Become a Podshock Supporting Subscriber
Now more than ever, we need your support! Become a Supporting Subscriber today.

LOST IN SPACE--The Raft, One of Our Dogs Is Missing


Chase - Posted on 17 August 2009

THE RAFT

WRITER-PETER PACKER

DIR-SOBEY MARTIN

 

NARRATION: Last week, as you recall, we left Penny and Will Robinson watching from the safety of the Jupiter II as the final moments of a space experiment ticked off, an experiment that Will Robinson hoped might save them all.

 

TEASER-fully recapped--different brief opening shot

 

Night: Penny and Will look out the Jupiter II main viewport window and see Robot standing near a small balloon which is attached to a rocket. Robot warns all people to leave the area immediately. In the control room, Will and Penny watch this via the window. Will tells her that rocket may be small but it has enough hyper energy fuel for a real blast. Robot does a countdown. This 6th try is a message from the shipwrecked "space sailors"  to anyone who gets it for help. The rocket goes up. At 1000 feet, Will tells her it will fire up. Penny asks if that is when the pull of gravity will end and he tells her no but every bit helps. She laughs, "I know all about gravity."  Will says, "Let's see what my balloons doing to it."  (To gravity?). John walks through the garden. The balloon goes to 1000 feet and Will wonders what is holding it. It blows up. Two blasts. Robot warns, "Warning, warning, it's coming this way!"  John runs behind Penny and Will. Penny yells, "It's coming this way!"  Robot warns it is out of control. A ball of fire descends at Will and Penny who John takes and shields with his own body. Judy, Don, and Maureen run out of the spaceship exit to see this. NOTE: New dialogue: over the ball dropping we hear Judy yelling, "Ahhh, lookout!"    The ball is almost on top of the trio (John has the kids under him). Cliffhanger ends here. The ball blows up, seemingly engulfing John, Will, and Penny.

 

ACT ONE

Freeze frame--titles are written in black, not the usual white since the blast is white. John's line as he picks up Will by the belt and lifts him clear off the ground and helps Penny up is dubbed over the soundtrack, "It's okay, kids, the forcefield saved our necks."  Then Guy Williams says, "That's enough shipwrecked sailor experiments for one night."  Maureen tells them there won't be any more. Smith comes out, "You people are so busy making noise and getting nowhere with your ship building activities I have conditioned myself only for the dinner bell."  Maureen tells him that won't be for another two hours. Smith says, "The pain."  He is dictating spools of tape--his book and has time for another. He is writing a book called the Social Psychology of Galactic Castaways, using his own point of view. Maureen wonders if that is narrow but Smith explains he can see himself as other see him and vica versa. Will is confused by his vica versa part. Smith says it is about knowing who are your friends--he looks at Will and Maureen and then turns to Don, "...and who are your enemies."  He goes in. Don tells the others he may just have to buy that book--"I might just sue him."  Maureen laughs, "If it ever reaches a publisher."  Below Deck, Don is on the computer, "Galactic Castaways, I'll show him."  As much as Smith is such a child, so is Don, innihe? John comes down the elevator. Don tells him as much as he's been hording fuel, they are out. Don goes to Smith's cabin, throwing a rag at the door. He opens the door and Smith says, "I'm right in the middle of a sentence."  Don says, "It'll be a death sentence. Alright my friend, what did you do with it."  Don will beat it out of him. John will seem to let him. Just before Don hits Smith, Will runs to them, "Don't hit him!"  Will confesses--he might have taken more than he thought he did for his shipwrecked sailor experiments. Will looks at a mad John. Don says, "Oh no. Which makes us galactic castaways...forever."  Later, lower deck: John does tests on a unit as it lights up and out. He asks Maureen, "Where's Will?"  Maureen tells him he can't go on blaming Will--he meant to help. John says, "I'm not blaming him. I just wish he'd leave things alone and let Don and me take care of getting us out of here."  He looks at Maureen's face, "Alright, I know, we haven't been doing a very good job ourselves."  Maureen says, "Your doing the impossible--you're keeping us alive."  John asks her about the 4th state of matter--plasma (she didn't seem too sure--some scientist they've made Maureen, huh). He tells her with ionized nuclide electrons they can expand the plasma process long enough for more power, giving them an endless supply of propellant to take them anywhere in the galaxy. The plasma test works and John feels they can soon have a lift off. Maureen says, "Then I guess would be alright to say I never really liked this place."   Penny says, "But you'll miss it when we're gone."  Maureen says, "Wanna bet?"  Will and Penny run to tell Smith. Maureen and John sit on a rock that night and look at the stars. Maureen says, "The night sky is so beautiful no matter where you are."   Cheery John says, "It's more beautiful if you've chosen where you are."   Maureen asks if he has chosen. Duh. John says, "Well, if it works and we can get the Jupiter II into space--there is one place we should try for--Alpha Centauri."   Maureen says, "Yes, that always was our destination." 

 

Smith's book on tape excerpt (which isn't as stupid as one might think): ...so strange as though it may seem to a dweller on our bountiful and hospitable Earth, the galactic castaway is likely to be afflicted by a form of insanity which distorts the values and urges him to prefer the hostile uncharted wastes of deep space to the comfort and safety of Earth. In the case history of the family R (as he listens to this tape, Smith rolls his eyes), for instance which it has been my lot to observe scientifically at first hand, the absurd and utterly illogical resolve to continue on a voyage into space which can only end in even worse disaster then these they have already endured. In stances such as these, it is force alone which can help galactic castaways recover their sanity.

