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LOST IN SPACE-A Visit to Hades, Wreck of the Robot
A VISIT TO HADES
MUSIC-stock but a great deal of new sounding music-used in VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA-THE TERRIBLE TOYS.
NARRATION: Last week, as you recall, we left Will and Dr. Smith examining a strange, alien instrument, unaware that it would soon unlock an invisible door to an incredible fiery dimension.
TEASER-not fully recapped, missing opening scene of bird watching efforts and Smith NOT helping Will carry stuff--
In a medium to long shot, Robot and Will follow Smith past a rock outcrop that is shaped like a keyhole. NOTE: this looks like a slightly different take. Will notices it and draws Smith's attention to it (but his lines, present in the cliffhanger from last week, are not here). On a podium of white is a harp like lyre, which Smith explains was played in ancient times. Robot corrects him, "Warning! Object is a form of key to an alien prison!" NOTE: This line was not in last week's cliffhanger! Smith strums the harp and vanishes in a blast--after which Will and the Robot are frozen in their spot--or in time, unable to move. Smith descends (BLAST OFF INTO SPACE stock maybe?) down a long vertical shaft of rock. When he appears in a blast of sparks and smoke, he is in a reddish cavern with fire in front of him and behind. There is wind sound and the smell of brimstone. Smith screams, "Oh no, it can't be!" Behind him a man with a pencil thin moustache and in a red skull cap, cape, and shiny red pants and tunic says to himself, "If that's what he wants to believe, why not?" NOTE: this line is not present in the last week cliffhanger--it would ruin the fact that this is not really the devil. DOUBLE NOTE OF INTEREST: How did the alien know Smith really believed he was what Earth people would call the devil and that the place was Hades? Did he know of Earth religion or customs? Smith says, "Oh dear." The devil man then says, "Well Zachary, you finally got here." Smith turns, "Good Heavens!" The devil-like man points, "Haha. Guess again. Haha. Who the devil do you think I am and where in Hades do you think you are?" Smith screams and runs toward another cavern but stops short--he sees a statue with a fire in its lap and with four eyes, the outer two on each side lighting up and flashing. It turns into the devil-man who laughs as Smith hid his eyes. "Devil. Hades," Smith seems to faint after saying, "The pain."
Smith awakens as the devil laughs. Smith claims the accountants made a mistake. Devil tells Smith to follow him to examine his record. They go to a less rocky area, some kind of large base control room with darker areas for walls and a metal door and floor. The bigger the circle for one to stand in, the larger the punishment--there are smaller circles for flies and mosquitoes. This devil has a funny sense of humor, telling Smith about lunch being overdone (Smith loses his appetite). Using the temporal projector, the devil man has trouble focusing on Smith's heart and has to magnify, then gets it--Smith thinks he got his heart. On a screen device, they view Smith bringing teacher an apple, snitching on Johnny Sorenson--he was the one whispering in class. As a youth he hides a stolen test answer key from a teacher's desk in the back of his ukelele--he admits he got 100 dollars for them (and was also wearing a large letter C on his shirt). As a man they view Smith in the galley of the Jupiter II taking part of the cake Maureen baked for Penny's birthday, then closing the halves to make it look like nothing was taken. Smith's future: fire blasts. If Smith destroys the harp--he may get out. The wind blows through the strings and music hurts the devil man. "If you destroy the harp, you'll have your second chance. Of course, it won't do you any good, you'll be right back here." Smith will turn over a new leaf, become a changed man, nursing the poor and sickly--Saint Zachary Pious. The devil man lays on the red couch and sends Smith back up to Will and Robot, who now move. "Oh thank Heaven--moved back through time for another chance." Robot says, "Correction--you merely slipped into an alien space time dimension." Smith calls it a psychic experience. Will wonders how the harp got on the ground (Smith dropped it just before he vanished). Calling the Robot a bubble headed booby, Smith leads Will back to John at the campsite as Robot covers their retreat. Smith covers that they found the harp, telling John they heard the ruby throated crackle. Will is amused by Smith who leaves to go make notes on his monograph. Will says, "Dr. Smith gets curiouser and curiouser every day."
Night--Smith comes out and fakes exercise when the Robot passes to patrol. When Robot moves off, Smith takes a sledge hammer and leaves. Robot notices the hammer is gone, "Manual labor and Dr. Smith--that does not compute." Smith hits the harp and it spins. Robot comes and watches from behind a rock as the devil man appears, yelling in pain and anger. He makes blasts appear around Smith's feet and wonders how to punish Smith--boiling oil (a motif this season it seems--it is mentioned in a few episodes in one way or another-by Don in THE ANDROID MACHINE, the Enforcer in WEST OF MARS, and now in A VISIT TO HADES) or molten lava baths. "They" wouldn't make it easy for him. Smith calls him his royal darkness but the devil man makes him run off, scaring him. "Oh what an ingenious lock you've put on my prison, my enemies, if it was your intention to keep me a prisoner for all time, why did you put the key to my jail in this place--simply to taunt me. Perhaps the lock can be broken by someone on this planet---someone pure in heart--but who--who will unlock the gates!?!" Lightning flashes.
