Anyone who complains that Will Ferrell’s “Land of the Lost” isn’t reverent enough to the 1970s TV series on which it’s based clearly hasn’t seen that show in a long, long time. A Saturday-morning staple of my youth, it features primitive effects, laughable scripts, amateurish acting and sometimes glacial pacing. And yet these are exactly the reasons it charms.
Like all shows produced by Sid and Marty Kroftt, it’s a fever dream of a series, where imagination knows no boundaries, although the budget clearly does. All its 43 episodes are present on this seven-disc set, with the three members of the Marshall family (in season three, Dad is fumblingly replaced by Uncle Jack) transported via waterfall to a prehistoric time.
Stranded, but seemingly in not too big of a hurry to get back home, they befriend Cha-Ka, a creepy ape boy; run from dinosaurs, except for baby Dopey; and steer clear of those hissing lizard-like Sleestaks. Occasional guests drop in (hey, there’s Richard Kiel!); formulaic fun is had by all.
Sensing that children of the ’70s with a jones for nostalgia are the most likely purchasers, Universal has packaged the discs in a nifty retro lunchbox that’s practically worth the purchase alone. My 4-year-old immediately snapped that up, as he did the discs, which he’s been watching on repeat endlessly ever since (sorry, Curious George). Another generation is “Lost” in the downright weirdness.