The Marshall family consisting of dad Rick, son Will and daughter Holly went over a waterfall. Then something funky happened the waterfall seemed to go on forever before depositing our trio in a land where there be dinosaurs. They did manage to set up camp in a cave and are trying to figure out what the heck is going on. Oh and uh dad Rick saw that there were three moons so yeah they aren’t where they used to be. The two kids witness three little hairy dudes trying to make fire with rocks. Then a tyrannosaurs comes after the fuzzies, but the smallest hairy guy trips and hurts his leg. Will and Holly manage to get him out of there. Through a short exchange they find out this guy is Chaka, well how do you do. They get him back to the cave and fix his leg. He sees Rick make fire with a lighter and ew that’s a neat trick. During the night Chaka swipes the lighter and take off. The Marshalls go after him somewhat mad that he stole from him. They run into Chaka and two of his people and have a slightly heated standoff then a dino comes by rawrrrrrr and the two groups go back to where they came from. The next morning the Marshalls wake up and find a bunch of giant fruit left for them likely by Chaka. They hope to see him again and roll the credits.
Other brief notes on this episode are that the kids see a pylon thing briefly in the jungle, but these come back in later episodes and with more explanations. We also see the homemade cave elevator and the flyswatter (big pointy stick for warding off giant dinos from the cave.
The negatives-The special effects are what they are -limited. Looking at it today if looks even more so very much on a tight budget.
The positives-The cast is overall decent for this kind of show. I always liked Spencer Milligan as the dad and the show went to pot in season three when he left. I like the cave set and how the family began adapting to their surroundings the best they can. This was a decent first episode that sets up the basic situation to get the show rolling.
I watched this show as often as I could back then on Saturday mornings. I’d watch it and then later in the day go outside to my sandbox with plastic dinosaurs, toy raft and usually cowboys filling in for the Marshall family. Then I’d act out the episodes I just saw. I bought the entire series a few years back and really felt like the first two seasons have held up well enough. It’s survival action show, but eventually they put in various sci-fi elements to explain where they are what’s going on. David Gerrold (writer of Star Trek’s The trouble with Tribbles) worked on this show for a while and I think he had a push and pull relationship with Sid and Marty Kroft over how to handle the show. However I think that Gerrold got enough of his ideas through to make this show interesting. Like all of the other Sid and Marty Kroft shows it was for kids, but unlike the other shows this one made an attempt to be more than just fluff while you swallowed down some sugary breakfast cereal and stared at the screen.