The Phantom Family
An alien uses a camera x-ray to photograph the Robinsons. Will is not present when this happens and John and Maureen are ‘away’. Judy, Penny, Don and Dr Smith all begin acting strangely. Will initially believes he’s getting the silent treatment from family members who have now turned into unresponsive zombies.
The robot informs Will the others have been replaced by humanoid imposters – mechanical facsimiles or ‘duplicates’. The alien meets with Will and reveals that Dr Smith, Judy, Penny and Don are now under his control.
The duplicates try their best to act like their real versions but they are souless imitations without real personality. Will is forcibly coerced into training the duplicates to act like the real thing.
The alien, whose name is Lemnoc, tells Will his race are dying out and he needs the resilient qualities of Earthlings. Finally, the duplicates are broken out of their trance and the real family members escape from their storage tubes – everyone except for Dr Smith.
Lemnock says he will release Dr Smith in return for the Robinson’s ship. In the end Dr Smith’s duplicate does something the real Dr Smith would never do. He sacrifices himself so the genuine Smith can go free.
Actor Alan Hewitt (1915 – 1986) portrayed in costume the role of the alien leader Lemnoc. He – meaning Hewitt not Lemnoc – never became a major star but did have a lengthy career which included smaller parts in many well known tv shows of the 1960’s including Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, My Favourite Martian and The Lucy Show.
He appeared in three films that at one time I might possibly have labelled ‘favourites’ –