Land of the Lost
Season 3, Episode 10
Air date November 13, 1976
Episode Guide
Abominable Snowman
Ancient Guardian
Timestop was the Tenth Episode of the Third Season of the Land of the Lost.

Summary Edit

Will and Holly discover a relic that can get them home, but Enik wants it to help himself.


Will and Holly are at home making preparations for the Marshalls next meal when a minor tremor shakes the ground. Investigating a sound of stone sliding on stone outside, they discover that the door on the temple which had previously been sealed was forced open by the quake.

Will and Holly take torches and decide to investigate. The interior of the tunnel, in contrast to the carved stone of the entrance, appears to be a naturally formed cave. As Jack and Cha-Ka return, a second tremor causes the doorway to close again.

Inside the cave, Will and Holly happen upon a glowing archway, obviously of Altrusian construction. On the other side of the archway, Will finds a crystal set in a metal plaque. Examining the plaque more closely, they discover it's carved with writing. Before they can inspect further, they are ambushed by a Sleestak. Will and Holly manage to escape with the plaque and crystal simply by passing back through the illumined archway. Since Sleestaks cannot abide even the light from a single torch, the Sleestak is unable to pursue.

Will and Holly discover that the cave entrance has been sealed, but are freed by Jack, who uses a log to pry the door open. Jack has assembled a magnetic compass by suspending a piece of magnetized iron oxide on a string from a tripod made of bamboo. The compass, however, does not point north. Jack concludes that either the Land of the Lost has no north pole, or that this world doesn't have a nickel-iron core.

In examining the plaque and crystal, the Marshalls recognize that it could only come from the Altrusian civilization and therefore only Enik can read it.

Jack and Will bring the crystal to Enik, who explains that the "bumbling humans" have found the key to the temporal regulator, and that with the key, they can control time itself, "run it forward or backward, as the regulator's possessor chooses." Jack suggests that if they can turn time back, they can return to the moment in which they entered the Land of the Lost, then step back through the portal and return home. Enik points out that the with the plaque and crystal, he can also return to his own civilization and warn them of the impending disaster that causes his people to devolve into the Sleestak.

Enik demands the key from the Marshalls, who are not about to give up the key as it is also their means to return home. Enik then uses the crystal panel before him to seal the chamber, refusing the let the Marshalls leave until they give him the key. Realizing that Enik is the only one who can unseal the chamber, Jack surrenders the plaque to Enik, but surreptitiously removes the crystal.

Rick and Will have scarcely left the chamber before Enik sees that the crystal has been removed from the plaque he holds. He vows to return with many Sleestak to get the crystal back from the Marshalls.

Back at the temple where the Marshalls have made their home, Holly notes that the crystal always points in the same direction. Jack surmises that the crystal is pointing to the temporal regulator. Excitedly, the Marshalls gather their belongings and proceed to move in the direction the crystal points.

In the Sleestak caves, Enik, still holding the plaque, has mobilized the Sleestak to recover the crystal from the Marshalls.

Following the direction that the crystal is pointing, the Marshalls have travelled to the geyser beds. Having noted that every eruption takes place every hour on the hour, Jack predicts the next eruption in nine seconds. After the eruption, decides to pitch camp and gather firewood in preparation for the approaching nightfall. Their plans, however, are interrupted by the arrival of Torchy. Jack immediately instructs everyone to scatter in an effort to confuse Torchy.

Unfortunately, Cha-Ka nearly runs directly into Torchy, and turns to flee directly onto the geyser beds. When Torchy pursues Cha-Ka, the geyser bed crumbles under Torchy's weight. Torchy sinks into the scalding mud, bellowing in agony, while the crumbled crust leaves Cha-Ka stranded on a tiny island of crust, surrounded by the near-boiling water of the geyser.

Seeing Cha-Ka's section of crust drifting toward the geyser, and knowing that the geyser will erupt again in less than an hour, the Marshalls quickly realize that Cha-Ka will perish with the next eruption unless they can get him out of the geyser bed.

Jack and Will search for a way to reach Cha-Ka while Holly remains behind to keep the fire going and reassure Cha-Ka, who remains confident that the Marshalls will save him. Jack and Will finally return and it appears that the situation is hopeless; there is no way to safely reach Cha-Ka, and the water surrounding him is scalding.

When Holly remarks that they wished they could find a Pylon, to turn back time to before Cha-Ka got stranded, Jack asks for the crystal from Holly. Due to the proximity of the temporal regulator, the crystal gives off a faint sound, which Holly describes as "a faraway chime." Jack and Will then take the crystal, relying on the strength of the signal to lead them to the Pylon.

