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 Posted:   Aug 15, 2019 - 5:44 AM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

The past two Saturdays in a row, I've checked out Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea ("Doomsday Island" and "The Wax Men") and Land of the Giants ("Collector's Item" and "Every Dog Needs a Boy") on MeTV. As luck would have it, both VTTB episodes were terrible, but both LotG's were terrific.

I'm really enjoying Land of the Giants. I'm impressed with the suspense-and-action stories, and all the situations the little people are getting into. They can go anyplace. It's fun. I've already set my DVR for the next one. I hope to see more of their crashed spaceship set.

One drawback is that the cast doesn't exude a ton of chemistry. Kurt Kasznar especially suffers in comparison to Jonathan Harris of Lost in Space, but who wouldn't. More importantly, none of the LotG cast is really standing out in their roles. You don't get much character development in the writing, either. And it doesn't help that it was very hard back then to get close-ups of such tiny actors, so there's that distance. Probably the lenses would have cost a fortune. So we're always seeing them at a remove, which compounds their lack of standout star power. But you can't be too choosy when you're casting a show like this. When you need good looking, well-proportioned people under seven inches tall, you take what you can get. And still, the show is a "little" gem that I plan to keep watching. What became of these wonderful people?

I also caught an episode of The Time Tunnel, "The Kidnappers", but it was an awful one. Bad luck there, too. Michael Ansara guest starred as an alien from Canopus. In silver face, no less. It was a different time. Nothing much cooking there.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 15, 2019 - 7:12 AM   
 By:   paulhickling   (Member)

Not watched this stuff for a long while. But I grew up with it, recorded it on vhs back in the 80s, and got some of the soundtracks.

If I remember rightly though, silver face was Irwin's go-to look for aliens, same as that other fall-back, splicing in shots from his version of The Lost World. He set the shows up wonderfully, but recycled a lot of stuff from his own work and others during the runs. So, spend well on the start and then use the waste not-want not approach thereafter!

 
 Posted:   Aug 15, 2019 - 7:15 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Ive only seen the first season of VTTBOTS. I liked it. Ive only seen the pilot episode of LOTG's.

I love stories about little people in "giant worlds" so the premise always fascinates me. I agree the characters didn't have the chemistry as some of IA other shows. Also from what I read they hardly ever made use of the Spindrift model. The giant props were amazing. Very well done. I think they borrowed some from other movies.

Now the most important question. Deanna Lund or Heather Young? big grin

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 15, 2019 - 7:36 AM   
 By:   paulhickling   (Member)

Ive only seen the first season of VTTBOTS. I liked it. Ive only seen the pilot episode of LOTG's.

I love stories about little people in "giant worlds" so the premise always fascinates me. I agree the characters didn't have the chemistry as some of IA other shows. Also from what I read they hardly ever made use of the Spindrift model. The giant props were amazing. Very well done. I think they borrowed some from other movies.

Now the most important question. Deanna Lund or Heather Young? big grin


I remember very well that my seven to nine year old self thought there was no contest. Deanna. I always thought short haired girls were too boyish!

 
 Posted:   Aug 15, 2019 - 7:42 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Ive only seen the first season of VTTBOTS. I liked it. Ive only seen the pilot episode of LOTG's.

I love stories about little people in "giant worlds" so the premise always fascinates me. I agree the characters didn't have the chemistry as some of IA other shows. Also from what I read they hardly ever made use of the Spindrift model. The giant props were amazing. Very well done. I think they borrowed some from other movies.

Now the most important question. Deanna Lund or Heather Young? big grin


I remember very well that my seven to nine year old self thought there was no contest. Deanna. I always thought short haired girls were too boyish!


I think Heather was cuter, but I agree that hair style was gawd awful! If she had long blonde hair she'd give Deanna a run for her money.

 
 Posted:   Aug 15, 2019 - 3:55 PM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

I like Deanna. And in "Collector's Item" I liked that they gave her a costume change, something the actors on Irwin Allen shows didn't get enough of. They put Deanna in a sexy ballerina costume that a giant gave her. Luckily the doll clothes fit perfectly, even the leggy tights. Things just work out sometimes. smile

 
 Posted:   Aug 16, 2019 - 7:42 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Thanks to the internet Ive discovered actresses I lusted over in my youth did nudity in other stuff.

 
 Posted:   Aug 21, 2019 - 2:05 PM   
 By:   Scott M (Oldsmith)   (Member)

Honestly, I found Land of the Giants to be a drag for the most part, especially in the first season. To qualify, the first few episodes in production order (which is the essential order to watch the first half of the first year) are smashing. But after that, it becomes a "climbing/rescue show." All that happens is a giant captures some little people and the rest of them have to mount a rescue.

