Episode 20

WAR OF THE ROBOTS

Whilst out fishing at a pond Will finds a rusted old robotoid’ hidden amongst a thicket of bushes. Will repairs the machine and escorts it back to the Jupiter 2. The robotoid begins serving the Robinsons in every way including repairing the chariot and serving them meals. When the machine repairs Maureen’s watch it prompts Mrs Robinson to remark, “I wonder if the robotoid can darn socks?”

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The Robinson’s own robot begins showing signs of jealousy, believing he may have become obsolete with the arrival of this new advanced machine. Smith starts calling the robot a broken down has-been”.

The Robinson’s believe the robotoid is harmless but their robot keeps insisting otherwise. We then witness the new machine secretly communicate to its master via a video screen. It announces it has found new specimens for his masters ‘experiments’.

When the Robinson’s weapons all go missing, parts from their chariot cannot be found and the ship’s force field is rendered inoperable, finally the robotoid declares his hand and announces he is in charge.

Will and the robot then hatch a plan. Under the cover of a smoke screen the Robinson’s robot goes into battle against the evil robotoid. With a couple of well-aimed zaps from its electrical circuits the robot triumphs over the robotoid and disables it for good.

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The ‘robotoid’ featured in this episode of LOST IN SPACE made it’s feature film debut in the 1956 sci-fi movie FORBIDDEN PLANET as the character ‘Robbie the Robot’.

A year later it appeared in the movie THE INVISIBLE BOY. It would pop up later on in episodes of THE ADDAMS FAMILY, COLUMBOTHE TWILIGHT ZONE and in another story from Season 3 of LOST IN SPACE entitled THE CONDEMMED OF SPACE.

In the 1980’s it was used in the films GREMLINS (1984) and the Jim Carrey starring EARTH GIRLS ARE EASY (1988) as well as in episodes of MORK AND MINDYand believe it or not THE LOVE BOATIn the 1990’s it featured in the Japanese manga comic BATTLE ANGEL: ALITA (upon which James Cameron’s 2019 feature length movie was based).

 In 2014 it was used in an episode of THE BIG BANG THEORY.

You’d have to agree, that’s quite the highlight reel.

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Check out Robbie’s impressive 1956 screen debut in the movie FORBIDDEN PLANET –