 

Smith ends his listening to the tape and commends himself on the excellent use of the language, as always. He says, "Let them go wherever they wish--but not before they have taken me home."  In lower deck alcove where Don works on the propulsion unit, Judy tells him he is the hardest working astronaut she's ever seen. He adds, "And plumber, gas station attendant, all around fixer upper, and radio announcer."  She adds, "And not such bad company either."  He admits he hasn't been such good company later--maybe once they are off the planet and in space. Tomorrow he tells her, they will test the propulsion unit at minimum thrust; Judy is sure it will be all right. Morning, John and Don will be the only ones in the ship. The others will watch from a distance. Smith calls this time wasting, "Why can't we just lift off and be done with it. We'd be back on Earth before you could say...John Robinson."  John tells Smith he would readily admit that testing is not time wasting if he wasn't in such a hurry and also tells him Earth is not their destination. Smith says it is his and they can drop him off on Earth first. John tells him, "The Jupiter 2's destination is Alpha Centauri, end of discussion."  Smith says, "Indeed."  John tells them they will test the power on thrusters, power ore (?) or core, the retros, main thrusters, and it will not even lift them higher than the belly of an ant. John takes his shirt off, revealing a T-Shirt beneath and goes in. Don is also in his T-shirt. They have a device on the control panel. The power goes on and hums at phase cycle 400 and steady, which sounds like music to John. Don is wearing a gold necklace. They try the starboard engines and the retros. Smith tells the others he will recommend "our astronauts"  receive a medal of valor when they get to Earth. Will reminds him, "We're not going back to Earth, Dr. Smith."  When the phase cycle reaches 1000, the Control Room shakes and vibrates, the read out power goes into the critical zone. The controls heat, the Jupiter smokes, and the two men move away from the panel. It blows into a fire. They put it out.

 

ACT TWO

John and Don come back from around checking the exterior of the ship. They are at 800 cycles--which would get them six feet off the ground. Smith goads Don with insults, telling him he doubts his competence and also questions Don's ability to punch him in the nose. John and Judy stop this but John says, "Morale is low around here right now--so if you have nothing constructive to say...keep your mouth shut!"  Smith tells them it was a subtle move on his part but Maureen counters that there was nothing subtle in what he said. Smith explains he was trying to goad him into proving how competent he really is. Don blasts this theory. Smith asks when they will leave this "obnoxious planet."  Will asks John if he remembers his baby rockets with the SOS messages. John says, "Now how could I forget those?"  Will suggests they send up a small spacecraft using the plasma drive fuel. Penny says, "Like people in a shipwreck building a RAFT."  Don figures they can remove the reactor chamber and use it. Smith wants it to hold two passengers, "You and I, Major."  Don laughs, "I can't think of a more useless payload."  Will asks Don if he will do it--fly it. Don says that since no one is giving him any orders he guesses he will volunteer. It is a small round diving bell from VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA circa season one. Don in decontamination gear and hood goes into the Reactor Unit and shoots decontamination. It still has a slight reading so Don shoots it some more. Don welcomes the Professor to be the first welcomed aboard the SS Space RAFT. Robot removes heavy parts from the Jupiter; Will watches Don remove a device from the back of the upper deck control panel (the same device removed from the Robot in WELCOME STRANGER--nav unit perhaps)---both Don and Will are in T-shirts; John is in the raft with equipment measuring things--it appears to be night; Don puts an antenna on the top as Will watches in the daytime; night--John goes into the raft, being watched by Smith--who is hiding behind a rock. Smith's head comes up from the rock, sneakily. Day again, the balloon is over the bell raft and we see it in long shot with the Jupiter Two ramp, deck and roof. Will and Penny run from around the raft to John, Maureen, and the others. In the galley, John talks about Pryocon as a guide. Once Don reaches it, the RGS will get him to Earth. Will asks once more for Don to take him along and they can play chess. They would lose contact at full acceleration at 30 minutes. There are 14 hours before Don leaves and John suggests he sleep through every one of them. Maureen goes to Don who starts to go to his cabin, "Don, there may not be time to say very much in the morning and I'm not going to embarrass you by saying very much right now but I do want you to know how we all feel and until we see you again, you won't be out of our thoughts and our prayers for a moment."  Don says, "Thanks,"  and leaves. Night at the bell: we see the outside camp with the Jupiter lit up, ramp and all. Control Room: Smith says to the Robot, "I take it you're thoroughly familiar with what it is necessary to release that bag of wind out there."  Robot says, quite funnily, "Thoroughly familiar with bag of wind..right here."  Smith asks, "Do you mean me?"  "Affirmative."   Smith says, "Very funny."  Robot knows how to release it and explains the word affirmative to Smith. Smith uses the word castoff as the command to release it. Robot holds him to demonstrate. In one hour, he will take it. Don is in bed, staring. His light is on so Judy knocks on his cabin door in her robe. He couldn't sleep he tells her as she comes in. They talk at the same time. Judy  can't say goodbye in the morning--it may be too difficult so she says it now and give him a gift. This awfully sickening scene is even more awful when Don asks in proper English, "May I know what it is?"  Judy tells him a tape she made and tells him not to listen to it more than once--it may (will, if you ask me) get monotonous. Don says, "I'll let you know when I get back."  Judy says, "You'll get back."  Will goes to the Robot near the raft. It is still night. Will starts to leave but catches Smith opening the door. Smith calls Will into the raft, telling him he has permission from Major West to be inside, checking on the life support which is perfect. Smith, in telling this to Will, says the word "castoff"  which makes the Robot cast them off. "You said castoff."  In a neat and rare special effect, Will and Smith look out the window and view the Robot's head from above as the raft pulls up, away from him. The door closes. Smith tells Will they are at the mercy of space but will head back to Earth as Don would have on the auto set. They view stars at the window. The rockets fire and the balloon goes off the raft.