Jack and Will do not have to travel far to find the Pylon; they pitched camp right beside it. Using the crystal, they unlock the Pylon. As Jack examines the crystal grid, he quickly that without the plaque which Enik still has, he cannot operate the temporal regulator. At that moment, Enik arrives and advises the Marshalls that the Sleestak have the Pylon surrounded, then demands the crystal. Jack pleads that they need the plaque to save Cha-Ka's life, but Enik is unmoved by Cha-Ka's predicament.

Jack then agrees to surrender the crystal if they can use the crystal and the plaque to save Cha-Ka. When Enik is doubtful that the Marshalls can be trusted, Will offers himself as a hostage. Enik finally relents and instructs Jack into the operation of the Pylon, explaining that only Jack, remaining inside the Pylon, will be unaffected by the manipulation of time.

Jack then attempts to manipulate time. At first, he mistakenly goes forward and observes the plume of the geyser erupting, beginning to rain scalding water onto Cha-Ka. Jack then turns time backward and is able to return to the moment in which he orders the family to scatter to confuse Torchy. The Marshalls then call out to Cha-Ka, telling him to stay away from the geyser beds. The family, including Cha-Ka quickly regroup, having evaded Torchy.

Jack, having exited the Pylon to warn Cha-Ka away from the geyser beds, apparently has no recollection of what he just did. When Will asks where he had gotten the plaque (which was supposed to be in Enik's possession), Jack has no idea how it happened.

In the Sleestak caves, Enik is leading the Sleestak to recover the crystal when he suddenly stops, realizing he no long has the plaque and believes he dropped it. Both Enik and the Sleestak Leader have a sense of deja vu.

This sense of deja vu is echoed by the Holly and Jack, but they abandon the discussion in anticipation of being able to finally leave the Land of the Lost. Using the crystal and plaque, they are able to locate the Pylon. But before they can enter and use the Pylon to return home, Torchy reappears. The Marshalls quickly hide behind the Pylon. Torchy breaths flames onto the Pylon, then moves on.

Then as Jack attempts to unlock the Pylon, he discovers that Torchy's breath fused the Pylon key, making entrance into the Pylon impossible.

Despite the devastating setback, the Marshalls refuse to give in to discouragement. Realizing that the Sleestaks will be approaching soon for the key, Jack simply drops it there, since it has been rendered useless. The Marshalls then make their way home.


  • "Sometimes you only get one chance to correct things."




  • The fact that a compass cannot operate in the Land of the Lost would suggest that the Land of the Lost is on a planet without a magnetic field. This would seem to make the planet uninhabitable to humans, as the magnetic field protects us from the sun's more harmful rays, unless some other mechanism exits to protect the planet.
  • Enik, for all his vaunted intellect, makes some notable blunders in this episode.
    • He seals his chamber, refusing to allow the Marshalls to leave before they surrender the key, but the unseals the chamber before he's actually taken it from them. What is to prevent Jack and Will from simply bolting with the key once the chamber is unsealed?
    • After instructing Jack in the use of the temporal regulator, he explains that only Jack, remaining inside the Pylon, will be shielded from the effects. He then exits the Pylon, leaving Jack alone to manipulate the flow of time. This would mean Enik is now outside the protection of the Pylon and subject to Jack's turning back time, meaning he has no recollection of the bargain he struck with Jack to surrender the crystal and plaque, and no longer retains possession of the plaque.
  • Torchy seems to have a habit of breathing his flames on targets for no clear reason. Just as he breathed fire onto the Pylon in this episode, in his first appearance ("Cornered") he is seen breathing fire into the Sleestak caves at the Lost City without any apparent motivation. (A possible explanation is that Torchy breathes fire on literally anything that moves, and, being extremely unintelligent, stops and moves on when he no longer sees movement. He might have breathed fire onto the Pylon when he saw the Marshalls taken refuge behind it. Then, no longer seeing the Marshalls, simply moved on. Similarly, he might have seen the Sleestak moving within the temple of the Lost City when he chose to breathe fire into it, then simply moved on when the Sleestak retreated further into their caves and he could no longer see them.)
  • It is at least extremely unlikely that there is geyser that erupts every hour on the hour and is so consistent, its next eruption can be predicted down to the precise second. Jack's assertion to the contrary, the Old Faithful does not erupt every 48 minutes. The length of time between eruptions of Old Faithful depends upon how long the previous eruption lasted. After an eruption of less than 2.5 minutes, Old Faithful's next eruption is around 65 minutes later. In an eruption lasting longer than 2.5 minutes, the next eruption occurs around 91 minutes later. Even then, Old Faithful's eruptions are within a tolerance of ten minutes. Predicting Old Faithful's eruptions down to the minute (much less the exact second, as Jack did with the geyser in this episode) would be nigh impossible.
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