Stranded astronauts Mac (Frank Aletter) and Hector (Jack Mullaney) have their space capsule ready to blast off thanks to crystal and carbon (a diamond) collected by their prehistoric friends Gronk (Joe E. Ross) and Shad (Imogene Coca). The diamond was taken from an idol and when Boss (Cliff Norton) finds out he has Clon (Mike Mazurki) and the whole tribe to find and kill them. They gather their children Breer (Pat Cardi) and Mlor (Mary Grace) and run into the jungle where they tell the astronauts their predicament. They decide to take the prehistoric family with them back to the 20th century. (This cuts to the opening credits, which has changed to explain the new scenario with a faster tempo.) Mac reverses the same flight data that landed them back in time, which should precisely bring them back. They touch down in front of a house, which is still somewhat shocking even knowing it's coming, because of being in one million B.C. for the entirety of the series to this point. The astronauts always explained to the prehistoric peoples that they were "from the other side of the hill", and that's where the cave family thinks they are. Gronk wanders away and starts clubbing a "strange animal"- a Volkswagen Beetle driven by a little old lady. The cave people comically try to adapt to 20th century sayings and way of life. The astronauts take the prehistoric family back to their apartment. "A nice cave," says Shad. Hector can only explain a chair to Gronk as "a soft rock" and Shad finds the rocking chair to be "alive". The family makes a mess hiding in the apartment while the astronaut's return to the air base. General Morley (familiar character actor Frank Wilcox) doesn't believe their story and has them examined by a psychiatrist (Jan Arvan). Meanwhile, the Gronk family floods the apartment and creates a hole sending it onto their downstairs neighbor (Alan DeWitt), who finds them and calls the police. Shad accidentally turns on the TV and they are frightened and run away. On the sidewalk, they are mistaken for beatniks. Gronk spots a construction site crane and thinks it is a dinosaur, sending the family scurrying. They find comfort in a remote part of a park and set up primitive housekeeping. Needing food, Gronk fashions a spear and sets off to find an animal- ending up comically at the Los Angeles Zoo. What will happen to our favorite prehistoric family?
This is easily my favorite episode of "It's About Time" to this point. The story engages the viewer every second and is full of comedic misunderstandings. You can really identify with the prehistoric peoples after watching the series for so long in 1 million B.C.; the surroundings seem new to me too, especially to have never witnessed the 60s. Even though we know it's short-lived, it breathes new, needed life into the series.
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