 

ACT THREE

Morning: the others wonder about what happened. They have the same chance Don would have if they keep it on automatic. They have backup systems and Will was in on every phase of the construction of the raft. They are too far for radio, John says. They run inside to try anyway. Will finds Smith asleep and goes for the radio, calling the Jupiter 2. Smith stops him, "I'm your commander and I've ordered radio silence."  The two of them sway back and forth as if they are at sea! Will thinks Smith enjoys knowing his folks are worried. He wants to be back with them. Smith won't stand in his way--he can be on the first ship back. Will gets a beep on radar--something coming in. He can't change course. Smith appoints him first officer to get them away. They see a planet coming up. Will says, "And we're headed straight for it."  Smith thinks it is Earth--they don't know how long they were asleep or how fast they were going. Will doesn't recognize any of the stars or planets in the system but Smith attributes this to coming in too fast (cue DERELICT music). Will fires retro rockets and the raft lands with an even bounce. Will tells Smith he can open his eyes, telling him they landed 30 seconds ago. Will wants to check out the atmosphere so Smith tells him, "Alright my boy, go play with your toy."  Will turns something and on the antenna it turns also. They lookout and see a mountain range. There is oxygen and nitrogen. Will figures they should call Alpha Control but Smith tells him it will spoil their fun in walking in on them unannounced--and that Will has no sense of drama. They emerge, the raft is tilted a bit. Smith thinks they are in the Dakotas or Wyoming; they head South; Will thinking he knows where the Continental Divide, Missouri and Pike's Peak are. Will goes to get the lunch pack and puts on a direction finder. The two pass a two headed bush thing--they've been walking for hours, there is no highway, no birds or mosquitos. Will notices the strange bush plant or tree. Smith calls it overgrown skunk cabbage. Will says, "I don't think we're on Earth at all."   He tells Smith he has homesickness. Smith says, "But this is home."   Will says, "But what if it's not?"  He sets up a scenario--they will live alone here forever and he will live longer since he's not as old as Smith. Smith frowns, "Bully for you." 

 

Will: Until then, you're the only person I can rely on. Until then,      do you mind?

Smith: Mind what?

Will: Watching out for me like you were my father--seeing that I    don't get into trouble, seeing I don't forget to eat or get      lost or something.

Smith: Do you mean you actually want ME to look after you?

Will: You're the only one I've got. I'm sure you'd be pretty good  at it.

Smith: Do you really think so?

 

Smith goes on to tell him that he hasn't much experience with children and hasn't thought about it much. Will tells him not to think about it but to sort of roll with the punches. Smith tells him he could carry him piggy back if he's tired. Will thinks he can go on. They move off and after they do, the bush "tree"  moves--it is a two headed creature! They see more plants. Smith says, "...there is supposed to be a population explosion here remember."  Will says, "It doesn't look like it exploded anywhere near here."  Plants cover a door like opening in the dead end rock area which is covered with vegetation. The two are trapped within. Smith grabs Will as plants fall over the opening more and more. He runs with Will away from the former opening. The plant doors open a bit and we see the monster standing on the outside!

 

