When the ship lands on the planet, the crew don't immediately realise that they are on a land inhabited by giants. Instead, given the vegetation that they have landed in (which, like every other thing on the planet is gigantic in size), they incorrectly assume that they have landed in some sort of forest or on a tropical island. Needless to say, it is not long before they encounter a giant; whilst attempting a failed take-off from the planet, a particularly unpleasant looking bespectacled specimen attempts to grab the ship and stares into the cockpit.
|The special effects aren't great but they aren't bad either.|
Naturally, not only are the giants a problem on this planet, so too are the disproportionately large dogs, cats, spiders and all manner of other hazards. Of course, just traversing such a massive landscape causes issues. Tables, chairs, curb-stones, and telephones (objects that we consider as utilities or labor-saving devices) are an absolute nightmare for the "little people" who have to fashion tools to climb up or use them. This includes the ingeniously crafted cotton and safety pin grappling hook rope and razor blade axe, made from scavenged materials discarded by the giant society. Even empty bean cans etc provide an invaluable source of sheet metal for our heroes!
So, what makes this now rather old sci-fi show so good? Despite its age, The Land of the Giants is fantastic, not least because of the set design and "stunts" carried out by the actual main-cast of characters. Yes, some of the ginormous creatures such as cats and bugs look obviously green screened or added-in. That said, the program has aged very well. The edge-of-seat action coupled with the feeling of apprehension as the audience thinks about "will they or won't they get caught?" is still as fresh now as it was back then. The show owes its greatness to the somewhat capricious nature of its director Irwin Allen. Despite fading into obscurity now, in the '60's through the '80's, he was famous for producing such episodic programs as Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea; Lost in Space; The Time Tunnel; The Swiss Family Robinson and Code Red along with such films as The Poseidon Adventure and The Swarm which gained him the moniker The Master of Disaster. However, as alluded to previously, it could be argued that he was also the master of irrational decisions, often refusing to work to smaller budgets than the massive (for the period) ones agreed –if Wikipedia is to be believed, $250,000 per episode!
|The first edition DVD case, designed to look like one of |
infamous traps set by the giants to catch the "little people".
It is on general release on DVD and the first edition is particularly good as the outer case is fashioned to look like one of the traps used by the giants to capture the "little people".
Do you have the box set? Were you a fan? Let us know in the comments below.