Every.
Damned.
Week.

Finally, the second season went into wacky Irwin Allen Fantasy Land it was was a lot better. Still predicable, but at least not as dull. The cast was actually really good, though, and they even evolved over time - something very rare for an Irwin Allen series. While Fitzhugh (the "Dr. Smith" character) was never truly trustworthy, he want from a scheming con man to more of a team player and even formed actual friendships with everyone. The relationship between him and Barry (the "Will Robinson" of the group) actually made sense. The music was good and the second season theme by John Williams was amazing. ABC really f'ked up the order and the first season doesn't flow well at all. The UK DVDs have them in production order and they work really well. Story Editor Tony Wilson was responsible for that and when he left the series, things got stale really quickly.

Voyage, on the other hand, was almost always damned good fun. Evil Clowns, puppets, aliens and amphibians. Mad scientists, evil duplicates, spies and saboteurs. Out of 110 episodes, maybe there are 10 I don't really like. It remains my favorite Irwin Allen series, has an outstanding cast (Basehart and Hedison are so great together), fabulous model work (flying sub!) and some incredible music.

I'll take the depths of Voyage over the best of Giants any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 22, 2019 - 7:38 AM   
 By:   paulhickling   (Member)

In the UK all the Irwin Allen shows got a full broadcast on our Channel 4 in the 1980s. I recorded every one on vhs, including Voyage which was on when I was working and I got a pal to record it for me.. because I always had to pause for the ad breaks. When it came to Land of the Giants I decided that I only needed one tape of episodes to keep because of that saminess, so I recorded the first few in order from Season 1, and left a space until the one with Jonathan Harris as a Pied Piper character, and that was enough for me.

On the other hand Time Tunnel is only one season, which is more than enough. Perhaps that would have been best for them all!

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 22, 2019 - 7:44 AM   
 By:   paulhickling   (Member)

Just spotted a comment on YT which I think is pretty true. The US had Irwin Allen and the UK had Gerry Anderson. Whatever else may be said about them in both cases the production values were up on everything else around, the music was great, and they've all stood the test of time well. And for us, they linger long in our memories from a time when we didn't have anything more important to think about!!

 
 Posted:   Aug 22, 2019 - 8:37 AM   
 By:   Scott M (Oldsmith)   (Member)

In the UK all the Irwin Allen shows got a full broadcast on our Channel 4 in the 1980s. I recorded every one on vhs, including Voyage which was on when I was working and I got a pal to record it for me.. because I always had to pause for the ad breaks. When it came to Land of the Giants I decided that I only needed one tape of episodes to keep because of that saminess, so I recorded the first few in order from Season 1, and left a space until the one with Jonathan Harris as a Pied Piper character, and that was enough for me.

On the other hand Time Tunnel is only one season, which is more than enough. Perhaps that would have been best for them all!


Back in the days of video collecting because nobody would put these out officially, I had a bunch of Channel 4 tapes of Voyage which someone converted for me to NTSC. It was one of the very few ways to get uncut episodes. I still have a few. The quality of your prints was light years ahead of the 16mm syndication prints we had in the US. I dealt with the pitch shift and format speed differences just to have uncut episodes. What a great few years, discovering many of these episodes and scenes for the first time. Saturday afternoons would consist of me watching Voyage, usually the third season since that's where I was missing the most from the US airings.

The rest of the collection was filled in with some tapes from Canada's SPACE channel, which ran the 16mm prints uncut (except for The Mummy which was missing the first 1:30 - the UK supplied me with the complete episode) and about half of the run transferred from 16mm reels a friend had. That's what got me through the drought until Fox released the series.

I also had The Time Tunnel complete from Channel 4.

 
 Posted:   Aug 28, 2019 - 9:03 PM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

I just played back Land of the Giants "The Clones", in which a scientist (William Schallert) is making exact, living copies of the travelers.

At one point, he decides to conduct an experiment comparing Don Marshall to duplicate Don Marshall. The lab assistant says, "But that might kill the little black original!"

And Schallert says, perfectly at ease: "That's a small price to pay."

They don't write dialogue like that anymore. I'm not sure they even could.

 
 Posted:   Aug 29, 2019 - 6:55 AM   
 By:   Scott M (Oldsmith)   (Member)

It was one of the very few times Dan's race was mentioned at all.

 
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