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LAND OF THE GIANTS-Giants and All That Jazz, Comeback, A Place Called Earth


Chase - Posted on 27 August 2009

GIANTS AND ALL THAT JAZZ

Production Number:

Filmed: (31)

First Aired: 10-26-1969

 

TEASER

Valerie and Fitzhugh stop Barry playing a trumpet with a mute in it. They rush across the street, barely avoiding a skidding giant car. Fitzhugh leads them into Biff Bower's High C club where Biff plays a trumpet. According to the newspaper Dan cut out this area is the giant equivalent of Basin Street in the US South where jazz players perform). PG Hanley takes over the club because Biff cannot pay him back his loan. Hanley wants Biff to go back into the ring and fight in boxing to get the money. Hanley and his bodyguard Loach end up in a fist fight. It ends with Biff on the floor, on his stomach, staring at the three little people!

 

ACT ONE

Loach picks Biff up and Hanley pulls a gun. Barry trips over a soda cap but the three make it outside. Biff, thrown out, gets Val and Barry by a trash can, "You're worth a fortune."  Fitzhugh follows Biff to his above ground room in an apartment building--very high off the ground for little people. Loach finds Dan's trumpet which Barry dropped when he tripped. Hanley shrugs, "Who would play an inch and a half trumpet?"   Loach laughs, "A six inch man?"   He laughs until Hanley tells him not to---and ties the trumpet to a chain he wears on his pants. Val and Barry give Biff their most innocent faces and make him feel guilty about wanting to call the SID--which he doesn't---yet. Fitz brings out the others from the spaceship---explaining what happened and blaming Dan, who was giving Barry trumpet lessons. Betty asks to come along on the rescue but Fitz says, "Of coarse not. It's dangerous for a girl."

Betty starts to fight with him, "Why, you pompous old..."   Steve stops the fight and tells her to stay at the ship. Steve threatens Fitzhugh. Mark scouts out the apartment building and finds a door that leads to a street level basement. There, the foursome find a heating conduit system, which provides a good amplifier to other apartments---with a special attachment hooked into the radio--for them to overhear the giants. Val goads Biff into not making the call. Biff tells them, "You keep running around the streets and you'll only get run over by a car or eaten by a stray cat."  He goes on to tell them the SID will feed them and give them beds. Barry adds, "Yeah, and a cage, too. That way, we'll never get back to Earth."  The two criticize his trumpet playing, stalling for Steve. Barry tells Val, "We're only getting him angry, Valerie."


Mark hooks into the telephone line box tied to the radio but a giant snake, thick, towers over the four of them, slithering its tongue at them.

 

ACT TWO

The men stand still as the snake approaches. Nell Herpie, a woman whom the others heard on the radio, talking to Charlie, comes down and retrieves the snake, calling him Charlie. Fitzhugh doesn't want to be married to someone like her. Steve tells him not to worry and impersonates SID agent Hawkins, calling Bower and telling him  the SID will send someone over to pick up the two little people, also telling him that the SID has its ways of finding out things. After talking to him, Steve asks the other three for any bright ideas, "Which one of you geniuses have a bright idea for getting them out of there?"  Dan does but he needs his trumpet. He and Steve go to the Bower club where Fitz tells them it is. Mark talks to them using an ear phone attachment to the radio. To distract the giants, Fitz calls them, impersonating Alexander the Great, someone who move into Hanley's business, "This town isn't big enough for the both of us."  Hanley answers, "I don't care how big you are."  Steve climbs the table, hides under a ledger which is over a thick book. At the right moment, he drops Hanley's drink onto this pants. When Hanley removes the chain Steve unhooks the trumpet and drops it down to Dan. Then they escape when the giant gets another drink. Biff cages Val and Barry while going into the basement to capture a playing Dan. He wants Dan to teach him jazz (which on the giant planet no one plays or knows about). Dan tells him he must let the two go and that Hawkins was really one of them. Biff gives them his word to let them all go free. Dan, with a rope tied around his chest, finds a chance to go down to the vent and drops the rope down to the basement through the vent, which is slanted upward, not straight like all the other vents they've used in the past. Biff returns from getting a makeshift mute (which the giants do not use or know about yet) and finds Dan down on the floor!

