Remember that one day when you could wake up without an alarm? When you would get your favorite bowl of cereal and sit between the hours of 8 and 12? This is a blog dedicated to the greatest time of our childhood: Saturday mornings. The television programs you watched, the memories attached to them, and maybe introducing you to something you didn't realize existed. Updated every weekend.
The show centered on modern family
the Butlers—high school science teacher John (Mike Road), his wife Kim (Shannon
Farnon), teenaged Katie (Kathy Gori), young Greg (Jackie Earle Haley) and their
dog, Digger (Frank Welker)—as they embarked on a rafting trip down the Amazon River.
However, they hit a rock and capsized, leading to them being swept through a
cavern and into a whirlpool. When they emerged, they found themselves in a lost
valley where dinosaurs continued to thrive.
Lok, Katie and Glump relaxing by the fire embers.
survival might have been questionable if not for a chance encounter with a
kindly family of Neanderthals that took them in. They were clan leader Gorok
(Alan Oppenheimer), his wife Gara (Joan Gardner), teenaged son Lok (Welker) and
young daughter Tana (Melanie Baker), as well as their pet baby Stegosaurus, Glump (Welker). The Butlers had to overcome their prejudices about the primitive
family and the clan their distrust over the new strangers to work together. The
Butlers introduced modern scientific advancements to the valley such as wheels
and levers as situations arose, and Gorok’s clan taught them basic survival
skills in the wild and served as their guides while helping them find a way
reboots became the king of entertainment, Sid and Marty Krofft were called
upon to produce a reboot of one of their previous programs: Land
of the Lost. ABC had been monitoring
the success and positive press CBS was seeing
in response to their airings of the original, and how they and NBC found equal
success with their live-action offerings Pee-wee’s
by the Bell, respectively. Enter the new Land of the Lost, their
first new foray into live-action on Saturday morning.
The Porter family.
original, Land of the Lost centered on a modern family that found
themselves suddenly trapped in a strange, three-mooned prehistoric world of
Altrusia. While on a camping trip, an earthquake opened up a chasm that they
fell into, leading to a dimensional portal they drove through to safety. Replacing
the Marshalls from the original were the Porters: widowed father Tom (Timothy
Bottoms), a lawyer who threw himself into his work after his wife’s death but
tried to make time for his kids with those frequent weekend camping trips;
16-year-old Kevin (Robert Gavin), who was laid-back to the point of being
oblivious to danger and considered himself an adult, often leading to his being
actively disobedient; and 11-year-old Annie (Jennifer Drugan), a vegetarian who
harbored a bit of resentment towards her family always treating her like an
incapable baby (and often proving that perception wrong). Unlike the Marshalls,
the Porters had a lot of gear with them in their Jeep, allowing them to outfit
their lavish treehouse with many of the comforts of home including radios, a
portable television (which allowed them to track portal openings via
electromagnetic interference) and a video camera (used by Kevin to chronicle
their adventure). They also adopted a humanoid Parasaurolophus,
named Tasha (Ed Gale in the suit, Danny Mann voicing) by Annie after her mother
(voiced by Marta DuBois),
after finding her egg.
from the original series were the villainous humanoid reptile Sleestaks;
however, instead of a whole race focus was largely placed on three that were
expelled from their society. Shung (Tom Allard) was their leader.
He was arrogant and believed himself the ruler of the land. He used a powerful
crystal that gave him telekinetic and telepathic powers to enforce his will Nim
(R.C. Tass & Brian Williams)
and Keeg (Ross
Kramer & Bret Davidson)
were his unintelligent underlings that did what they could to please him. They
used special crystals as power sources, which the Porters would come to adopt
to power their own electronics. To mine for the crystals, the Sleestaks
utilized the slave labor of the Paku; a tribe of humanoid primates basically
wiped out by their servitude. Unlike the original, the Paku were largely
limited to appearances by a single member: Stink (Bobby Porter), who had keen
senses, incredible agility, active curiosity and a wacky sense of humor. The
new series chose to abandon the special Pakuni language developed for the
original, instead making Stink quick to pick-up and adopt English words and
phrases with some Pakuni sprinkled in. Stink’s grandfather, Opah (Jonas Mascartolo), was the only
other Paku seen.
Stink and Christa.
created was the character of Christa (Shannon Day).
Like the Porters, she ended up trapped in the land with her family as a young
girl (Farrah Emami).