Morning--Penny in long braids or pigtails, calls the others for breakfast with Maureen, "Come and get it or we'll throw it away." Maureen laughs, "Penny, my goodness, remind me to do something about your manners--you're growing up like a little savage." Don and Smith come out; Smith reflecting on living and how good it is. John comes out, "I thought all you wanted to do was get off this planet." Smith says, "There are far worse places, Professor, much worse." Smith sits for breakfast, commenting that while it is not his friend's Madam Poular in Housington Daze (?) it is good all the same. NOTE: A great deal more plants by the ramp than usual. Will sits, noting, "You sure are in a good mood this morning." Smith says he wants to improve on his past life now and be kind, industrious, and generous. He asks Will to pass him the butter and Will rolls his eyes as he can't start eating yet. They are eating eggs. Judy comes out of the spaceship and tells Maureen she isn't hungry. Maureen follows her and asks where she is going. Judy says, "Just for a walk, is there any rule against that?" Maureen says, "I will not have you taking that tone of voice with me, Judy." Judy says, "I'm not a child anymore, mother, I would just like to be alone without someone always asking me where I'm going." Maureen says, "Alright then, don't go too far." Judy leaves and John comes over to Maureen, "Trouble?" Maureen says, "Growing pains." John asks, "You want me to talk to her again?" Maureen says, "No, she'll get over it in time." Judy meets the devil man who is standing on a square rock. She backs against another rock. He tells her he is as human as she is. "I'm Judy Robinson. How long have you been watching me?" "My name is Morbus." They talk with the dialogue being particularly good between one of our group and an alien--for once this season. Judy comments that he must have a ship, "You can get away from here." Morbus says, "With your help." They will discuss that later. Judy takes Morbus's hand to take him the spaceship, "Everyone will want to meet you." The music turns light and care free as she seems to skip off with him--nauseatingly so. Judy introduces him to mom and dad at the breakfast table. He is Morbus of Lyree. Smith runs off grabbing pipes to do work and claims he is off to do good deeds. Morbus says, "Industrious little fellow." John notes, "It seems to be a recent development in his character." Morbus tells Will that Lyree is a great distance away and comments on what a charming family John has. He also claims his maps burnt up with his ship. When Don suspects something--they didn't pick up any ship landing--Morbus tells him instruments aren't always reliable. Robot wheels into camp, "Danger! Danger! Alien life forms!" Morbus turns to look at him and his eyes turn red. A blast hits the robot and sparks burst out of Robot, the machine going out. John, Don, Judy, Will, and Morbus run to the Robot. An overblown circuit melted the power pack. Don suspects Morbus and warns him not to make any sudden moves. Judy tries to stop this. Will gets another power pack and turns the Robot back on by putting it in. Robot says, "That does not compute." He has no warning in his memory banks and states that the individual Morbus is obviously human. Morbus asks, "Satisfied Major West?" Don says, "I guess I don't have any choice." After Don goes, Judy says, "You'll have to excuse Don." Morbus says, "Perhaps he sees in me a rival for the only prize worth taking on this planet." Judy looks down, shy. Morbus and she walk off. Judy asks about Lyree. Morbus tells her it is, "a musical place full of human song, bird song, a jangle of musical instruments--you might call it a cacophony of boredom. Well, you asked." Judy asks why he left. "I left by request. I tried to stir things up a little--the governors decided I needed a little vacation." He has been here ages. He asks about her, "Life, love, the pursuit of happiness, how do things stand between you and Major West?" Judy puffs, "Well, oh, I suppose some day we'll marry. Everybody seems to think we're a good match." Morbus asks, "Except you?" She says, "Well, a girl likes to have a choice." Not far, Smith strums the harp and Morbus runs to him, in pain. Smith says, "Ha!" He realizes the truth--his infernal majesty is a fraud and a humbug but Smith is sure he possesses certain powers. Smith demands riches and power--Morbus can give him riches and help him acquire power. He also wants to return to Earth with both--Morbus tells him that will be a bit more difficult but it can be done. Morbus tells him to play the harp and a certain combination of musical tones will take him back to Earth. Smith plucks it and Judy (was she listening?) comes running as Morbus is in pain. Morbus yells, "Judy! Judy, go back!" As Smith finishes, Morbus and Judy under the keyhole shaped rock, vanish in a blast. Smith gasps, "Good Heavens! What have I done?!" He screams and throws the harp down, running off.
John puts another power pack in Robot but Robot cannot recall his previous message--something to do with his memory banks. Don calls it amnesia but Will thinks that is just silly. Coming out, Maureen asks to talk to Don and John and takes them aside, "I don't want to sound a general alarm but I'm very worried about Judy. She went for walk about two hours ago with Morbus." Don asks, "Well, why'd you let her go?" Maureen says, "Well after all, Don, she's pretty much grown up now." Will calls them over--he replaced a burnt out sensor module which went out at the same time as his memory circuits. Robot tells them of a dangerous life form which is no longer on this planet. Don asks, "This dangerous life force--is it the man who calls himself Morbus?" Robot says, "Affirmative." NOTE: this has irked me since I first saw LOST IN SPACE--ALL the Robot's affirmatives sound like he is saying ALTPERMATIVE. Go on, tell me I'm wrong. Okay, I am going nutty from too many awful second seasoners but....Don says, "And he's got Judy!" Maureen says, "Oh John." John tells her to keep an eye out on the scanner for alien aircraft. NOTE: The ramp looks as though is colored black and looks different. Robot tells Don and John to ask Dr. Zachary Smith "because Dr. Smith was responsible for bringing the alien here." Don wants to beat up Smith, who shows up acting innocent, "Just once, let me take one good swing at him, John." John stops Don, "This isn't getting us anywhere." Smith lies but Robot tells them he has stated a non-fact. Smith moves to him, "You tin plated snitch!" He also comments that they should believe him and not this metallic monstrosity. Don comes running, "Wanna bet!" He is about to punch Smith out---Smith appeals to Prof. Robinson but John is about to take Will inside to let Don settle some "unfinished business" with Smith; even Will will desert Smith in his time of need, "You brought it on yourself, Dr. Smith." Smith sits down on the work table and tells the truth. Judy awakens on a red couch in Morbus's operations room. He calls it a terrible place, "A rotten little warp out of time and space." He points past white bars to darkness and a purple-ish rock, "Out there that's the way it was before the universe was born...totally chaotic." Judy says, "Just get me out of here." Morbus laughs and tells her he is a political prisoner--there was a revolution--he got mixed up in it and was sentenced here. He tells her he's been trying to get free again for 10 or 12 thousand years, "Time doesn't mean anything here." Once in a while he is let out for an exercise period. The harp is an interdimensional key, lock, and jailer. He wonders if breaking the harp will set him free or just make things worse. Morbus says, "I tried. Look, I DON'T LIKE IT HERE." It will be about 1000 years before he can try to get free again. Judy panics at this and runs to the door and presses buttons. The door opens but a green slimy tentacle comes in with smoke and foam, growls coming from outside as it tries to grab her. Morbus runs to her with a short sword and fights the beast off. It goes out and he closes the door, "There are many frightening things in this place between worlds. Never leave this room unless I'm with you." Smith takes John, Don, and Robot to the arch--niche. Don asks, "What about Judy?" Smith says, "Poor soul." Robot tells Smith to play; Don shoves the harp to him, "Yeah play." Smith does and is blasted away again. Robot makes a joke about where, "...where the iceman cometh not." Don says, "Some sense of humor." Smith has the harp with him in the netherworld. He moves on and sees a really fake looking dragon--a statue, thinking it is Morbus. It has glowing eyes, is reddish orange, and blows smoke from its nose. IT IS THE WORST MONSTER ON LOST IN SPACE for being so bad and fake. Smith runs.