ACT FOUR

Jupiter II, the tent, and the old robot trail, no ramp seen. We hear some wind. John calls and the empty raft picks it up. He figures they must be on this planet. He and Maureen will check the south area; Don on parajets will cover north of the ship. Maureen feels foolish hoping it is Will but John tells her, "I hope we all remain that way--just foolish enough to believe it is Will."  Will's pocket knife or can opener is blunted by the plants which are like metal. They can't get through. Smith advises digging under it. He tells Will to start tunneling but Will thrusts the tool at him, "You got us into this mess hijacking that spaceship--you start."  Smith does; Will frowns. Don is on the flying belt (12 Mile music). There are several close up shots of Don flying amid clouds. Chariot searches amid stock footage from INVADERS FROM THE 5TH DIMENSION. John tells Maureen, "Let me drive for awhile."  They change places. Maureen uses the binoculars. The Chariot passes a ridge under a plateau. John calls Will on the mike. Later, they get out of the Chariot, leaving the Robot inside, both calling in a rocky area. Will digs and sees flowers on the vines--all they needed was someone to do a little digging. If they cultivate the vines, they will go soft and they can get out. Smith says, "I am interested only in what is good for Zachary Smith."  Will quips, "You're tellin' me."  Smith says, "Indeed."  Will says, "The way they hemmed us in it looks as if they want us to stay here and take care of this place forever."  When Smith refuses, the door opens and we see the roaring monster. Smith grabs Will's hand. Control Room: all are gathered around. They have to find the open transmission--maybe triangulate on it otherwise they will go on searching like this for days. The portable RDF gear on the space theodolite can give them a direction if they take it up to the point. Will tells Smith, "I guess I was right about that bush creature wanting us to stay here and take care of this place. Those flowers are beautiful."  Will eats a berry (I guess he guessed the monster would want them to live to be the caretakers of this place so he didn't worry about testing!). They taste like cranberries. Will wouldn't mind staying here a couple of weeks but mentions his folks again. Smith says, "Is that all you can think about--is your parents?"  Will says yes especially since they are thinking only about him. Don has the radio space theodolite or whatever it is called. He calls John who tells him, "To save time make your way on up to the oasis."  He tells the girls, "I don't think it's too far from that first weather station we set up."   Smith destroys the flowers, much to Will's alarm and yelling. Smith gets his arm stuck in the mass of vines and plants on the wall door. Smith yells to Will to tell the monster anything to let him go. Smith drops a radio which Will scoops up and uses to call the Jupiter II. John answers; Will tells him they are in some kind of a ravine. The pair located the space raft. Smith yells to Will, "Tell him the buffalo lands--the prairie!"  John cuts out before Will can tell about the creature. Will tells Smith, "Now what'll probably happen is when Don lifts off and heads back to Earth, he'll probably take you with him..."  adding, "...as his prisoner."   Smith gets free and points to the vines on the other end of the rocks where they can climb out. The creature bounces back and forth after them. They run to the other side. Will tells Smith to keep his promise he made to get free. Smith says he won't. They can't get up the rock vines--the vines fall off and down. The thing moves at them.

 

TAG-CLIFFHANGER

Smith screams and holds Will in front of him (something which will become common place very soon). John and Don run in and John shoots the bush man in the back (good job, prof and using a skinny laser pistol not seen before or after) and it falls (dead?). The rocks behind Smith and Will look like the same set (minus the plants and vines) that will be used next on ONE OF OUR DOGS IS MISSING). John tells them Don is not going--there is not enough power to get past the orbit of the planet--it couldn't break free. Smith says, "I knew it all along."   He admits it was just a pleasure hop on Will's account. He will get back to his book, slipping past the dead monster. John says, "Let's go."  Later, John leaves the space ship Jupiter II and carries bed rolls into the Chariot. He, Don, Will, and Robot will be gone a couple of days, setting up a giant dish antenna 20 miles wide--as part of relay system over many areas. Penny wants to go but John tells her, "Maybe next time, honey,"  and Will condescends, "We'll only have to keep lookin' out for ya."  Smith brings bags out with Don, complaining. Smith tells John, "You may rest assured, Professor, that despite your petty anger, I will do everything in my power to protect your loved ones while you are away."  Don takes some bags, "Do us a favor, Smith, and don't do us any favors."  The leavers get in the Chariot and start it up and pull away amid goodbyes from the females. We hear Chariot music as it passes a big rock. Judy tells Smith that Don didn't mean what he said (what? yes he did). Smith tells her he can forgive him. For night watch, Smith starts three four-hour shifts and almost includes Penny but then stops short of that--having just two six hour shifts--one of Maureen and one for Judy. Dopey Maureen lets him get away with this by saying, "Alright. C'mon."  She and Smith follow the girls into the ship. Maureen's an idiot here. And there's worse to follow. Night: Chariot plows onward; John writes some notes; and Don tells him he is worried about leaving Smith back at the spaceship. John says, "Knowing Maureen, I'm sure she can handle him."  Don frowns, turning his eyes out the side window. NOTE: I agree with Don--Maureen couldn't handle Smith from here on out--at first she handled him well in the series--but from around this time in THE RAFT onwards--she overlooks his antics as if he were just a spoiled brat---for some other parent she were babysitting for. Not just that but the whole next episode, ONE OF OUR DOGS IS MISSING, is a good reason to call LOST IN SPACE, a show for male chauvinists. John asks Will to turn on the Robot to feed him some data. Robot warns, "Danger, danger, danger."  At first, they see nothing but then Don stops the Chariot. We hear music from STOWAWAY. A meteor storm hits. Flashes pass down. Chariot shakes and smokes. John asks Will if he is all right. Will yells, almost sounding embarrassed, "I'm, alright!"  Meteors crash down and create sparks and fires. One seems to fly right at the Chariot.

 

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK SAME TIME SAME CHANNEL

 