 

ACT THREE

Dan pretends to have dropped his own mute and gets Biff to help him look for it. Val hides it on the table and then drops it down to Dan when Biff isn't watching her. Biff, after learning, puts them in the cage with a promise to return. Nell gets Fitzhugh who was standing guard, dresses him as a monkey she used to own (named Pepe) and leaves Charlie with him. Fitz feigns the enemy alien bit, threatening Nell with his "disintegrating ray".  Fitz calls the others and Mark says it was a natural mistake for Nell to think Fitz is a monkey. The others get the three out of the cage but Loach and Hanley (who put two and two together when Biff played again for him) enter with Biff. Hanley asks, "Where do you think you're going?"

 

ACT FOUR


They threaten to kill any of them except Dan, if Dan doesn't keep training Biff. Loach threatens to punch one of them down but Biff agrees to go on the special show set up for him through his friend Fred. Loach still almost does it anyway but stops. Hanley tells Loach to keep the little people out of the cage but to step on them if they get on the floor. Steve distracts Loach by criticizing Biff's playing which they all watch on the TV. Steve even gets the giant to close his eyes. Dan and Mark booby trap the TV (by grounding the high voltage rectifier to the chassis with a pencil!!?!!). Loach gets a shock when he tries to turn up the volume, which Steve also managed to get him to do. They escape to Nell's room. Nell left to put out a fire they started in Biff's room. Dan plays an Arabian lullaby to calm and still Charlie while Mark and Steve free Fitzhugh. The six run into the hall, only to be stopped at gunpoint by Hanley, "Going someplace?"

 

TEASER

Loach is with Hanley. Thanks to a distraction from Nell Herpie, who is protecting her Pepe--Fitzhugh--Biff disarms Hanley and punches Loach down. Biff allows the six to escape down the vent. The TV show will pay what Biff owes Hanley. Dan tells Biff to keep listening to the tape he made. Biff thanks him and smiles.        

REVIEW--Harry Geller's new, offbeat music, makes this episode far better than it should have been. The music is a nice change and is all original with two or three variations on older music, hardly at all recognizable but just as good. The jazz Dan plays for Biff can also be heard in PAY THE PIPER when the Senator turns on the radio. Perhaps using Dan's tape and training, Biff hit it big time as a musician (?). 

 

The story is different and an above ground apartment setting by writer Richard Shapiro add to the newness of it all. In addition to all this, Sugar Ray Robinson, a good guest role, keeps the tale moving. Robinson was exceptionally good as the well meaning Bower, who was caught between his problems and his desire to treat the little people kindly. He was playing a character very close to his real life experience of being a boxer. Shapiro's tales have some new angle on the giant land and visitors to it or else take place in previous unexplored areas of the land (a racetrack, an airport, a trumpet playing club, a high rise apartment). Mazurki, who plays Loach, played frequent roles with Abbott and Costello in their films and TV shows. The end theme tagged onto this episode is the first season theme. Bramley, who is in THE FLIGHT PLAN, does a good job with Hanley. He makes Hanley so different from the character in the former episode that is it difficult to remember they are played by the same man. This was a good episode and one only wishes that other episodes would have featured African American roles.


The regular cast are extremely comfortable in their roles. The episode features a short cameo by Betty as she briefly locks horns with Fitzhugh. Betty also removes her jacket, holding it over her arm.

One criticism of LAND OF THE GIANTS is the ever present means of getting into and out of houses. FRAMED is a noted exception where there was no way in at all except the front door--no vents, heating drains, air ducts and the like. In reality such ways would exist but not for every house and such ducts and-or vents would not always look the same---or be as safe as the ones on GIANTS became. Keeping in mind budget limitations, this sameness of drain sets can be overlooked. The series could hardly be asked to spend more money to construct cracks in wood or cement, openings in garage doors, and other ways into the houses, which were unseen on the series.