John, Don and Robot figure vibrations cause a warp in the time-space continuum which has the effect of opening a door into another dimension. Robot can reproduce the notes. Don wants to go. John says, "She's my daughter, Don." Don says, "Yeah but I've got strong feelings toward her, too." John suggests they both go. When John asks about if it is possible for a return trip, Robot tells him if a return trip were not possible it would not be possible for him to send them through the space walk--it would go against the Prime Directive of Robotics or Robotex or something. Via the Robot, John and Don are sent down. Don sees the fake dragon, "Down boy." He doesn't look the least bit worried by it--would you? In the absolute worst scene with Judy Robinson, Judy is seen bawling like a baby on the couch of Morbus (accompanied by the French boy silly music from THE TIME TUNNEL-RENDEZVOUS WITH YESTERDAY--a good piece of music but adding to the nonsense here). Judy kicks and bangs her hands on the couch, lying down all the while, "I wanna...huh, huh, go ho..huhome!" Morbus tries to cheer her up, giving her a giant diamond but she throws it and cries. 1000 years will go by quickly, he tells her. She calls this a prison, "...and...and you're nothing but a criminalllll." Irritating nonsense that they had to do this to Judy. They made me almost wish she wasn't in this episode at all. And coming after some very good moody scenes exploring, as little as possible, Judy's growing pains. Morbus checks a giant book for "women crying"--no reference he yells. He tells her he can be kind and charming, then shows her the turning projector scope. The screen goes on and Judy stops her tirade--the brat! They view Dr. Smith on the screen; Smith sees a number of spikes sticking up from somewhere and thinks it is Morbus. Morbus goes out the door, telling Judy to stay here, smoke coming in a bit. Running around outside the door, Smith promises to mend his ways. Don hears Smith screaming as a green monster with the head of the Metaluna Mutant from the movie THIS ISLAND EARTH and the hands and claws of THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (and possibly the feet of either or neither) comes at him, backing him against a rock. THIS monster looks pretty scary but is slow moving. Morbus stops Don from shooting it, telling him it is harmless. Morbus shoos it away, "He helps keep down the vermin." Don says, "Yeah, well, it was going after Smith." "That's what I said--he helps keep down the vermin," Morbus cracks. Of Smith, Morbus tells Don, "The man's a fool--he thinks I'm the devil and this is Hades." Don asks who he really is. Morbus tells him, "My name is Morbus and I'm from Lyree. I got mixed up in a political movement and they sent me here." Smith begs him to help him--he's tried to break the harp. The harp won't work here--"nothing works here." Morbus will take Major West to his quarters but leave Smith out here. Smith gets mean--threatening to make him suffer. Morbus turns to Don, "He never quits trying, does he?" He grabs the harp and it burns his hands. He drops it. Morbus asks the Major to get the harp and he does. They go to Morbus's quarters, leaving Smith outside. The mutant monster comes again, Smith calling it "the demon from the pit." Smith manages to out duck it and run away. Judy and Don sit on the couch, apparently not talking to Morbus who says, "Look, you don't have to ostracize me." Judy asks, "Why did you inflict yourself on us in the first place?" Morbus tells them he saw her on his screen; Judy pined away because there was no romance in her drab life. Morbus tells Don he feels for him, "The woman will drown you in tears for the next 100 years." This escalates into a fight between all three of them. Morbus says, "Oh boy, this is going to be a happy threesome through all eternity." This goes even further until Don tells Judy, "Judy, just stay out of this, I've been waiting for this moment for a long time." Don insists Morbus fight after Morbus tells him he should do as Judy says and stop acting like a child or he will have treat Don like one, using his first name as a kind of insult (before this he has called him Major). Morbus keeps vanishing as Don tries to throw a punch. "Will ya stay still so I can hit ya!" Morbus does but when Don finally connects he hurts his hand as if punching steel. Morbus tells him he is sorry and apologizes a lot while Judy gets up on the turning projector, trying to hit Morbus over the head with the harp. She hits Don by mistake and Morbus finds the harp is broken. The door to the outside universe opens and he is free. Judy gets Don up. Morbus reflects on how hundreds have tried to break the harp before Smith but couldn't. Morbus calls himself a prize fool and idiot--"me"---"the pure in heart, the ingenuous, the kind and generous spirits of this universe like you, you are the only people who could smash the harp!" John arrives from out of the universal primeval open gateway, prompting Morbus to say, "Oh no, not another one." Judy says, "It's all right, Dad, Don's not really hurt, it's all my fault." OF COURSE, THIS IS LOST IN SPACE AND SHE'S A WOMAN. Morbus says, "Goodbye, Judy." When Judy asks where he is going and finds out back to Lyree--she wonders, "They'll just put you back in prison." Morbus doesn't think so--he's had 12 thousand years to think about it--his new revolution will not fail. John stops Morbus and asks him how they get out of here. Morbus says, "Just follow me." He goes. John and Judy help Don up amid the music that sounds like a "QUACK, QUACK, QUACK, QUACK, QUACK!" If you don't believe me, check it out for yourself. Also if you look closely, Don has something in his hair--dirt or a piece of rock styrofoam or something--or a bald spot? The place starts to shake and rocks fall. Judy asks something like, "What now?" or "What are we going to do?" John says something equally strange, "Like the man says--this place is breaking up!" What man? Morbus---? He said no such thing. Is John referring to something else--DeMann for instance. They shake wildly for a bit, moving out into the dark pre-universe area. Don calls the two over to the left, "Come on!" They move out and there is a blast. Suddenly, the trio are outside with Maureen and Will waiting. Judy hugs her mother, "Oh mom." Maureen says, "Judy, ohhhh, oh my, well do you still feel this place is too cut and dry for you?" Judy hugs Will, "Oh, I never want to leave any of you ever again." Smith is in the crotch of a tree; John joking it is a ruby crested crackle. John and Don pull Smith from one side and the others pull him from the other--trying to kill him or something.
