Land of the Lost [SPOILERS]
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2010 AT 8:53PM
Spoiler Alert! I'm not only going to give away bits of the February premiere of Lost, but I'm going to spoil an episode of 1974's Land of the Lost, and then tie them together.
Allow me to spoil the last episode of the first season of 1974's "Land of the Lost." This comes from the TV.COM episode guide....
Enik unravels a startling paradox. The Marshalls can leave only if replaced by parallel versions of themselves.
A map of the Land of the Lost
So even as Rick, Will and Holly at long last depart home through the mist of a time doorway - they once again arrive for the very first time in the Land of the Lost.
When I saw this episode as a kid, I thought it was one of the most brilliant, yet sad plots I'd ever witnessed on television. To some degree it remains true today!
Rick, Will, and Holly discover a parallel version of themselves in a permanent loop in the moment just before falling into the land of the lost. They never quite make it in because, of course, there are rules to time travel! By the end of the episode, they learn that the only way they can go home through the time doorway is if an equal amount of mass enters the Land! Timing it carefully, they step through the time doorway as the parallel versions of themselves reach the Falls! From there, depending on how you look at it, either the entire series repeats itself forever, or this unfortunate group of parallel Marshall, Will, and Holly have been stranded there for the rest of their lives as their predecessor doppelgangers escape to live the rest of their lives!
It forced my young brain to work. Despite the cheesy effects, and YES, they were even cheesy in 1974, the story was strong and it really worked as a meaty bit of story telling. Of course, the producers would undermine that brilliance by producing the show for two more seasons, but I like to think of this as the final episode of the series, just aired out of order.
Why do I spoil this episode of a 25 year old show? I think some of the folks that watched the premiere of Lost this week see where I'm heading!
After watching the first episode of this, the last season, Lost has, unconsciously, I'm sure, managed to stumble into what appears to be the same plot line. Keeping the details fuzzy, our heroes are simultaneously living in a world without the island as well as in a world on the island in present day. They had been falling over that waterfall until the explosion, then boom, they both escape and are inexorably trapped at the same time!
Will it turn out that the Powers that fought in the temple are remains of an advanced civilization and we, modern humans, are their idiot decendants of a war? (The Sleestak S'latch was an intelligent relic of the Sleestack PAST, instead of their future, as was thought!) Is the temple a pylon? Will there be colored stones that interact together to make super science powered effects? Will Hurley turn out to have been Chaka all along?
Don't feel bad if you never watched Land of the Lost. Except for a few good shows, you didn't miss much. Still, that episode, entitled "Circle" was an outstanding bit of storytelling, even if the writers unwittingly did it. It was so original, it took 25 years and a far superior show 6 seasons to even come close to it. Don't dismiss all cheap shows as bad, sometimes brilliant ideas can come with inexpensive price tags.
I don't think for a minute that J.J. Abram's took anything from Land of the Lost. (OKAY! For a minute, I pictured him sitting at the kitchen table as a kid having his mind blown by that episode the same way mine was and it stuck with him his whole life. But how often does THAT happen? oh. yea. Happened to me!) The story is going to veer wildly away from anything similar, I'm sure. Still, I got a hearty chuckle when I thought, again, just for a minute, that LOST might be a subtle, wry remake of LAND OF THE LOST all along!
Enjoy the rest of the season of LOST. I know I will!