 

On occasion props were used only once in the series, such as the electrical supply box in COMEBACK and the curtain ropes in THE CLONES. Here, GIANTS AND ALL THAT JAZZ we see a heating vent that runs up and down and is covered by a netting screen (this net was used in NIGHT OF THROMBELDINBAR). This looked like the first time this vent was used but it is possible that previous sets were refitted to look new. In either case, this new vent was quite nice.

Special effects ranged from good to bad. One scene in particular melds Dan, Val, and Barry with Bower, which is fine except for the giant telephone near the three little people--it is a full scale prop and when compared with Bower it doesn't match up in scale at all. There are also other props on the tabletop set which do not. The phone and the other objects look too large even for the giant. Normally, this does not happen in the series. Props are either avoided when the mixing between giants and little people are melded or they are matched to the giants and the little people in scale. When giants tower over the Earth people near a fire plug (all in one shot or scene), that too, looks very big for the giants to use--but the giant dogs must love it!

 

This episode may not be good for children since it depicts the little people putting a pencil into the back of a TV, electrifying someone, and starting a fire. How Mark did what he did to the TV is beyond me. ABC used scenes from this episode in a very short promo (with a new zoom in shot of Fitzhugh at the fire hydrant, Steve signaling Mark and Dan to short the TV and them doing it, Dan throwing up the rope and Steve climbing it, and the six running out of Nell's apartment room, staring up). The music used for the promo was first season music and a narrator says, "Join the crew and passengers of a spaceship lost on the land of the giants."

 


Enough has been discussed by me about the schizo feel to the political and social graces of the land of the giants. Here we have names like Hawkins, PG Hanley, Fred, Nell and such as well as TV shows and a musical club. This one also an semi-alien sounding name like Loach. But couldn't they find a better name for the main giant than Biff ?  Even as a nickname it is the worst name used on the show. There is a feel that Steve's call from the SID smacks of the totalitarianism of DEADLY LODESTONE and THE CHASE but that is about as far as it goes here. More than not, this episode seems the democratic, free enterprize land of SHELL GAME, SIX HOURS TO LIVE, COMEBACK, and OUR MAN O'REILLY among many others. I mean we have TV, boxing, a snake dancer, loan sharks, etc. The car scene was an obvious example of how cutting costs did not allow for a special effect shot of the car and the little people in the same shot. The same happened twice in DOOMSDAY (the car Kamber drove and the truck, very real threats were not seen in the same shot as the Earth people, avoiding costly process shots).     

 

 

 

 

 

The story is different and an above ground apartment setting by writer Richard Shapiro add to the newness of it all. In addition to all this, Sugar Ray Robinson, a good guest role, keeps the tale moving. Robinson was exceptionally good as the well meaning Bower, who was caught between his problems and his desire to treat the little people kindly. He was playing a character very close to his real life experience of being a boxer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMEBACK

Production Number:

Filmed: (39)

First Aired: 11-30-1969

 

TEASER

Early morning as Val, Mark, and Steve drag a carrot with a complaining Fitzhugh. They stop at a bridge crossing over a highway, spotting a down and out ex actor named Egor Krull about to jump off. Fitz wishes he get it over with, Val chides Fitzhugh thinking that is an awful thing to say, Steve stops Krull. Val tells the giant, "You know what they say, there's a solution for every problem."   Egor agrees, "And you're it."  He stomps his hat over all four.

 