REVIEW: Peter Packer should not have written for LOST IN SPACE. THE RAFT makes it very obvious. While he seems to know the characters pretty well, he makes them look very dumb--in fact, John and Don look dumber than Smith. Why didn't they realize the raft wouldn't break free of the orbit? Why didn't the plasma have enough power--first John tells his wife it is an endless supply if they can get it to work--and they do get it to work---and then Don is telling Judy it may not work on the propulsion--perhaps the actual launch off was the problem. John also admits to Maureen he doesn't fully understand what he is talking about, and also tells his wife she doesn't either! Will looks dumb too--using too much fuel--why wasn't someone checking on his experiments. It is true that Will and any of the others could make mistakes but this episode goes a bit too far on all counts. Will also eats some berries (but this can be explained away as he knowing the monster wanted them to live) without the berries being tested. Maureen looks even dumber (not really recalling the fourth state of matter that quick). The fact that the entire mission is a complete waste of time due to the fact that the raft cannot pull away from the gravity just makes them all look pretty stupid. The build up to Don's leaving is fairly well done despite some mushy crap from Judy and Maureen but then the let down of Don not going just makes it all seem fairly pointless. Smith and Will have some touching scenes as well as some touchy scenes. This episode does cement their relationship some more but also makes Will a bit more wise to Smith than previously (INVADERS had Will positively duped by him). It is also interesting to note that this dealt the end of the other characters having much to do---many think that happened in season two and three only. Not true. With exceptions it was Smith and Will and the Robot all the way from here on out. Judy and Penny do very little in this episode even when on screen and Judy is so gushingly coy with Don it is sickening. Why not make them kiss and not talk so much! Why not have Smith do something stupid and make the raft reland on the planet--irreparably? Procyon is a good choice for a star to guide home on. The visual aspect of this episode is quite nice, even though a some is borrowed from the unaired pilot. Some are not: the robot being seen from the window of the raft as it pulls up and the campsite with the raft and balloon are rather nice---and new. There are many nice, views of the lower deck including the "engine room"  which I will call the "engine alcove" that houses the propulsion unit. The monster is seen in VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA's first season THE CONDEMNED, second season's DEADLY CREATURE BELOW!, and fourth seasons SECRET OF THE DEEP. It is also in HUNTER'S MOON, THE KEEPER, and PRISONERS OF SPACE. The skinny laser gun John uses is not used in any other episode. The Space Theodolite is not explained but a theodolite is a surveying instrument for measuring horizontal and vertical angles by means of a small telescope turning on a horizontal and a vertical axis (how will this help find them?). Not a terrible episode but not totally logical or even interesting considering how stupid the Robinsons are in it. Oh, and the Robot seems very unthinking at times here---he seems like a programmed machine--which he is--by releasing the raft with Will and Smith in it. The Robot of later episodes, season two and three, would not have done this, having obtained, somehow, more independent thinking and decision making. Smith, once more, seems to be the only one to order Robot around, the others do not seem able to again. By the cliffhanger in this one and in the entire next episode, however, the Robot leaves camp with Don, John, and Will--and Will gives him orders. Peter Packer also mentions skunk cabbage in THE DREAM MONSTER when Smith drinks something from Sesmar made from skunk cabbage.            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ONE OF OUR DOGS IS MISSING

WRITER-WILLIAM WELCH

DIR-SUTTON ROLEY

 

TEASER-not fully recapped-different version---missing dialogue

 

Chariot and start it up and pull away amid goodbyes from the females. We hear Chariot music as it passes a big rock. Judy tells Smith that Don didn't mean what he said (what? yes he did). Smith tells her he can forgive him. For night watch, Smith starts three four-hour shifts and almost includes Penny but then stops short of that--having just two six hour shifts--one of Maureen and one for Judy. Dopey Maureen lets him get away with this by saying, "Alright. C'mon."  She and Smith follow the girls into the ship. Maureen's an idiot here. And there's worse to follow. Night: Chariot plows onward; John writes some notes; and Don tells him he is worried about leaving Smith back at the spaceship. John says, "Knowing Maureen, I'm sure she can handle him."  Don frowns, turning his eyes out the side window. John asks Will to turn on the Robot to feed him some data. Will turns it on and we see an extreme ZOOM IN on Robot (a zoom which wasn't seen in the previous episode's cliffhanger). The Robot warns, "Danger. Danger. Danger."  At first, they see nothing but then Don stops the Chariot. We hear music from STOWAWAY. A meteor storm hits. Flashes pass down. Chariot shakes and smokes. John asks Will if he is all right. Will yells, almost sounding embarrassed, "I'm alright!"  Meteors crash down and create sparks and fires. One seems to fly right at the Chariot (end of cliffhanger). The meteor passing the Chariot just flies on by. Judy calls Maureen over to the Jupiter II radar. Smith is laying across two chairs in the Control Room. Maureen passes with something in her hand--a mop? A broom? They see hundreds of things dropping; Judy concerned that is the area where the Chariot is. John tells Don, "Head for those rocks over there."  Maureen calls and the ship shakes, throwing Penny down, Judy aside, and sending Smith reeling into the corner of the control panel by the viewport, "I knew it--DOOMSDAY!"  As this happens, Maureen calls "Jupiter II to Chariot, John can you hear me!"  frantically over and over and sounding like one of the Chipmunks group.

 

