Now more than ever, we need your support! Become a Supporting Subscriber today.
LOST IN SPACE-Trip Through the Robot, The Phantom Family
TRIP THROUGH THE ROBOT
NARRATION: Last week, as you recall, we left our space pioneers checking their electrical system, unaware that Dr. Smith's carelessness could result in the fatal destruction of their faithful Robot...
TEASER-missing only one line of dialogue: in the last week cliffhanger John yelled, "There's a high voltage cable moving in the room!" This is not repeated in the teaser. Everything else is recapped though--John's seeming talking in the last seconds of the cliffhanger as he is trapped in the corner by the cable is just that: here in the teaser, he is seen talking away.
John, Don, and Smith come down the Jupiter 2 ramp to equipment and a large device near the table. The transistor rods were replaced. Now the relays have to be laid in. They have to build up to full power gradually. John tells Smith that is his job and goes inside. Don wonders about this. Smith says, "Never fear Smith is here." Don says, "I know this is a mistake." The yellow light will go on; Smith then has to hit the black button after two seconds; then he has to wait three seconds and hit the green button. Smith calls it, "CHILD'S PLAY." Don says, "That's why we picked you for the job." Maureen arrives as Don goes in and asks Smith if he would like coffee. The word black is brought up in order with the coffee. Smith gets confused when the signal goes on. He hits a button at Maureen's prompting, "Well whatever it is John wants you to do, I think you'd better go ahead and do it." His hitting of the wrong color button makes a large explosion go off inside the spaceship control room! Don falls; John is blown into the elevator. Maureen yells, "Ohhh, oh John." Smith hits a blue button and more blasts hit. A snapped wire, shouting electrical sparks, heads at John. The device outside blasts up. Smith falls near the Jupiter II side. Maureen runs to him, "Dr. Smith! Dr. Smith." Smith says he is innocent, the Professor must have got his wires crossed. Maureen says, "Look, John and Don are in there. We've got to get to them." Smith tells her to go ahead, "In the event of a further disaster I shall care for the children." Maureen says, "No, you're coming with me!" Smith says, "I don't see why we should both risk our lives." Maureen gets him up, "Come on now--they may be badly injured. Go ahead." She urges him toward the door. As they enter, John yells, "Maureen, stay back!" Smith runs to the gun rack area, "Ahhh, I knew this was a mistake!" Smith gasps, "Ahh, we're all going to be killed!!" The wire cable blasts near the elevator but moves at John who is trapped in the corner of the elevator and the wall. As John shields his face with his arms he talks away. He is telling them he has to try to ground the cable which causes more blasts. Maureen asks if he can just turn the power off. John tells her all systems are damaged and it would take too long to locate the source of the cable. John tells them that the rest of the cable is insulated, "If I could just get my hands on it." Maureen says, "Oh no, it's too dangerous!" John yells, "It's got to be done!!!" He runs out and grabs the writhing cable. He calls for Smith to give him a hand. Smith yells out he can't...as a child he received a severe shock. He runs out, screaming, "It's too much!" John pulls the cable from its source and the end hits the area near Maureen, who screams (an awful scream by the way). John yells, "DON!" He runs toward the fallen Major. Blasts rock the spaceship again, as seen from the window, it appears the control room is being blown apart!
