now see, here, Miss Scott!"  Steve says good night to Mark, who turns from his rock seat, "And Steve...thanks."


REVIEW: An important episode character wise as the group cohesion begins to cement itself. The adults sometimes call each other using the last names ("Miss Scott", "Mr. Fitzhugh", "Captain") while Barry almost always does this early in the show, production wise. These early episodes provide nice, panoramic shots of the Spindrift, both interior and exterior. One flaw is the ship is always lit up at night and couldn't be too difficult to spot by passing giants. Once in awhile, they camouflage it and a publicity shot from THE CRASH shows them doing this. Mark's background is explored slightly more than usual and we learn some from his comment, "Let's say he was my friend,"  which implies he didn't feel he returned the friendship as he should have. Steve was a bit too pushy in this one but it does emphasize his friendship toward Mark and the idea that when it comes to decisions--Steve is in charge. Fitzhugh genuinely seems to care that Steve and Mark weren't eating and tells them to eat and that it is "all for one and one for all,"  which makes Val laugh and roll her eyes, scoffing at this. Fitz is not the villain Dr. Smith was in LOST IN SPACE's early episodes. The giants were once again non personalities; the one on screen was frightening, perhaps due to the fact that he had little screen time and was discussed by the others as a force for their imprisonment. Due to the fact that the series couldn't keep introducing new Earth survivors for the Spindrift gang to come into conflict with, the giants' roles had to expand. The music varied from the usual William's tunes and some of it was used again. Much of it is not heard again. It made an interesting change is quite nice. Celeste Yarnell was good as a brainwash victim. Dawson Palmer played many monsters in Irwin Allen shows (such as IDAK in LOST IN SPACE-REVOLT OF THE ANDROIDS). Camera work was exceptional in THE GOLDEN CAGE. One example is an almost three dimensional tracking shot of Fitzhugh and Barry walking through the oversized forest. Our view comes from above bushes, trees, and vines which occasionally block our view from the pair while the camera also slowly lowers from overhead to level shots. Well filmed. The Steve-Mark fight looks like it was done entirely by Conway and Matheson. Although there are a few night scenes, most of the rest of this episode takes place in the daytime. The flowery area of the park was different from the house of Marna set and the usual park areas the little people run around in. It, the fence, and Marna's home had an appropriately  plastic, phoney looking feel---which made it adequate as this is what is was--a giant trap. An obvious dub is when Barry explains how the harpoon missed the turkey but it was caught in the suspenders. This seemed to be added in after filming.




















































Chipper alerts Barry, Betty, and Fitzhugh as two giants pass, searching for someone. Fitzhugh staying back, Betty and Barry to help a human sized man who is exhausted. The giants return and think they hear the man...who is groaning.



Betty gets the man back to the spaceship camp with help from Fitzhugh. From the cockpit window, the other three men of Spindrift see them arrive. They bring him to the lean to tent set up. The man seems to have a memory loss, even though he is wearing a pilot's uniform and jacket. They nickname him Joe, which he think is his name. Taking her aside, Steve scolds a protesting Betty. She shouldn't have brought him to the ship. Steve tells her that no stranger should know the location of Spindrift and camp (although he brought Kagan to it in THE WEIRD WORLD--Kagan may not come under "stranger"). Joe overhears this and leaves, despite protests from Dan and Betty. The same two giants come close to the spaceship; capture Steve and then Joe at the vent of their lab. Dan and Mark follow him to a busy street, crowded with giants. The two prisoners are told they will not escape (used in a promo for TV-55 on Long Island in New York in the mid to late 80s). Dan and Mark reach the step bottom but one of the giants comes out, sits down and begins smoking a pipe. His boots are on either side of the two men. Joe gives Steve a razor sharp drill blade he had hidden and they cut the mesh off the cage, string it together, and climb down. Dan and Mark leave when the giant raises a foot. They plan to return at night. Steve and Joe get separated; Joe getting recaptured at the vent. Inside again, the giants tell Joe--whose real name is Logar--that their plan is going well. He is working with the giants, taking pills to be Earth size. He tells them he has convinced the Earth travelers that he is a fugitive himself and the giants should now call him Joe.



