‘Land of the Lost’: An Illustrated Timeline

By Brother Bill / September 27, 2016

lotl-timeline_final_08

Click to enlarge.

This timeline (also available in PDF) attempts to chronicle key events from the original Land of the Lost series, which ran for three seasons from 1974-1976. Key events include the introduction of a new character or location, any traveling through time and/or space via time doorway or other paranormal means, events that altered the geography or climate of the Land of the Lost itself (like the big earthquake that literally shakes things up at the beginning of season three), etc.

Only those episodes in which something noteworthy occurred (sorry, “Stone Soup”) appear on the timeline. I assembled it working under the assumption that the original episode broadcast order represents the correct sequence of events (this is not necessarily true or agreed upon by Land of the Lost fans, but seemed a safe approach), and that the in-universe story of the Marshalls begins at approximately the same time that the first episode aired in the real world—September 7, 1974. I also assumed about a year passed between seasons (the Marshalls seem to do about a year’s worth of off-screen “catching up” between the end of season one and the beginning of season two, and of course the young actors visibly age between seasons as well).

Where exact passage of time is unclear, I did a best guess based on clues in the dialogue. For example, I landed on roughly 1876 as the year Captain Ruben Van de Meer boards the Flying Dutchman based on Uncle Jack dating his (Van de Meer’s) telescope at around 100 years old (although this could, of course, be way off).

Events in the 1991-92 series reboot, the ridiculous 2009 Will Ferrell movie, and any non-series material (e.g. the 1975 Little Golden Book, The Surprise Guests) are excluded.


bill-avatarBrother Bill is curator of The Haunted Closet blog. He loves spooky children’s books and old Halloween records, and his taste for pop culture ranges from Rankin Bass to Russ Meyer.

10 thoughts on “‘Land of the Lost’: An Illustrated Timeline

  1. Holy Crap! I don’t remember this show being this complex. WOW. Question is, was it meant to be or just happened because of different writers taking the reigns episode to episode and with actors coming and going? Excellent chart. Learned and remembered a lot.

  2. Wow. This is easily along the same scale of epic-ness as Dan Carlson’s Sci-Fi spaceship size comparison chart. So completely thorough! This would make a great poster for fans of LOTL. Thanks for all your effort!

  3. Pingback: ‘Automatic Man’ by Michael Sembello, 1983 (Music Video)

  4. It isn’t clear to me that the ever necessarily was an alternate version of 15 Elsewhen, in which Rani did not experience the events when she was the 12 year old Holly. The very fact that Rani has the same scar on her wrist that Holly does, attests (at least to me) that Rani’s past is exactly the same as Holly’s in Elsewhen. In other words, Rani was merely repeating the events she remembered experiencing herself.

    Consider: For without Rani’s influence, it’s hard to understand how those events could have possibly unfolded the same way, and leading to Holly’s scar. I suppose the scar could have been coincidental and happened for different reasons, but that would seem to undermine the whole point for the shared scar. I took the scar as evidence that Rani didn’t change the past at all, but rather fulfilled it.

    • Hi Jonathan. Of course when you’re dealing with alternate realities and parallel timelines there is so much “wiggle room” that trying to reconcile the narrative logically might be a moot point. But my rationale in citing an “alternate version of Elsewhen” goes like this: Rani was already aware that Holly faced this particular obstacle at this particular time, because she specifically returned to this point to offer Holly help. So we know the events of Elsewhen have already happened once to Rani (aka Holly) at least up to the point of her intervention. However, Rani doesn’t exist until Holly escapes from the Land of the Lost and grows up. So there must have been an unseen “prime” timeline in which Holly somehow gets through Elsewhen without Rani’s help, escapes Land of the Lost (in events that could have completely differed from what we are shown in the subsequent episodes of the series), matures into Rani and makes the decision to return and offer her younger self guidance, altering the timeline (to what degree, we don’t know) from that point forward.

  5. Small quibble: I would suggest considering relabelling the “Death in the Real World” scenario as “Alternate TimeLine 0” rather than “Alternate TimeLine 3”, since that is essentially the equivalent of the “Null Hypothesis”. It is interesting though how the events of 17 Circle simultaneously saves their lives, and allows them to escape LOTL.

    An Earthly interpretation of the events of 17 Circle would be that the Marshalls fall over the rapids, but before they are killed on the rocks, the disappear into a strange mist, and then suddenly reappear (presumably safe on the banks). An external observer might conclude that the mist simply teleported them, with the side-effect of giving the Marshalls strange hallucinations of having spent months in some fantasy location.

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