Updated: May 15, 2012
GIANT'S PHOTO GALLERY #07
Land of the Giants was an hour-long American science fiction television program lasting two seasons beginning on September 22, 1968 and ending on March 22, 1970. The show was created and produced by Irwin Allen. Land of the Giants was the fourth of Allen's science fiction TV series. The show was aired on ABC and released by 20th Century Fox Television. The series was filmed entirely in color and ran for 51 episodes. The show starred Gary Conway and Don Marshall. Author Murray Leinster also wrote three novels in 1968 and 1969 based on the television series.
Show premise set in the then-future year of 1983, the series tells the tale of the crew and passengers of a sub-orbital transport spaceship called the Spindrift. In the pilot episode, the Spindrift is en route from Los Angeles to London via the ultra-fast route of a parabolic trajectory. Just beyond Earth's boundary with space, the Spindrift encounters a strange space storm and is transported to a mysterious planet where everything is twelve times larger than its counterpart on Earth. The Spindrift crew calls the inhabitants "the giants". Given relative proportions shown on the show, the giants are about 72 feet tall (similar to Gulliver's situation in the second part of "Gulliver's Travels", when he is in the land of Brobdingnag). Everything on their planet is built to their scale — buildings, cars, animals, etc. The Spindrift crashes on this planet and becomes inoperable.
These giants are humanoid in form, and though their society resembles in some respects that of 1960's America, their government is totalitarian. However few precise details are given and no governmental symbols are ever seen. The giant government has offered a reward for the capture of the tiny Earth people, presumably because of the Earth's superior technology. Episodes often have the plot of giants capturing one of the passengers or crew with the rest having to rescue him or her. The Earth people avoid capture most of the time because their spaceship is hidden in a forest outside the city. They also occasionally form alliances with individual giants to achieve some commonly beneficial purpose.
ProductionThe show was created by Irwin Allen. With a budget of US $250,000 per episode, Land of the Giants set a new record. The actors had to be physically fit, as they had to do many stunts themselves, such as climbing giant curbs, phone cords and ropes. Don Marshall who played the part of Dan Ericson, credited his previous football, track and pole vaulting work that helped him with the stunts required.
Elements of Allen's Lost in Space series recur in Land of the Giants, notably the relationship between the foolish, greedy traitor, an on-the-run bank robber named (Naval) Commander Alexander B. Fitzhugh (Kurt Kasznar), and the young boy Barry Lockridge (portrayed by Stefan Arngrim); paralleling the relationship in Lost in Space between Doctor Zachary Smith and the young Will Robinson.