A trunk attached to a parachute falls from the sky together with an intergalactic traveler. He says his name is Jeremiah Smith and reveals he is the cousin of Dr Smith. Quickly it becomes clear the two cousins have much in common including a large appetite, greediness, untrustworthiness, harboring a sizable aversion to work, possessing rat cunning and maintaining an extremely loose association with the truth – to name a handful.
Cousin Jeremiah entertains the Robinson family with some magic tricks. One is the ‘ol ‘shells game’ – a small object is placed under one of three identical plastic cups, then the positions of the cups are shifted around in a deliberately confusing fashion. An onlooker is then invited to guess which cup the object is under.
Cousin Jeremiah arranges a computer controlled gambling machine to be delivered to the planet. His aim is to ensnare Dr Smith. Jeremiah invites his cousin to play the machine but Dr Smith says he has no money. Jeremiah assures him his credit is good.
Dr Smith keeps losing but plays on till he has no credit left. In one final desperate wager he bets with the Robinson’s spaceship… and loses. The machine comes after him when he admits he is unable to pay his debts.
Professor Robinson steps in and offers to play the machine. He proposes that if he wins, Smith’s debt be wiped clean. The machine agrees. John produces the plastic cups and after rearranging their position invites the machine to guess which cup has the plastic ball.
The machine chooses one of the cups but the ball is not under it. ‘It’ leaves in defeat. Will and Dr Smith press John to reveal which cup the ball was under. It is strongly implied the ball was never placed under any cup.
The actor who played Dr Smith’s cousin Jeremiah was Henry Jones (1912 – 1999). He appeared in more than 300 episodes of various television shows as well as 40 films, these among them –