Separated from them during an attempt to find civilization, she grew up alone
and came to befriend Stink and a triceratops she named “Princess” after her
dog, which she used as transportation. She had largely blocked out memories of
her past life. Christa and Stink would eventually befriend the Porters and help
them on occasion. Kevin, being a teenaged boy, often fawned over the attractive
Christa while Stink often had a turbulent relationship with Tasha.
Futuristic cyborg Cy.
there were a number of dinosaurs seen on the show; in particular a Tyrannosaurus
dubbed “Scarface” because of the scar over his eye. He was extremely violent
towards everyone, and often tried to take down the Porters’ treehouse. A number of guest characters also popped into the land via the portals, including
Sir Balen (Bobby Jacoby), a
squire pretending to be a knight from King Arthur’s Court;
Keela (Adilah Barnes), a
sorceress banished there by evil sorcerer Magas (Gale); Siren (DuBois), a woman
whose vanity led her to be banished and preventing her from joining her loved
ones in the afterlife; and time travelers Simon Cardenas (Danny Gonzalez) and the rancor-like cyborg Cy who
collided with each other and knocked themselves off course.
The new Land
of the Lost proved successful and was renewed for a second season. While
Menville had worked on his portion of the season 2 scripts, he wouldn’t get to
see it through as he passed away that June. The episode “Opah” was dedicated in
his memory. He would continue to have three posthumous credits through 1993
with episodes he worked on for Disney’s
The Little Mermaid: The Animated Seriesand Batman:
The Animated Series. As for Land of the Lost, ABC opted not to
renew it and kept it running for an additional season of reruns. During its
original run, it was nominated for a Daytime
Emmy and six Young Artist Awards.
EPISODE GUIDE: Season 1: “Tasha” (9/7/91) – The Porters find an egg in the jungle and
end up adopting the baby dino that hatches from it.
“Something’s Watching” (9/14/91) – While recording the land
for posterity, Kevin encounters Christa the jungle girl and Stink the Paku.
“Jungle Girl” (9/28/91) – Christa is wary of the Porters
until they help her begin to unravel her forgotten past.
“Shung the Terrible” (9/21/91) – The Sleestaks steal the
Porters’ truck and their leader claims it for his own.
“The Crystal” (10/5/91) – Annie ends up with Shung’s power
crystal which turns her personality dark.
“Wild Thing” (10/12/91) – After she causes a lot of trouble,
Tom sends Tasha away into the jungle.
“Kevin vs. the Volcano” (10/26/91) – Helping his family try
to stop a volcano eruption gets Kevin trapped in a cave by Scarface.
“Day for Knight” (10/19/91) – Kevin becomes jealous of the knight of the Round
Table that ends up in the land.
“Mind Games” (11/2/91) – Feeling overworked, Annie runs off
to stay with Christa just as Shung uses her necklace to control Christa.
“Flight to Freedom” (11/9/91) – A signal hits Kevin’s TV
after an earthquake, making the Porters think they can use it to track down an
“Heat Wave” (11/16/91) – While looking for water, Tom and
Kevin find Nim and Keeg and attempt to lead them away from the treehouse.
“The Thief” (11/23/91) – Kevin accuses Tasha of stealing
stuff from the treehouse.
“Power Play” (12/7/91) – Out of batteries, Tom decides to
try and get the Sleestaks’ crystals to see if they’ll power their devices.
Season 2: “The Sorceress” (9/12/92) – Banished sorcerers Keela
befriends the Porters, unaware that another sorcerer is about to come for her.
“Dreammaker” (9/19/92) – Tracking down a strange TV signal
leads the Porters to…their old neighborhood?
“The Gladiators” (10/3/92) – Tom and Kevin are pitted
against each other by Shung for their lives.
“Opah” (9/26/92) – Stink’s grandfather pays the Porters a
visit and ends up saving their lives.
“Life’s a Beach” (10/10/92) – A beach day unlocks some of
Christa’s traumatic memories.
“Future Boy” (10/17/92) – A boy from the future collides
with a dangerous cyborg and they both end up in the land.
“Siren’s Song” (10/24/92) – The Porters are lured into a
trap with a vision of their wife/mother.
“In Dinos We Trust” (10/31/92) – Kevin is forced to rely on
Tasha when he’s blinded by snake venom.
“Annie in Charge” (11/7/92) – Annie takes over when one of
Cy’s traps wipe Kevin and Tom’s memories.
“Make My Day” (11/14/92) – Discovering an ancient Sleestak weapon
makes Kevin think he can use it against Shung.
“Cheers” (11/21/92) – Fermented fruit leads to Kevin
“Sorceress’ Apprentice” (11/28/92) – Keela asks Annie to
watch her spellbook for a few days, but Annie can’t help but try out some
“Misery Loves Company” (12/5/92) – After Stink is injured,
he finds he enjoys the Porters taking care of him a bit too much.