ACT ONE


Egor picks the hat up and desposits the four into a shoebox he picked out of a nearby trash can. Balancing them on top a cement bridge post, he offers them food if he can scrape up money. Mark tells Egor, "We always travel this way,"  when Egor apologizes about the box. Egor explains to them he is an ex-horror movie star who starred in movies such as THE CRIME OF DR. DEATH. Val tells him not to worry that they didn't know him--they don't really live on this planet (well, they do live on it but they're not from it). Egor wants to make them movie stars. Mark tells him they have to be finding a way back to Earth. Egor doesn't care and he takes them to movie studios. Steve calls Dan and Barry who are at Spindrift's camp, then leaves his radio open for them to follow. A studio guard kicks Egor out, knocking the four in the shoe box around. He tries seven studios. He talks the four near some telephone poles. Steve tries to convince him to give up but he will try another. At Max Manfred's condemned studio, Krull shows the bankrupt, annoyed Manfred his little people, pitching him a story of tiny terror dolls--a film he calls THE DANCE OF THE DEVIL DOLLS. Manfred asks, "Can they act?"  Egor answers, "Does it matter?"   "Of coarse not." Manfred gets Quigg, a German or French sounding director, to assemble three or four cameramen with one being a very good one--ones Manfred wants to keep their mouth shut since keeping little people is illegal (as Quigg notes). Quigg says, "The guys I'm thinking of won't say anything."  (This may be an in-joke since many of the extras on Allen's shows were not supposed to talk--if they do they got paid more money). Barry and Dan finally arrive; Barry anxious to watch or be in the movie. Dan's answer: "I don't think you want to be an actor on this planet. All'd you'd ever get would be small parts."  Barry agrees to help him get the other four out. They approach the opening ramp door with the crew too busy to notice---but a giant gorilla comes out and menaces the twosome!

 

ACT TWO


The two hide behind pipes at the wall, Dan waving his hatchet at the gorilla, a movie gorilla named Baby. Quigg takes her back inside; Dan and the boy sneak inside when the crew go in. Mini-sets and a dressing room are set up while Steve worries if Manfred will want to a series or a sequel. Fitz tells the other three he did acting in college (almost saying prison and calling the other actor an inmate--the one who played Ophelia). He acted in HAMLET. They decide to play along for now. Manfred teases and pokes at Baby who is in her cage. Egor dresses himself as the dead scientist's butler--being treated badly by Manfred, who does so to keep Egor away from dangerous stunts--he claims. Manfred doesn't care one if one or two little people die as heeeh tels Quigg, "They're enemy aliens..."  Max smokes cigars constantly. The plot of the movie: the four are creations of eccentric scientist Sir Jonathan whose will is to be divided among them---and they are to fight among themselves. Steve says, "Not exactly a Groucho Marx comedy."  (This may be another in-joke since Irwin appeared on Groucho's show once and the two were good friends). The so called acting begins--improvised ad libbing. Barry claims Val and Fitz's first lines as well as Mark's were really awful. Manfred instructs Valerie to open the French (huh?!?) doors leading onto the balcony (part of the living room set). She does---and Baby is there and grabs her up in his hand! It seems Baby is about to eat Valerie but Egor makes Baby (who he worked with in the past) drop Val to Steve and Mark's arms. Egor gets Baby into her cage. Fitz tells Manfred to that Steve and Mark fear anything larger than a lady bug. Egor tells Manfred to leave Baby alone--the gorilla doesn't seem harmless to the little people, although it was when he worked with it. (Is Baby a girl or a boy?)  Manfred tells him Baby was in his last movie (could it have been titled CONGO, hmmmm?) and it was a flop, blaming the gorilla. The others eat a meal in the dressing room. Fitz calls Baby a pussy cat so Steve suggests he do a close up with Baby. Fitz tells him, "Loyalty to one's producer is a trait one needs to cultivate Captain Burton."  Steve sends the con man to talk to Manfred so he can contact Dan. Fitz tells Max about a script he wrote--GONE WITH THE BREEZE. Manfred has never heard of the Academy Awards or Groucho Marx but has heard of French doors!Next, Max places a waste basket under a balcony railing which is designed to fal over. Steve and Mark fake duel over furniture, out onto the balcony. Steve falls over it and hangs on. Manfred lights a fire in the basket beneath Steve.       

