Episode 25

The Colonists

Hypersonic radio wave emissions short-circuit the Jupiter 2’s communication frequencies. A female voice announces the Robinsons are now prisoners and should surrender their weapons. An alien warrior Queen named Niolani enters the family’s camp accompanied by a collection of subservient male guards.

Niolani unfurls a scroll and then commands – “Now harken to this… This Planet has been chosen as a settlement for a pioneer colony of female warriors of the Condor nation. You have been taken captive in order that you may prepare the landing pad and an electronic purifying arch through which all of our warrior colonists will have to pass before breathing the air of their new home”

Men folk of the Robinson’s are informed they will be required to work night and day to prepare the landing pad. Don and John perform the heavy construction work while Smith works on painting a ceiling mural for the archway. Meanwhile Penny starts copying Niolani, trying to act superior to Will in an effort to show him his rightful place.

Don and John invent a plan to sabotage the alien’s landing operation. Dr Smith is not completely on board as he believes Niolani may visit Earth and take him with her if he ingratiates himself to the warrior queen.

They mould a decorative figurine made out of plastic explosive and then adorn the arch with it. Just as the colonizing mother ship is about to land they detonate the archway. The alien ship ascends back into the sky and the invasion is prevented.

Niolani sheds a tear at the end and reflects – “You have defeated me.” This prompts Maureen to ask – “Is it a defeat to acknowledge that men are just as good as women? Equality of the sexes has advantages you may have over-looked.

The part of Niolani was played by actress Francine York (1938 – 2017). She first broke through in Hollywood when Jerry Lewis cast her in his 1962 film IT’S ONLY MONEY. 

Subsequently she appeared in five more Lewis movies – THE NUTTY PROFESSOR (1963) –  THE PATSY (1964) – THE DISORDERLY ORDERLY (1964) – THE FAMILY JEWELS (1965) and CRACKING UP (1983). Her numerous other film roles included playing Nicholas Cage’s mum in THE FAMILY MAN (2000).

LOST IN SPACE episode as brilliant as this one deserves elevation somewhere above mere CLASSIC status. Indeed, ‘THE COLONISTS’ merits no less than the ultimate accolade…