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LAND OF THE GIANTS-RESCUE

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RESCUE



Production Number:

Filmed:

First Aired:



SYNOPSIS



Teaser

The seven Spindrifters run in a picnic area of the forest, chased by Sergeant Gedo of the SID. He tosses a smoke bomb at them; Steve ordering the other to split up. He and Dan run right into two giant children, Tedar and Leeda, who chase them--and fall into a deep, long abandoned mine shaft well.



Act One

While a newscaster reports on the tragedy, the Spindrift travellers feel bad about the children but Steve blames Gedo--who uses their worry over the children as a distraction to attack again. This time he gets a net over Steve and Dan, who tries to help, is also caught. In the box they are put in, Steve tells Dan that one of them must fly the spaceship whenever it is repaired--and Dan's reply is "whenever..." A Lt. Emar, handling the rescue operation, tells the newscaster that they are afraid to dig past a caved in obstruction for fear it will fall into the children below. The kids are on a ledge over a subterranean river. Mark is surprised to find Barry warning he and Fitzhugh from following Gedo--he had ordered Betty, Valerie, and Barry back to the spaceship. Barry tells him the girls have a plan to save the pilot and copilot. Betty and Val climb up the park bench, trusting Mrs. Bera not to turn them in. With Betty more sympathetic than the harshly realistic Val, they convince Mrs. Bera to ask Emar to contact Kobick to ask if Steve and Dan can descend into the well to help find the children and help get them out, reporting on the area below. She agrees and the girls meet up with Mark, Fitzhugh, and Barry, going to listen as Emar calls Kobick. Val thinks the SID Inspector will go for it--Mark doesn't. When Emar gets him on the phone, Kobick says, "No."



Act Two

When Kobick tells Steve and Dan to make it easy on Barry by turning them all over to his protective custody, Steve and Dan answer by telling him he isn't interested in the welfare of children. When Talph Bera, the children's father, visits Kobick's office, punching Gedo and threatening Kobick if anything happens to his children, Steve and Dan volunteer, free of charge. Kobick still refusing to grant them their freedom--"it is out of my hands" and that they belong to the state---agrees to let them try to help anyway. Steve gives Kobick a radio and he and Dan are lowered into the well on ropes attached to a pulley system. The newscaster warns viewers about having items around which children may find themselves trapped in. While Fitz and Mark go to check out shaft blueprints of the old mine, Steve and Dan approach blockage in the shaft. With tools sent down (two spoons) they dig but cause a cave in. Kobick tells Emar, "While I'm concerned about those two children down there, I don't want anything to happen to those two little people--they're part of a group--a group we want BADLY." Thanks to Fitz's slip on the giant plans of the shaft, Gedo and Kobick come to the area they are in and begin searching. They don't know it but they trap Mark and Fitzhugh, who are forced into hiding between a rock and a giant wooden crate.



Act Three

Val and Betty cause a distraction which sends Gedo and Kobick their way. Mrs. Bera arrives and calls the other two giants over to the well, allowing all four of the Earth people to get away clean. Mark compliments the ladies and then sends them and Barry on their way back to the ship--with Betty and Val complaining. Mark and Fitz saw enough of the shaft to begin digging into a forgotten horizontal tunnel which intersects with the vertical area the kids are trapped in. Steve pulls Dan out of a hole he was stuck in during the cave in. The two men pass the obstruction, land on a root just above the kids, and see that the children are unconscious. Air masks are sent down and the boy child is instructed to use them by Steve. The girl wants to keep Dan since she likes him so much. The boy apologizes for chasing them--they wouldn't have hurt them. The shaft is still threatening to cave in on them and they'll have to find another way out. Mark and Fitzhugh dig into the area through a hole just above the root Dan and Steve are on. This seems to restart the cave in!