Steve meets Betty, Dan, and Mark in the forest. When they return to camp, they see Joe in the cockpit, sitting at the pilot seat, looking through a manual. Dan tells Joe he thinks they can get the ship off the ground and flying again despite what Mark thinks. Betty suggests to Dan that he teach Joe how to fly. Dan begins teaching Joe how to fly. At night: Steve, Barry, and Fitzhugh come running back to camp. Steve stops Mark from using the drill bit Joe had--he was sawing and making a racket. Mark apologizes, "I wasn't thinking."  Steve says, "Maybe I wasn't either."  The drill bit made a loud noise when Steve and Joe used it to cut out of the cage--yet, the giants didn't hear. Betty tracks Steve into the woods and he allows her to come and find Joe. Joe is on a tree stump high above ground, talking to the two giants (one of whom is named Moloch). He needs to know where some ion propellant is kept. Joe plans to fly to Earth and other planets, learn all their secrets, return to their own Giant planet, and share the riches of the galaxy with the two giants. Logar is the one in charge. Steve and Betty don't see that but do see the giants lumber away---while Joe sneaks up behind the two of them and says, "Hi."  In the passenger compartment, later, Dan tells Joe to straighten up and gives him his wings. The others clap and despite Val's demand for a speech, Joe runs outside. His shirt seems to be too small for him. He takes a pill--watched by Steve, who followed him out. Joe fakes that he remembered his vitamin pills. When Steve starts asking suspicious questions again, Joe yells at him, telling Steve he just wants Joe out of camp. Betty comes out and follows Joe, unseen by the others. She stumbles upon him talking to the two giants via a walkie talkie. Joe spots her and slowly moves at her, "You know it isn't safe to be walking around at night. It's different for a man when he has business to take care that's much too important to let anyone get in the way!"  He grabs her, covering her mouth and takes her away.



In the house, on the table, Joe pushes Betty into a cage and she slaps him and calls him, "Big Joe and his little helpers."  Then with horror, Betty realizes he is a giant, "'re one of them."  Joe quips, "You didn't know how right you were when you called me Big Joe, did you?"  Val and Fitzhugh report back to Steve at camp--Betty is nowhere to be found on their regular trails. Joe returns again and tells them he knows where the propellant is. The giants make sure the little people can't get near the house to look for Betty: Joe called them to tell them not to allow the group near since it would waste a lot of time. The ion is kept in a security complex guarded by guards who have instructions to shoot to kill intruders. It is a death penalty to be found near the ion--it is the only amount the giants have. The men gets some ion out of the metal box it is in but Joe is caught by one of the guards, who won't listen to his incredible story or a scientific experiment that made him an Earthling's size. He puts Joe in the metal box. Outside already, Steve overhears Joe's cries for help which carry out through the vent. He has to decide if he should go back in.



The guard calls for backup. Steve, Dan, and Mark go back to the complex, leaving Fitzhugh holding the explosive propellant, "And don't drop it."  Val tells Fitzhugh he was awfully fast to remain back here. The other three men rescue Joe using the telephone wires to distract the cold hearted guard, who taunted Joe with a promise of his being as good as dead anyway. Mark makes the phone ring as the other two get him out, turning the top opening. The others regroup, Joe shaking (as Val notices). A wide spread DRAGNET is out for them all. They are to split up into groups of two. Joe, followed by Fitzhugh, returns to the house and frees Betty. Betty wonders what kind of trick he is up to, "Said the spider to the fly."  He wants to free her since for once, he knew what it felt like to be trapped and her...and her friends."  Joe is impressed they risked their lives---stuck their necks out--to save him. Fitzhugh catches up to the others, tells them that bravely but foolhardy, Joe went to look for Betty. They return to the house where everyone is netted by one of the giants. Steve manages to get clear of the net. The giant brings all of them inside. Moloch says to Joe, "To be grateful to little people is to be as little as they are."  He tries to convince Joe to come to his senses. Joe asks Betty to believe him that he wants to let them all go. Betty wants to believe him but the other giant drops the net of Val, Mark, Dan, Fitzhugh, Chipper, and Barry next to Betty and Joe on the floor. Steve comes in through the vent, threatening to use the propellant to blow up the giants...and everyone if they don't free his friends. Joe grabs it away from Steve. Moloch says, "Nice work, Joe."  The two giants seem to reach down for them all.



Joe warns the giants to keep back and allows Betty and Steve to free their friends. Joe knew Steve would have never thrown the bomb. Everyone but Joe scrambles out the vent. They run to the garbage can they hid at before Steve orders, "Let's get back to the ship."  Why? Wouldn't that be the first place Joe would take the giants if he told? Maybe to move everything from the ship to another place or maybe Steve trusted Joe to keep quiet now that Joe let them free. Anyhow, moot point: the propellant goes off,  exploding the house, killing the giants and seemingly Joe, too. In the rubble of fire and wood, the giants are dead...and a third giant...Joe...Logar...lies in the wreckage, dead and naked. Steve and the others quietly stand around him. Steve finds the walkie talkie Joe used and tosses it aside. Pan up and away from our hopeless group.
























MANHUNT  (earlier versions had the titles of TRAPPED and QUICKSAND)








A giant convict, chased by guards, falls and spots the Spindrift just after Dan, Barry, Betty, and Valerie get inside it, Chipper running off to Steve, Mark, and Mr. Fitzhugh.



