Land of the Lost



Early sci-fi series is dated but has a fun premise.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The Marshall family must depend on each other for survival and comfort as they learn to relate to two alien races -- the ape-like Paku, which mostly leave them alone, and the hostile and dangerous Sleestaks.

Violence & scariness

Despite the constant threat of hungry dinosaurs and the hostile alien Sleestaks, there's very little violence.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although the main characters in this vintage kids' series are almost always in trouble, they never appear to be in real peril -- which is one of the reasons the show was so popular with young kids in the 1970s. But even though the content is mild (there's no sex, drinking, or swearing, and the occasional fight scenes are decidedly lacking in action), the show's exceptionally low-end production values and poor special effects make it feel extremely dated in the 21st century. It will probably appeal more to former children of the '70s than to their own kids.

What's the story?

During a "routine expedition," the Marshall family finds their raft plummeting over an immense waterfall and falling through a mysterious dimensional portal into a strange land populated by hungry dinosaurs and alien creatures. And they haven't just gone back in time -- they've entered a new world, the LAND OF THE LOST, where they meet the peaceful, ape-like Pakuni and the hostile Sleestaks, lizard-like beasts that seem bent on capturing the humans and sacrificing them to their god. Rick Marshall (Spencer Milligan), his young daughter Holly (Kathy Coleman), and teenage son Will (Wesley Eure) must work together to survive while they explore the realm and look for a way home.

Is it any good?


When Land of the Lost debuted in 1974, the dimensional-travel yarn was relegated to a Saturday morning slot aimed at kids and given a budget appropriate for an audience with an averge height of less than four feet. The cheap sets, oh-so-fake costumes, mediocre acting, and primitive effects -- typical for shows produced by the prolific Sid and Marty Krofft -- were unimpressive then, and they haven't aged well in the intervening decades.

Still, the Emmy-nominated series was considered groundbreaking at the time and attracted several top sci-fi writers, who explored a variety of complex ideas about inter-dimensional transit, the potential paradoxes of time-travel, and evolution. Many of these themes have since appeared in big-budget adult series like Lost, Heroes, and Stargate SG-1. The fun in Land of the Lost comes from its scripts, not its production values, and if your kids can get past the cheesy effects, they'll probably enjoy the thought-provoking story. Because, really, what kid won't enjoy a show that features both dinosaurs and aliens?

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why some TV shows and movies stand up to the the test of time and others don't. Parents: Do you still like this show as much as you did when you were a kid? Would you expect your kids to? Kids: What shows do you watch now do you think you'll still like when you're an adult? Families can also discuss how they think they'd fare in a situation like the Marshalls'? Would you work well together, or would you argue? Do you think the family dynamics on the show seem realistic? How does the show compare to other shows or movies about people who find themselves trapped in a hostile wilderness?

TV details

Cast:Kathy Coleman, Spencer Milligan, Wesley Eure
Genre:Science Fiction
TV rating:NR
Available on:DVD

This review of Land of the Lost was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent Written byPlague December 18, 2009

Land of the Lost

I wouldn't say its amazing, but its a great childhood show.
Kid, 12 years old April 29, 2014

just dont watch the newer movie

this is a very accurate review. especially for commonsense. The movie, however is a different story. the original is the better version. or at least, in my opinion.
What other families should know
Great messages
Kid, 11 years old May 2, 2014

found my way in the show........lost in the movie

land of the lost is an old show, but i watch it now and then though it is MUCH better the the newer movie. If you plan on watching the NEWER version...........Watch the old TV show first Will and Holly (in the newer one) are about 20, will has tattoos, also they changed lots of stuff..........Sleestack do not like light............Well in the new movie their caves are filled with light.The 1970 TV show is WAY BETTER.(Before you let your kid or child watch land of the lost MOVIE the newer one have them see the old show....................................Trust me................................
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence


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