LAND OF THE GIANTS-Graveyard of Fools

Chase - Posted on 04 September 2009

Val and Fitzhugh during the day, are buzzed by a toy model plane which they 
were trying to obtain, figuring their group could escape in it. The two run 
to a fire hydrant, Fitz bragging he was a former fighter plane pilot. A giant 
scientist named Melzac grabs them and drops them into a box. Advance 
publicity put out about this plane exhibition was just a lure to get the 
little people here. Betty, Barry, and Mark watch. Steve and Dan arrive. Mark 
explains what he and the others overheard the giants plan to do with Fitz and 
Val: fly them to the other side of the planet in the model airplane. Steve 
knows of the other side of the planet: he's heard of it: the graveyard of 
Act One
Melzac and his aide Tagon test the plane but eventually go inside a large 
warehouse like lab building. Steve, Mark, and Dan follow. Melzac drops Fitz 
and Val into the plane after opening the door on it. Fitz tells Melzac he is 
an old research scientist himself. Val tells Fitz that none of the exploring 
parites that have ever gone to the Graveyard of Fools have ever returned. 
She's heard of this Graveyard also. Closing the door, the giants leave to 
adjust the control panels to the plane tracking systems. Mark moves to the 
floor panel where the controls operate from---they are in a cabinet, the 
doors of which Mark has to pry open.  Dan and Steve go to the plane up on the 
table where Val coaxes Fitz into giving her a hand in trying to open the 
door. The giants return and grab Steve and Dan also--flinging them in the 
plane. Steve tells the giants, "Look, we have no intention of flying anywhere 
in this crate."   Mark, near the cabinet uses a device to try to gain plane 
control. Steve tells Fitz, "We're not dead yet."  Tagon makes the plane take 
off. Mark falls, hurt from sparks that come from a small overload on the 
controls. Melzac calls Bryk at the graveyard complex. Bryk is told one of the 
little people must survive the encounter. Bryk contemplates, feeling sorry 
for the one who survives, "Those that die will be the lucky ones." 
Act Two
Turbulence in the plane becomes worse as Tagon puts on full emergency power 
and controls spark even more, this time in the plane itself. Against Tagon's 
advice, Melzac's orders to lock in the servo actuator to the plane control 
signals are carried out. Tagon puts Mark in his pocket, finding him. Melzac's 
plan is to use the actuator to control the planet. Multi colored lights make 
the four in the plane vanish, then the plane itself. A foggy brush covered, 
weed filled jungle unlike the forest Spindrift is in is where Val recovers 
from the encounter. She gets off the ground, finding tombstones---including 
Steve Burton's. NOTE: This prop was autioned off in the 1970s by FOX along 
with the Batmobile. Val cannot move the tombstone and doesn't see a hand rise 
up near her leg. Venturing past hanging vines, she nears a mauseleum--the 
outside of which has Fitzhugh's tomb against it. Val goes in past strange 
statues decorated with cobwebs. Fitzhugh startles Val from behind. Val 
enlists his help in trying to move Steve's tomb---which he hesitates to do. 
Nevertheless she pries Fitz into helping. That hand rises up again and grabs 
Fitzhugh's leg---making him yell---as he previously didn't want to disturb 
the resting place of the dead. It is Steve--alive. Fitz wonders if they are 
all dead and do not know it. Dan arrives for a joyous reunion with all three. 
Bryk presses a button, watching them via a tv screen. A high pitched sound 
emits and makes Val, Dan, Steve, and Fitz fall down into the fog. Tagon 
tosses Mark into a three pole forcefield triangle. Melzac demonstrates that 
it can fry Mark if he tries to leave the area between the poles. He wants to 
send Mark to the Graveyard on a back up trip. Melzac tells Mark about the 
servo actuator---the most powerful force on this planet which will give him 
the power to control time and space, and eventually the universe. It came, he 
and his brother and Tagon believe, from the stars from a long lost galactic 
civilization. Val, Dan, Steve, and Fitzhugh wake up, aware of not being in 
the plane but unsure of what happened in the graveyard---but they weren't 
flying long enough to reach the other side of the planet. Steve reckons they 
went through a time warp to this jungle which is how Earth looked one hundred 
million years ago. Fitz claims he was an old geologist and uses this to back 
up his complaints and fears. A titanic praying mantis towers over the 
foursome. They turn to run but from the other side a giant dinosaur--lizard 
comes rushing at them.
Act Three
Dan runs after Fitzhugh into the jungle. Val fears they will both be lost. 
She and Steve go another way, pursued by the four footed lizard giant. Bryk 
makes a giant Fitzhugh who is dressed like a pirate (not unlike the pirate 
Kasznar once played in a movie with Doug McClure) tower over Fitzhugh. The 
giant pirate tells Fitzhugh they are all going to die, insulting Fitzhugh as 
a coward and calling this the Graveyard. This, he insists is his land. Val 
and Steve pulling her, stop short by a giant boulder (almost a full range of 
the top of a mountain)  in front of them ready to fall off the giant ridge of 
a cliffside. It is ready to fall on top of them, poised to crush them. From 
the other side the giant monster moves slowly at them. Time freezes both 
