This is the final episode of Season One.
And I don’t mind admitting, as a kid, it really did scare me.
Dr Smith and Professor Robinson enter a cave searching for a lazer gun Smith has left behind the previous day. They discover relics of a long lost civilization. A stone wall closes magically behind Professor Robinson, trapping him inside. Gas begins filling the chamber which renders him unconscious.
While the Professor is passed out we hear an omnipotent, surround-sound booming voice proclaim – “I have been waiting for you for a long time. Once I was a mighty warrior and leader of my race. But that was many centuries ago. My body has long ago been used up. I want yours. You have all the qualities I need”. The spirit then releases him from the entombed enclosure, warning him to ‘be careful with our body”.
John rejoins his family but he is somehow a changed person. The next morning at the breakfast table he has an uncharacteristic outburst of temper aimed at Dr Smith (long overdue mind!) He begins pushing everyone to work night and day so they can make a one week deadline (set by ‘the voice‘) to lift off from the planet.
Don, Smith and the rest of the Robinsons all try adjusting to the volatile stranger that is now living among them. Maureen remarks – “Have any of you noticed John’s eyes? They seem to look right through you”. They all agree they are unsure of what to do.
This prompts the following exchange between Don and Smith –
Don: “You know Smith, I never thought I’d hear myself say this but I’m even willing to take a suggestion from you”.
Smith: “And high time too! Let me handle the Professor. Possibly you are unaware that I am completely familiar with the latest techniques in the field of psychiatry”.
Don: “As a doctor or as a patient?”
Dr Smith approaches Professor Robinson in his cabin and tries to play psychiatrist. Professor Robinson responds by calling him a fool. Smith hears ‘the voice’ reveal – “My name is Canto. I am a great leader and warrior from the planet Quasti.” John then returns to the cave where the spirit takes full possession of his body.
Don, Will, Maureen and Judy go to the cave looking for John. Evil John Robinson, who is now completely under the sway of Canto, and Don have a sword fight. Don loses but John, fighting against the will of Canto who is in possession of his body, spares Don’s life. Professor Robinson, now wearing the ghastly mask of the spirit of Canto takes Will to a cliff-top that “reaches down to the very core of the planet” intending to push him off.
Knowing he is about to be killed, Will asks his father to do something for him –“Would you take off that mask so I can see my father’s face one last time?”. John/Canto agrees and Will takes this opportunity to tell his father he loves him. This is enough to momentarily break the spell. Professor Robinson removes the mask and throws it plunging into the canyon below.
Referring to the evil spirit of Canto, Will asks his father –“What do you think chased him off sir?” John replies – “Love Will. In all the galaxies of this universe, there is nothing stronger.”
And that is among the reasons I am thankful to this day to have discovered the 1960’s television series LOST IN SPACE.
That leaves only one thing to say….
Bring on Season Two!