CLIFFHANGER: Will is beating Smith in a game of bowling--Will has 135 and Smith has 50! Will throws a pink ball and knocks down pins. They have played five games and Will has slaughtered Smith in every one. Smith says, "Never fear Smith is here. I was just getting your confidence up." Robot picks up the pins, bending, "They just don't make us Robots like they used to." Will lets Smith use his lighter weight ball and Smith talks himself into a stance. Robot says, "Less talk more action!" Smith falls, the ball stuck on his hand (WHAT IS THIS? THE FLINTSTONES?). Robot turns his body and wheels (an excellent movement by Bob May) to Smith and Will at the other end of their makeshift alley. Smith calls him a blithering booby and a bumbling birdbrain when Robot suggests they may have to blast. "I'll blast you..." Robot says, "Pull harder, Will Robinson!" The ball comes off and rolls down...and keeps rolling past the pins, knocking a few down. A black gloved pair of hands attached to someone wearing a black cape replaces the ball with a black ball--a wick on fire attached to it. It rolls back to the threesome. Will says, "The ball--it's coming back!" Robot warns, "Warning! Warning! Extreme danger!" Smith yells, "He's right! Run for your life!" Smith grabs Will around the neck and runs. The blast throws them forward and Will away from Smith!
TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK SAME TIME SAME CHANNEL
REVIEW: It is difficult to believe the music is not original for this episode--it sound "devilish" at many points and the theme for Morbus is particularly fitting--music may have been lifted from THE DEADLY GAMES OF GAMMA SIX, ANDROID MACHINE and SPACE CIRCUS but much of it sounds new but it probably is all stock. A bit comes from BLAST OFF INTO SPACE. It is, in its entirety, pretty good. The hellish world was nicely decorated. Also on the plus side is the fact that Don and Judy get a bit more to do than usual, and to a lesser extent so does John. Will is in the background for once. Don and Judy's relationship is explored a little bit and it doesn't look too good; however, it seems to bond stronger after this episode is over (as in WRECK OF THE ROBOT and THE DREAM MONSTER, two excellent episodes). The plot to A VISIT is good and could have moved off into some very exciting areas but unfortunately but the fourth act, it turns into a slapstick comedy, plummeting LOST IN SPACE into even lower depths than before (pun intended but true). Gerald Mohr is an excellent guest star and does what he can--he is never boring in his part and makes Morbus many things: menacing (when he attacks Robot), sympathetic (when he talks to Judy), truthful after awhile (when he tells Don what he thinks of Judy), conniving (with Smith), sarcastic, sly, witty, and charming. Not an easy thing to do when playing an alien devil image. Mohr was equally good in THE ANGRY RED PLANET and other sci-fic fantasy horror films. It is too bad the idea of an alien posing as the devil couldn't have been scripted better. As relayed above, this episode has THE all time worst Judy Robinson scene--her crying is enough to make one want to throw her to the monsters outside. It is truly irritating and annoying and makes what credibility and involvement Judy has (not much at this point) diminished to the point of no return. This episode, perhaps more than any other, was a missed opportunity to do something really interesting and exciting if not moving. None of that was achieved in the finished product. If you thought THE THIEF OF OUTER SPACE, THE CURSE OF COUSIN SMITH, WEST OF MARS, and A VISIT TO HADES (all in order after each other) were bad, wait until you get to THE GIRL FROM THE GREEN DIMENSION, THE QUESTING BEAST, THE TOYMAKER, MUTINY IN SPACE, THE SPACE VIKINGS, and ROCKET TO EARTH--all right one after the other, in a row! Luckily we do have three VERY good second seasoners that follow A VISIT TO HADES, beginning with WRECK OF THE ROBOT and moving into THE DREAM MONSTER and followed by the much maligned but interesting and action filled THE GOLDEN MAN. These three stand out as gems among the garbage that was the second season. I am happy to report a few more goodies follow the tepid ROCKET TO EARTH: REVOLT OF THE ANDROIDS (a bit silly but lots of action and the return of Verda), THE COLONISTS, TRIP THROUGH THE ROBOT, THE PHANTOM FAMILY, THE ASTRAL TRAVELER, and THE GALAXY GIFT. So hang on, it's a bumpy ride ahead but for now revel in the very good episode entitled....
WRECK OF THE ROBOT
WRITER-BARNEY SLATER--finally a good script!
DIR-NATHAN JURAN-thanks to for a classic even in this second season
NARRATION: Last week, as you recall, we left Dr. Smith, Will, and the Robot at play, unaware that a trio of sinister aliens were waiting to attack!
TEASER-NOT fully recapped--begins with Smith's stance, missing Will throwing the ball down the makeshift alley, Robot picking up the pins and Smith's excuses.