For a history of The Flintstones franchise, check out the post here.
Flintstonesreruns and their first spin-off, The
Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show, doing well in the ratings, CBS decided to expand their Flintstones franchise
with a second spin-off. The Flintstone Comedy Hour was a continuation of
both the original series and The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show with a touch
of the popular variety show format.
Promo artwork featuring the adults getting down with the Bedrock Rockers.
The first half hour was comprised
of shorts starring Fred (Alan Reed) and Barney (Mel Blanc) in their usual
misadventures around Bedrock and others focusing on Pebbles (Mickey Stevens),
Bamm-Bamm (Jay North) and their friends: genius inventor Moonrock Crater (Lenny
Weinrib), weight-obsessed Penny Pillar (Mitzi McCall), and horoscope-obsessed
Wiggy Rockstone (Gay Hartwig). Three shorts aired every episode for most of the
series’ run; alternating between two with the adults and two with the teens. The
second half hour was comprised of reruns of Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm. Stevens
replaced original Pebbles voice Sally Struthers for all the new material made
for the show due to Struthers’ commitment starring on the popular sitcom All in the Family.
Barney gets roped into another of Fred's schemes.
Between the story segments, the
characters would rattle off jokes and horoscopes, and musical numbers would be performed
by Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm’s new band, the Bedrock Rockers. With Pebbles on
keyboard, Bamm-Bamm on bass, Moonrock on drums, Penny on tambourine and Wiggy
on flute, the teens belted out two song numbers per episode. The songs were
written by various Screen
Gems (distributor of Hanna-Barbera’s
shows) staff members including David
Gates, Tony Dancy, Craig Fairchild, Jackie Mills, Leonard Petit and
Tom Jenkins. The actual performers were The Ron Hicklin
Singers; a Los Angeles-based group of studio singers organized by Ron Hicklin that performed
music for television, film and commercials often uncredited or credited under
specialized names. This line-up featured Tom Bahler, John Bahler, Jackie Ward and Stan Farber.
Bamm-Bamm, Wiggy, Pebbles, Penny and Moonrock making beautiful music.
It would be 5 years until the next
all-new Flintstones series hit television, following Fred Silverman from CBS over to
NBC (which included a second show to use the
name The Flintstone Comedy Show). In the interim was the syndicated
package show Fred Flintstone and Friends, which combined the segments
from this show and episodes of Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm alternating weekly
with daily serialized versions of Goober
and the Ghost Chasers, Jeannie,
Family 2200 A.D.and Yogi’s
Gang. It also introduced Henry
Corden as the new speaking voice of Fred following Reed’s death (Corden previously provided Fred’s singing voice in a couple films), introducing the various
segments over bumpers comprised of show clips.
EPISODE GUIDE: “Birdbrained / Squawkie Talkies / Bedrock 500” (9/9/72) –
Birdsitting Mr. Slate’s parrot causes nothing but trouble for Fred and family.
/ When a hipposaurus eats one of Moonrock’s squawkie talkies, Pebbles and
Bamm-Bamm believe it actually ate Barney instead. / The teens compete against
the Bronto Bunch in a big car race.
“The Flying Fools / Bedlam in Bedrock / The Stone Ranger
Rides Again” (9/16/72) – Flying in Moonrock’s new airplane is anything but a
joy for Fred and Barney. / The teens concoct a crazy idea to get a DJ his job
back. / Pebbles and her friends shoot a western movie with Bamm-Bamm as the
“Cat Burglars / The Circus Show / Pizza-Puss” (9/23/72) –
Fred and Barney get busted as cat burglars while the real thieves rob Fred’s
house. / The teens organize a circus to raise money for prom. / Fred becomes a
pizza chef just when Pebbles orders 37 pizzas for her party.
“Fred Skirts the Issue / Hair Scare / The Not so Desperate
Hours” (9/30/72) – Babysitting is a nightmare until Fred dresses up as a woman.
/ Moonrock’s new miracle hair formula causes his friends a lot of problems. / A
dangerous escaped con decides to hide out at the Flintstone house.
“Don’t Fence Me In / The Spot Remover / Cake Walk” (10/7/72)
– An argument about their property boundaries reveals Fred’s property actually
runs through Barney’s living room. / Moonrock’s spot remover ends up removing a
lot more around Bedrock. / Fred and Barney accidentally help their wives win a
cake baking contest.
