While on a routine rafting trip the Marshall family, Rick Marshall and his two children, Will and Holly, fall through a time portal into a world inhabited by prehistoric creatures and misplaced beings. Forced to learn to survive in a world turned upside down the Marshall's would have to rely on some help from unexpected places. Living day by day and running from dinosaurs or evil sleestack, a race of lizard-like humanoids, the family grew closer together. Eventually the family would be able to return home only to have another Marshall family from another rift in time enter the dimension. Land of the Lost was an intelligent show that didn't take children for granted. The shows episodes were written by some of the top names in science fiction of the time. Walter Koenig, of Star Trek fame, wrote what may be the shows best episode, The Stranger, which introduced Enik a more evolved Sleestak from an earlier time who ultimately aided in the Marshall family returning home.
The shows cast would be lead by veteran TV actor Spenser Milligan (Gunsmoke, Quincy, and The Dukes of Hazard) who brought a heart felt touch to the role of the father Rick Marshall. A character who even today could be the poster boy for a perfect parent who was always willing to listen to his children, who was slow to anger and maybe the world's greatest teacher. Milligan filled the role to perfection and a generation of children grew up to think of his character as the father they never had. Young soap opera star Wesley Eure (Days of our Lives) would be cast as the adventurous teenage boy Will Marshall. Again TV experience would lend to a another memorable character. Will was always exploring his boundaries, often with catastrophic consequences, but was always on hand to look after his younger sister. Eure was great at coming across as someone who couldn't accept his situation and was willing to try anything to get his family home. Unknown child actress Kathy Coleman was cast as the ever complaining younger sister Holly. For someone with little TV experience Coleman did a remarkable job. Holly was always wanting to hold on to her older brother's shirt tales and mess up any plan he would come up with. It is obvious that Coleman drew upon her own innocence and awkwardness in her porayal of a child becoming a young woman under the worst of situations. Despite everything the show had going for it Land of the Lost would only survive three seasons on Saturday morning. Several changes in both story and cast would ultimately become the shows downfall. Milligan would be replaced in the third season by another veteran actor Ron Harper who would play the family's Uncle Jack who had been searching for them. He would enter the dimension just as Rick Marshall exited. The shows decline couldn't be blamed on Harper. A gaff by the network in "dumbing down" the stories and firing most of the shows original writers ultimately spelled the end for the show. New dinosaurs were brought in (including a fire breathing Dimetradon) to keep children interested, but nothing could replace the mind expanding scripts of the first two seasons. Land of the Lost was something unique to television. Never had such detail been added to a children's show. The dinosaurs were, for the time, excellent stop motion models. The vocabulary of the primitive Paku was developed by a UCLA professor . The scripts were written by the best in the business. Never before or after has such a production been attempted in children's programing. It is for these reasons that Land of the Lost is still remembered fondly by those old enough to have watched it in it's original airing.
From Original Posting on Monster Island News (http://monstermovieblog.blogspot.com/2007/02/land-of-lost-tv-1974-1977.html)