Episode One (S2) – Blast Off into Space

Capture

The Planet the Robinson’s are on is being rocked by a series of earthquakes. Amid this turmoil Dr Smith conducts  a ceremony to unveil a statue dedicated to himself. He names the “noble monument” – ‘Spirit of Space’.

Will: “But Dr Smith, it doesn’t even look like you!”

Smith: “It is the abstract artistic concept of my inner self self”.

Will: “Now can we leave?”

While this is taking place, out of a massive crater in the background steps what looks to be a miner clutching a chipping tool. The man introduces himself as Nerim (an anagram of the word ‘miner’). He informs Will and Smith that what they thought were earthquakes was actually him “blastin”.

Capture

When Dr Smith asks what he is blasting for, Nerim mentions “cosmonium“. He describes it as being the essence of the universe and “like little bits of sun”. The two then follow the old timer down into his underground mine site. Smith discovers the cavern is filled with diamonds. Nerim  sweeps them to one side with a broom and says he finds them “a darn nuisance”.

Capture
Don’t bother looking ’cause I already have. No mention of cosmonium’ (a honey colored liquid) on the Periodic Table. 

Don and John believe the planet’s core is but hours away from from the point of rupturing due to Nerim’s drilling. They make a deadline to lift off early the next morning. In preparation, Smith is given the task of driving the chariot to the other side of the planet to retrieve some drilling equipment. Along the way he sings the song “Old My Darling Clementine”.

He pays a visit to Nerim on the way and says he’d “like to be partners” with him. Nerim replies he’s been a loner most of his life and is too old now to change. He then admits to having a need for a thruster control device for his spaceship, so he too can blast off from the doomed planet. He emphasizes he’d do just about anything – including sharing his precious cosmonium – to get his hands on one.

Capture

Smith returns to the Jupiter 2 and steals the ship’s thruster control. He delivers it to Nerim. The two play a game of cards – winner takes all. The prize stakes are two bottles of cosmonium and the thruster control. The cards are not marked with hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades. Instead they are named Galaxies – Planets – Satellites – and Asteroids.

Smith reveals he has a pair of Galaxies. When explaining the rules at the beginning of the game, Nerim has told him this is the highest value winning hand. Nerim however produces a Supernova card and explains this trumps everything else. The intergalactic miner takes off in his spaceship. He leaves two bottles of cosmonium behind.

Meanwhile the planet has become increasingly unstable and during one of the seismic tremors Smith’s statue topples to the ground. In the process of lifting the heavy stone monument one of the bottles of cosmonium is shattered. A chemical reaction takes place and Smith’s statue comes alive. John arrives on his jet-backpack just in time to blast the creature with his lazer.

Capture

Capture
The world’s first and to-date only Cosmonium Monster’. 
The Robinson’s blast off from the imploding planet just in time. The lift-off is not smooth as the ship is minus it’s all-important thruster control device. Will forces Dr Smith to come clean about what he did with it. Understandably Smith is again not popular with the Robinson’s during the concluding scenes of the episode eg. Don“Smith I want to take you apart!”.

Capture

Ps. The actor who played the part of old-time miner Nerim was Strother Martin (1919 -1980).

At 17, he won the United States National Junior Springboard Diving Championship and then served as a swimming instructor in the U.S Navy during WW2. Among a long and distinguished acting career he appeared in classic films such as A STAR IS BORN (1954) – KISS ME DEADLY (1955) – THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE (1962) – THE WILD BUNCH (1969) – BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (1969) and SLAPSHOT (1977).

Capture

Capture

Advertisements

Episode 29 – Follow the Leader

Capture

This is the final episode of Season One.

And I don’t mind admitting, as a kid, it really did scare me.

Dr Smith and Professor Robinson enter a cave searching for a lazer gun Smith has left behind the previous day. They discover relics of a long lost civilization. A stone wall closes magically behind Professor Robinson, trapping him inside. Gas begins filling the chamber which renders him unconscious.

While the Professor is passed out we hear an omnipotent, surround-sound booming voice proclaim – “I have been waiting for you for a long time. Once I was a mighty warrior and leader of my race. But that was many centuries ago. My body has long ago been used up. I want yours. You have all the qualities I need”. The spirit then releases him from the entombed enclosure, warning him to ‘be careful with our body”.

