Ever since the canister was found off the coast of Northern Scotland, explorer Bowen Tyler (Doug McClure) has been the source of a great mystery among those back in Britain, but the canister contained his notes on what might have happened to him, and now an expedition has set out to colder climes to find out if Tyler really has been stranded there on a strange island. That party is led by Ben McBride (Patrick Wayne), his old friend, and he is accompanied by a gathering of experts, including journalist Lady Charlotte (Sarah Douglas) - will they succeed in their quest?
Well, they do and they don't, as a late on plot point makes you wonder why they bothered trying to rescue Tyler at all. Whatever you thought of this film's predecessor, The Land That Time Forgot, you have to admit it had a killer ending, with Tyler abandoned and trapped in the land of the title, but that film was such a success that the fact the book's orginal writer Edgar Rice Burroughs had penned a sequel (two, in fact) led to the inevitable follow up movie. Generally considered the lesser of the pair, it was one of four McClure fantasy movies made around this time, many of which are looked back on fondly.
Actually the star was not in this one so much - it's no secret that McBride and company find Tyler, but in a Charlton Heston in Beneath the Planet of the Apes kind of way he really only featured in the final half hour, though unlike Chuck he didn't get quite the rousing send-off here. For McClure, fame of another kind beckoned in the next decade when he went on to appear in top "What was that sitcom?" half-recalled show Out of This World, you know, the one that had Swinging on a Star as its theme? Anyway, for whatever reason Doug was coming to the end of his leading man days, although he had enjoyed a good run.
Before he hoved into view, our replacement hero Wayne (son of John, and playing Sinbad the same year) carried the derring-do, yet as written he came across as rather humourless and hard to warm to, though Lady Charlotte gets to like him (maybe not as much as her camera). After crashlanding in their plane, those two and scientist Thorley Walters explore their surroundings while pilot Shane Rimmer repairs the plane and takes potshots at passing pterodactyls; before long it's not just the dinosaur population that is concerning them as there's a tribe of fierce cavemen to contend with too. Plus a rather friendlier cavegirl, Ajor.
She was played by Dana Gillespie in a very revealing outfit, the singer falling back on acting now her music career wasn't really taking off as she had hoped, and her character knew Tyler, so promises to help the explorers track him down. They do eventually, he's been captured by an army of inexplicably Japanese-styled warriors led by popular heavy Milton Reid painted green in one of this last roles before he headed off to India and apparently vanished from the face of the Earth. David Prowse is in this as well, adding to the Robert E. Howard atmosphere that the story falls back on, the same year that he played Darth Vader in Star Wars. Of course, the nanosecond that particular epic appeared this little item was looking very old hat indeed, but now you can look back on its ambition on lesser funds and feel a nostalgic glow, although you would be better off with the first film if you wanted superior entertainment. Music by John Scott.