Land of the Giants (TV Series 1968–1970) Poster

(1968–1970)

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10/10
A memorable show.....
contradad-13 October 2004
At a cost of over $250,000 per episode, "Land of the Giants" was the most expensive show of its time.(As well as the highest rated

when it premiered in October of 1968). That money was well spent on impressive visual effects, camera tricks, and enormous realistic props that had the audience believing they were watching 7 space travellers accidentally stranded on a world where everything was twelve times the size of the equivalent things on earth. This show remains visually quite impressive and is well remembered by those of us old enough to have seen it during its first run. Gary Conway and Don Marshall lead the cast as the pilot and co-pilot of the ill-fated 'Spindrift' spacecraft and

and Kevin Hagen is extremely effective in several episodes as the government agent of the giant world with the assigned task of hunting the earthmen down.
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Missing the point
hernebay24 April 2001
As a child growing up in England in the late 60s, my favourite TV show was "Lost in Space", but "Land of the Giants", which replaced it from time to time in the schedules, was only slightly less intriguing. It didn't boast a character quite so camply magnificent as Dr Zachary Smith (my lifelong hero!), but its parallel-world scenario struck me as deeply haunting and thought-provoking. All of the reviewers who berate LIS and LOTG for their creaky plots and primitive special effects are missing the point; these shows relied on a willing suspension of disbelief, and the imaginative collaboration of their audience (for the most part, children). I pity rather than envy the present generation of children, whose dreams are delivered to them ready made.
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We were all in a Land of Giants
jimprax-11 May 2007
Having just read all the comments I had an idea of why this show made such a strong impression on so many.

It seems many of the people that were fans were kids when this first aired (I was six, probably became truly imprinted on my neural circuits in early syndication). I believe this show connected so much with its audience because as young children we all felt in some way that we were living in a Land of the Giants and so we identified very much with all the characters.

Anyway, sorry for the cheesy pop psychiatry, but that's my theory and I'm sticking with it.

Now if I can only figure out why I loved so many other 60's/70's TV sci-fi (Star Trek, Lost In Space, UFO, Space 1999, etc)
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Unbelievable!
raysond8 June 2000
Recently,I got a chance to see some of the episodes on a local cable channel,and this was my favorite Irwin Allen series of them all. Several people including the dog,have crash-landed on earth,but its not the same planet that their ship was from. The special effects here are unforgettable which involved the characters to find themselves in some odd situation after another (especially in one episode where they are in a little girl's room where they take refuge in a doll house,only to be stalked by a giant cat!) Basically everything went just right with this series which didn't last long when it ran on ABC from 1968-1970,but it was a classic worth seeing.
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Irwin's Allen homage to "Dr. Cyclops" and "The Incredible Shrinking Man"
Reginald D. Garrard2 April 2006
After "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea," along with "Lost in Space" had made their four-year and three-year runs, respectively, Irwin Allen returned to television with this ambitious show about seven travelers (eight, if you count the dog) lost on a world wherein they are "six inch oddities" amongst giant EVERYTHING. The pilot episode, appropriately entitled "The Crash" was, by far, the best of the entire two-year life of the show. Featuring spectacular set pieces, a brilliant John Williams' score, and good (for the budget and the era) special optical effects, though the giant spider didn't work so well.

It's a shame, however, that the show didn't live up to the promise of weekly adventure as exhibited in the pilot. It's obvious that Allen was looking for another Will Robinson/Dr. Smith pairing with the characters of Barry and Commander Fitzhugh. Though actors Stefan Arngrim and Kurt Kaszner did their best, the scripts and the interplay between the two was not convincing.

As far as the other characters, they fit the typical stereotypes: the spoiled rich girl (Deanna Lund), the self-centered businessman (Don Matheson), the brave captain (Gary Conway), the dependable stewardess (Heather Young) and the "token" co-captain (Don Marshall). The latter has the distinction of being the sole African-American to star in an Irwin Allen television production; obviously, the producer was buckling, deservedly so, to have a better representation of the real look of America, as well as the world.