Act Four

The cave in is not bad--this time. Mark relays that they can all get out through the shaft but Steve and Dan won't abandon the children. Mark tells them that they can get it clear if the boy helps them dig and the kids can get through also. The children speak to the parents by radio. Steve asks the giants to send down one oxygen mask--the masks had been removed to give them room to work. The plan: let the kids get out the horizontal shaft while they will climb up the vertical one using the oxygen mask wire as a rope. The children get out, keeping the big secret that Mark and Fitz were with them, but the plan for the Earth men to get out cannot be followed. They will have to follow the children out the same way--the way Kobick is expecting them to come out. This is because as Dan began to climb up, the whole cave wall came down, nearly burying the four men.



Tag

Kobick had the vertical shaft covered by his men--and if the four went up that way, they were sure to be caught. The men survive the cave wall collapsing with Fitzhugh hit the hardest but he recovers, thanks to Steve, who helped him and not thanks to Mark--who saw him fall. Steve fakes radio interference in the horizontal tunnel. When they get to the tunnel exit, Mark insists he and Fitzhugh stay with Steve and Dan--leaving together. He won't abandon the other two men. They make a run for it and the two giants there--Gedo and Kobick attack them, meaning to grab them up. Mr. Bera blocks the giant SID workers--and Gedo pulls a gun on him; Mrs. Bera urges the four men on and also blocks Kobick. Kobick tells Gedo not to shoot Bera and to put his gun away--they will get the little people later. The men meet the girls and Barry in the forest and they rejoice.



RESCUE REVIEW



Another prolific story by the diverse writing team of Bob and Esther Mitchell. The contemporary plot actually happened in 1988 when a little girl fell down an abandoned well as John Peel and I discussed a long time ago. However, this has been happening to children for years unfortunately. A 1951 film called THE WELL describes what occurred to a townspeople when a little black girl feel down a well. The whites and blacks worked together to get the girl out--as do the giants and the little people in RESCUE. So, the story isn't new. The writers handle it with flair, easing the idea into LAND OF THE GIANTS while also involving further development of the characters of the series. Bob and Esther seemed to be the ONLY writers who truly knew each and every character better than any others (another who this could be said about is THE INSIDE RAIL writer Richard Shapiro). Each character maintains their personality so cleverly conceived by the previous 22 episodes that were produced. Val is more truthful in a harsher way than Betty when they talk to Mrs. Bera; Betty worries that their plan will backfire while Val thinks it will work; Mark is pessimistic about it from the beginning; the girls and Barry don't listen to Mark very well; Steve chastises Dan for not getting away while Dan's intention was for both of them to get away. Steve as a character proved fallible and that he could make mistakes is what made him human--unlike most heroes in science fiction television series and perhaps all television as a whole during the 60's and 70's.

For once Kobick's humanity seeps into the teleplay especially when comparing him to the viscous Gedo. Gedo was a loyal state employee, so loyal he could be termed a fanatic--it is more than a job to him. He is a much colder person than Kobick and he hardly ever mentions the children or their welfare at all. He only defends Emar from the worried and overbearing Mr. Bera because, like him, Emar is a state employee. Emar makes it clear to us, if not Gedo, that he couldn't stand Gedo. Emar, in contrast, was a very human, concerned giant. Many of the Mitchell's tales involve such giants (Parteg from NIGHT OF THROMBELLDINBAR, Jodar from GENIUS AT WORK, Obeck in SABOTAGE, and Dr. Brule in THE CREED). RESCUE seemed to have LOG's largest guest cast and as such, each supported the story with dramatic expertise. Everyone added something special to it. Don Collier was semi-regular the teen western drama THE YOUNG RIDERS which began in 1989.

Not for the first time, an entirely new score made this episode interesting for a change of pace from the usual John Williams music cues. Leith Stevens wrote this brooding and ominous score with had new chase music and some lighter moments--but not many since the subject was such a serious one. At times, the score is a little slow in spots but fitting with the screen's picture a great deal. The new chase music was very good and quick paced.

We also have another example of the giant's names sometimes sounding different from how they are spelled or pronounced---in this episode Tedar seems to be called Teddy by the other characters and even himself. This was also an episode that took place entirely during the day.

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