Episode 15

The Anti-Matter Man

Professor Robinson and the Robot are effecting repairs on an atomizing unit. In the process of doing this a duplicate John Robinson briefly appears and then disappears.

We next see Professor Robinson chained and being dragged through the dirt amidst some kind of dark netherworld by a tough-talking, malevolent duplicate of himself. The ‘Opposite’, who is dressed in black and white, forces Professor Robinson to swap clothes with him.

Meanwhile the Robot again activates the atomizer and he and Will pass through to the alternate world. The Robot calculates they are ‘between’ dimensions. Later he refers to it as “the anti-matter world where opposites exist.” He also warns “This world is out of balance”.

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Will and the Robot meet up with the evil imposter Professor Robinson. Together the three travel back to the normal dimension via a mist-shrouded celestial bridge that overlooks the vast nothingness of space. Will and the robot are threatened that if they let on they know his true identity, harm will befall the real John Robinson back in the anti-matter world.

Maureenthe girls and Don all welcome back the man purporting to be John. However, it is not long before they begin to notice subtle changes in his personality.

During a dinner to welcome him back, ‘John’ loses his temper first with Dr Smith (understandable!) but also with Don and then Maureen. He then insists they move ahead at double-speed for plans to lift off from the planet.

Don and Will soon notice their watches are now running backwards. Penny also complains that her tape recorder is playing tapes backwards. Everything seems out of whack. The robot then whispers he has noticed that the man claiming to be John Robinson doesn’t cast a shadow in daylight.

Will uses the atomizer to transport himself back to the anti-matter world to find his real father. The evil John Robinson follows him. In this netherworld there are non-stop electrical storms. This is particularly so since the two worlds are out of balance now that both John Robinsons are present in the anti-matter dimension.

The duplicate John Robinson catches up with Will and prepares to forcibly take him back to the real world. The true Professor Robinson escapes from his cage and comes after his opposite. A final confrontation takes place between the two on the celestial bridge, resulting in the evil Professor Robinson plunging over the side into the nothingness of space.

Will and his real father return to the waiting arms of the rest of the Robinsons back at the Jupiter 2.

Unlike the idea of equally proportioned opposite type energies proposed in this LOST IN SPACE episode, there is strong evidence that the observable universe is composed ALMOST ENTIRELY of ordinary matter, as opposed to an equal mixture of matter and antimatter.

Apparently this disproportionate imbalance of matter vs anti-matter in the visible universe is one of the great unsolved problems of physics.

Scientists claim that antimatter is the costliest material to make. In 1999, NASA gave a figure of $62.5 trillion per gram of antihydrogen. According to CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research based in Switzerland) it has cost a few hundred million Swiss Francs to produce about 1 billionth of a gram of anti-matter.

Studies funded by NASA are exploring whether it might be possible to use magnetic scoops to collect the antimatter that occurs naturally in the Van Allen belt of the Earth, hopefully at a lower cost per gram.

Also of interest – scientists on CERN’s ACE project have studied antimatter as a potential candidate for cancer therapy.