Blasts alight at the Jupiter II window and shake the ground outside, shaking Judy, Penny, Will, the Robot, and Smith. Judy stops Will who wants to go on in, unable to stand around and do nothing. Robot warns him not to and blames Smith--the jinx of the Robinson party. Smith calls his past trivial mistakes made. John and Maureen help Don up. Don feels as if he were hit by a truck. John says, "Well that's another disaster for which we can thank Dr. Smith." Don says, "John, this is one time you're not gonna stop me." Maureen says, "Oh now Don, don't be too tough on him." Don says, "I'm gonna be as tough as I have to be, Maureen." John blames himself as much as Smith, "I never should have trusted him with an important job as this." The older two follow Don outside. Don tells Judy, "Judy, take Will and Penny inside, they're too young to see what I'm going to do." John stops Don from hitting Smith while Smith admits to some minor error. The others go in to clean up the control room. Smith calls Robot a pusillanimous pipsqueak, "It's all your fault!" Later, Smith eats a banana as he sits on a rock--he tells Will and Robot that his appetite always increases when he is unhappy. Robot says, "Ugggh." Smith recharged him two to three weeks ago and calls him a hypertensive hypochondriac. Will takes Robot to dad for recharging. John and Don work on devices. Don says, "Smith should be doing this." John says, "Oh it's damaged now but if the good Doctor goes anywhere near it it'll never work again." Will asks John to recharge Robot but John has to take the stand point of cold logic: it's the Robot's survival or their own. Don and he both explain how the strain may burn out the auxiliary supply. Will thinks they should risk it but Robot states he is expendable and leaves. John says, "I'm sorry son." Will goes inside the spaceship. Robot goes off from camp. Night--at the table it is dark and only a candle lights up the small area. The Jupiter control room is dark. Don, Judy, Smith, Maureen, and Will sit for dinner. Smith wants to put to rest the question of the Robot once and for all--he says the Robot experiences a minimum of emotion but is just a machine. Maureen says, "Well you're the only one who feels that way about him." Penny comes out, late for dinner. She has her tape recorder. Will tells her she should be ashamed of herself for using it at a time of low power. Penny tells him "music always helps me when I'm sad." She also has a message from the Robot for them all, "This is the Robot speaking. I have a message for my friends. Dear ones...I realize the problem which faces you. I understand the brave fight you have made to survive on this planet. Rather than place you in further danger, I have made a decision. When you hear these words, I will have gone out of your lives forever. In the future, think fondly of me." Smith eats but no one else does. Smith says, "Greater love hath no Robot." He asks them all what is wrong. Don says, "Smith, for once will you shut you."
Robot moves out very far from camp, "It's a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done before." NOTE: Smith has said this in past episodes. Robot falls in a dangerous area, thinking this is the end. Smith is in a chair in the control room reading a book. He falls asleep. Will climbs up with a tool kit. He wakes Dr. Smith up. Smith threatens to wake up Will's parents if Will leaves. Will didn't think Dr. Smith was a squealer. Smith says, "The proper term is tattle tale." Smith gets up and will help him. Will says, "I knew you wouldn't let me down." Smith sneezes and the candle is blown out. Will and Smith go out to look for the Robot, whom Smith thinks may have already committed hari kari (not the correct term--seppku is). We hear THIEF FROM OUTER SPACE music. Smith sees the Valley of Shadows and makes Will recall their orders not to go in there. Smith is hungry and wants to go back to the spaceship. They hear the Robot moan. Smith chases Will inward, thinking Will is imagining things. Smith sees a sign that says DANGEROUS AREA, "Oh dear." He finds Will. Smith tells him that the atmosphere in this area produces some strange reactions and adds there may be terrifying creatures lurking about. Will hears it again and runs. Smith chases him and they find a giant sized Robot on his back! Smith calls him an overgrown ninny. Robot and Smith urge Will to leave but Will runs to the tread bottom, "I won't leave you." Atmospheric conditions have caused a molecular reaction which has reversed his ionic flow. Smith tells Will "the Robot has had it." Will thinks they can reverse the ionic process and reroute the wiring inside to the tread section only, "Dad changed his mind about using the power on the Robot. He told me so last night." Robot calls Smith a cold and callous man. Smith tells Will that he wants the Robot to have a chance for survival but keeps reminding him that they can nothing. Will removes the bottom opening. Smith asks what will there be room for. Will tells him, "To go inside the Robot of course and then we can make our way to his chest section and make all the necessary repairs." Smith says, "Oh the pain, the pain." They use the handles of the screwdrivers to get open the square doorway and drop the heavy plate. Smith calls Robot a cumbersome clod and tries to talk Will out of this again. Will tells him it is all right--he can go without Smith. Smith will accompany him--he can't let him go alone. Will says, "The Robot will never forget what you're doing for him, sir." Smith says, "Neither will I--if I survive." Will helps Smith inside and then follows. "Oh dear," Smith says. They move past computers. We hear FANTASTIC VOYAGE sound effects which are the Robot's diode timer sounds (and as they get closer to