ACT THREE


Barry cannot watch as Steve hangs over the fire, the other three try to pull him up, and Max holds back Egor from helping. The trio pull Steve back up and Dan tells Barry, "It's all right, Barry, they got him."  Manfred fakes an insult to Quigg when he puts down Egor. Manfred plans to do away with Egor so that he can keep the little people. Dan and the boy go to Max's office to call the SID but find the phone disconnected and the floor a mess. Manfred says, "I would've caught the little guy if he fell."  He also feels "crushed"  by the others' accusations against him. Fitz sticks up for Manfred who says Fitzhugh will be "a big star". Max threatens them if they don't continue. Next scene: Fitzhugh is supposed to shoot Egor with a giant gun. When Fitz calls Val, "Unkempt,"  she calls him a ham. Steve tells Fitz to keep his big mouth shut. Val goes into the dressing room. On Max's table top Barry and Dan find the bullets and the box, not blanks but real ones Dan realizes. He calls Steve just in time for Steve to save Egor by shoving the gun aside. The shot grazes Egor but Quigg and Max lock him in a closet (shades of DEADLY PAWN). Fitz now joins Steve and Mark in protest against Max, who would have made Fitz a murderer. Manfred alerts them not to become too frisky with the weapons they held--the next scene is already set up--Valerie's death scene! They race around a corner and find her holding onto a rope which is over a vat of boiling acid-lava! The rope is being slowly burned by a candle flame on the other side of the vat.

 

ACT FOUR

Steve climbs across and grabs the rope just as it burns apart. Mark tries to get to Val using the sword prop and almost falls in; Fitzhugh has to help him up. They swing Val over to Mark, then Steve swings across. Dan uses gun powder while Barry gathers nails to make a bomb. Quigg and the crew leave. The next day's shot will be the one with the four of them walking through the gorilla's cage. Fitz apologizes to Val and she jokingly tells him he is still a ham but she, too, apologizes in her own way. Steve and Mark stab at Max's hand as he makes a move to grab them. Dan uses nails to short the lights at a metal electric conduit box. Everyone escapes to the floor but Manfred opens the rolling wheel door to the studio and sheds some light on Fitzhugh. He recaptures Fitzhugh and tapes him to the set, threatening to kill him unless the others give up. Fitz calls, "Steve! Captain!"  Dan uses his bomb to free Egor who fights Manfred. Steve frees Fitzhugh but Baby breaks out of her cage, blocking them. But the ape joins in on the fight against Manfred---which goes on top a gang plank walkway high above the studio. Baby chases Manfred into her cage and torments him as he did her. Steve laughs, "BABY'S REVENGE."  As they leave, the little people bid farewell to Egor while Fitzhugh laments not being a star (as he played in Hamlet). Steve laughingly pulls him outside, saying something from a play (too mumbled for me to hear what).

 


REVIEW: It is widely known---or perhaps only between Jeanette and myself and Doug, that COMEBACK has been quoted by me as the worst LAND OF THE GIANTS episode. While I may not have changed my opinion on this, I do seem to see that what I previously thought was a missed oppurtunity to satirize the movie industry, was actually realized. There are many in jokes and broad humor based on such a premise. I just felt that maybe some scenes with what was filmed would have been nice---maybe in black and white and run in accord with cliffhanging, silent movie music---then again, maybe not. As in GIANTS AND ALL THAT JAZZ, when Fitzhugh cons Hanley on the phone, there are many jokes about size made. Some of these are funny and some aren't. In addition, Manfred has heard of French doors but not Groucho Marx (who was a part owner of LOST IN SPACE) and the Academy Awards. The French door bit can be explained away as the giant planet having some connection to Earth in some way. Other episodes, as I've gone about this in the past, have also had some of these conundrums. As Sugar Ray in GIANTS AND ALL THAT JAZZ, John Carradine, always a hoot, plays a character somewhat with the same background as himself. He has played in many movies and also played Dracula in quite a few. Shapiro again treats Barry with maturity, giving him more to do in the rescue and not writing him like he is still the young boy of the first season. This is a welcome added attraction to the script. The filmed episode does not feature Betty.

 

Fritz Feld was in the Abbott and Costello movie MEXICAN HAYRIDE and in three LOST IN SPACE episodes (THE ANDROID MACHINE at his most menacing, THE TOY MAKER, and TWO WEEKS IN SPACE) and is quite funny. His pop noise that he makes with his mouth is his trademark but surprisingly he doesn't use it very much in this episode. The gorilla suit looked terrible and unkempt. It was much better used in the later THE MARIONETTES kept more in the darkness of the forest at night. Alexander Courage, a composer for STAR TREK and other shows, used a silent film cliffhanger score which was suitable for the series but may also be the weakest score for any LAND OF THE GIANTS episode. He really doesn't have much of a feel for LAND OF THE GIANTS as his mostly unused CRASH score shows us.  He was exceptionally good for LOST IN SPACE and STAR TREK but not GIANTS. COMEBACK just seemed to me to fall apart at the climax with the regulars uninvolved in the action and some silly LOST IN SPACE type clownishness with circus type music to boot, adding to the campy style ala LOST'S THE GIRL FROM THE GREEN DIMENSION.     

 

 

A PLACE CALLED EARTH

Production Number:

Filmed: (34)

First Aired: 12-7-1969 (38)

 

TEASER

In the year 5744 in a time travel complex on Earth, a seemingly mechanical device calls in two silver suited time travelers who do research in the past--Olos and Fieldar. They were to go back 100 years in "real time". Olos sets his space time pod ship for 5000 years. He and Fieldar have a plan to rule the universe and vanish from the Pod, time freezing Fitzhugh and Barry at camp, changing their own silver clothes for Navy uniforms like Fitzhugh's and only then unfreezing time. Barry and Fitzhugh meet them but then run off as a giant comes upon them and the Spindrift! Olos uses a medallion to cause him pain. The giant falls near the ship. Olos disintegrates him away into nothingness!

 

ACT ONE



Barry and Fitzhugh rush to Steve and Valerie, who are carrying a piece of bread near a fire hydrant. Steve calms the two who were talking at the same time. Dan arrives and takes the boy and Fitzhugh to a yellow log where Mark and Betty are. Val and Steve find the dead giant's gun, then hide when Mezron, the giant's brother finds the gun and shows it to his partner Bron. Mark complains that it is dangerous to be out of communication while the radios are being recharged and he told Steve this. He and Betty going with him at Dan's suggestion, start out toward camp. Steve and Val find crushed foliage where the giant fell but no giant. Steve wonders where the giant could be but then they meet Olos and Fieldar. Val welcomes them (actually saying they are delighted to have them here!), asking about when they plan to go back to Earth. Steve distracts the pair long enough to send Val away to warn the others not to leave the log. When they question Steve harshly, he takes a punch at them but a force field blocks him from them. One tap from Fieldar sends Steve flying onto his back. Olos time freezes Steve. Val laments missing Betty and Mark who hide from Bron and Mezron. The two Earthlings enter camp. Betty finds Steve's watch almost buried in the dirt. Fieldar time freezes them!

 

ACT TWO

Fieldar undoes the time freeze, appearing to them as if he came out of thin air (when anyone is time frozen without their knowing it, they do not even realize they have been frozen in time). Betty asks him if they'll take their whole group back to Earth. Fieldar smiles and says, "You'll all be taken care of in good time, I assure you."  (THIS IS BY THE WAY ONE OF MY FAVORITE QUOTES FROM THIS EPISODE.) Dan leads the others toward camp. When Fieldar asks for a hiding place for 100 people, Betty takes him with Mark to an old dark abandoned drain. Betty worries about where Steve is when the stranger goes off to investigate the rest of the drain. Fieldar returns to Olos and while the two communicate telepathically, Steve runs off. He ducks into bushes as they pass, then returns to camp. Steve yells at Val, Dan, Barry, and Fitzhugh to get out of camp with no time to explain. He asks Val for a hairpin. Val and Dan don't understand what Steve's orders mean but both obey without question. Dan and Steve go to a drugstore. Val, Barry, and Fitzhugh duck as the two stranger pass. Fitzhugh cannot understand why they have to hide from "comrades at arms."  Val watches the two pass telling Fitz, "Steve told us to. That's good enough for me."    

The robot time machine summons a well dressed, young looking and handsome Messenger man to track down the renegade time travelers. Steve and Dan go into the pharmacy stock and delivery room. Steve's call to Val is picked up telepathically by the future age men. Olos goes to the pharmacy where Steve and Dan already have some sodium ammo-barbital (truth serum). Olos disintegrates the druggist when the giant comes in and tries to grab them.