ACT ONE

Same night: it is quiet outside the spaceship now. Maureen keeps calling but Smith stops her and they stand up. Smith tells Maureen she is deluding herself not telling her brood what the truth is. Judy says, "Suppose you tell us what the truth is, Dr. Smith."  He believes the rain of meteors to be a rocket barrage. Maureen asks, "What's going on in that devious mind of yours?"  Smith says, "It is clear to me."  Judy says, "I'll tell you what's clear to me."  Maureen stops her as Smith goes on to tell that it is a prelude to invasion and one that will happen soon. "Who knows what dreadful creatures inhabit the reaches of this galaxy?"  Judy asks Maureen if this could be true. Maureen denies it but Smith says, "Undoubtedly your menfolk are already prisoners."  Judy says, "Why do you even have to think things like that?"  Maureen challenges Smith and tells them that in the morning she is going to go over into the next valley and prove the Chariot wasn't hit. Maureen tells him they will all go. Judy says, "And she does mean all."  Morning: overhead of meteor craters and the women, Penny, and Smith stand around it. Smith calls it a shell hole. John is called by Maureen. John tells her, "Maureen, I wish you wouldn't wander too far from the ship. It isn't safe when we're not there."  He tells her they can't use the radio since they will be making some repairs (what? why not?). He says, "That's my girl"  to her and then, "Take care of MY girls and especially take care of yourself."  Penny finds a freshly wrecked small spacecraft. In it is an oxygen release valve. Smith says, "Somewhere in these trackless wastes an invader is hiding and waiting for the proper time to strike us all down."  They leave the area and a monster sound is heard coming from a crater. Smith finds a trail of food cans. Someone raided the spaceship--well, the door was left open (mistake number one for dopey Maureen). The galley was looted and Smith found a ham gone. Night, Maureen and Judy activate the forcefield and worry. Judy tests it by throwing a rock. Smith is locked in his cabin. Judy says, "For once I don't blame him."  Maureen tells her that with the forcefield on, nothing can approach the ship. She adds, "We've got to prove we can take care of ourselves until the men get back."  Later that night, they hear an unearthly howling. Maureen, her hair let down and long, comes out of her cabin; Judy and Penny come out of one cabin; and Smith comes out--having taken the guns. They hear a growl. Smith is wearing a long robe and a night cap on. Maureen takes the girls back into her cabin. Morning: Maureen and Judy walk and stop near a rock and tree. Maureen gives Judy some water; Judy finds some fur on the tree. They discuss the noises last night. Maureen says, "Well, there are animals and there are animals but I've never seen anything like that here."  She says they are behaving like helpless females. Yep. Judy looks around, wondering if Dr. Smith is right and asks Maureen if Smith could be right about an invasion. Maureen says, "I don't know."  They will examine the fur. A boulder falls off a large hilly rock area just ahead of them. They aim their laser guns but see it is just a small dog--labrador perhaps or maybe part beagle. Maureen goes to him and gets him off the rock ledge. They leave and pass a crater. A monster comes up from the crater amid sand and smoke; its back is to us and it looks effectively scary--at least that way.

 

ACT TWO

Judy and Maureen garden; Penny plays with the dog and asks to keep it, "Daddy will say so if you do."  Maureen tells her they will see. Judy and Maureen think the howling was the dog but not the other sound. Maureen says, "Welp, if this were one of those space dogs, he'd be close to 50 years old now."  Penny feeds the dog and then goes to get him water as the other two helpless females go inside. Smith thinks the dog is an alien when the dog barks and sits up. He watches Penny and the dog, hiding behind the force field. Judy looks at the fur through the microscope and worries--it is not from the dog. Maureen finds John's notes on possible inhabitants of this planet. Priority A notes say this:

 

John's notes (in Guy's voice): My greatest concern for our safety is the possibility of encountering mutants, creatures with on exact counterpart in nature--the giants are probably one form of mutant. I fear there may be others. They seem to grow and evolve through a process of metamorphosis, taking new forms by absorbing all types of organic matter. Now, if this wild theory is true--any mutant we encounter, may try to absorb one of us. Judy asks, "Why didn't dad tell us about this?"  Maureen gives her reasons for that. She tells Judy that as long as the forcefield is turned on, nothing can get us. The forcefield is not working they realize as they check it. The power unit is out--they should never have left it on so long without recharging it (Maureen-helpless female mistake number two). It will take 24 hours to recharge. The two women go into the ship to go get it. Penny plays stick fetching with the dog and the stick lands near Judy's laser gun--which is just lying around (Judy mistake number one or helpless mistake number three). The dog takes the gun, making Smith put up his hands to surrender. When the dog runs off and Smith pretends he is exercising, Penny says, "Dr. Smith, when will you stop being so silly?"  Cancellation. As the dog digs a hole for the gun, Penny looks for him. Maureen and Judy bring out the recharger (the same device used in THE RAFT as the power register). As Penny calls for the dog, the monster, furry and having two horns coming out of his head, listens to her. At one point we can see Penny's mouth move but she doesn't say anything-- FLUB obviously--no sound came out as she called once. Penny is blamed by Judy for taking her gun but she tells them she didn't. Dad told her and Will never to touch the guns without permission. Maureen lets her go off to try to find the dog (mistake number four). When Penny leaves, Maureen says, "Judy, you've got to find that gun."  Maureen finds Smith has disassembled all their guns. On the lower deck, Smith pulls Maureen's gun and she chases him for it. He wants to use it to be able to put the guns back together. He takes it apart. Smith asks her if she thinks him a fumble finger and she says, "Frankly yes."  Maureen tells him, "You've left us completely without weapons."  Judy comes down--she can't find the gun. Smith tells her the dog took it--he is an alien. Maureen cannot assemble the guns--Smith tells her she is devoid of mechanical aptitude. They walk away. The monster's face is at the lower deck window and it opens the viewport some more and roars, looking into the lower galley. NOTE: How was it able to open those doors? Also--aren't there manuals on putting lasers back together?