Smith talks himself into a stance. Robot says, "Less talk more action!" Smith falls, the ball stuck on his hand (WHAT IS THIS? THE FLINTSTONES?). Robot turns his body and wheels (an excellent movement by Bob May) to Smith and Will at the other end of their makeshift alley. Smith calls him a blithering booby and a bumbling birdbrain when Robot suggests they may have to blast. "I'll blast you..." Robot says, "Pull harder, Will Robinson!" The ball comes off and rolls down...and keeps rolling past the pins, knocking a few down. A black gloved pair of hands attached to someone wearing a black cape replaces the ball with a black ball--a wick on fire attached to it. It rolls back to the threesome. Will says, "The ball--it's coming back!" Robot warns, "Warning! Warning! Extreme danger!" Smith yells, "He's right! Run for your life!" Smith grabs Will around the neck and runs. The blast throws them forward and Will away from Smith! Will gets up and wipes himself off, "Dr. Smith are you all right?" Smith thinks one of his wisdom teeth has been loosened. They see the ball, now a golden ball. Smith says it is a "gift from the gods." He sends Will to get it but it rolls off into a cave. Smith pulls Will by the arm to the cave and wants to go in. Robot says, "I prefer to remain out here." Smith orders him inside, calling him a cowardly clump. Against Will's judgement, Smith and he follow Robot in. Robot has that electronic door sound which fits in well with his movements. Inside are old machine--some taken apart, wires, and lots of webs, some glistening like crystal. Smith moves off, away from Will. Will touches his shoulder from behind, scaring him by mistake. They move off. Will says, "Let's get outta here." Smith agrees, "Yes," but tells Will to first get the ball which is on a carpet area of some kind (the redressed set from THE GHOST PLANET interior alien area). In the far background we see a redressed alien spaceship model from VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA-THE TERRIBLE TOYS, also used later in LOST's CONDEMNED OF SPACE and PRINCESS OF SPACE. In a particularly creepy and atmospheric scene, Will moves into this area alone--the music (DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL) and odd sound effects (FANTASTIC VOYAGE movie) combine to make it so. As Will gets the ball, three caped, faceless aliens all in black and with top hats, bob and waddle toward him, surrounding him. Smith warns him, "Behind you, William, careful! Good Heavens--who are you?" They want the Robot but when Smith orders him to go to them, Robot retreats a bit, saying he who turns and runs away may fight another day. Smith wants to give the Robot to them--after all--he's just a machine. Will says, "No! You can't have him--I don't care what you offer!" He tosses the ball to them. Smith changes his mind, thinking Will is right, now. Will moves back to Smith and the Robot (Robot bit behind them). The lead alien uses his slithery, Boris Karloff like voice and says, "It's useless to try and escape..." he throws the ball at them and it blasts over and in front of them, "Your fate is already sealed." The three aliens laugh.
Maureen puts clothes in the auto washer drying machine and takes others out, giving them to John who comes out of the spaceship. He volunteered to help her and she comments he needn't look so glum. He volunteered to do the masculine chores: change light bulbs, clean out the garage, mow the lawn. Maureen counters each of his arguments, telling him they do not have a lawn or garage and all their lights are transistorized. She also tells him that right now Don is in the galley teaching Judy how to bake a Boston cream pie--he has been keeping a deep dark secret--he's really an excellent cook. John calls her funny and says, "Now I know what they mean when they say a woman's work is never done--they get some man to do it for them." Will, Smith, and Robot arrive, Smith throwing a scare fit, alarming them. Robot computed the aliens--they are capable of sinister and dangerous acts. Since they had up a mental barrier to him, Robot suggests he go and find out why they wanted him. Maureen pats Robot, "Oh, you'll do no such thing--your part of this family and what happens to you, happens to all of us." Robot tells her his computers are moved. Smith says, "Sentimentality is all very well and good but it is not enough." John tells him from now on they will carry arms and travel in pairs outside the camp. Smith says, "That's not enough, Professor, from past experience we know that we simply cannot cope with these outer space aliens by ordinary measures." John asks, "What would you have us do, dig a hole and bury ourselves into it?" Maureen says, "Now there, Dr. Smith, we've been in dangerous situations before this--we'll probably survive this one, too." Smith doesn't share her optimism, "So far we've been exceedingly fortunate but our luck is running out. I can feel it." John says, "All you feel, Doctor, is probably hunger." He goes in. Maureen tells Smith that Don is making a Boston cream pie and Smith says, "I knew it, my luck has run out." Later that night, in the lower deck, Smith takes a whole lot of pie and hears a sound that sounds as if the aliens are coming into the Jupiter II doorway. He runs screaming a warning to Maureen while John and Don play chess in the galley. They calm him. The children are sleeping. It is only the new oxygen unit purification system--the parts are new and tight from lack of use. The aliens call to Prof. Robinson through a chess piece, wanting him to come to their cave. Maureen says, "Oh John, you can't--it's too dangerous." John and Don will go--John telling her they can probably materialize their selves here as well as their voice. John wants Smith to show them where the cave is. Smith tries to get out of it--"I'll draw you a map. Someone has to remain here to protect the family." John pulls Smith with Don, "My wife can do that very well." Smith gasps, "You're making a mistake." Smith leads the two men to the cave and tries to wait outside but Don makes him go in. Behind them in the cave are devices seen in the alien spaceship in VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA's THE SKY IS FALLING. There is also parts of the Female Robot in THE GHOST PLANET. Hiding behind devices, the aliens ask about the mechanical man. John won't sell him but if they tell them why they want the Robot, he might help them. The aliens, refused, will act accordingly. Don and John back out. Smith tells them to give the aliens the Robot. Don says, "Nobody asked you, Smith, let's get outta here." Don and John go out first, leaving Smith to yell after, "Ahhh, wait for me!"
Day--Judy's hair is pulled back and she has a pigtail or braid with a ribbon tying it. She is watering the tables to the hydroponic garden. Robot worries about being taken by the aliens, "Despite your best efforts I am doomed." Judy says, "You've been acting strangely ever since those three aliens showed up. We'll protect you." Due to the Robot's nervous warning, Judy almost shoots Penny and Smith who arrive from behind the rocks. Penny scolds him, "Look at you, a grown robot acting like a frightened child." Smith picks up on this and elaborates. Robot tells them fear is an emotion that can be acquired (IF THAT IS SO, THAN HANGING AROUND WITH SMITH HAS MADE THE ROBOT FEARFUL--SO IT IS SMITH'S FAULT!). Smith says, "Color him yellow and call him coward." Penny says, "That's not fair, Dr. Smith." Judy says, "Yes, the Robot has proved his courage time and time again." The girls continue to stick up for the robot despite Smith's continued criticism of him. Robot leaves, upset; Smith not caring--being awfully cold again as in WAR OF THE ROBOTS.
After lunch, Will comes out of the door and down the ramp (which looks like it is in two pieces and on two slightly different levels). He can't find the Robot who was supposed to be watched over by Dr. Smith. Don says, "I should've known better. THE BLOOP could have done a better job than Smith." Smith comes out, having heard that last remark. He doesn't care about the Robot. John doesn't blame the Robot for being edgy and hiding behind the rocks. John goes inside. When Smith wants to assign someone else to look after the Robot, Don asks if it because he is getting a bit nervous. Smith cannot take the jangle of the Robot's computers. Don says, "In my opinion, 200 traumatic Robots wouldn't be as annoying as one Zachary Smith." Don goes inside as Will tells him he will spend some time with Robot.