“The Loving Cup / Bedrock Surfers / Handicapped” (10/14/72)
– Fred gets the trophy he’s supposed to give to Mr. Slate stuck on his head. /
Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm compete in a couples-only surfing contest against the
Bronto Bunch. / Fred tries to help Mr. Slate win a golf tournament to get out
of working on a Saturday.
“Something Fishy / Amusement Park / A Pound in Time”
(10/21/72) – Unfortunately, Wilma and Betty decide to accompany their husbands
on a fishing trip. / The teens encounter a blowhard at the amusement park. /
Fred and Barney join a health club to be able to fit their lodge uniforms
“Dummy Up / Bedrock Radio Rock Festival / Barney the Swami”
(10/28/72) – A blow to the head causes Fred to become brutally honest. / The
Bedrock Rockers record their songs for entry into a music contest. / Fred
decides to take advantage of Barney’s sudden psychic powers.
“High Noon at Bedrock Pass / Cinderella / Training Pains”
(11/4/72) – Fred dreams he and Barney are facing off against a western outlaw.
/ Bamm-Bamm plays the gender-reversed lead in the school’s production of Cinderella.
/ Fred trains Dino to compete in the pet show.
“Fred’s Big Brag / Schleprock’s Cousin / Fred’s Promise”
(11/11/72) – Fred’s boast that he can tame a wild brontosaurus lands him in a
ring at the rodeo show. / Schleprock’s cousin Shamrock comes to visit and
brings good luck wherever he goes. / Fred promises not to talk about work while
on the family vacation.
“The Big Breakup / Bedrock 300 / Candid Camerarock”
(11/18/72) – When Barney breaks a bone painting Fred’s living room the doctor
prescribes him bedrest at the Flintstones’. / Nobody seems to be respecting the
rules of the race Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm enter. / Fred and Barney end up the
victims of a prank TV show.
“Feet First / The Hobby Show / The Reluctant Candidates”
(11/25/72) – Fred showing Barney how to win a sports car rally goes poorly when
they’re quickly overtaken. / The teens organize an exhibit to show off their
respective hobbies. / Fred and Barney end up running against each other for
“Runaway Steaks / Moonrock’s Super Jumper Shoes / Citizen
Flintstone” (12/2/72) – Fred and Barney chase their steaks on a runaway grill.
/ Moonrock’s jumping shoes turn things around for Bamm-Bamm’s school basketball
team. / Fred makes a fool of himself on a talk show.
“The Big Splash / Moonrock’s Beauty Farm / Stage Flight”
(12/9/72) – The planning authority kiboshes Fred’s plans for a pool. / Moonrock’s
gal pals aren’t too thrilled with his beauty salon. / Pebbles and her friends
shoot a film with Fred starring as the titular Peter Panstone.
“Oil Fooled / Cave Buggy Race / Sherlock Flintstone”
(12/16/72) – An oil tycoon wants to buy Fred’s house, but Fred wants in on his
company. / Pebbles and the girls soup up Bamm-Bamm’s cave buggy to enter into a
race. / A misunderstanding leads Fred to believe his car was stolen and prompts
him to investigate with Barney.
“Watch the Birdie / Schleprock / Mod Clod” (12/23/72) – Fred
takes up photography and tries to win a magazine contest by snapping a rare
pterodactyl. / Schleprock shows up the restaurant the gang works at and brings
his usual chaos with him. / A gray hair leads Fred to a midlife crisis.
“The Suitor Computer / Army Dazed” (12/30/72) – Moonrock’s
new matchmaking computer pairs Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm up with different people.
/ When Fred and Barney dress up in military clothing for a parade they end up
in the real military.
“Beauty and the Beast / The Galloping Gourmets” (1/6/73) –
Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm enter the annual masquerade ball contest. / Barney
disguises himself as a cook to make dinner for Mr. Slate and an important
client at the Flintstones’.
The veteran comic creator had been involved with the creation or revitalization of various comic characters eventually adapted to the small screen. Notably, he voiced himself in a couple episodes of Teen Titans Go!
Neanderthals in question were the family of the titular Korg (Jim Malinda),
comprised of his mate, Mara (Naomi Pollack), his brother, Bok (Bill Ewing), and
children Tane (Christopher Man), Tor (Charles Morteo) and Ree (Janelle
Pransky). They were followed on their adventures foraging for food to survive,
making sense of the world through their limited understanding, and dealing with
other people they might encounter. Burgess Meredith provided occasional
narration to set the scene and give an educational explanation into the
characters’ thinking. Despite all the attempts at authenticity, the characters
did speak regular English to each other for the audience’s benefit.