John rejoins his family but he is somehow a changed person. The next morning at the breakfast table he has an uncharacteristic outburst of temper aimed at Dr Smith (long overdue mind!) He begins pushing everyone to work night and day so they can make a one week deadline (set by ‘the voice‘) to lift off from the planet.

Capture
Cray Cray alert! Seriously. That tends to happen when you get possessed by a 2000 year old spirit that flys off the handle for the smallest reason.

Don, Smith and the rest of the Robinsons all try adjusting to the volatile stranger that is now living among them. Maureen remarks – “Have any of you noticed John’s eyes? They seem to look right through you”. They all agree they are unsure of what to do. 

This prompts the following exchange between Don and Smith

Don:    “You know Smith, I never thought I’d hear myself say this but I’m even willing to take a suggestion from you”.

Smith:   “And high time too! Let me handle the Professor. Possibly you are unaware that I am completely familiar with the latest techniques in the field of psychiatry”.

Don:     As a doctor or as a patient?”

Dr Smith approaches Professor Robinson in his cabin and tries to play psychiatrist. Professor Robinson responds by calling him a fool. Smith hears ‘the voice’ reveal – “My name is Canto. I am a great leader and warrior from the planet Quasti.” John then returns to the cave where the spirit takes full possession of his body.

Capture

Don, Will, Maureen and Judy go to the cave looking for John. Evil John Robinson, who is now completely under the sway of Canto, and Don have a sword fight. Don loses but John, fighting against the will of Canto who is in possession of his body, spares Don’s life. Professor Robinson, now wearing the ghastly mask of the spirit of Canto takes Will to a cliff-top that “reaches down to the very core of the planet” intending to push him off.

Knowing he is about to be killed, Will asks his father to do something for him –“Would you take off that mask so I can see my father’s face one last time?”John/Canto agrees and Will takes this opportunity to tell his father he loves him. This is enough to momentarily break the spell. Professor Robinson removes the mask and throws it plunging into the canyon below.

Capture

Referring to the evil spirit of Canto, Will asks his father –“What do you think chased him off sir?” John replies – “Love Will. In all the galaxies of this universe, there is nothing stronger.”

And that is among the reasons I am thankful to this day to have discovered the 1960’s television series LOST IN SPACE.

Capture

That leaves only one thing to say….

Bring on Season Two!

 

 

 

Episode 28 – A Change of Space

Capture

While out looking for precious metals Will and Dr Smith see an object shining in the distance. They walk towards it and naturally it turns out to be an alien spaceship. Will goes into the spaceship. The door closes behind him. The spaceship blasts off into the sky.

Will returns after his spaceflight very different. He talks like Einstein, as if his IQ has somehow magically quadrupled. He begins tutoring his father and Don about the physics of the Jupiter 2’s atomic propulsion drive.

Though Will is now clearly way ahead in intelligence of all the adults and his older siblings he finds it difficult getting along with everyone. He informs Judy her gardening methods are primitive. He easily beats Penny in a game of chess. When Dr Smith sits down opposite Will to take Penny’s place at the chess board Will advises him “Don’t trouble yourself Dr Smith. We’re not evenly matched”.

Capture 2
Could this be considered a goof by scriptwriter Peter Packer? When Will and Penny sit down to play chess, Will (playing black) tells Penny (playing white) that he’ll ‘let’ her take the first move. Every chess player knows the person playing white automatically must go first.

Smith is curious to know if he was to take a flight in the spacecraft would the same change that has affected Will also happen to him. After getting instructions from Will on how to fly the ship Smith also takes a flight in the mystery craft. When he returns he has aged fifty years.

In comical scenes, the geriatric and perpetually complaining Smith, complete with flowing grey beard and wheelchair, is reduced to being spoon-fed soup from an oversized bowl by his longstanding arch-nemesis Don. Meanwhile John and Don engineer the spaceship to reverse polarity during flight thereby hopefully reversing the molecular change effect.

Capture

Smith convinces Will to take a test flight to see if the changes made to the spaceship will work. Will blasts off again in the spaceship and returns with his normal IQ level restored. An alien also emerges from the craft and promptly launches the spacecraft once more, this time with Smith aboard.