Will goes, leaving Smith to talk to himself, "Marooned on this barren planet, beset by grotesque aliens and monsters and now we have a terrified mechanical dunderhead on our hands. Really!"
Will finds the Robot with his hands over his bubble and chest, unhappy. Robot feels soon he will be taken away from the friends he loves. He has been having a strange sensation in his sensors--crying on the inside is what he feels it is. Will thinks that is silly--"Robots can't cry." Robot asks Will to leave him as he gets that sensation again. Will goes to wait for him back at the Jupiter. Robot moans after he goes.
Night-The shadows of the aliens move over the Jupiter II exterior. The alien checks the forcefield and are soon in the Control Room, moving their hands over all the equipment: mikes, the general alarm, the scanner, and the control console. One alien goes down the elevator and checks Penny in her cabin. Penny (in a yellow night outfit) is asleep on her side. The alien goes through Will's room as Will (in a blue night shirt) sleeps on his back on his bunk. In a dark storage room (dark except for the Robot's lights), the alien finds the Robot, "We have come for you. Will you go with us peacsssefullllylyly? Resistance would be futile. Also consider the Robinsons are asleep and we are here." Robot says, "You wouldn't harm them." The alien says, "Not unless you refuse to cooperate." DOUBLE NEGATIVE--do they want him to refuse? Anyway, in a nicely done sequence, the alien takes the Robot out, Robot's arms up in surrender, past Smith's cabin (where Smith is sitting propped up on his bed but asleep). The alien and Robot go up the elevator, meet the other two darkly aliens, and all four go outside. "You will come with us." Their shadows pass the Jupiter II exterior hull.
Morning--after breakfast: John and Maureen comment on how little Penny and Will ate. Maureen didn't have the heart to insist they eat a better breakfast. Maureen tells John and Don that they aren't the only ones who feel badly about the Robot; Maureen expects to see that silly machine with its arms waving, saying, "Warning! Warning! It does not compute." Smith comes out and tells Maureen she computes--she's an excellent cook and mother. Don tells Smith breakfast is over and Lunch is at noon. Smith, last night, raided the food locker. John asks him if he saw the Robot. Smith is not sorry the aliens have taken the Robot--when one endangers the group welfare, that one must go. Maureen tells Smith he is wrong, "The Robot is a very important part of this family." Don tells Smith he is getting the Robot's chores. John says, "It would seem you're the only one with any leisure time." Smith tells Will they must leave no stone unturned in looking for the Robot, "He is like a brother to me." Don, going up on the elevator with John, sarcastically states, "Broth-ther!" John and Don return to the cave and find the Robot behind a curtain like screen--dismantled, "Boy, they really tore him apart." John calls it a mess. The hidden aliens talk to them, telling them they are not through with the mechanical man yet and that the Earth saying "might makes right" applies here. A blast stops the two men from taking the Robot's parts but the aliens to show "their good faith" allow them to take the head of the robot. John takes it and the two men leave. The Robot's body says, "I no longer compute."
Later, John goes into Will's cabin and finds him sitting on the bed, reading BEYOND THE SOLAR SYSTEM. John tells Will about the Robot, telling him the Robot is complicated, complex machine and some parts may not work again. Will tells John, "The Robot isn't just a machine to me, dad." John says, "We all feel that way about him." Will tells him he is very close to the Robot like they were brothers. John tells Will he has two sisters and they are nice, too. Will says, "I know that but that's different--THEY'RE GIRLS." John says, "I think I know what you mean." PIGS! John tells Will if they can't get the Robot back together again, Will is going to have to "adjust to that loss. Nothing's permanent, neither man nor machine. You know the nice thing about having a son--you can watch him become a man and grow up with him all over again." John asks Will if he wants to come out with him or stay in the room. Will tells him, "I'll come with you."
Don puts the bubble head of the Robot on a rock and he and Judy and hide behind it. Judy thinks it is a cruel joke but Don calls it harmless, "I've been waiting a long time to get back at Smith." Don calls Smith in an imitation of the Robot's voice. Smith comes and hears, calling him a bellicose bumpkin. Smith screams at the bubble and Don acts as if he is the ghost of the Robot, a spirit haunting Smith. "Henceforth you shall abandon your evil ways..." Don's voice begins to crack and Smith wises up, circles around, and begins to kick Don but Don grabs Smith's leg and pulls him up, telling him they were only having a little bit of fun. Smith says, "At my expense." Smith runs off, "When you least expect it. Beware sir, beware!" Don waves his arms, "Warning! Warning! Dr. Smith is irate! Warning! Warning!" Smith makes an unbelieving face and leaves.
Night--John is reading a robot assembly manual in the Control Room while Don comes in and tries to get his attention, "Hey, hey remember me?" John finally realizes Don is in the room, "Oh, sorry, Don." He tells Don the Robot is even more complicated than he thought--they will have a big job ahead of them....if the aliens keep their word. The alien voice calls and tells them they have returned the rest of the mechanical man. The two run outside and find him on a table in pieces. John suggests they start first thing in the morning. Don says, "Do we have to wait so long?" John tells him it will mean missing a lot of sleep. Don says, "I'd be willing to stay up a week just to get this Robot back together." John tells him they can start right now. Don runs in to get work lights.
Morning--both men have been up all night working. They are unshaven. John has to enlarge a rivet hole with a drill gun. Suddenly the drill shakes and goes out of control, even though John tells Don it is on the LOW setting.
