Today, the name “Irwin Allen” is mostly synonymous with disaster-driven big-screen 70’s spectacles like The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno. But in the 60’s, that name meant one thing only: the coolest sci-fi on television. Allen had created Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Lost In Space and The Time Tunnel in his 60’s heyday, and the run was capped off with a show called Land of the Giants.
This show was set in the near future (the mid-80’s) and focused on the crew of a rocketship: pilots Captain Steve Burton and Dan Erikson, ship stewardess Betty Hamilton, entrepreneur Mark Wilson, heiress Valerie Scott, young Barry Lockridge, his dog Chipper, and a mysterious government figure named Colonel Fitzhugh.
The crew’s troubles began when their ship was pulled into a ‘space warp’ during a transatlantic flight, thus pulling them out of this world and into another. When they landed in this new world, they discovered it was much like Earth, except for the fact that everything was TWELVE TIMES ITS NORMAL SIZE!
The problem was, the crew remained its original size, forced to fend off giant children and animals. Even worse were the giant adults who regarded the crew as freaks or subjects for experimentation. They also had to look out for Inspector Kobrick, a member of the giant world who wanted to track the crew down for his employers, a security agency called S.I.B.
The show’s storyline was built around the crew’s incidental adventures as they tried to repair their rocketship and attempt to return home. Memorable episodes included “Six Hours To Live,” in which the crew tried to save an innocent man who had six hours left before he was to be executed for a crime he didn’t commit, and “Every Dog Needs A Boy,” in which Barry had to risk discovery to get a giant veterinarian to help his injured pet Chipper.
Land of the Giants lasted for two seasons on ABC, ending its network run in September of 1970. It periodically returns to television in rerun form and is fondly remembered by the now-grown fans who thrilled to the weekly clash between the giants and the little people.
USA / ABC – TCF – Irwin Allen / 51×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 22 September 1968 – 6 September 1970
Creator/Executive Producer: Irwin Allen / Producers: Irwin Allen, Bruce Fowler
GARY CONWAY as Steve Burton
DON MARSHALL as Don Erickson
HEATHER YOUNG as Betty Hamilton
KURT KAZNER as Alexander Fitzhugh
DON MATHESON as Mark Wilson
DEANNA LUND as Valerie Scott