Am I having a senior moment? Earlier I was watching the first episode of Irwin Allen’s Land of the Giants which is currently being re-run on the Horror Channel. After the animated titles it opens on June 12 1983 with Flight 612 to London experiencing problems with an area of solar turbulence. Lightning strikes past the Spindrift which heads into a glowing green thingy of the sort that would bedevil the Jupiter 2 on a regular basis. Can’t be good, but they pass through it.
Except in my memory last time I saw the show there was an earlier scene. It was short and functional and painted some broad-stroke characterisations for the cast of the show. My recollection is that they introduced the crew of the Spindrift, Captain Steve Burton as played by Gary Conway, his co-pilot Dan Erikson (Don Marshall) and trolley dolly Betty Hamilton (Heather Young). They intend to make a routine sub-orbital flight to London.
At a dark, indistinct Los Angeles airport the passengers were welcomed aboard the ship, they fill out some background for Mark Wilson (Don Matheson), an engineer, Barry Lockridge (Stefan Angrim) the kid with the dog was an orphan, Valerie Scott (Deanna Lund) is a socialite, and the nervous Doctor Smith surrogate Alexander B. Fitzhugh (Kurts Kasznar) is really anxious to get in the air because he is on the run with a bag full of stolen money. They take off and well, that brings us back to areas of solar turbulence.
So was I imagining this earlier scene? Is it retrospective editing on my part? Am I filling in the blanks or have they lost several minutes in the intervening years?