The giant looks in and sees Valerie who was trying to close the port shield covers. He wraps his jacket around Spindrift and carries it off, the others just having time to strap into their seats. Steve and Mark use Chipper to track the ship and convict with Fitzhugh. Dan figures the convict may hand over the ship in exchange for a pardon. After a brief rest, the convict moves faster and faster away--beyond radio range. Steve tells Dan via radio to keep sending a signal every 15 minutes. Mark and Fitzhugh seem to give up hope, Fitz wanting to return the camp. At night, the giant hides at a farmhouse while Mark converts the astrogater, which was out of the ship when the giant took it, into a radio range finder, questioned by a nervous Fitzhugh. The three pick up a signal and start out after them again. The convict has a fight with the farmer--who has uncovered the spaceship and looked in at the cockpit. The others all rush into the cockpit to watch the fight--which rolls dangerously close to them. The convict wins and Dan orders all of them back to their seats and to strap in. The giant scoops them up as the farmer calls for help, bringing guards. The others arrived to see this. They lose the giant during the night but spot him by morning. Steve finds his heel mark and has Chipper smell it. Unfortunately, when they find him, the giant has fallen into quicksand and begins to sink!



Mark and Fitz pulls Steve away from the quicksand as he almost fell in also. Steve uses a ploy to get Dan to talk to him alone in the cockpit with the headset on so as not to PANIC the others. Dan, who knew something was wrong, is told by Steve. Dan has to field questions from Betty and then Val and Barry later. They all seem to sense something is wrong, too. Mark continues to act pessimistic toward Steve's plan while Steve asks for the giant's shirt so they can make a rope to for them to tie around a tree so he can pull himself out. Betty is fielding questions from Val and Barry the best she can. Val notices she straightened the same pillow several times. Dan recalls Steve and would rather let the others in on the score so they know what is happening. He would rather trust them. Steve tells him to do what he thinks is best. Dan tells them. The rope breaks as the convict pulls himself toward shore, holding the ship.



Val panics, "I think we're under the quicksand. You want to tell me I'm wrong?"  Dan orders her to sit back down and explains that the ship is water tight and they have air. Despite this, soon, everyone passes out but Betty manages to wake Dan up. Dan bypasses a circuit, causing a small blast. He gets the air to work and he and Betty awaken Val and Barry. Val asks Dan, "Who hit me?"  Outside, the others use rocks to try to get the giant to let go of the ship--his weight on it will cause it to sink faster. It is on top the quicksand again. Dan wants to shut out the beta control system to generate enough power to move the ship out of the quicksand (more like slow sand). This could burn out the generator and the batteries but the whole ship may also blow up in an inferno. Against Mark's wishes and Steve's warnings, Dan does try this--Steve tells him while Dan is out there and in the ship, Dan himself is in command. As the ship moves, the giant reaches for it and the others think it is to stop the ship so he can use it to pull himself out. It is not: the giant pulls his jacket off the ship so Dan can see where he is going. This allows it to fly-skid. Everyone piles out, coughing. Mark checks it. Steve wants to pull the giant out by himself with only him in the spaceship. Mark complains, "For all you know, he's a murderer."   Steve counters with, "Then let someone else be the executioner."   Dan tells Mark to forget trying to change Steve's mind. Steve tells them it will not be the same maneuver--Steve will use the ship's power to offset the weight of the giant as the giant pulls himself out--the ship itself will not move forward--besides, as Fitz notices, there are titanic trees ahead of it. The convict starts to do this as Spindrift smokes. Dan calls Steve by radio to let him know how the convict is doing; Mark keeps the others back. The ship gets very hot and is threatening to explode. Mark comes to Dan and tells Dan Steve is going to let the ship blow up before cutting the rope loose. The ship smokes and seems about to go up in smoke.



Mark calls, grabbing the radio from Dan, and threatens to cut the rope free himself but Steve continues the move. The convict comes out. Steve shuts down the engines and jets and runs out. The giant grabs Betty and Valerie; the others hide but he also gets a charging Chipper and following Barry. He dumps the boy and dog into the hallway of Spindrift near the girls, high in the air, under his arm. The guards heard the ship's jets and come running as well. Steve is scolded by Fitzhugh but they give chase, discovering that the giant man brought the ship back to the same spot. Fitz wonders why the convict didn't ask for a pardon from his sentence, using the ship as ransom. Dan wants to go see if the girls and Barry are all right but the guard giants arrive. They fight with the convict, a gun falls that they held on him, and finally they knock the convict down. He falls and hits his head. Fitz looks, "That finishes it for all of us."  Will the giant turn in the ship?



Steve spots the gun and gets the other three men to help him haul the gun into the convict's hand. The giant uses the gun to handcuff the two guards together and frighten them off. The giant thanks them and waves goodbye as the seven Earthlings and their dog rejoin each other at the ship's entrance.      















































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