1 9 6 6 – 1 9 6 7 (USA)
26 x 30 minute episodes
It focused on two not-very-bright US astronauts, Lieutenant Hector ‘Hec’ Canfield (Jack Mullaney) and Captain Mac MacKenzie (Frank Aletter) whose capsule – Scorpio E-X-1 – travelled through time and landed them back in the Stone Age.
Luckily, they befriended a cave family after rescuing that family’s son, Breer (Pat Cardi), who was hanging by a branch over a cliff.
Breer’s attractive older sister Mlor (Mary Grace), father Gronk (Joe E. Ross from Car 54, Where Are You?) and mother Shad (Imogene Coca, ex Your Show of Shows) were very grateful. Oddly, Shad was known as ‘Shag’ in the pilot (!)
This cave family then protected Mac and Hec from the other cavemen who wanted the “evil spirits who dress funny” to be killed.
The unfriendly (and extremely naive) cavemen were the always suspicious “Boss” (Cliff Norton) and the bully “Clon” (Mike Mazurki).
The cavemen were fearful of the space capsule, of shaking hands, and of Hec’s box of matches which “start fire with finger.”
Shad and Gronk helped find the materials needed to fix the ship (mainly copper) so the astronauts could return to the 20th Century.
On 22 January 1967, Mac and Hec left the prehistoric jungle to return to Los Angeles in their own time (and the lyrics of the show’s theme song changed accordingly).
The astronauts didn’t leave the jungle empty-handed, though. To prove to their commanding officer, General J.P. Morley (Frank Wilcox) that they did indeed visit the Stone Age, they brought Shad, Gronk, Breer, and Mlor along with them.
The laughs then shifted to the predicament of the prehistoric family trying to get used to life in the modern age.
Everything was scary and new to the cave family – running water, rocking chairs (“alive chair”), TV sets, radios (“box with sound”), cars (“strange animal”), doors and windows (“hole in wall”) to name but a few.
To keep the cave family from creating a media circus, Mac and Hec kept them in their apartment, much to the dismay of their long-suffering building superintendent Mr Tyler (Alan DeWitt) who lived downstairs.
The astronauts told their landlord that their new roommates were from the small country of Nordania – “west of Siberia and east of Alaska”.
Subsequent episodes dealt with Breer’s experiences attending public school, and the difﬁculties that ensued when Shad and Gronk fell victim to door-to-door salespeople. The show did not click with viewers as Gilligan’s Island had and the show became a one-season wonder.
“It’s about time, it’s about space”
Hector ‘Hec’ Canfield
Joe E Ross
General J.P. Morley