hazards and they run. Val is tired, exhausted in fact and yells she can't go 
on, "I can't! I can't! I'm tired!"   The two fall into a hole which tunnels 
them into a reddish glowing tube. Dan falls in the jungle and hears calls of  
help from Betty and Steve as well as a stern call from Mark, saying, 
"Trouble, Dan, trouble."   He can't help them, which frustrates him. Betty's 
voice calls, "It's going to get me!"  Her voice calls for Dan to help her and 
that it is getting closer. Dan yells that he can't help them and this floors 
him. Betty, the real Betty, leaves Barry outside the giant's huge lab 
warehouse. With the thermal tool, she heads into a workroom of the 
installation of the giant's. She lazers a hole in the wall behind Mark (in 
the script both Betty and Barry go to do this). From the tool room she is in, 
Betty gets Mark a giant screwdriver which he uses to blow out the forcefield. 
Val and Steve cannot find a way out of the tube. Bryk removes the lid and 
looks in, talking to them, then he covers it and pushes the tube into the 
device. Val and Steve see behind them---the tunnel behind them leads to the 
flame of an atomic furnace they are now in the middle of. Dan finds and calms 
a confused Fitzhugh. The two hide as Bryk passes and uses his mind and those 
werid lights to summon the plane from thin air. He takes a piece out of the 
plane, leaves the plane down, and walks right through a solid tree. As an old 
naturalist, Fitzhugh refuses to believe one can walk into a tree but he 
follows Dan through it---frightened by the return of  the giant 
pirate-Fitzhugh outside. Bryk opens the tunnel again and hands Steve the 
piece he took from the plane--a replacement part which the giants could not 
replace themselves. If the two do not do this the giants will have the 
actuator destroy them. Bryk promises to have Melzac send them back once the 
pair put the piece into place. This whole trip was to put this part in to the 
tunnel--something the giants could not fit inside to do themselves. Bryk 
turns the tube and Steve and Val fall. Val falls hard and hits the back of 
her head.
Act Four
On the other side of the tree, Fitzhugh finds the rock wall behind he and Dan 
is now solid. On the other side of the planet, Betty notices the giants have 
found Mark missing. She and Mark at the cabinet controls. Betty tells him the 
giants have found him missing. Mark rewires the plane controls. Steve and Val 
learn the nuclear furnace is about to explode. Bryk tells Melzac the new part 
has boosted the power and enables himto use thought control. He wants to 
teleport the servo actuator and himself back to Melzac. Betty asks Mark what 
will happen to the others if it is teleported. Bryk talks to Steve after the 
piece is put into place, "This whole place is going to explode. Look, you're 
experimenting blindly in the fourth dimension. You're not going to rule this 
planet, you're going to destroy it!"  Bryk snuffs at this, "Big words for 
such a little man."  He replaces the lid, curious about what what will happen 
to the pair when the actuator teleports. He leaves the complex to find the 
plane. Dan and Fitzhugh find rope as Steve knocks the lid off. He and Val 
could not remove the new piece because it has already grown too hot. Steve 
tells Dan and Fitz to save themselves but Dan will not leave without them. 
Using the cord they climb down but Bryk returns and finds them missing. 
Hiding at the rock wall exit,  Dan figures the actuator can help them so he 
and Steve mentally concentrate to get themselves, Fitz, and Val back to the 
plane. The lights occur and the foursome vanish. Betty and Mark see more odd 
lights---and also see wavelength impulse images of Steve and Val running in 
the forest, then Dan and Fitzhugh, all running in seemingly slow motion. 
Transversing, the four appear in the plane. Mark contacts them and lifts the 
plane off from where he is. But Bryk grabs the plane. Steve tells him to get 
away before the actuator blows up. Hearing the overload, Bryk lets go of the 
plane and goes back to the complex. While Tagon and Melzac are busy with the 
sparking controls and trying to cut off the power to the actuator---Betty and 
Mark slip under the door and get outside. The lights bring the plane to the 
outside of the lab as it begins to explode. The four race out of it to the 
other three. The complex blows up (but Bryk was not in it). The plane also 
goes up in smoke. The lab seems to blow apart in a raging fire as the seven 
see its window blasted out. Fitzhugh tells the other six Spindrifters that 
with the actuator he could have shown the giants what to do with their 
planet. Dan says, "Nobody should be trusted with that kind of power."   Steve 
says, "Let's go."   He leads them away.
REVIEW: Broadcast as the last episode, this was a good episode to finish up 
with, certainly better than THE MARIONETTES (which was filmed last) although 
even MARIONETTES is underrated. Val and Betty both wear their new dresses and 
will for the rest of the season. Sidney Marshall, like William Welch, wrote 
illusion-nightmare weirdos for Allen. His VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE 
SEA--DEATH CLOCK had a similar device changing around the 4th dimension--- 
time. For VOYAGE he also had NIGHTMARE (another illusion based tale), DEATH 
FROM THE PAST, DEAD MAN'S DOUBLOONS (with Albert Salmi and involving 