 

ACT THREE

It is difficult to hear but it is either heading toward night or is the next day. Penny says something to dog once she finds him--something like "I was worried all night"  or "I would have been worried all night"---so it is difficult to know if a night went by or not. It appears to be dawn, not dusk but...oh well...Before Penny finds the dog, the monster tracks her among the close-rocky area. She finds the dog but it nips her since it sees and senses the monster nearby. It runs off. Lower Deck: Maureen and Judy hear a beep and it is John calling. Judy says, "Tell him to hurry back."  Will rigged a makeshift generator since they are still working on the transistor. John says Will is  "a little mechanical genius on their hands."   He tells her about the relay idea and adds, "I am glad I married a girl like you--at least I don't have to worry about the home front."  He asks if anything is wrong, then tells her he is "proud of her."  They have to break off. Judy tells Maureen, "You didn't tell him."  (Maureen mistake number five--six if you count that she cannot assemble the guns). In Chariot, Will says, "Phew. What a workout."  John wasn't sure he liked the sound of Maureen's voice. Don tells him she would have said something if anything was wrong and everything is okay. Even so, John orders, "Don, turn around--we're going back."  Penny goes into the Control Room, still alive despite having a stupid mother. She tells Maureen and Judy about the dog being lost. Maureen looks at Judy, making a patronize Penny face. Maureen goes down the elevator. Smith comes half up the ladder and talks to the girls. The dog is a spy going to report on how weak they are. He claims their time is short and goes down. Penny says, "I bet it was Dr. Smith who scared him away."  Penny, despite mom's requests not to, wants to go out. Judy tells her to stay here--she will go out (female mistake number seven). Judy goes out--and leaves the door wide open (mistake number eight). Maureen, below deck, cannot put one gun together, "Dr. Smith--I could just throttle you!"  Penny sees the arrival of the Chariot (Cor! That was fast!). Penny comes down on the ladder, "Mom! Mom, Dad, Will, and Don--they're back!"  Now we can live again. They have a joyous reunion, hugs and all in the Control Room. If you watch closely, Penny's question about their relay mission and Don's no answer are both dubbed over the visuals. Don asks about where Judy is. Penny tells them she went out. "We found this dog and it wandered off."  Maureen asks, "And she went out to look for it?"  Penny says, "Yes."  John asks, "What's wrong?"  Don asks, "Is Judy in danger?"  Maureen says, "Yes, there's been something out there. We haven't seen it..."   Don and John go out, calling Judy. Smith looks evil for some reason--is he liking this? Judy calls for the dog and is unaware the monster is following her. Don finds Judy's footprints and the monster (who actually resembles a large dog-man) footprints. Smith talks to the Robot outside the ship, "My myopic friends have come to their senses."   Robot suggests the forming of a posse to Dr. Smith and reminds him, "Only one male remains at your disposal."   Smith goes down to the lower deck to Will, who is putting the laser guns back together again. Smith tells him it was a test--he could have done it and calls Will delightfully gifted, "I always thought of you as the most outstanding of all the Robinsons you are the most talented."  He cons Will, then deputizes him and the Robot. Will questions the mission, "Kill the dog?"  Judy calls for the dog outside. The monster roars. Judy hears it this time and looks back. She sees it  is behind trees, so she runs. Judy runs past rocks and trees, and gasps. This is a nice tracking and travel shot as it chases her.

 

ACT FOUR

Overhead shot of Don and John as they pick up the trail again. Judy runs to a rock wall and climbs up, tossing rocks at the monster. There is a nice medley from this music to the music as John and Don search. They see Penny's dog and follow him. Robot, Smith, and Will hear the dog. Control Room: Maureen and Penny discuss how Robot, Smith, and Will got out of the ship. Penny thought Will was in Smith's cabin. Maureen sums up herself quite nicely, "You know I really made a fine mess of things--all I had to do was make sure none of them left the ship."  Penny offers to go look but Maureen sits her down where she can see her. Judy gasps as the monster comes up the rock cliffside at her. The dog jumps out and the monster jumps down to get him. Judy seems to pass out (or playing dead?). (mistake number nine). The dog runs; the monster surprises John and knocks him down unconscious. Don has a gun but hasn't taken it out or something--he runs to the side, away from the monster and through some plants. The monster returns to Judy who drops rocks on him, the girl saying, "Get away,"  several times. Don has made his way up the other side of the curved rock cliffside adjoining the one Judy is on. Judy sees him and reaches out for him, "Don! Don, thank God!"  He carries her over the ridge but falls, causing them both to tumble and roll over the ridge to the ground. The monster dogman stands above and over them but John shoots his laser at it and it falls next to the couple. Robot tells Smith and Will he has lost audio evidence but picks up olfactory evidence like a bloodhound. The other three recover--Don and John touch and hug Judy profusely. Judy insists they find the find--he saved her. John says, "If that's the way you want it, then that's the way it's gonna be."   They leave. Smith sends out a patrol---Will and tells him to shoot questions first and ask questions later. The monster gets up and roars--if you look closely you can see the bare neck of the actor--Dawson Palmer--as it raises its head upward in a roar. Judy sits and rests, "None of us could understand how the dog could've lived so long in space--that's why Dr. Smith thought he was some kind of an alien."  John says, "He must've been part of one of those early experiments in suspended animation--the freezing tube broke when the capsule crashed."  He doesn't want to spend too much time looking for him (mom will be worried--I say, let her worry) but John relents to a little longer. They are unaware the dog mutant is tracking them. Will finds the real dog and cannot shoot it. He plays with the puppy. Judy, Don, and John find Will and then see Smith who says, "As I have said many times never fear Smith is here."  Will says, "He's not an alien--he's a puppy-a real puppy and I love him."  John verifies this. Smith says, "He's a spy, a real spy."  As they talk, the monster sneaks from rock to rock, sneaking up on them. The dog barks a warning as the creature gets up on the rock they are near. It comes over and jumps John down. Don moves Judy to a flat rock as the monster knocks John out and is on top of him. Don pulls it off. The real dog gets John's fallen laser gun to Will. The monster knocks Don out and makes for Judy. Will shoots it and it runs behind the rock. Will wakes John up. Judy is down and hiding, "Oh Don, Oh Don!"  OH BOY. Don goes to her as John continues shooting the monster. He shoots but as we see the light on top the gun go off---there is no laser ray effect added in, making it seem strange that the monster goes into the crater---probably dead. NOTE: Why couldn't the Robot blast it with his continuous electrical charges? 

