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Literature: The Land That Time Forgot

A fantasy novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Land That Time Forgot is the first of his Caspak trilogy first published in Blue Book Magazine as a three-part serial in the issues for September, October and November of 1918. In June 1924, Chicago based publisher A. C. McClurg combined the complete trilogy for publication in book form, simply known as The Land That Time Forgot. Though the three segments are now usually issued as separate short novels beginning with the Ace Books editions of the 1960s.

The Land That Time Forgot starts out as a harrowing wartime sea adventure taking place during World War I, the story ultimately develops into a Lost World story reminiscent of such novels as Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth and Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World. Though Burroughs added his own twists by postulating an unique biological system for his lost world where slow evolution in the world outside is recapitulated as a matter of individual metamorphosis, presented as a mystery whose explication is gradually worked out over the course of the next two novels, forming a thematic element serving to unite three otherwise rather loosely linked stories.

Under the direction of Kevin Connor, the novel was adapted into a 1975 fantasy/adventure film produced by Britain's Amicus Productions, where it became a sleeper hit, inspiring Amicus to make two more of Burroughs's novels into movie adaptations. All three films were distributed by American International Pictures in the United States. Screenplay written by Michael Moorcock, the cast included Doug McClure, John McEnery, Keith Barron, Susan Penhaligon, Anthony Ainley and Declan Muholland.

In 2009, American independent film studio The Asylum released a science-fiction film based on the aforementioned Burroughs novel and a remake of the 1975 film, promoted under the title Edgar Rice Burroughs' The Land That Time Forgot and released in other countries as Dinosaur Island. Despite the title, the film is a rip-off of Land of the Lost.

The Land That Time Forgot trilogy provides examples of:

The 1975 film provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • In the film, Captain von Schoenvorts is a thoughtful U-Boat officer who treats his men fairly, forbids the killing of survivors after sinking the British ship, and works loyally and faithfully alongside Tyler and Bradley in Caprona, and who ultimately dies tragically thanks to the betrayal of his treacherous second in command Dietz.
    • A more minor example is Benson. In the film, he's just one of the British crew and a definite good guy who gets killed in a fight with some Sto-Lu warriors.
  • Death by Adaptation: Pretty much everyone, but particularly Bradley, Whiteley, Sinclair, and Plesser. Other characters such as von Schoenvorts, Dietz and Benson die differently and at different points than they do in the novel, and under entirely different circumstances.
  • Frazetta Man

The 1977 film The People That Time Forgot provides examples of:


Kilmeny of the OrchardLiterature of the 1910sA Little Bush Maid
Jurassic ParkDinosaur MediaLife Before Man
Lamb Among the StarsScience Fiction LiteratureThe Languages of Pao

alternative title(s): The Land That Time Forgot; The People That Time Forgot
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