it, it sounds like the beating of a heart). They move past a giant spool of wire. Robot's inner voice box talks to them. He was unnerved by their entrance but Robot makes his sensors adjust. The sound goes down some more so they do not have to shout when they talk. This entrance scene is very well done and the set for the Robot is wonderful even if it is a hodge podge of equipment from just about every other episode! The relative use of very little music during this entering the robot scene also helps. Robot mentions parts that have become detached due to lack of attention from Dr. Smith. He also needs some wiring repaired. Will stops a fight, "Dr. Smith, you and the Robot can argue later." They hear a machine. Will helps pull his leg and foot out when Smith gets them caught. There are tubes, hoses, and metallic devices all around them. Day--Maureen is giving John breakfast outside the ship. John feels unlike Dr. Smith--food is not a cure all for him. John has to think about the safety of everyone, not just the Robot. Don comes out, picks up the gist of the conversation. John hasn't changed his mind about the Robot and the power. CONFUSED? Didn't Will say John did change his mind? MAYBE WILL LIED? Doubt that. MAYBE JOHN IS JUST FICKLE? Or maybe this scene belonged somewhere else or was written after the other one? WELL WHO KNOWS? It doesn't fit. Perhaps John changed his mind, rechanged it back...Don agrees with John but adds, "I'm not a 12 year old boy who's very fond of a Robot." Maureen offers Don some coffee. Will and Smith look for a way to go. Robot warns them when an infra red heat seeking laser unit, on wheels, arrives. It is used to destroy alien bodies inside the Robot! Smith calls Robot a blithering booby--Robot cannot get rid of it. It moves at them. Smith runs, screaming! Will yells, "Dr. Smith, get down!" Will runs. Moving at the area, the device fires several laser missiles!
The unit chases Smith. He gets up onto metallic walls and devices. Will calls for him. Will admits to the Robot that he is frightened too. Robot directs Will to Smith who is in the computer zone. Robot tells Will to avoid his center section--as it is highly radioactive. Will must go through the audio canal (talk about FANTASTIC VOYAGE!). Another laser unit makes for Smith. Smith hides and runs. He sits and takes his pulse. A hose device touches him and at first, he thinks it is Will but the hose fires spray at him. Smith runs. It was part of the automated reflex portion of the Robot: the hose considered Smith a new part which had to be lubricated with graphite. Robot thinks this is a good thing as Smith's jokes are old and creaky. Robot laughs. Robot tells Smith to go right but Smith goes left. Smith calls him a gargantuan goose.
Day-John and Don work at the campsite that afternoon. John asks Don what the time is and Don answers, "Five minutes later than the last time you asked me." John asks Don to get the lasers. Maureen comes and begins to ask about them finding Will. She adds she is acting like an overprotective mother but John tells her not to worry--he is acting like an overprotective father. Don brings the laser pistols out and they leave. Will is near the heart of the Robot and it beats. Smith is in a temperature control unit. An alarm goes off. Robot tells Smith to go to the right but Smith walks left---YES AGAIN. Something happened in the editing here but anyway...it is quite exciting. Robot sends Will to Dr. Smith who has fallen between computer tubes. Smith is almost fully inside a tube which is high up vertically. Smith is yelling and complaining. We see that this is a stunt double of Smith as Smith climbs out of the tube, hangs on and then falls. "Oh dear," he screams and falls. Two computer banks move at him, threatening to flatten him between them.
Maureen takes a walkie talkie and leaves it on the rock near the garden tables she and the two girls are going to work on. Penny seems to have a slightly different hair style. Maureen turns on the radio and tells the girls not to look so glum. Penny says, "I think we should hunt for them. Don't you Judy?" Judy says, "We could search the caves near the swamp--dad and Don will never think of looking there." Despite a protesting Penny, Maureen won't hear of it, "That whole area is full of quicksand. Now I suggest we drop the subject." John calls: still no sign of Will or Smith. Don and John have searched ten miles west of the Jupiter 2 and now will start south. Maureen asks about the Valley of Shadows. John says, "Will's too smart to go in there and well, Smith's too frightened."
Smith drops and crawls but then falls near a horizontal tube this time. It starts to suck him into it. He is on his back as it pulls and is drawn further in. Will climbs across devices and goes to him, "I've got to save you." They call to Robot who cannot seem to shut it off. Will moves across the hole to find the controls and almost gets sucked in to it, also. Smith yells, "Be careful!" It is a control unit which detects sensitivity to internal and external temperature. If Robot exercises full computer strength he can make it inoperable. It will take all his remaining power. Smith yells at him to do it--he is in this predicament due to him. Jumping up, Will yells, "Robot, hurry, please hurry!" Exciting cliffhanger style music plays as Robot does it--there is a blast and Robot tells them he has succeeded. Will helps Smith out. Smith wants to get out of "this incredible madness." Robot tells a protesting Will to let him go. Robot will turn off his audio units. Will grabs Smith's arm, yelling at him, "You can go if you want to but I'm staying. We owe it to the Robot!" Smith considers the debt paid in full. Will uses the laser unit to scare Smith into staying.