The drill shakes and the point moves at John's neck, "Don! Hurry, cut the power!" As Don runs up the ramp, the drill stops. John had it turned off but it still kept running, "I had the strangest feeling some outside force was controlling this drill and I couldn't let go of it." Maureen and Will come down the ramp; Maureen turns off the work light but tells John she hates to add to his problems but the food storage units have stopped working. She switched to auxiliary and checked the central power system--it seemed fine. Will asks if they can continue working on the Robot. Maureen comments that Don and his father have been working all night on him and that they should eat breakfast. As John and Maureen go in, Smith comes out and can't help him---he must eat breakfast. Don tells him he can live a week on all that blubber he has. Smith calls it muscle. Don gives Will the manual and he and Smith go up the ramp into the spaceship (and both seem to be talking good naturedly to each other--perhaps having a civil conversation for once!). Good joyful music as Will puts the Robot together, finishing up. Later, Judy comes out, telling him breakfast is almost over. He tells her he is almost done. Don (coming out after breakfast and having shaved) helps Will put the head back on the body. Will says, "Easy now," and laughs, too protective possibly. Will is on a stool to reach the Robot. Don moves off to do other work. Will's hair looks parted differently or something and his face is sweating in a great line or the makeup looks like a large line on his right side of his face. He puts the Robot's power pack in. Will tells Robot he has new parts now, "Those mean old aliens," Will says and puts his fist into his other hand--like Robin on BATMAN (perhaps Bill Mumy spent some time on that set while A VISIT TO HADES was being filmed or something or perhaps he was watching BATMAN and picked up the motion from Robin on BATMAN). He checks the movements of the Robot and the body needs some spray as the roto temp burtiliatotor (?) squeaks when Robot turns it. Will sprays it and it is fine, "The place wasn't the same without you." Robot's conductors heat up a bit--a warm feeling inside. Robot asks Will to take his hand.
NOTE: It is strange to see Will take the Robot by the hand, then switch to two other scenes--one of Smith being attacked by the exercise bike and then Judy by the compression hose--then have Will present the working Robot to the rest of the family--still holding his hand. Perhaps Will took him for a walk to test his movements before showing the others.
Smith is on the lower deck, tossing a yellow robe off the mechanical exercise bike (Don's night robe), "Untidy people..." He gets on the bike but it speeds up faster and faster until he has to scream for help. John comes running and shuts it off and will check it out later. Smith tells him not to bother as John leaves. Smith kicks it and it goes on, "Wait for me!" He runs after John. Judy is watering the flowers on one of the garden tables unaware that the hose on the compression unit is moving around her feet, uncoiling by itself. Soon it moves up her leg. She gasps and tries to get it off but it wraps around her throat. She calls for help and John comes running out but cannot get it off her neck. He pulls the entire hose off the unit and it falls harmlessly. John hugs Judy, "Oh it was horrible," she cries. Maureen and Penny come running out of the ship to them. John tells them, "Judy was nearly strangled by that hose on the compression unit. Every piece of machinery we have seems to be going crazy." Maureen tells him the electronic stove and the automatic laundry machine are not working. Penny tells them the light switch in her room is out of order, giving her an electric shock every time she tries to turn it on. Maureen says, "I know it sounds crazy but it's as if all of our machinery is being controlled by someone." John says, "That idea may not be as wild as you think, darling. After all, we are living on an alien planet." Don comes and tells them they won't be using the Chariot for awhile. It started running without being started and when he pulled out a main wiring mechanism it kept going. John knows the source of all this, "Those three aliens who took our Robot." Maureen wonders why the aliens would want to harm them in such a roundabout way. Will brings the Robot to them. Penny and Judy run to them. Judy tells Robot she's glad to have him back. "My sensors are equally Judy." When Robot's memory is unclear about the aliens, Don says, "Beautiful." Maureen urges him, "Think try hard." Robot begins to remember, "The aliens wish to rule the Earth by building a device which will control all machines. With it they would have the power of life and death." John agrees, "A machine that can control other machines could be a very powerful weapon--it could be so powerful, it could control the entire universe."
Night-the temp is a mild 75 degrees yet Smith is in his light gray-white parka covered with a blanket and sitting on a rock. Robot tells him, "Come into my arms." Smith wonders if he should throw himself on the mercy of the aliens. Robot tells him they are not creatures of mercy. Will brings him some hot coffee which Maureen heated up with candles--the last of it--they will have to use them to light up the spaceship for now. Will tells Smith it is not so bad--they still have the hydroponic garden. Smith complains, "Raw vegetables and a cold spaceship--hardly a bright prospect for the future." Will tells him they shouldn't be just worrying about themselves, "The whole universe is in danger." Smith proposes the Robot go to the aliens and destroy them in a sneak attack. Will says, "No. That would be murder." Smith asks, "What do you think they're trying to do to us?" Robot tells him Smith he knows Robot is programmed only for defensive purposes. Smith calls Robot a lily livered lump. Will says, "And even if he could, I wouldn't let him." When Will asks if Smith will return to the ship with him, Smith tells him no. Will says, "Have it your way." NOTE: In the US, a large campaign started in the 1970s by BURGER KING (when LOST was constantly being syndicated) and which continues to this day had a similar quotation, "Have it your way at Burger King." It was a jingle and many who have watched this episode joke about that jingle when Will says this.
