Episode 20

Fugitives in Space

The Space Warden from Planet Destructon arrives on the Robinson’s planet. He is seeking an escaped criminal. Through a misunderstanding, Don and Smith are found guilty by a computer jury and Judge of assisting the prisoner to evade capture.

They are sentenced, together with the recaptured prisoner – an ape-like being named ‘Creech’ – to a life of hard labour in Quadrant 6: “The worst quadrant in the entire galaxy, with temperatures over 150 degrees”.

The robot bakes a cake with plastic explosive in it and delivers it to Don and Smith in an attempt to free them but the plan misfires.

Don (prisoner #756498274 – ‘274 for short’) and Smith, (prisoner # 756498273 – ‘273 for short’) led by Creech, carry out their own escape plan and head to Devil’s Quandrant, where Creech says he has people on the outside waiting for him and there is billions in deutronium.

Close to their destination, Creech walks ahead of Don and Smith. He steps on a sub-atomic mine and is instantly pulverized. The Warden appears soon after with a complete pardon for prisoners 273′ and 274′.

The role of the towering ape-prisoner Creech was played with great physicality and presence by actor Michael Conrad (1925 – 1983). He served in the U.S. army during WW2 and afterwards had a long acting career which stretched across thirty years from the 1950’s.

Married three times, Conrad is best known for playing the desk sergeant in the television series HILL STREET BLUES (1981 – 1987), a role he performed for 71 episodes.