This will never win any awards for special effects or great acting, but it will forever be one of the best Saturday morning shows ever filmed. The first two seasons, anyway.
Season one was supervised by veteran SF writer David Gerrold (who wrote the Star Trek episode Trouble With Tribbles and the time travel classic The Man Who Folded Himself, among many other fine works) who got some of the best SF names in the business to contribute scripts. The storylines through this season probed the possibilities of what might happen to the family in their "enclosed universe" and introduced some natives such as Chaka, and some dinosaur characters that they kept around as pets and for comic relief. It also addressed themes of peace and integrity that should be instilled into every young person's mind. And what better way to do that than through a format like this... what kid doesn't love dinosaurs? The last episode of this season, written by Gerrold, provided the closest thing to a "satisfying ending" the series ever got.
Season two was much shorter and Gerrold didn't stay with it. I think Ted Sturgeon contributed one script, but most of them were written by studio writers. The series held true to the first season and they explored many of the same themes and kept most of the same characters. At the end of season two, the father was sucked into a time portal. Spencer Milligan didn't want to continue with the series. As a complete series, these episodes should fit into a timeline that took place before the season finale to season one. The first two seasons contained a lot of great writing, some interesting twists, a character named Enid who always seemed to know a little more than he let on and always had something of positive moral value to contribute. There was always the threat of the Sleestaks (which were primitive versions of Enid, whose race had regressed with time), the T-Rex was a constant threat, and of course there had to be a way out... or was there? One problem was that they found a routine and settled in it and spent very little time during this season looking for a way out.
Season three was an embarrassment that violated the rules the show had established for itself. The kids' uncle (played by the guy who was in the short lived Planet of the Apes tv series), while searching for them, got sucked into the Land of the Lost just as the dad got removed. How convenient. Most of the characters disappeared, including Chaka's family (and Chaka looked different) and all of the dinosaurs disappeared except for the ones who kept trying to kill them. They moved into the abandoned city even though it was the place that posed the most danger to the family due to the Sleestaks (who somehow ere able to talk this season, and the Enid character was made to appear weaker than he had before), and the stories grew more and more inane. Human characters appeared without valid explanation, they explored more land (even though the "enclosed universe" had already been established as being a certain small area) and Greek God-like people and the Flying Dutchman and various other "legendary" people kept popping up, and a weird giant kept trying to kill them. Some of the episodes were entertaining, but for camp purposes. The Roddenberryesque life lessons the first two seasons taught were gone. To make matters worst, the last show just ended and there was never any satisfying closure to the series.
I wish the Land of the Lost remake series from the mid-nineties would get released on DVD. It can't be any worse than season three of the original. I would highly recommend seasons one and two to any SF fan who doesn't mind a little camp. Season three and the nineties series I would recommend to completionists only, as some of the episodes weren't really all that bad. And now that you can get all three seasons in one package, why not own them all?