The Land of the Lost gets a new resident -- the emotionless and pitiless alien “Zarn” (Marvin Miller) -- in this week’s episode penned by Dick Martin and directed by Bob Lally.
What’s even scarier is that the Zarn’s space craft has crashed in the gloomy Mist Marsh, place of fog and gnarled old, dead trees. And as the Marshalls learn this week, The Zarn can read their very thoughts, though he is repelled by the power of intense emotions.
In “The Zarn,” this stranded alien creates an android in the shape of a human female to observe and study the human Marshalls.
Because she is created expressly from Rick’s thoughts, Sharon (Brooke Bundy) shares his memories of growing up in Indianapolis. Holly and Will immediately recognize Sharon is too good to be true, but Marshall is lonely and hungry for adult companionship. He can’t help but love Sharon.
It’s that part of a “kid’s” show that is very grown-up, and features mature plot lines. Rick’s confession of loneliness is heartfelt and rings true. And yet Holly and Will’s feelings of being shunted aside for the interloper are just as valid.
And keeping with the series’ environmental message, the character is something of a loose cannon, one will apply his technology at the expense of Altrusia as we see in the upcoming episode “Gravity Storm.” The Zarn is out to help himself, in other words, and no one or anything else.
Worse, it is Holly who feels most displaced by the presence of Sharon, another woman. She’s clearly jealous that someone could jeopardize her standing in the family, and it comes off as catty and kind of demeaning…even though she’s right that Sharon is hiding something.