Episode 20

The Space Vikings

During a cosmic storm a pair of silver gloves falls from the sky. Dr Smith puts the gloves on and notices they are engraved with what he recognizes are ancient Nordic letters. Moments later a golden hammer also descends from the heavens. Smith picks it up but then discards it, saying it is a useless piece of rubbish. As soon as he does this the hammer explodes.

Dr Smith uses an electronic synthesizer unit to make a copy of the gloves while remarking, “Every time I come upon a really wondrous device, some sneaky alien comes along and takes it away from me. But this time I shall be prepared.” He declares the copied gloves ‘a perfect facsimile’.

Next moment a female space viking who declares herself a Valkyrien appears on a white horse with wings. She says she has come for Thor’s hammer and announces “Whosoever possesses the legendary hammer rules all. His will, his slightest command will be obeyed. All wishes will be granted.”

The female space viking, known as Brynhilda, transports Smith on the back of her horse to her home of Valhalla. At the last minute though Smith drops one of the magic gloves and it is left behind. That night Smith dines with Brynhilda at a lavish banquet table.

Later Thor turns up and is jealous of Brynhilda’s affections towards Dr Smith. Thor challenges Smith to a battle but when he goes to put on his magic gloves he can only find one. The gloves possess no power unless they are matched together.

Thor transports himself back down to the Robinson’s planet in search of the missing glove. He eventually locates it along with the two facsimile gloves and takes back all three with him to Valhalla.

In preparation for the battle with Thor, the robot advises Smith the only way he has a chance of surviving against Thor is to engage in mind games by convincing him he is weak and powerless without his hammer.

Smith enacts his plan of deception and trickery by manufacturing two squeezable sponges that look like hard rocks in the facsimile machine. In a genuinely hilarious scene I vividly recall seeing for the first time 45 years ago as a child, Dr Smith uses the fake sponge rocks to fool the mighty Nordic warrior into believing he has the super-strength to squeeze water from rocks with his bare hands.

Aided by the fact Thor is inebriated from imbibing one two many Nordic ales as he despairs over the loss of affection from Brynhilda, when it comes time for him to replicate Smith’s feat of squeezing water from hard rock, Dr Smith switches the sponges for real rocks behind Thor’s back when he is distracted. Thor is unable to squeeze water from the real rocks, and after this is repeated several times, comes to believe he has lost his powers.https://www.youtube.com/embed/viS1RGKdsT4?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Smith convinces Thor that a man who cannot even retrieve water from a stone is in no fit state to enter into combat. In no time, Smith has reduced the mighty Thor to a sobbing wreck lying on a couch who is now convinced his only power all along has been ‘false courage’. Smith’s plan to evade dueling with the legendary warrior succeeds when he finally convinces Thor he is ‘incapable of squishing a dragonfly’ and is nothing without his gloves.

However in a final scene, when the terrifying Frost Giants attack the cave they are sheltered in, Thor’s self-belief returns and he courageously slays them all – without his magic gloves – winning back the affections of Brynhilda in the process.

The character of the female space viking Brynhilda was played by actress Sheila Mathews Allen (1929 – 2013), wife of the show’s creator and head producer Irwin Allen (1916 – 1991). Her movie career featured parts in such films as –

That leaves only one thing left to say…

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