3. “The Greatest Earthquake Ever Known".
For Land Of The Lost, the Kroffts hit on a concept that has fuelled stories from before the show was created right up to the likes of Jurassic Park.
"When I was eleven years old, my dad took me to see One Million BC with Victor Mature,” remembers Sid.
“It scared the hell out of me, because we'd never, ever seen a Dinosaur moving before. Yeah, in the old King Kong or whatever, way back in the '30s, but nothing like One Million BC. It made such an impression on me, that every year when we came up with a new show I always thought “Dinosaurs, wow, wouldn’t that blow everybody away?
“Especially as kids are so in love with them. And like The Swiss Family Robinson, every single show has a family, or a little boy or a little girl that is lost in a strange world - like The Wizard Of Oz. And you just root for them because you love them and you can relate to them and you can’t understand why they can’t get home.”
Land has a basic concept - Park Ranger Rick Marshall and his two kids, Will and Holly, are on a “routine expedition” in a raft when a massive earthquake sends them tumbling over a waterfall and through a portal in time and space to the titular world.
"We were trying to find a habitat that could feature dinosaurs and a family... and those two entities together worked out to be a really good combination," Marty Krofft remembers.
“Great things happen when you have imaginative people aboard, and we had Allan Foshko, who had worked with us on other things, and it was a very collaborative effort. You have a few nightmares and you come up with these wild characters and places."
Of course, given the extremely low budget they had to work with (Marty often jokes that it cost “$1.98 a show”), the series has the air of camp about it, with the actors over-reacting to stop-motion dinosaurs blue-screened in later and plastic props.
But for all the cheese, it became a beloved show in the States and has long since snatched the title “cult classic”.
Plus, it attracted some serious talent behind the scenes…
Next: Famous Pen-Wranglers