CLIFFHANGER-Judy and John (John in his T-shirt) are the drill site. Judy has a radioactive counter which reads 8.4 to 9.7--the richest vein they've found yet. Judy rushes, "Oh, I'll go tell the others."  John tells her to tell her mother to pack a lunch for "us" ---they will be there all day. Smith, with his parka on, sits on a rock near a device. Writing, John tells him they need four more canisters of fuel. The machine does not make deutronium, it merely refines and concentrates radioactive ore. Smith is eager to get off this "wretched planet" and goes on, "...in no time at all we'll be off into the heavens, an infinitely better people for our ordeal, conditioned to survive in any kind of environment, toughened by our encounters with alien life forms...immune to..."  Smith gasps as he sees the vine move around and strangle hold John's ankle and foot. The vine drags John into a pit of sand and John starts to sink. Smith yells for help. John yells for Smith to give him his hand but Smith won't help. John reaches back for something to hold onto.

 

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK SAME TIME SAME CHANNEL

 

REVIEW: William Welch usually writes wonderful tales. Perhaps he didn't know the Robinsons all that well when he wrote this. John treats Maureen like an object that he married so he wouldn't have to worry about the home front. Oh, and the girls are MY girls. Maureen acts totally incompetent--she was supposed to be some sort of scientist in biochemistry (in the unaired pilotS she was supposed to be from the New Mexico College of Space Medicine). Her many mistakes this episode are listed above. Judy loses her gun. Judy screams which is fine but faints, too--she's seen alien monsters before. Penny, despite her mother's warnings is about to go outside with not a thought to her mother's warnings. Will, being a male can naturally fix the radio and the guns--in fact, he's somewhat more helpful than Maureen, Penny, Judy, and Smith put together. Separating the cast is a good plot idea and would be used again with better results for the characters' dignity. The mutant idea is a nice touch and follows with THERE WERE GIANTS IN THE EARTH. What I don't get is how the dog and the capsule and the monster are linked together. One might think there was another dog which was absorbed by the monster mutant and then it became more like a dog man. One might even think it just ate some of the dog's hair and maybe was formed...or maybe it was just something else entirely. It is never developed beyond John's note--theory. John Peel's majorly unfair (and very error filled) FILES on LOST IN SPACE claims it took the Chariot two days to travel for the antenna planting and only less than a half hour to return--well, they were setting up a relay system so could have been closer by the time John realized something was wrong (leaving Maureen alone and in charge is not a good idea). With all the male chauvinism that runs throughout this episode (and a few others, too) it is not difficult to see why many LOST IN SPACE may not have many female fans. This episode was a favorite of many children--it has a monster and it has a lot of action, at least at the fourth act and for once, Judy has some of the action happen to her. Hey, it happens again over three years--see or rather don't see--VISIT TO HADES and SPACE BEAUTY. The only real time Marta really had a meaty part on the series was when she wasn't even Judy in...

 

 

New Doctor Who Podshock schwag

Podcast Feeds

Subscribe to
the Doctor Who podcast
Doctor Who: Podshock


iTunes users click here
Podcast
Gallifreyan Embassy - Doctor Who: Podshock - Doctor Who: Podshock


Direct podcast feeds:


Doctor Who: Podshock
Podcast


MP3 Format Podcast:
Doctor Who: Podshock MP3
Podcast


  More feeds and info

  Supporting Subscribers

BEST PODCAST

Doctor Who: Podshock Awarded BEST PODCAST
Doctor Who: PODSHOCK

DW Podshock App

iPhone, iPad, iPod touch podcast companion app

Doctor Who: Podshock Podcast Companion App

Doctor Who: Podshock Companion App

Syndicate (RSS Feed)

Syndicate content

Poll

How do you rate Doctor Who: The Claws of Axos? (5=Fantastic)
5 TARDIS Groans
0%
4 TARDIS Groans
25%
3 TARDIS Groans
75%
2 TARDIS Groans
0%
1 TARDIS Groan
0%
0 TARDIS Groans
0%
Total votes: 4

Amazon US Store


Doctor Who Episodes

Amazon UK Store

Latest image

DW Podshock 305 Cover

BBC Shop (UK & Europe)

Monthly archive