Of the four shows produced by Allen during the 60's, "Land of the Giants" possibly is the most difficult to categorize or even to recommend. It's not campy enough to be remembered as fondly as "Lost in Space"; it's not as adventurous as the underwater adventures of the submarine Seaview in "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea"; and neither is it as innovative as the time travelers in the shorter-lived "The Time Tunnel" It's just a nice trip down memory lane for those of us that happened to have been around when Sunday nights meant "Lassie," "The Ed Sullivan Show," "Bonanza," and, of course, for two years, "Land of The Giants".
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7/10
Cheesy sci-fi or Cold War Metaphor?
atman9879 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Having watched the whole run, it strikes me that Land of the Giants is really an elaborate Cold War metaphor. The giants themselves are like the old Soviet Empire during its heyday. At first blush they seem imposing, intimidating, seemingly impossible to overcome. Yet the giants are also clumsy and slow. Their society is like an old Marxist republic: dull, repressed, technologically backward; its denizens sullen if not malevolent. The giants are unwieldy and inefficient, like the bureaucracy of the state itself. The American "little people," thwart them time and again with Yankee ingenuity, creativity, and teamwork.

The passengers and crew of the Spindrift are a disparate group with characteristics of "western decadence," (e.g., a rich, arrogant capitalist, a spoiled, shallow socialite, an opportunistic con artist.) Yet reflecting the ideal of American democracy, everyone pulls together when it counts, though perhaps after heated--and sometimes violent--debate.

On the downside, the show often seems to be "Land of the Giant Plot-holes." At a twelfth size, the little people often seem to traverse the city impossibly fast. The Spindrift lights flash day and night, inviting investigation from any passerby. The idea of camouflage doesn't seem to occur to the little people. Maybe a canary yellow blouse and a fire engine red jumpsuit aren't the best fashion choices for avoiding notice. They're constantly hunting for food because grocery stores are hard to break into, yet they have little trouble in pharmacies when there's a need for medicine.

I'll pass no judgment on the special effects; they were the best that TV could produce at the time, and many times hold up pretty well. However, the novelty of giant props like pencils and telephones wears off after a bit. The little people are forever climbing up and down the same table legs, ducking under the same doors, hiding against the same street curbs. It seems in retrospect that whole episodes could have been devoted to the problems of basic survival at a small size. How do they cross a small stream that to little people appears a mighty river? How do they deal with a nearby ant-hill? Instead, the plots are often fantastical and surreal, stretching the belief factor in a show that is pushing that envelope in the premise already.

On the upside, the cast is a pretty good set of actors. Kurt Kaszner seems to have the most fun, and his brilliant panache at playing Fitzhugh is the only thing that makes that character tolerable. Don Matheson gets to have the next most fun as hot-headed Mark Wilson. Matheson shows great aplomb at spewing the techno-babble required of the character. It's also good to see an engineer who isn't portrayed as an awkward nerd. Kudos also to Gary Conaway for his understated hand with Captain Burton. Conaway looks like he came out of the same TV leading man factory that produced Robert Conrad and Christopher George. But I think Conaway was the better actor and it's a wonder he didn't have a more notable career.

The women are good but horribly underwritten. Heather Young as Betty does get to show off her dancing and singing talents in the marionette episode. Otherwise, the character seems a template for a bland future soccer mom. One gets the impression that being a stewardess was just a prelude to catching a handsome pilot and having babies. The writers should have written her as a trained nurse, so at least they could involve her more for medical necessity. Deanna Lund gets to hint at Valerie's inner vixen, but never fully show it. This is a shame; they should have played it up, making her a foil for the dominant Burton and Wilson.

This show is ripe for a reboot/revival. It would be cool to see the Sci-Fi Channel tackle Land of the Giants in the same way they did Battlestar: Galactica.
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Best Sci-fi TV series!!!
cayetanoeustaquio9 September 2005
In 1968, when Land of the Giants first aired, I was a 9 year old kid back home in the Philippines. I do not remember much of the episodes by story, only bits and pieces of it. Like the giant gun the little guys used to shoot the giant that was after them. The ax they used made of a match stick and half a razor blade. Air ducts to escape and of course, my personal favorite... the Spindrift! I was most fascinated by the realistic props that were created than the plot of the whole thing. I focused on the small items that we normally see around the house and outside our backyards, transformed into colossal objects that can hardly be moved 5 feet without the help of your friends and a serious workout.

The Spindrift is the reason I became a model maker. I do not know how many times I've made the Spindrift out of cardboard. This was because, in my country at the time, there were no merchandising of any kind for any TV series or movie. And now, thanks to the internet, I just purchased a model of the Spindrift and the entire 51 episodes of the series (as I type this comment out, I'm still waiting for my order to get here). This time I can focus more on the storyline. Of course the impact will not be as great considering there have been tons of Sci-fi movies with way more advanced FX since then like Star Wars. But the memories live on and to me, Land of the Giants will always be the best Sci-fi TV series ever made! I don't care what other people say!
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An INtelligent Worthwhile Show
richard.fuller16 August 2004
Clearly someone knew what they were doing with this thing, but when it messes up, it really messes up.

But I think the pros greatly outweigh the cons.

Problems consist of the attempt to get Lost In Space's success with Jonathan Harris and Billy Mumy with Kurt Kaznar and Stefan Arngrim. That was a miss. Arngrim looks unhappy the entire time he was on this show. And Kaznar was too hammy.

It seems at one time the realization was that Deanna Lund was more appealing visually, so there would be attempts to make a trio of troublemakers, but that seemed to be the wrong direction as well. I think Valerie could have done it but with one of the other characters, acting wise. She just wasn't clicking with Kaznar or Arngrim.

The second glitch seems to be was it earth or not Earth, if not Earth then why did so much of it look like Earth. This led to much confusion as well.

Problem 3 was unavoidable. Our flight attendant Betty became pregnant in real life. By the time she returned to the show and was able to go with the plots rather than being hindered by her pregnancy, it seems it was too late and the show was tanking.

Betty actually worked better with Kaznar than Valerie did.

The truly amazing thing about seeing this show for the first time just a few years ago is that none of the main cast went on to do anything, so they were all brand new for me.

Oh, there are recognizable guest stars like Jack Albertson, Jesse White, John Carradine, Susan Howard, Bruce Dern and Yvonne Craig, but none of the regulars ever did anything else.

Stefan Arngrim's sister, Allison, went on to portray Nellie Oleson on Little House and she had much more life than her older brother did here.

The saving grace for this show is plots. Some of these plots here are worthy of the original Star Trek. Off the top of my head, standouts are the clone episode with much greater comprehension of how to do twin portayals and the final episode with Dern and Craig is phenomenal to watch.

These shows are hardly an insult to the intelligence.

It seems Land of the Giants aired in the UK and outside of America more than it did within the states after it had been cancelled, as I never saw this show before or even heard of it.

It is deep, that's for sure. Pity there couldn't have been a conclusion episode where the passengers and crew returned to 1983 (!) but the final episode is an intriguing finale in and of itself.
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7/10
Pure Hokum But Great Fun
screenman29 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
What nonsense! But what clever effects!

So far as set-pieces and effects were concerned, someone had really tried. And quite a lot of money must have been stumped-up to produce it - which was brave for such an implausible sci-fi fantasy of 1960's vintage. The big problem (for me) was the fact the the land of the giants looked suspiciously like a normal terrestrial environment with normal human beings. It could as easily have been called 'Land Of The Midgets', but that we were presented the scenario from the midgets' perspective and induced to empathise with them.

The colossal furniture and contrived gadgets were great fun to see and at times there was some genuine drama and tension. But - as usual - with so much investment, the idea was milked for all it was worth and went on far too long. That was a problem with a lot of American 'concept' series, including 'Lost In Space', which it rather resembled, 'The Invaders', 'Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea', and the seemingly interminable 'Fugitive'.

I was also a little amazed how these 'castaways' always managed to remain so well groomed. Every episode saw them neatly permed and coiffured, clean-shaven, and never a smudge on their faces or a tear in their clothing (until they had an adventure). Their slacks were so tightly creased they might have come fresh off the peg from the local outfitters. Which they probably did. And this despite endlessly scrabbling through drain-pipes, air-ducts, and sundry rat-runs. In the real world these places would be wet, slimy, mouldy, smelly and crawling with unpleasant life-forms on a comparable scale to the giants. Where were all the other life forms? Things seemed a little too hygienic to be believable. Even for 1968.

Still, it was a fun programme for kids, before it overstayed its welcome and turned into a repetitive little-'n'-large soap-opera. With such comely wenches and handsome dudes, one can't help thinking that sooner or later there's have been some hanky-panky in the pipes.
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Greatest Sci Fi Series ever
dashro313 February 2001
Even though it lasted only two seasons and 51 episodes Land of the Giants is in my opinion the best sci fi series ever produced. Once a week you were with seven stranded castaways...but not on any island...on a hositle giant earth-like planet. Gary Conway and Deanna Lund are especially great in the roles of Steve and Valerie.
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2 women, 4 men, a boy and a dog in a strange world .....
b_e3Kpi25 August 2004
I first watched this Irwin Allen sci-fi series when it was shown in the late 80s on Channel 4 in the UK. I found it a lot more entertaining than Allen's other creations "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea", "Lost in Space", etc.

Yes, the special effects and props used were basic, but this was obviously in line with what was available in 1968-70.

In my view, it was mostly the late Kurt Kasznar's acting that carried the series. Kurt played the role of Alexander Fitzhugh, one of the stranded Spindrift's passengers. He formed a close fatherly bond with Barry (played by child actor Stefan Arngrim), the youngest member of the stranded group. Fitzhugh was seldom co-operative with other members of the party. He loved his wisecracks, was always hungry, and was rather selfish. He was understandably desperate to return to Earth, but with or without the others (including Barry!).

It was quite obvious that actors Gary Conway, Don Marshall, and some of the others performed most, if not all, of their own stunts. This provided a touch more realism to the series.

I'll always remember guest star Michael Ansara's evil laugh in the episode "On a clear night you can see Earth". I watched the whole series again when it was rerun on BSkyB's sci-fi channel. Excellent entertainment for all age groups!

My rating : 8.5 out of 10!
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Underrated
Brian Washington14 February 2003
This has to be one of my favorite shows. Sure, many people see it primarily as a carbon copy of Irwin Allen's other classic "Lost in Space", but this show had a little more depth than its more successful cousin. I say this because this was probably the only Irwin Allen production that dealt with a serious issue, totalitarianism. Even though it rarely was mentioned, the planet of the giants could have passed for the Soviet Union and, ironically, the show debuted a few weeks before Soviet tanks rolled into Czechoslovakia and crushed the "Prague Spring". In fact, the show was very popular in countries that were behind the Iron Curtain.
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Excellent TV science fiction series
Chris Gaskin30 September 2004
I first watched Land of the Giants when Channel 4 screened it in the late 1980's and early 1990's as I wasn't born when it was first made. Irwin Allen (Lost in Space) directed it.

A spaceship, The Spindrift, passes though a strange cloud while traveling from New York to London and ends up on an earth like world, but everything is miles bigger. People on board the ship include the Captain, co-pilot, a rogue and a boy and his dog, Chipper. This is where the adventures begin. They become known as the Little People while in this strange land.

The cast is lead by Gary Conway (I Was A Teenage Frankenstein).

I rather enjoyed this series and would be nice to see Channel 4 repeat it again.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
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One Of Irwin Allen's Many Great Creations
Big Movie Fan16 December 2002
People who dislike this show are missing the point. Shows such as this were never meant to be taken seriously. They were totally tongue-in-cheek and were not meant to be deep shows with some universal message.

The show was about a US spaceship-the Spindrift-which went through some kind of space warp and ended up in a world identical to Earth-the only difference being that everything was much much bigger. The crew was led by Captain Steve Burton and they tried in vain to fix their ship and evade giant people and giant animals.

It was a great show. Like other Irwin Allen shows, the heroes were always out of their depth. Minature people against giants-fantastic idea. Don't expect anything deep when watching this-just a damn fine show.
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10/10
All Time Favorite Show
fuzzyfacefreak6 December 2001
I first saw this fantastic show when it originally aired. I have watched it every time it's on tv (and when it's taken off the air I watch my tapes of the show!) It is the best sci-fi show ever made! The camera angles and the realistic props are excellent. Great story lines and even greater actors made it a wonderful show! My favorite was beautiful and sexy Deanna Lund as Valerie. I wish it had lasted more than just 51 episodes. If you love sci-fi this show is a MUST see!!
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A Show Before It's Time
tinoburke19 July 2008
I Grew Up as a child watching Land Of The Giants and was amazed and pulled into the fantasy, what I liked about the show first was that even though the country was in a race conflict at the time that the character Dan, who is African American was adapted into the show and not once was race an issue or brought up so I thought of him no different(To Bad actors like Will Smith Keep reminding us he is Black)getting away from that I had a crush on Valerie my first and I wanted to be Steve the cool guy and Mark was also cool,later when I saw Star Wars Harrison Ford reminded me of how much his Han Solo looked like an almost was like Mark from the show,and fitzu was perfect we did not need a copy cat of Dr Smith,it was to bad it was canceled and a movie is not in the works, I had not seen the show from the time I was 8 years till I was in my 30s on fx and getting a chance to see it as a child and adult I was amazed how great the special effects really were for a show that did not have computers and the loved it even more, thank you Irwin Allen and the cast for entertaining me in my life and the great work Land of The Giants did ( I miss my lunch box)
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Planet of the Giants
loveless24725 January 2018
If there was a happy-ending episode to conclude the series, it may have been like this: The seven people on the Spindrift didn't travel through time or distant space but were shrunk like the movie "Fantastic Voyage" and landed on Earth in an English speaking place at the present time. That's a similar concept as the movie "Planet of the Apes". That's why we see the same cultures, fashions and technology as Earth of the late '60s. Some familiar products and objects appear but are just twelve times in larger scale except the audio level. The Captain insists he saw Earth in "On a Clear Night You Can See Earth" but it was his wishful thinking or mental distortion.
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8/10
Deserves a reboot
Parker Lewis8 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Land of the Giants deserved a longer run and one episode I recall was when Stefan Arngrim's character was saved from being spider food by an l guy who became the sacrificial lamb. This series, along with The Time Tunnel, were excellent 60s series and perhaps really deserves a reboot.