Outside the Chariot, Don and John see footprints and the Robot's treads. Don sits on the chariot as John calls and tells Maureen they are, "...in the Valley of Shadows." Maureen is worried and Don noticed it in her voice. John says, "So am I." They follow the tracks and, at NIGHT, find the giant Robot. They go closer. Don says, "I hope they know what they're doing." Inside, John calls Will. Don calls, "Smith! Doctor Smith!" They hear sounds. Don climbs over devices and under tubes. A laser unit comes at them. John fires his laser gun at it and it blows up. Smith hears this. Will is ready to reconnect the electrical system and then reverse the ionic process. Suddenly the diode timer beats faster and faster. It beats louder. The power is weak and the diode is struggling to keep functioning. It starts to slow down. Will gets up onto it and pushes it--the mechanical heart device. Smith asks questions and wonders what is going on--it is only a mechanical device after all. Will yells, "Dr. Smith, please!" It stops moving altogether. Will, a lump in his throat, says, "We can forget about trying to save the Robot, Dr. Smith---he's gone." Will gets down. He moves off a bit. Smith watches him, sad. Smith goes up to the device and tries to push it into starting again. Will turns to watch this. Cue sad and effective WEST OF MARS music. Smith gets down and moves to Will, putting his hand on him, "I'm sorry William."
Smith wants to leave, "Cheer up my boy." He can't mourn. Will tells him the Robot was a friend. Smith admits,"...that silly old ninny did have a few good qualities." Will comments the Robot was made only two and a half years ago. Smith mentions it is a pity they don't have a spare. This gives Will an idea: reverse the power supply--a spare power supply. Will begs Smith to try, "Please, sir." Smith allow him to try--once. John and Don squeeze past metal frames. Don says he is fairly familiar with the Robot when he is normal size but like this...Smith and Will go to circuit walls. Will tells Smith if he does this too quickly the computers may blow up but too slowly there will not be enough power to activate. Later, they can bring Robot up to full power at the Jupiter. Smith wonders why they cannot just do that later. Will tells him if the diode timer is left in one position, it could freeze and it will remain in that one position so that no amount of power could get it going again. Will tries it. The power goes on but then out again. Will checks it and releases all the energy at once. Nothing. Smith says, "That as they say is that." Suddenly the power comes on of its own and everything lights up. The heart starts beating. Will says, "Isn't it wonderful." Smith says, "It appears that you cannot keep a good Robot down." Will shakes hands with Smith. John and Don are lost somewhere John figures is the computer area. Don says, "It's like trying to find your way through a puzzle...a puzzle made out of machines." He leans on a device (of circular rods) and it blasts at him. He goes flying, "What happened?" John stops Don's self criticism, "...either one of us could have made that mistake." Don adds, "One more like that and it'll be my last." They pass the hose sprayer. Will transfers power to the Robot's treads. Smith wants to get out of this "dark and dismal" body. Will reverses the ionic flow and the area lurches and the walls move closer to them. Will tells Smith to go ahead, commenting that the Robot is shrinking awfully fast. Smith yells, "We'll be crushed inside him! No! NO!" Will calls as Smith runs, "Dr. Smith wait!" John and Don run. Smith gets lost again. Devices whiz past him. Smith gets stuck and yells. Tubes and computers are in the way of Smith, John, and Don. John and Don push on either side of metal piping to fit through. Smith pushes out of his prison and passes hoses and tubing. John pulls Don out of the metal pipes and they hear Smith. Smith meets them by a giant screen (used in TOYMAKER), "Oh Professor, I've never been so glad to see anyone in my entire life!" Smith tells a persistent John that he is sure Will is outside by now. John continues to question him. Smith yells, "I got lost but I'm sure he's safe by now!" Don says, "We can't afford to stay in here any longer." John says, "All right." They move out. Smith yells, "Wait for me!" Will is trying to make his way to them, "Dad!" The others squeeze past red frames. Will is climbing for his life, "Dr. Smith!" John and Don move past the red frames and Smith dives through head first. They move past circular frames and metal devices. Will is carrying the tool kit which slows him down some. Don gets his foot stuck and asks Smith for help. Smith won't and passes him by, panicking. John gets Don out. Will calls, "Dad! It's getting smaller!" The noise level is building throughout all this and the devices whir as if in a storm. Near the giant spool, Smith gets his foot caught. Don yells, "Leave him here, he deserves it!" Smith yells, "You can't do that, it's inhumane!" John agrees and pulls his leg out. Smith says, "Oh, how kind you are." John