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LAND OF THE GIANTS-the Marionettes


Chase - Posted on 04 September 2009

            THE MARIONETTES

 

            PROLOG

            Night at an improvised giant run carnival in the forest:a knife

            thrower and Lisa, a puppeteer's aide, try out for jobs, as do

            dancing girls. Steve, Dan, and Mark wait near trash while the girls

            and Fitzhugh wait under a trash bin. They are trying to steal some

            explosives. Lisa promotes Goldbe, a man she worked with before--a

            puppeteer. Fitzhugh, who claims to be an authority on marionettes,

            notes how Goldbe doesn't have hand controls. Val notes that maybe

            they don't have those things here. Val also asks Fitz if there is

            anything he's not an authority on. Bobo, the giant gorilla breaks

out

            of his cage and spots the girls and Fitzhugh as they run away from

            under the bin. The trainer of the gorilla yells but Bobo takes off.

            Not moments later, the giant gorilla spots Fitzhugh, Val, and Betty.

            "Run! Separate!" Fitzhugh suggests to the girls. The three men hear

            what is going on and know the trio are right in the path of that

            gorilla. They run back to help them instead of waiting for the three

            to catch up. Bobo corners Valerie back against rocks and trees. Bobo

            is beating his chest and making loud sounds as Val tries to be quiet

            but it is looking down at her. She is looking up at it.

 

            ACT ONE

            Val screams. The ape scoops her up in his hand where she continues

to

            scream but then passes out. Betty tosses rocks at Bobo and the men

            arrive. The five follow Bobo as moves on with Val in his hand. Fitz

            yells, "Do something!" "Like what?" Dan asks. They try to keep him

            in sight, with not much they can do. Bobo tosses a boulder at the

            five (and in a blooper it appears to hit Betty's back). Eventually

            the gorilla gets its foot caught in a bear trap. Dan mentions there

            are a lot of them in this section of the woods. Dan attracts Bobo's

            attention when Bobo lays Val down. Steve and Mark try to get her but

            fail. Bobo picks her up again after getting his foot out of the bear

            trap. The Earth people track him to a tree which he climbs up. The

            five combine their efforts to get green leaves to start smoke but

not

            fire. Betty explains this to Fitzhugh and urges him to help. They

            light it and Steve, worried that the smoke might attract some

giants,

            orders Fitzhugh to take Betty back to camp. Betty protests, "Oh

            Steve, I wanna stay and help." Fitz tells her, "You can help by

            staying out of trouble, come on!" Fitz pulls her off. Steve gets a

            bit impatient with the smoke. Goldbe arrives but as the Earth men

            watch and realize, Bobo is being quiet so as not to be caught or

            seen. Mark tries to warn Steve not to run out but Steve runs out of

            cover against Mark's protest, to warn the old giant that Bobo is

            right above his head in the tree. Steve tells Goldbe, "Look, he's

got

            one of my friends, a girl." Goldbe wants to help but cannot so he

            blows the whistle for the trainer. Bobo drops Valerie out of his

hand

            and she falls far but Goldbe catches her in both his hands. When Dan

            and Mark run to Steve he asks, "Did you see that fall?" Goldbe puts

            her down near the men, who revive her. She just got the wind knocked

            out of her. Val thanks Goldbe as the men help her walk off. The

            trainer giant arrives to get Bobo, telling Goldbe that Bobo is

            harmless, something scared him. The trainer will tell Mr. Brady, the

            boss, who was obnoxious to everyone applying for a job, that Goldbe

            found Bobo. In the forest, Betty worries, prompting Fitz to ask her

            why. She says, "Oh, I'm worried. You think Val will be all right?"

            Trying to allay her fears, Fitz answers, "Of course." "Just the

            same, I don't know," Betty worries, wanting to go back. They hear a

            sound like the snap of a branch. Fitz panics, "Giants!" They run in

            two different directions. Betty calls Fitz for help--she's trapped

            inside a bear trap. A stick of wood blocked it from snapping her in

            two but it is about to break. Rashly, Fitz calls for help from a

            passing giant--Goldbe, who gets her out but the trap snaps shut on

            his hand.

 

            ACT TWO

            Betty is grabbed by Fitzhugh as she throws herself away from the

trap

            as Goldbe grabbed it. Fitz is happy she is safe. Then he radios

Steve

            for help from Goldbe. Mark knows where the place Fitz and Betty are

            since he and Fitz were in that area yesterday. It is north of their

            spaceship camp. The men go to camp for the thermal tool and cut the

            trap apart, freeing Goldbe, who fears his hand is broken. Betty

            blames herself and tells Fitzhugh she is going to help the giant

            despite Steve's order to go back to camp, "We don't have to do

            everything he says, do we?" Fitz hides the thermal tool and tells

            her he wants to help too. At the carnival tent, the other Earth men

            have sacks of explosives but call Valerie to bring more---to the

            cannonball tent. Val tells them Fitz and Betty never came back to

            camp. Mark and Steve go to Goldbe to ask about them---and see that

            his hand is not broken---he is not wearing a splint. Mark and Steve

            don't get to talk to him yet but they do see his puppets---Betty and

            Fitzhugh dressed as ballerina and clown! They will do his act until

            his hand heals. Val and Dan meet and start to bring explosives to a

            safe place. They run past Bobo's cage but the gorilla reaches out

and

            grabs Val up in his hand! Val screams, "Dan!" Dan looks about,

            helplessly!

 

            ACT THREE

            Goldbe shows Lisa a small portion of his new act: Betty and Fitzhugh

            joking, then singing a part of BE A CLOWN. Mark and Steve agree the

            pair are not bad. Later, the pair of men go to the pair of

            performers. Fitz and Betty insist on staying even though Mark and

            Steve try to get them out of the costumes and puppet strings. Mark

            comments, "You mean you're gonna do more of this nonsense?" Fitz

            tells an upset Betty to ignore him, "Ignore him my dear. Everybody's

            a critic." Steve tells them that if they go through with this,

            they won't be able to get help from him and the others. The refuse

to

            budge. Steve nods, "I don't know." He and Mark take off. Bobo tries

            to offer Val a piece of his banana. Mark and Steve join Dan at the

            toy box. Bobo hides Val from Brady, who looks into the cage. Lisa

            gets Brady away from the cage to come watch Goldbe. Bobo almost gets

            the men too as Brady returns to the cage later and snatches up

            Valerie. Mark and Steve wonder what will happen if Brady sees the

            explosives they dropped. They figure they will be in even more

            trouble. Dan dashes out to get the explosives so Brady won't see.

            Brady spots him and orders Carlos, the knife thrower to get him.

"Get

            him! Get him, he's getting away!" As Dan runs, Carlos tosses a knife

            at Dan.! It pins Dan's jacket to the ground as Dan tried to run and

            makes Dan fall!

 

            ACT FOUR

            Brady brings Dan and Val to Goldbe and chases away a little giant

            girl named Diane (winner of a LAND OF THE GIANTS contest as

            advertised in magazines) away from Goldbe's large stage area. Betty

            and Fitz sing and dance the entire BE A CLOWN number. Brady, who is

            extremely rude and insulting to Goldbe all the time, takes him and

            Lisa aside. Steve tries to get Betty and Fitz out ("No, no, no, fun

            time's over, Dan and Valerie have been caught!") but the giants

            return. Brady shows Lisa Goldbe's "talent"---by tossing Dan and

            Valerie down to the stage roughly, planning to exploit Betty and

            Fitzhugh's own brand of talent on the road. Betty tells Brady,

"Well,

            we won't go on doing it," then as Fitz considers continuing, Betty

            has to nudge him to get him to agree with her. Fitz really seemed as

            though he wanted to continue doing the song and dance number on the

            road. Brady, to get Betty and Fitz to cooperate, strings them up and

            points a pencil at Valerie, tossing Dan aside. Dan yelled, "Get that

            thing outta here!" Brady tells them that if they don't agree, their

            little friend will be punctuated period. Betty yells, "Leave her

            alone, she didn't have anything to do with this!" The two "puppets"

            agree. Val asks Brady, once the pair agree, "Can't you let them

down,

            you're hurting them?" Brady agrees, he can't have his stars hurt. He

            carts all four away and puts them in a small cage which he locks.

            Hiding behind the curtain of the stage, Steve calls Mark to meet him

            by the gorilla cage. Steve comes out of hiding and promises to set

            up Goldbe and Lisa with a good act if they can get the four friends

            away from Brady. Brady, in a phone booth, bargains with someone for

            Fitz and Betty's act, much to Fitz's glee, "They're arguing for my

            services!" "Oh Fitz," Betty groans. Brady is holding the cage in the

            air. Bobo gets enraged, hearing Val yelling, asking Brady to let

them

            out please. Steve climbs up and plants explosives on the gorilla's

            cage---barely avoiding a returning Brady---it is so close an escape

            in fact, that he and Mark have to leave the pin and rope in the

lock.

            The two Earth men are tossed by the blast, they are so close. The

            blast opens the door to Bobo's cage and he gets out and terrorizes

            Brady and the carnival while Lisa and Goldbe get the cage. Lisa

tries

            to open it but it's stuck. Brady directs Carlos to get Goldbe and a

            knife pins Goldbe's shirt to a prop wall. As the knifeman goes to

            throw another knife at Goldbe, Steve asks Mark for a light and then

            hurls the explosive packet upward---blowing the giant knife thrower

            down. Lisa gets the cage open and frees the four captives. Bobo

            chases Brady into a tent and what happens after he does is up to the

            viewer.

 

            EPILOG

            Mark, Barry, Betty, Dan, Valerie, Fitzhugh and Steve watch Goldbe

and

            Lisa demonstrate the singing marionettes. Barry asks how they got

            them to sing---with the voices of Fitzhugh and Betty. Steve explains

            he built the hand controls and Mark rigged up the mini tape

recorders

            that go inside of them. Recordings of Betty and Fitzhugh. Fitz takes

            the credit for teaching the giants the technique. The seven Earth

            castaways walk off happily and INTO TV HISTORY as this is the last

            filmed episode.

 

            REVIEW:

            Free cast photos and prizes were part of the LAND OF THE GIANTS

            contest that was held at various Korvettes store locations. Also to

            be won was a trip via American Airlines to Hollywood to the set, a

            meeting with Irwin Allen, and the National Winner would get to star

            as the Giant Child--this being Dianne Krabbe. At certain locations,

            Gary Conway greeted the public in person. This episode, sometimes

            berated for its cuteness, is not all that bad. The gorilla suit

looks

            better than it did in COMEBACK, mostly because it is shot in shady

            darkness here and at better angles here. Real gorillas might have

            been more realistically used. The KING KONG association cannot be

            helped and several TV guides, when GIANTS was on and in syndication,

            used KING KONG as part of their description of this episode to the

            effect of something like "The little people encounter danger at a

            giant carnival when a giant gorilla makes like KING KONG with

            Valerie." The action isn't bad nor does the episode lack a fine,

            exciting ending (the only GIANTS episode that does is COMEBACK).

This

            episode had a large cast, Bob Hogan, a TV veterans made it

especially

            believable. The carnival atmosphere was better here than in TERROR

GO

            ROUND and LAND OF THE LOST with at least one adult reference between

            Brady and the harem dancer. Young and Kaszner were pretty good too.

            Young sang quite well. The repartee and the rapport between the

            regular cast was at its finest with slightly lingering traces of

            conflict. Gestures and expressions were always a huge part of the

            cast's relationships. In all, a good episode. Barry has only a cameo

            at the very end and Chipper is nowhere to be found. Chipper was not

            in GRAVEYARD OF FOOLS, A SMALL WAR, and many others including DEADLY

            DART. THE MARIONETTES is a good last episode but LAND OF THE GIANTS

            should have had more episodes, more seasons, and more adventures.

            It should have had a finale as THE FUGITIVE did. Victoria Vetri was

            once a Playboy Playmate of the Year under her pseudonym Angela

            Dorian. She also played a blond cave girl in WHEN DINOSAURS RULES

THE

            EARTH, a 1972 film which I saw in the theaters.

 

 

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