I wonder how the family managed to eat and find miniature toilets and so on. Makes you wonder.
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8/10
A slightly different kind of series.
I doubt there have been many television shows where most of the main characters have been reduced to about an inch in height. Nevertheless, this is what we have with "Land of the Giants." Having that kind of story angle makes this series slightly unique. From what I've seen thus far, the show hasn't been disappointing by a long way. The episodes depict the various challenges that the main characters face from episode to episode. There is a fair degree of intrigue and suspense, as the characters narrowly avoid being wiped out by the full grown people - be it accidentally or otherwise. The budget for this series is a very good one, which is just as well. A lack of money would have been a considerable hindrance. The stories and the writing in general is very good. There aren't any famous or familiar faces amongst the main cast but that isn't a problem with me. An enjoyable slice of hokum that the whole family can enjoy.
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An Observation about Cats and Little People in Hollywood
jptuttleb25 May 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Irwin Allen, the creator and producer of the Land of the Giants series, was involved with Hollywood productions for decades. Land of the Giants was not the first screen story that depicted a cat chasing and endangering very tiny people. In both Dr. Cyclops (1940) and The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957), there is a tabby cat terrorizing unnaturally small human beings. These were obviously released prior to Land of the Giants (1968-1970). Irwin Allen was probably influenced and inspired by either or both of these films.
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10/10
Best show when I was a kid
angelabaz15 November 2016
Absolutely loved this show, watched every Sunday morning as a child. And have been watching land of the giants on the horror channel recently and still love it. The cast must of been so fit to do all the climbing. Gary Conway who plays captain Steve Burton is nice eye candy. fantastic cast and a few guest stars who I recognize. I think my favorite episodes are with Kevin Hagen as inspector Kobick. I only wished they had made more seasons or they had found there way back home. I wouldn't like to see a remake of this as I prefer the original cast as they made the show and no other actors of today could ever replace them as each actor/actress made the character their own on the show.
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7/10
Time jump to Brobdingnag
bkoganbing7 November 2016
Passing through a mysterious cloud a small subspace vehicle with the speed of the Concorde the passengers and crew of the futuristic ship land on an earth like planet. Only the people are giants compared to them about 12 times bigger. Funny thing is that they all speak perfect English.

But so did the giants of Brobdingnag in Jonathan Swift's classic Gulliver's Travels. Seven people and a dog now have to survive in a very horrible place where you have to fear the house cat. Seven people on Gilligan's Island as well, 7 people on Lost In Space as well. Seems to be the right number for a television series.

Lost In Space also had as its main feature the relationship between the boy, the rogue, and a robot. Here it was boy Stefan Arngrim, rogue Kurt Kaszner and a dog instead of a robot.

The rest of the cast was Gary Conway, Don Marshall, Don Matheson, Deanna Lund, and Heather Young. Like in Lost In Space they took a backseat to the aforementioned.

Surprised how few credit Irwin Allen from using Jonathan Swift as an inspiration. Land Of The Giants was not a classic, still it has a following to this day and rightly so.
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7/10
Unexplained plot point
Robert Gold27 November 2015
Warning: Spoilers
What is never explained to us is why the giants are taking care of the girl Marna. What did they want her for? What would they have done with all the others? How did her parents die? Did they kill them, and were they experimented upon too? It was an interesting episode featuring other shipwrecked passengers, but this plot line was not explored enough. It shows that perhaps not all giants wanted to harm the little people, but why not? This sort of built up a nice possibility to connect the giants with the stranded castaways, but then the link was broken quickly. Land of the Giants share much with its sister show Lost in Space, but this gaping plot hole might have been addressed there better in that series.
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Excellent show
pepjrp-423-51218115 July 2012
I also grew up with and enjoyed immensely all the shows, especially "Land of the Giants". I thought all of the European American actors & actresses as well as the African American played great roles. For a 11 year old kid at the time, it was very realistic and intriguing. I couldn't wait for the next weakly episode. I especially love watching now almost as much as back then, since when the show was new, we only had an old black & white TV at home that had poor reception and a blurry screen as that was the only way I got to view the show. Now I see them in a whole new and colorful clear light. It makes it almost seem like this is the first time I am seeing them.
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5/10
Kind of a lot of mad scientists
ghoolsby27 June 2011
I know it's just science fiction but I'm surprised by the sheer number of mad scientists. Did they land in a mad scientist gated community? And the same critter cage in every episode. Cut your way out once and you're good for two seasons.

And there are more humans coming and going in that same patch of forest. Are there human airliners crashing every day? And how does something 80 feet tall sneak up on them.

I've heard the novelizations are actually pretty good.

Irwin Allen was no Gene Roddenberry but his shows were more popular at the time than Trek was.
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