asks Smith twice more, fervently, if his son is safe and if Smith is absolutely sure. Don urges John as much as Smith, "John the hole's getting smaller--there's barely enough room to get through now!" John and Smith go out. Don jumps out and rolls in front of Smith. They call for Will amid the creaking of the Robot shrinking. Smith suggests Will went back to camp but Don says, "Without knowing you were safe--that's hardly likely." John says, "He must still be inside that Robot! I've got to get him out!" Don notes the opening is not big enough for John to get through now. John grabs a tree log, "We've got to keep it from getting smaller." They steady the log into the hole. Will calls for dad. John looks into the small square and calls for Will. Will yells, "Here I come, dad!" John yells, "Will hurry, hurry!" Will climbs past devices (if you look closely he climbed around and behind the same type of device twice but it is still an exciting sequence!). Will yells, "Hold the door open!" John waits for the right moment, "NOW!" Don takes the log out and John reaches in. Will falls forward and reaches for his father's outstretched hand. John encourages him, "You can make it, you can make it son!" He gets to John's hand and John pulls him out, asking him if he is okay. Will says, "Fine dad, just fine." Robot thanks Will and with encouragement from Smith, also thanks Dr. Smith. Smith says, "It was nothing, nothing at all." Don laughs at this and Will smiles. Robot shrinks down to his regular size. They pick him up.
Daytime--at camp Judy (near the recharger device) tells Don to accelerate the Chariot--the Robot needs a little more power. Robot is attached to the Chariot. John asks Robot how he feels and when Robot says, "Mmmmm," orders them to cut the power. Smith, on the ramp with Maureen and now John, asks Maureen whom he calls "Madam," if she can attend to his needs--he is injured in a most vital spot--his stomach. Maureen says, "Oh you're hungry." John tells him they have more work to do first. Smith cannot wait that long--it will be too late. Maureen taps Smith on the arm, "Oh now that's all right, you can stop the act, I'll feed you." Smith says, "Thank you, dear lady, you are indeed kind." Maureen nods, "I know." John says, "You know it's a good thing that we don't have to recharge that Robot as often as we have to feed you, sir." Robot tells them his power is converted into work but Dr. Smith's power is turned into fat. Smith says, "Indeed," and relays that he has never been more fit in his life. He shoves his stomach in and goes inside. Judy is holding Will's shoulders. John and Maureen shrug and follow. The others laugh with the Robot.
CLIFFHANGER: Control Room on a dark night. The chairs are overturned onto the circular orange table. Penny, Judy, Don, Smith, and Will on their stomachs. Smith feels he is hit but has his hands over his ears which Don pulls off. Smith says night after night of this rocket barrage attack is too much for him. Judy's hair is different with a ribbon in it or a hair piece across her head. Smith mentions this is no time for Professor Robinson and Mrs. Robinson to have abandoned them. Judy answers, "Going on a trip to observe volcanic activity isn't exactly the same as being abandoned, Dr. Smith." Will mentions that it is 30 minutes later than the attack last night and one hour later than the night before that. At least three nights have gone by. Robot warns and the barrage begins. Judy puts her arm over Penny. Blasts shake the room. Out the window, the forcefield device rocks and falls, blasted. Soon it stops. Don helps Judy up. Smith feels he has been hit (again), this time by shrapnel. Will tells him, "It's your belt buckle, Dr. Smith, you've got it all twisted." Will moves to help him undo it but Smith undoes it. This is the third night and Smith and Don feel it is some kind of softening up process. Smith adheres to Von Klauswitz's theory of war. Penny says, "Gosh, I've never even heard of him." Will has--this man is from the days of horse calvary and squirrel guns--he's outdated, Will adds. Don says, "So's Dr. Smith." Don orders the girls and Will to check the controls while he and Smith go outside to get the forcefield on its feet, "C'mon Klauswitz." Outside, they put up the forcefield and turn it on. Smith says, "Something dire is afoot. I know it." Smith feels the aliens are too close to them now. Don listens with him to the silence. Smith starts to say something but tells Don it is nothing (perhaps due to Don's constant harassment of him! Not that Smith doesn't often deserve it). Don shakes his head and moves back to the spaceship. Leaves covering a rock face of a cave open up (where the heck in relation to the spaceship is this--close by or far off?). Smith backs up. A red faced alien in a shiny red outfit (like Morbus's from A VISIT TO HADES) with red fins on his head and black pupils inside red eyes stands on a device in a cave full of machinery. He holds a rigging trigger mechanism--a large red ball. He squeezes it and Smith is turned into a negative image.
TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK SAME TIME SAME CHANNEL
REVIEW:This episode, while a bit wacky in its premise, is fondly remembered and has enough action in the fourth act to keep anyone excited and on the edge of your seats. We know no one will be crushed inside but just the thought of it...and the execution of the entire sequence is very nicely done. The music mix used throughout this episode is quite nice and the danger-action music mix in the fourth act is wonderfully exciting. Again, the action is prevalent here as it should be (and as it was in THE COLONISTS and REVOLT OF THE ANDROIDS). The inner Robot set is fantastic and really feels like they are surrounded by machinery, confined to the inside of the Robot. The infra red laser unit was seen as the missile launcher in THE GOLDEN MAN proving again, perhaps some of the Robot is alien in design (or it could be the production needed to reuse props over and over again to save money!). We also see the telescope from THE GIRL FROM THE GREEN DIMENSION which is also the alien power generator of THE COLONISTS. Inside is the Volta Blade unit from THE CHALLENGE, the alien ship in THE SKY PIRATE and THE SPACE TRADER (used here as backdrop in the Robot!), and the giant scanner screen from THE TOYMAKER. John Peel needlessly attacked this episode, picking on the laser defense system inside the Robot and the fact that the men are not seen replacing the plate onto the bottom of the Robot. Ignore it all, including Peel's comments, and enjoy the story--it's a clever takeoff on FANTASTIC VOYAGE, shows us how much Will cares about the Robot, how much Smith cares about Will, and how much the Robot cares about the family. Also we note Maureen is a bit more feisty to Smith's ways and knows when he is putting on an act and lets him know it. Maureen also takes command, finally, when she will not let Penny and Judy go to the swamp area to help look. She finally puts her foot down! There are some slip ups--like did John change his mind or not? Will told Smith that "dad changed his mind--he told me so last night" but the next day John tells Don and Maureen he hasn't! Also, something with the editing seems amiss--Robot tells Smith to go right but he goes left...twice. And Will moves past the same device from two different ways...twice. All this aside, this is one of the best episodes of LOST IN SPACE's second and third seasons and of the show overall. And it beats both THE SKY PIRATE and THE SPACE CROPPERS.
THE PHANTOM FAMILY
NARRATION: Last week as you recall, we left our space family under bombardment by alien missiles, unaware that they were all doomed to an incredible frozen fate...
TEASER-not fully recapped, a few different shots at the beginning of the control room as we see the door open from the outside--a shot not included in last week's cliffhanger; we also see Don and Smith pick up the forcefield--something we did not actually fully see last week...
Attuned with new music which was not heard in the cliffhanger: the door way to the Jupiter II opens and Smith comes out with Don. Don races right away to the downed forcefield. Smith stands at the ramp for a few more moments, looking out into the night. They pick up the forcefield and turn it on. Smith notices the leaf covered rock with moss on it (a shot not in last week's cliffhanger). Smith says, "Something dire is afoot. I know it." Smith feels the aliens are too close to them now. Don listens with him to the silence. Smith starts to say something but tells Don it is nothing (perhaps due to Don's constant harassment of him! Not that Smith doesn't often deserve it). Don shakes his head and moves back to the spaceship. Leaves covering a rock face of a cave open up (where the heck in relation to the spaceship is this--close by or far off?). Smith backs up. A red faced alien in a shiny red outfit (like Morbus's from A VISIT TO HADES) with red fins on his head and black pupils inside red eyes stands on a device in a cave full of machinery. The alien also has a red goatee and pencil thin moustache. He holds a rigging trigger mechanism--a large red ball. He squeezes it and Smith is turned into a negative image. