June 07, 2009

Indians in Land of the Lost

Correspondent DMarks, who unaccountably says Land of the Lost is his favorite TV show, has brought one episode to my attention.

Medicine ManTime and disease have made Lone Wolf and Captain Diggs sworn enemies. Even after the wisdom of one saves the other, the two remain steadfast in their hatred. Can the Marshall clan bring them together peacefully--or are they doomed to battle one another forever?A long summary of the episode:

"Medicine Man"

Screenshots, sound bites, and thoughts on the episode:

"Medicine Man"I wonder if writer Jon Kubichan was inspired by the comic book, Turok, Son of Stone, when writing this story of a Native American who finds himself trapped in the Land of the Lost. Turok is a comic book character created in 1954 who was a Native American who found himself trapped in the isolated Lost Valley which was populated by dinosaurs and from which he continually sought escape. Turok has also appeared in video games, trading cards, an animated DVD and is currently alleged to be in pre-production as a live action film. Turok was originally portrayed as a pre-Columbian Native American while LOTL's Lone Wolf describes himself as one of the Nez Perce of North America of 1877. Lone Wolf's head feather and pony-tails are similar to the depiction of Turok in comics.Comment:   Based on these postings, it seems the show made an effort to represent Lone Wolf as a real Nez Perce Indian from 1877. He seems to be nobler than his prejudiced adversary, Captain Diggs. The episode also respects the value of Native medicine.

The only questionable bit is how Lone Wolf seems to run and hide whenever he's in trouble. He doesn't seem to have the strongest character. Uncle Jack had to guide him to do the right thing.

DMarks also has reviewed the Land of the Lost movie. He notes one Native bit in it. An architectural model of a casino sports a chief logo with a face like Chief Wahoo's.

For more on the subject, see TV Shows Featuring Indians.

1 comment:

dmarks said...

Thanks for including this.

"Lone Wolf" was played by veteran actor Ned Romero, who has played many many Indians in movies and TV from the 1960s through this decade. This included playing an Indian in the recently-discussed Kung Fu series, and also Chakotay's great grandfather in Star Trek: Voyager.

IMDB describes Romero as having "Spanish, French and Chitimacha Indian roots." He has to be one of the busiest actors playing an Indian out there, with a career that was in the thick of the Western TV era, and has continued beyond.

Land of the Lost's third season was like Gilligan's Island, with odd characters coming and going. "Medicine Man" was above-average for the new characters. But it was below-average as a Land of the Lost episode (thinking of the challenging, alien elements that made the best episodes great).