Believing Dr Smith has been kidnapped and will never return, the Robinson’s hold a memorial service in his honor. Finally the spacecraft does come back with Dr Smith emerging, returned to his normal age. He marks the occasion by observing – “To paraphrase a nineteenth century master of the written word ‘The report of my disappearance seems to have been greatly exaggerated’.”

Capture

Imagine Smith saying this and it’s even funnier…

Episode 27 – The Lost Civilization

Capture

Don, John and Will suspect the chariot’s air-conditioning unit is not working properly. The trio become extremely hot while out searching for a fresh water source. Will tells his father the previous night Dr Smith removed components from the chariot’s air-conditioning system to refit his own cabin’s faulty unit.

They pull into a cave to effect repairs on the chariot. While continuing to search for water in the cave Will and the robot fall down into a crevice. Don and John begin searching for Will. Meanwhile Will has traveled further along the underground passage and entered an overgrown jungle area.

Capture

Soon he comes upon a sleeping girl. The robot instructs Will to kiss the girl to wake her. Upon awakening she informs Will she is a Princess. Will replies “Cut it out!” The Princess then takes Will to show him her army and spaceship. Don and John appear and are taken captive by a Fu Manchu type character named Major Domo who is in charge of the Princess’s army.

Major Domo reveals his centuries-ago conceived plan to invade the home planet of whatever being would finally awaken the princess from her slumber. But first, according to his plan, Will must marry the Princess, thus beginning the dynasty that will rule the Universe.

Will refuses to marry the Princess, saying “I just want to be a kid, have fun and live with my parents”. The Princess asks Will what fun is. He explains using the example of skipping stones across a lake. “When you get married you can’t do things like that. You have to worry about money and important things like that. That’s why I don’t want to get married and miss out on all the fun. It’s nothing against you.”

Capture

An earthquake levels the headquarters of the underground army. The planned attack on Earth is averted. John, Don and Will leave, offering to take the Princess with them. She says she will stay. Her plan is to return to sleep to be awoken another day by another mysterious traveler.

 And then there’s this…

The role of the child princess was played by eight year old Kym Kareth (aged 60 today). Kym Kareth also played one of the Von Trapp children in THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965) as did a young Angela Cartwright (Penny Robinson). Both actresses feature in this clip –

Six years after her LOST IN SPACE appearance Kym Kareth featured in an episode of THE BRADY BUNCH entitled ‘Cryrano de Brady’. She played the role of Jan Brady’s new friend Kerry Hathaway who Peter Brady develops a crush on.

Capture
Looking very much like Jan Brady herself in the shot on the left, Kym Kareth graduated from the University of Southern California in 1978 with a degree in Humanities (a degree I am somewhat acquainted with myself).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Episode 26 – All That Glitters

Capture

While out picking berries, Smith and Penny encounter an escaped criminal on the run. Penny feels sorry for him and brings the man, whose name is Ohan, back to the Jupiter 2. Ohan is allowed to shower and dress in Dr Smith’s clothes.

Security officer Bolix from the Intergalactic Law Enforcement Agency based on the planet Tauron turns up looking for Ohan. Maureen tells him Ohan has now left the Jupiter 2. Officer Bolix reveals that before going to prison Ohan stole something very valuable. He confides that the prison authorities back on Tauron have deliberately allowed Ohan to escape so that he may lead them to the stolen item.

Ohan gives the stolen object – a glowing disc – to Penny who in turn passes it on to Dr Smith. An echoing voice is heard asking “Will you settle for untold wealth above anything else?” The same voice also warns “Do not let greed be your master”. Smith is then instructed by the voice to close his hand tightly around the disc which becomes warmer the more steps he takes in the direction of the treasure.

Capture
Dr Smith quickly discovers the Midas touch can just as quickly become the minus touch.

The disc leads Dr Smith to a box lying behind some rocks. Inside the box is a ring that fits around a person’s neck. Smith puts it on and discovers the metal ring turns everything he touches into solid platinum. Dr Smith is at first happy at this new found ‘midas touch’ but then discovers he is unable to remove the ring. He becomes frantic when he soon realises that EVERYTHING he now touches – without exception and most shockingly including food – becomes platinum.