pirates), and THE SILENT SABOTEURS (with George Takei).  This tale, while 
disjointed, is purposeful and rightly mysterious with new ways of showing 
familiar things. Case in point: the four teleporting at the end: Betty and 
Mark witness them running but we saw them vanish. And after their run, we see 
them materialize in the plane. Were they in hyper space? Running so fast via 
the mind powers that they couldn't be seen by the human eye but slowed when 
Betty and Mark saw them? No answers, really. The entire first crash and 
recovery sequence seems to be added in after the episode was completed. 
Perhaps it was filmed first. Lund was told by the director that her skirt was 
too short for TV so it had to be changed. Thus, Val has two different skirts 
on in this episode-- in some scenes it is longer, in others, shorter. Viewers 
might be able to tell in which. A lot of this episode was up for 
interpretation---did they really reach the other side of the planet? Or were 
they back in the Giant's prehistoric past? Was it Earth's prehistoric past? 
What were the tombs and statues in the cave for? Why didn't they remember 
their first landing fully? Was it the same place as the place with the tombs? 
 Did they go through a time warp? Did Melzac, Tagon, and Bryk escape? Was the 
actuator really destroyed? As with other second season episodes, this one 
could have had a sequel (this was also true of many GIANTS episodes: THE 
CLONES for one). In NIGHTMARE's case we could have seen the nightmares of the 
other characters. Salmi is good in this episode, having a different feel for 
each of the twin brothers and making them very different characters, despite 
not having much to work with. He appeared in LOST IN SPACE as Capt Tucker in 
the SKY PIRATE and TREASURE OF THE LOST PLANET. He passed away in 1990 after 
donig an episode of THE YOUNG RIDERS (which also has Don Collier of RESCUE as 
a semi regular). Marshall wrote fairly well for the main characters of GIANTS 
bar Barry who has no lines at all in the TV version. He has more to do and 
more lines in the script though. Marshall fails terribly, however, with 
Fitzhugh. He makes Fitz a very loud, complaining, braggart who is most unlike 
the Fitzhugh we have come to know in the other stories. He is constantly, in 
GRAVEYARD OF FOOLS, saying, "As an old _____________-expert, I can tell you 
that..."   After awhile this gets on one's nerves and just is too predictable 
to be "good Fitzhugh" material. Marshall also wrote this way for Fitzhugh in 
COLLECTOR'S ITEM (with "an old counselor at law" and as an old soldier").  A 
janitor scripted in the story is not seen in the TV version but he was cast 
and most likely filmed. His filmed parts must have been edited out. He was 
also given credit in the end titles! They were correct not to have the 
janitor since he served no purpose in the story.  Other script changes: Barry 
went with Betty to rescue Mark and all three were in the "government" lab.  
The dolls used to give the illusion of little people in the hands of the 
giants seemed to be larger than usual (although they look quite large in 
GIANTS AND ALL THAT JAZZ too). NO matter, they still looked very good. The 
actuator complex was a mishmash of VOYAGE sets and props, especially the 
reactor pile which was the actuator---which filled the complex AND the VOYAGE 
missile room was the overall complex. The teaser to the script ends with 
Melzac putting Val and Fitz in his smock pocket. In the script, the plane 
throws the four travelers about as it crashes amid "steam and volcani gases 
rising from crevices."   The scene then picks up with all four recovering to 
be menaced by the giant insect--which looks good in the TV version only when 
it is up close) and the lizard (which, an Irwin Allen stock footage bit from 
Allen's version of THE LOST WORLD) does not look too good. The script also 
has Mark and Betty talk about a LIMBO--a lost nowhere place while the four 
are running in psychedelic lights listed as "Int. Backing--Limbo Set."    An 
aerial shot was supposed to show the primeval area blown up from overhead. 
Again, as in HOME SWEET HOME, many lines are been changed to edit out useless 
and repetitious talk. The script from Dec. 9, 1969 is a revised shooting 
final and does not contain the Valerie--Fitzhugh-Steve's tomb sequence. It 
must have been added in as filler. The entire story is much better in the 
final televised version. That said, it is not always a logical straight 
forward tale and comes across as a mixed up set of sequences, none of which 
really make sense in the end...what kind of aliens made this machine? Were 
they light beings without any bodies? Why put a switch in a place that one 
cannot get to? What size were they? How did ESP get involved? There are more 

unanswered questions than answers.              

New Doctor Who Podshock schwag

Podcast Feeds

Subscribe to
the Doctor Who podcast
Doctor Who: Podshock

iTunes users click here
Gallifreyan Embassy - Doctor Who: Podshock - Doctor Who: Podshock

Direct podcast feeds:

Doctor Who: Podshock

MP3 Format Podcast:
Doctor Who: Podshock MP3

  More feeds and info

  Supporting Subscribers

Syndicate (RSS Feed)

Syndicate content


How do you rate Doctor Who: Thin Ice? (5=Fantastic)
5 TARDIS Groans
4 TARDIS Groans
3 TARDIS Groans
2 TARDIS Groans
1 TARDIS Groan
0 TARDIS Groans
Total votes: 1

Amazon US Store

Amazon UK Store

Latest image

DW Podshock 341 Cover