 

ACT THREE


Steve motions for Dan to give Olos the serum but not to tell him about it. Mark and Betty give Fieldar the slip, leaving the drain and returning to Spindrift. Mark calls Dan--who is ordered by Olos to answer. Dan fakes a return call. Mark gets Val who tells the two to return to the yellow log. Steve fakes a rock in his shoe as does Dan. Dan's distraction gives Steve the chance to fire a truth serum filled dart he had already prepared at Olos's neck. Dan takes the medallion and accidentally explodes a rock. Steve tells him, "I told you to be careful."  Dan hides it under the lean-to. Olos tells Steve, "We are from Earth. Time travelers from 5032 of the atomic age---as you measure time the year 5477. We plan to unleash a deadly bacteriological agent on Earth."  Everyone will be wiped out except 100 dull, unimaginative and  "easy to control"  people. These people will hide on the giant planet and when returned after a year they will be subjugated by Olos. Dan doesn't believe him, "time travel and ALL THAT JAZZ. It's a little bit much."  Olos comes out of it when Fieldar arrives. Steve deduces their telepathy. Dan worries about Mark but Fieldar told him Mark slipped away. Fieldar takes Dan and Steve toward the drain. The robot time machine picks up the inexpert firing of the beam from the medallion. It relays the coordinates---"Time: minus 5000 years, 120 days, Distance: D to the 50th power over the square root of R."  The Messenger timeports to the giant planet, time freezing everyone. He puts Steve in a hypnotic trance, making him move, all to find out what is going on. Betty and Val, at the log, agree the strangers are pretty strange. Mark leaves to find Dan and Steve, avoiding Fitzhugh's concerns. Steve tells the Messenger, "I've known Dan for a long time."  The Messenger looks back into time to find out who was killed by Olos and Fieldar. Val warns Mark on the radio. Bron and Mezron overhear this, seeing Mark. Mezron puts his foot on top of Mark, "I'm gonna squash you like a worm!"

 

ACT FOUR


Mezron wants to question Mark about his brother. Bron thinks the brother took the money and ran off--which he did. When the two giants briefly argue, Mark gets away. In the drain, Steve and Dan find out how heavy the food cans are. Fieldar moved them himself. Steve tells Fieldar he knows about their plans and that he can read minds. He tells him Olos plans to dispose of him, too. The Messenger is told by the Machine to return and observe. Big help that. Olos and Fieldar's silver outfits pop back on--they no longer need to fool anyone. At Spindrift, the time travelers plan to go to a market for more provisions. Dan laughs, "That could be a problem...you're forgetting...they're giants."  Olos is told by Steve that the giants' weapons capability is equivalent to Earth in the later half of the 20th Century. Dan looks for the medallion when Olos claims he will dispose of any giants that get in the way. But Olos has it back on around his neck! Fieldar stops Olos from killing Steve, wanting to know more about him and how he knew their plans. Val, worrying over no one's answering her calls, feels something has happened to Mark. She gets Barry to get Chipper to follow Mark's scent. Fitzhugh and Betty follow with Fitz claiming he has to watch over the boy and the dog. Olos kills Bron and Mezron when they find the drain. Steve tried to stop him but Olos knocked him over with ease. The four meet Mark, who is already in the drain, hiding from the two, now dead, giants. The others, following Chipper, find Mark's radio. Fitz says, "Something obviously got him."  Steve tries to set Fieldar against Olos when Olos leaves to go to the market. Steve uses a radio to distract Fieldar, he and Dan claiming that it is not just a radio. The three men attack Fieldar but only the Messenger, appearing but not to any of them, helps. He makes the Fieldar shield vanish and the men are able to knock him down. But Fieldar sends a telepathic message to Olos that they have taken his medallion. Olos returns, freezing a surprised Fitzhugh, Barry, Betty, and Chipper but not Val. He then forces Val inside. Knowing she shouldn't be in this mess and afraid, Val sheepishly says, "Hello Steve."     Olos tells them, "You better surrender unless you want to see this young lady blown to bits."

