Top row L-R: Gary Lockwood, Malachi Throne, Gil Gerard, Felix Silla, Gary Conway, Don Marshall, Sean Kenney,
Don Matheson, Ted Johnson and Keir Dullea
Bottom row L-R: Michele Matheson, Erin Gray, Deanna Lund, Grace Lee Whitney, Barbara Luna,
Heather Young, Mark Goddard
by Deborah H.
Scoutcon 2008 was a first time event, and as such was relatively small. That did not stop everyone from having a wonderful time, and it seems a great deal of money was raised for a very worthy cause.
Every Celebrity there was gracious and accomodating. Not one ego among the lot. As I was standing there talking to Malachi Throne he noticed my LOTG pin, and he started excitedly telling about how he got to "crush" the little people. Once the crowd cleared, I reminded him that he was actually a good giant. One of the few during the series.
Don Marshall got to tell all of the fans during the Q & A about a project he is working on to bring the series back, to include the old cast, and of course some new younger characters. He seemed pretty excited about how the talks were going.
Don Matheson seemed the most unlike his LOTG character. Where Mark was very hot headed and explosive, Don was very laid back and had a great sense of humor.
Gary Conway spoke to everyone about his vineyard and shared his views on large farms vs. small production farms. He had pamphlets about his wines, and also his olive oil.
Deanna and Heather were marvelous and spent most of the day making sure everyone was accomodated. I spoke to them about the influence LOTG had on me. One that I can see more now, looking back at the series through the DVD's. It was one of the first shows that showed women as equals to their male counterparts in every way. Star Trek may have had women officers, but they were still mainly set decoration. On LOTG Valerie and Betty were in on all of the adventures. When a rescue party was needed, they were included. Except of course when Heather was pregnant and Betty had to stay at the ship to monitor the radio. Sure they needed to be rescued quite a bit, but they would not have needed rescuing if they were stuck at the Spindrift fixing meals and waiting for the men to come back. This was at a time when I was being raised in a very traditional and conservative family. I became a rebel, and refused to accept that I could not go places and do things because I was a girl.
As I watch the DVD's, and think of other shows that I loved back then, and still do now, I realize that starting with LOTG I loved shows that showed females in a strong participant role.
All in all it was a marvelous experience, one I hope can be repeated soon. 2008 being the 40th Anniversary of the show, it would be nice if more appearances could be made this year. If not, I am anxiously awaiting Scoutcon 2009 to see everyone again.
by John from Tampa, Florida
I had the good fortune of attending the 2008 ScoutCon Science Fiction convention in Tampa, and being a long-time fan of 'Land of the Giants' and Stanley Kubrick's 'Space Odyssey', it was needless to say a wonderful experience. I mean, imagine walking into a room and being face-to-face with Gary Conway, Deanna Lund, Heather Young, Don Matheson, and Don Marshall (to say nothing of the Gemini twins from 'Space Odyssey'). I know it's easy to get caught up in the whole star-fantasy thing and think that ordinary people are somehow bigger than life, but I was no less thrilled.
The first LOTG cast member I met was Gary Conway (Gareth Carmody), and if there's a cooler, more articulate and more intelligent actor out there, I'd like to meet him. He reflected most eloquently on his time with 'Land of the Giants' and also on science fiction and the television media in general. In fact he noticed the autographed picture I was carrying of Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood from 'Space Odyssey', and I learned that he's a big fan of that film as well. Also, Gary looked great. He's still the trim and athletic person he's always been. He gave one insight that I found particularly interesting: Back when the show was made it struck a chord with many people who could identify with living under an authoritarian government. Now, however, that authoritarian government has been replaced by the sometimes equally oppressive large corporations. Having personally worked in large corporations for many years, he gets no argument from me. It was an Orwellian moment.
I next chatted with Deanna and Heather, and all I can say is wow! They were gorgeous. I don't think I've ever met two more beautiful mature women. They had a twinkle in their eye and warm, engaging smiles that would have been the envy of any teenager. I'm wondering if this is due to them drinking wine from Gary's vineyards? Guess I'm going to have to order some. And of course their great beauty was matched by their graciousness and charm. One thing we agreed on was that 'Land of the Giants' did a great job doing serious science fiction like 'Wild Journey', and then turning around and doing light-hearted and partially for laughs stories like 'Marionettes'. I think the only other science fiction shows that have done that successfully are 'Doctor Who' and perhaps 'Firefly'. Speaking of Deanna, my prized possession from the Convention was the autographed photo of her from the uber cool, risqué Spindrift-bikini photo shoot. Anyway, when I left their company I wasn't sure who I was in love with more. I should also mention that Michelle Matheson was there, and she looked so much like a blonde Deanna from the Spindrift days that it was spooky. If she had been wearing one of Deanna's old Spindrift costumes I would have thought I'd stepped into a time warp.
Unfortunately I didn't get to chat as much with the two Don's, as by the time I got to them they were headed out to a photo shoot. Of course they were very nice people as well, and were very appreciative when I told them that to my mind 'Land of the Giants' had to be the most fun science fiction ever made. I was also happy that I got to tell Don Marshall that I thought the scene in 'The Trap' where he draws the beard on the Earthman in the giant's bounty hunter poster was the most hilarious moment in the entire series.
I would also mention in passing that I'm sorry Stefan Arngrim wasn't there. If his interviews on the LOTG DVD boxed set are any indication, he can be quite outspoken and it would have been interesting talking with him. Additionally, alas, the cast pretty much confirmed that although there have been any number of abortive attempts over the years to revive LOTG in the movies and on television, nothing has materialized nor is anything happening now. Sighs. In this age of CGI you would think a remake of LOTG would be a no-brainer.
Anyway, if any of you LOTG fans out there ever get the chance to go to a Con attended by the Spindrift crew you owe it to yourselves to do so. It was a blast and I will remember it always. Gary, Deanna, Heather, and the two Don's are very cool people who seem genuinely appreciative of the fans and don't take them for granted.