Smith is quarantined and forced by the Robinsons to live outside the Jupiter 2. Feeling sorry for him, Penny visits Dr Smith but is accidentally touched by him and turns platinum. Much misery ensues before the voice reappears and admonishes Smith “Perhaps you have learned a lesson Dr Smith. Foolish, foolish man. You had everything necessary for happiness and you gave it all up for what? : a cold, unfeeling metal”.

Capture

The voice says an exception will be made and Penny is instantly unplatinum-ized. Dr Smith is also now able to remove the ring from around his neck. He resolves to turn over a new leaf and be a changed man. Sadly yet at the same time perhaps somewhat amusingly, we know different.

So you know…

German born Werner Klemperer (1920 -2000) was the actor who portrayed Security Officer Bolix. He is most well-known for playing the role of Colonel Klink in all 168 episodes of HOGAN’S HEROES (1965 -1971).

Capture

Then there’s this…

Capture

 

 

 

 

Episode 25 – The Space Croppers

Capture

Will, Penny and Dr Smith are busy sorting items to go into a time capsule. They intend burying the artifacts on the planet they are on.

Will :  “The Egyptians buried lots of things in their time capsules Dr Smith. That’s why we know so much about them”.

Penny : “Did the Egyptians have time capsules too?”

Will :  “Sure, they called them pyramids”.

They meet up with a family of country-type yokels who are also inhabiting the planet. Smith tries to endear himself to the fearsome looking matriarch Sybilla with an outpouring of sweet-talk, since he knows she has a spaceship capable of returning to Earth.

Capture

Capture

Smith soon announces to the Robinsons that he and Sybilla are to be married. He promises that Judy and Penny will be flower girls and the robot best man. Will tries to talk him out of the marriage. Smith attempts to comfort Will, saying – “After we are married, if we happened to be passing by this way again I shall send down a wedding picture and a piece of wedding cake.”

Smith’s plans begin to fall apart when he learns Sybilla and her two hillbilly adult children have a liking for weird carnivorous plants. When Sybilla refuses to head back to Earth Smith runs off and then watches as her spacecraft blasts off into the sky without him.

Capture

The actress who played the part of Sybilla’s daughter Effra, was former child star Sherry Jackson who today is 77 years of age. Below is a four minute tribute to her and her many film roles. Her LOST IN SPACE appearance features twice – once at the 41 second mark and once at the three minute – 55 second mark.

 

 

Episode 24 – His Majesty Smith

Capture

Capture

Capture

While out walking Smith and Will come across a ruby-encrusted crown. Will places it on his head and the moment he does a group of humanoids arrive. “I am Nexus of Andronica”, says their leader. “My companions and I have crossed ninety light years of space seeking a being worthy to wear that crown. At last we have found him. All hail our majesty”.

Will declines the offer to be their king but Dr Smith is keen. He points out he is Irish on his maternal grandmother’s side. When Nexus asks,“Is that important?” Smith replies,“Only in as much as all the Irish are descended from Kings. The royal blood already flows through my veins, so to speak”. After some consideration the aliens agree to accept Dr Smith as their royal king. Little does Smith realise he has been seriously deceived.

Capture

Smith invites the Robinsons to his coronation. He is dressed in flowing robes and fed grapes by fair maidens while being lifted and transported in a plush sedan chair by servants. He is taken inside a spaceship where a werewolf-like creature informs him of his fate. He has been chosen as the sacrificial King for an upcoming festival to honour the intergalactic gods.

Realising the Robinsons want Smith returned, the werewolf creature then clones Dr Smith and hands them back a look-a-like. This imposter, who likes to be called ‘Daddy Zac’, is hard-working, cheery and pays compliments to the robot. It does not take the Robinson’s long to realise they have a counterfeit Smith in their midst.

Capture
One of these Smiths is honest, sincere, self-sacrificing and has a great work ethic. It’s really not hard to tell them apart…really it’s not.

The real Smith meanwhile is still being held prisoner in the werewolf’s spaceship. But when the creature lowers his guard Smith smashes a bottle over his head and makes his escape. The werewolf’s humanoids (who are, just to be clear, androids) show up looking to recapture the real Smith. They are fooled into taking Daddy Zac instead.

Capture

Smith sunglasses
The scariest thing about this photograph is not that thing Smith’s wearing on his head.    The scariest thing about this photo is the fact I own this EXACT pair of sunglasses.