 

TAG

Steve waves to Val and she runs in, avoiding the blast. Fieldar is shot down when Olos tries to kill Steve. Olos come in, not regretting Fieldar's death. He would have done that anyway sooner or later. Steve calls him a madman. "Maybe," Olos says, "Or a genius."  He makes a move to kill Steve; Val jumps in front telling him he can't. Suddenly time freezes again. The Machine Voice makes Olos put his weapon away, accusing him of many crimes including alteration of the past to change the present. He is taken back and the Machine tells him, "It would have been far better if you had never been born,"  speaking of his punishment. At camp, Barry says, "I don't understand. Were those men really time travelers?"    Fitzhugh answers, "Nothing is certain except that they were nothing but..."    "Impostors,"  Val jokes, and adds his false title, "Commander Fitzhugh."   The girls and Barry laugh, knowing he is not a commander and is also an imposter.

 

REVIEW---The first of many odd episodes that are difficult to peg down. Many of the weird episodes are from William Welch--they are not bad, just different and more sci-fi oriented, exploring space and time, introducing aliens from other planets, fourth dimension space time devices, and time travelers. He also wrote a few supernaturally based episodes for VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA. Warren Stevens, a frequent Allen guest star also starred in many 60s TV programs including THE OUTER LIMITS and STAR TREK. He does a good job here. I liked his bland, non-emotional manner---it is refreshing in a villain, rather than the always shouting, yelling, threatening, and physically evil villains that abound in sci-fi and fantasy overall. His was more menacing by what he was saying rather than the way he said it. There was more threat in his words that if said in anger or frustration, wouldn't have been as so coldly logical and flatly amoral. Although he and Fieldar are certainly selfish and evil, if it weren't for them using such a killer virus and a plan to control people, I would wonder what kind of future they were trying to change. The Machine looked fairly bland and dictatorial. The Messenger did not seem to be in control---it did. And he did not seem to be able to express his own thoughts.

 


The time machine set looks like Tic Toc labs from THE TIME TUNNEL. Val's loyalty to Steve is right in character as she developed to this extent from the spoiled Val we saw in THE CRASH, THE TRAP, and THE BOUNTY HUNTER as well as TARGET: EARTH. Betty had a bit more to do here and we see the control room for the second to last time. Those outside blue shutters on the spaceship exterior seemed to have vanished for the second season, they are either gone, having been removed or are just not shot by the cameras. The theme at the end of the episode is the second season end theme. Some of Richard LaSalle's music is reminiscent of Bernard Herrman's (as in THE MECHANICAL MAN) and the music used on LOST IN SPACE-THE DERELICT. this is very evident in the drugstore scene. The LOST IN SPACE pod was used at the opening of the story, somewhat larger on the inside (huhhh--a TARDIS-just kidding) and fitted with chairs. It never lands as the two just pop out and repop at Spindrift. It returns in HOME SWEET HOME on the ground, apparently having landed. Its interior there looks different than it did in A PLACE CALLED EARTH. Val's jacket returns in this story. Betty looked very pregnant or should I say Heather did. What did Steve do? It is very odd that the writers kept teaming Valerie with Steve while putting Mark and Betty together. What did Mark do? It was obvious, though, that if not the characters, the actors Lund and Matheson had romantic feelings toward each other at this point. This romance was never developed for Betty and Steve, possibly due to Young's pregnancy. More likely it just wasn't thought of any more if ever. Val and Mark hardly had romantic scenes so Allen's suggestion that they would marry in a third season seems out of place unless they did so at the end or the middle of that season, as we hardly even saw them hug each other in two years on the air! So their romance was not developed either. The second season opening credit clips for Valerie, Mark, and Betty were from this episode.

 

I liked A PLACE CALLED EARTH. There were other menaces besides the giants and it involved time and space, making a change of pace for the show, other than its premise, time and space weren't much explored and it is all kept in a serious vein--unlike the LOST IN SPACE syndrome. Steve and Dan's relationship, joking around even while prisoners, is very good, comical and serious at the same time, just as realistic as any STAR TREK relationships, if not more so. Mark's look as they con Fieldar with the radio is priceless. Dan and Steve make a good team.         

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