Land of the Lost
Season 1, Episode 6
Air date October 12, 1974
Written by Walter Koenig
Directed by Bob Lally
Episode Guide
The Stranger was the Sixth Episode of the First Season. It was written by actor and writer Walter Koenig, better known as Pavel Chekhov of "Star Trek" fame.


As they wander through the misty jungle, Rick explains to Will and Holly that they must be cautious about choosing plants to eat, because some might be poisonous. As the children begin fighting and throwing fruit at each other, their father lectures them on the seriousness of their situation. He leaves them with a burlap sack to pick fruit as he explores further.

Will notices a mysterious cave entrance. As they approach, they are quietly followed by several Sleestak. The children wander through a dark cave passage until they enter a large room lit by crystals with a mysterious gem suspended in a pyramid-shaped frame.

They discover that their anger towards each other can now actually be used to shove and trip each other with an unseen force. Rick finds them there, angered that they did not wait for him to rejoin them. (How he and the Sleestak missed each other en route to the Mageti room is never explained.) As the children bicker the gem in its frame flares brighter and brighter, apparently reacting to their anger.

The Sleestak enter the room, and as the Marshalls flee the room into the tunnels more Sleestak appear, trapping the Marshalls in the network of caves. Rick grapples with one, but and they follow a light, hoping to find a way out, but find themselves back in the same cavern with the mysterious gem. As the Sleestak enter the room, Rick orders his children to get behind him, and picks up the gem, brandishing it at the Sleestak.  They cringe from the gem, and Rick says "this is the key to us getting out of here!"

A new voice intones "not so much a key, as a divining rod!" The speaker is a Sleestak-like creature, but with different coloration, gray instead of green, with reddish eyes, and wearing a metallic red robe. With a gesture, he orders the Sleestak away, and introduces himself as Enik, the Altrusian.

Enik reveals that the Sleestak are his ancestors, saying "I am of the generation to be born to this place -- ten thousand, perhaps a hundred thousand years from now." Enik has also fallen through a "dimensional doorway" into his own past, but unlike the Marshalls, he has travelled only in time, not in space.

Enik tells the Marshalls that the gem in its frame is the Mageti, a "tool for traveling through the universe" and says "I shall use it to return to my time." Rick asks if it could help send the Marshalls home, and Enik replies that it could, if they "could fix the proper coordinates." The Marshalls are excited by this, but Enik insists that the Mageti is his, and that he will take it now.

Enik tells Rick that he could take the Mageti by force, but that "might render it inoperative." Rick starts to ask "just who do you think..." but is surprised to realize that Enik can read their minds and answer their questions before they finish saying them out loud.

In the confused conversation that follows, Enik explains that his race are "the keepers of the time portal through which all travel is accomplished," and "the Mageti is an instrument we created to locate and fix these doorways. Furthermore, it was important to build into the Mageti a self-destruct capability: "should some warring species bent on invading other worlds attempt to acquire it through force, hostile and aggressive thoughts could cause it to self-destruct."

Enik continues to explain that the Mageti has a "telepathic amplifier," and will carry out the impulses that anyone near it is thinking. Holly realizes this is how Will was able to knock her over as they fought earlier.

Will asks Enik why the Marshalls can't just use this capability to make him do what they want. "It is primarily a defensive weapon," the Altrusian explains, and if used aggressively, "its circuits would overload and it would cease to function." Will does not believe Enik's explanation and excitedly tells his father that forcing Enik to help them is their one chance to return home. "He just wants us to give up without a fight!" exclaims Will, as Enik angrily insists that "Altrusians are incapable of lying!"

Will and Enik begin hurling mental blows at each other. Enik insists that he cannot actually help the Marshalls return to their own time and place, because he doesn't know the proper coordinates. As they fight the Mageti flares brighter and brighter until it suddenly goes dark; the self-destruct mechanism has destroyed the Mageti. A furious Rick violently grabs the scruff of Will's neck; when he notices his son crying and shaking at the Mageti's loss, however, Rick throws out his prepared tongue-lashing and forgives Will. "It is the failure of the human race," says Enik sadly. "They are quick to do battle, and quick to destroy. That is why they are inferior."

Enik muses that "if not for an unknown disturbance that caused a distortion in my journey" he would be with his own people. It occurs to him that the similar gem around his neck could also function as a Mageti, if combined with an external power source, but would not last long. When Holly asks him whether the "jewel" in the center of the Mageti is the power source, Enik says "they are not "jewels" but "fourth-dimensional nodes". The Marshalls excitedly tell Enik that they have found crystals like it "all over the Lost City." He is stunned by this revelation, muttering "Lost City..." to himself thoughtfully.

The Marshall's lead Enik to the site of the Lost City where he confronts a group of Sleestak armed with crossbows. He is baffled as to why the Sleestak are threatening him. Spotting Big Alice nearby, Rick formulates a plan to incite the Allosaurus to charge, distracting the Sleestak while Enik and the Marshalls run for the Lost City.

At the gate to the Lost City, Enik says "I have made a grave error," and has realized that his journey in time was not backwards, but forward. "This is my city. The Sleestak are not my ancestors. They are the barbaric descendants of a people who could no longer keep their anger in check, and eventually destroyed my past. This is not my past -- this is my future."

Entering a cave, Enik recognizes a room filled with jewels. He tells the Marshalls that he will need concentration and complete solitude to arrange the power crystals in the right sequence, and thanks them for helping him. They again confront him angrily about the possibility of returning home themselves. "I told you before -- I do not have the combination to your world!" Enik tells them.

Enik protests that "there is only one doorway. Either you shall return, or I shall." He explains that he must return to his own time -- to warn them of the future that awaits them, if they do not learn to curb their anger. "What about us?" demands Holly. "I am non-refutable," he replies, demanding that they leave.

Once again Will becomes enraged, and grabs the amulet from Enik, insisting that he find their way home. "The effort to do so would exhaust the power of the light jewels -- then I could not return home either!" Will fights angrily with his father, insisting that Enik has no guarantee he'll be able to convince his people to avoid destruction. Rick insists that Enik deserves the right to try. "So do we!" retorts Will.

Enik intones "I must act now!" and gestures as he uses his telepathic powers to terrify the Marshalls, making them believe that their worst fears have appeared before their eyes. "In the mist are the things that terrify each of you the most." Rick screams at Enik to "turn it off!" "When your son returns the pendant!" Enik replies. "Isn't this just as bad as the physical violence that eventually destroyed your people?" Rick demands. "You give me no choice!" insists Enik.

"It is not the absence of hate that will save your people," explains Rick, "but it is the presence of compassion, and of feeling. If your race can't grasp that, then you are doomed." "I perhaps have lost sight of this," Enik admits, apologizing to the Marshall's. Will returns Enik's amulet, admitting that Rick's lecture applies all over.

As the Sleestak return, Enik demonstrates to the Marshalls how to combine a blue and green crystal to create a defensive force shield. The Marshalls hold off the Sleestak, who shock themselves a few times attempting to come closer, but then give up and retreat. Meanwhile, Enik has slipped away. Behind the Marshalls is a misty, glowing dimensional gateway. As the Marshalls leave, Rick glances wistfully at the gate, murmuring "Good Luck, Enik."


  • "It is not the absence of hate that can help, but the presence of compassion."




  • The cave leading to the Mageti looks like the same cave Rick emerges from at the end of Fair Trade.
  • It's not known why the Sleestak are following Holly and Will during the day when they can't go out it night. The only possibility is that it was overcast enough for them to tolerate the sunlight.
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