Episode 6

Space Destructors

Dr Smith and Will venture into a cave which is home to some type of factory machinery. The robot warns “Do not activate the controls. I detect danger.” Dr Smith cannot help himself however. With the push of a button he begins a conveyor belt process with many stages. For a while it looks like a lump of bread is being made but at the end out pops a fully-alive humanoid-looking creature.

When the creature acts aggressively towards Dr Smith, he explains he is it’s creator and ‘master’ but the humanoid pursues Smith in an attempt to kill him. Dr Smith runs back to the Robinson’s campsite where Don and John intercept the alien and destroy it.

The next day, Dr Smith sneaks back to the cave to see if he can create a more obedient creature. In no time he manufactures a virtual army of mindless cyborgs in his own likeness all eager to do his bidding. When Will enters the cave in search of Dr Smith he is taken prisoner by two of Smith’s newly created guards.

Smith then walks back to the Jupiter 2 accompanied by some of his cyborg servants. He informs the Robinson’s they are now under his control. As a demonstration of his powers he instructs one of his creatures to fight Professor Robinson.

When John destroys the cyborg, Smith heads back to the cave to produce more. He is able to quantify the ingredients to his own specifications when producing his manufactured soldiers. “Give me the bravery of Alexander the Great; the cunning and ingenuity of Napoleon; the leadership of Julius Caesar; the ferocity of Genghis Khan; and the strength of Hercules”.

Meanwhile Will escapes his ‘protective custody’ but somehow in the process of talking to Dr Smith gets caught on the moving conveyor belt. He passes through the cyborg-manufacturing machine. He emerges at the other end still the same height but in the likeness of Dr Smith.

John enters the cave to rescue Will. In one of the most imaginative action sequences of any Lost in Space episode, Professor Robinson uses his well-honed ‘Zorro’ fencing skills to take on, one-by-one, a never-ending array of newly created soldier cyborgs hot off the factory presses.

THOSE NASTY SMITH-LOOKALIKE CYBORGS HAD NO CHANCE AGAINST SOMEONE WHO PLAYED ZORRO IN ALL 78 EPISODES OF THE ORIGINAL 1950’S TITLED TV SERIES.

John then instructs the robot to destroy the cave and its contents. He takes the cyborg-version of his son Will over his shoulder and forcibly removes him from the factory. Once outside Will returns to his normal self.

For his sins Dr Smith is forced to pack his bags and is evicted from the Robinson’s camp. Smith says he’ll change and begs for another chance, before finally admitting, “I’ll always be a menace. I know it.”

As a parting gesture, Smith asks the Professor to tell the others “He knows he does bad things from time to time, but he doesn’t mean it. It’s just that, well… I can’t control myself.” John agrees, saying, “Alright, I’ll tell them. But I think they already know that.”

In a final scene, as Smith walks off, he drops a water bottle from the pile of belongings he is carrying. John goes to pick it up, pausing for a moment to reflect on the harsh reality that awaits Smith trying to survive by himself on an alien planet. Professor Robinson then calls after Smith who comes running back.

John: “Alright, we’ll give it one more try.”

Smith: “You won’t be sorry.”

John: “I better not be.”

If SPACE DESTRUCTORS isn’t my favourite episode of the entire series, then it comes mighty close.

The conveyor-belt style props used to create the factory look in this episode came from a real-life bakery that had gone out of business.