In the Control Room lit up by candles, Don and John talk. Don says, "The aliens took the Robot apart to find out how he works and by studying him, they learned the basic principal of all Earth machines." John finishes, "Yes and they built some sort of device that controls all the machines." They figure it has to be destroyed. Don says, "And soon. Without the use of our equipment our chances on this planet are less than zero." John says, "It's not only ourselves I'm thinking about--think of the utter chaos on Earth if all the machines went on the blink." NOTE: Stephen King's movie Maureen overhears John tells Don that he is not going to tell her--because they might not get back at all. John puts on his laser pistol belt and sees her standing at the ramp doorway. She tells him, "I...I just got here." Maureen asks to go with them and asks why they don't have their laser rifles. John tells her it is just a routine check up on the perimeter. They move out, leaving her there as she knows the truth. When Will asks to go with them, John tells him not this time. After John and Don leave, Robot tells Will their "mission" and talks Will into following. John and Don go into the cave and hear the new sounds of the device. They see a round half circular dome. John says, "Probably works on a solar energy principal, emits sounds that affect other machines." Don wishes they brought the Robot to tell them more. John just wants to destroy it, "Who cares how it works." Gosh, he's some scientist. If anything Don, the military man, should just want to destroy it. The alien voice sounds to them again as the three aliens are hiding. They will become the Masters of the Earth and think it is ironic that the very thing man has created will be the instruments with which they will be enabled to destroy him. John says, "Machines were created for the benefit of mankind, not its destruction!" "That is a matter of opinion," the alien says, "I know what you are thinking," it says to Don. The lasers won't work so the men try to hit it with the back of the laser guns. Will and Robot come in, stopping them before they can do this. The alien says their machine is invulnerable, "Neither man nor machine can destroy it." Robot attacks it as the three Jupiter II-ites stand back. A force holds them all at bay. The three aliens come out and grab the Robot back. Will, Don, and John can't move as wind and forces reign. Robot is able to smash the half globe in. A blast and the aliens are gone. Robot moves to the control panel and hits it. After it is over, Robot tells them the alien gave him the clue--neither man nor machine can destroy it but Robot is something in between, "It is obvious I am not a man but I am almost not quite a machine--I suppose I must be something in between." Will calls Dad and Don over to behind the curtain diamond shapes and they see the capes and hats on the ground, smoking. Don says, "IT disappeared," for some reason. Why, doesn't he mean, they disappeared? John thinks it is ironic that the very weapon they wanted to use, destroyed them (and he sound a bit like the aliens when they were talking to him!). John takes one of the hats and puts it on the Robot's bubble, "There you go. Let's get back." They move out--music ending to BLAST OFF INTO SPACE.
CLIFFHANGER: Long shot of temperature device and then a zoom toward and then a close up on. There is a pan up. Inside the Jupiter II's lower deck in Smith's cabin, the Robot pulls a device which Smith tells an entering Will is a punker. He claims it was very popular with Rajahs, caliphs, and other potentates. Will has on his T-shirt and asks about what it does for the Robot. Smith calls Robot a babbling bird brain. Maureen, wearing a short sleeved green shirt asks about Penny from the door. Smith asks if she wants to share the punker. She declines, looking for Penny. In the Control Room, John and Don heave the heavy air unit device onto a work table. John says, "Someone sure overloaded it." Don looks at him, "You know you said that as though you think I did it." John looks back, "Welp, that wasn't my meaning. You know you're being a little hyper sensitive, Don." Don says, "Hyper sensitive, now look..." They stop as Maureen glides up on the noisy elevator, looking for Penny. When John asks if she wants him to go look for her, Maureen tells him she'll go, he can continue with his work. Maureen goes outside. Penny is with Debbie, the Bloop; Penny sports an orange short sleeved shirt top. She, letting Debbie help, waters the flower, telling it that she won't let it die of thirst due to the heat, "I'll see to that." As she and the monkey like alien Debbie water it, a movement comes up from behind a rock. It is a very tall man shaped golden being with a bubble face, no mouth, no eyes, no features on the face and it raises its arms and hands over its head. Debbie notices it first but Penny sees it and turns. She backs to the patch the flower is on (obviously a fake area of land or a small square like rock). The golden being moves at her from over the rock!
TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK SAME TIME SAME CHANNEL
REVIEW: The three aliens look a lot like the VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA aliens from SHADOWMAN but that episode will not appear until after WRECK OF THE ROBOT appears. These aliens are most creepy and some of the scariest and most memorable foes the Robinsons faced--they do not out and out attack--in fact, they seem somewhat cowardly, hiding a great deal and using machines to do their attacking for them instead of out and out attacking. These aliens also resemble the ones used in THE GALAXY GIFT. In THE GALAXY GIFT the three aliens are given a race name of the Saticons but here in WRECK OF THE ROBOT they were not given this name. Since Barney Slater wrote both episodes (both of which prosper from the aliens being so well done) it may be safe to say, if only a guess, that these aliens may as well as have been Saticons too. This is NEVER stated in the WRECK OF THE ROBOT script. As in Slater's DEADLY GAMES OF GAMMA SIX, the Earth is in danger and this makes for good involvement. WRECK OF THE ROBOT is the best episode since THE GHOST PLANET. It is not perfect but compared to other second season episodes, it is a classic. Certainly among the best five second season episodes. Smith and Will are involved but not overly so; Judy has a few good scenes as does Maureen, John, and Don--a rare occurrence these days. No one is embarrassed as Penny was with her swing in THIEF or Judy was with her crying nonsense in A VISIT TO HADES. Yes, the Robot is involved a great deal but this furthers the fact that he is not just a machine as implied very loosely in WAR OF THE ROBOTS (which was also written by Barney Slater--who usually writes pretty good episodes). There is some coyness in this episode but not enough to ruin it. The Robot crying was a bit silly but no where near as goofy as Judy's crying in A VISIT. It is too bad, the second season couldn't do more episodes like this and the next two. From the opening of the WRECK cliffhanger in A VISIT to the end of THE GOLDEN MAN, LOST IN SPACE seemed back on track--a bit silly but not as bad as the last nine episodes. The aliens have a lot to do with it. They are not goofy as Marvello, Zumdish, and the Thief were. They were true menaces, perhaps the best aliens of the season and possibly of all three seasons. They do not believe in direct confrontation. They seem to possess great powers though, being able to get into the Jupiter (was it through the forcefield? Was the forcefield on?) and to transpose their voices into the galley at one point. Fan stories sometimes center around these aliens and they even seemed to appear in INNOVATION COMIC ISSUE ONE in one or two frames--ON EARTH! Later in another issue, we find out it is not the Saticons but...look closely.
I am sure someone can find something to complain about in this episode but I enjoyed it. I did find one thing wrong (I am sure there are others): in MY FRIEND MISTER NOBODY, the Robot was blown into several pieces. By the cliffhanger (which could have been weeks later or so from the end of act four), Dr. Smith as the Robot back together as Will notes when he arrives. Did Smith do it? It would seem Smith did do it. If he could do it, why are John and Don so worried about it in WRECK? Smith didn't really offer his help to them and gave a half heartedly offer to help Will but didn't help at all. Other than that, I found not much to complain about here. Let's face it, there were no space cowboys, gambling machines, fat princesses, elevator spaceships, businessmen aliens, giant bird men and their loner friends, space miners, etc. A good adventure came from WRECK OF THE ROBOT, an often overlooked and under appreciated episode.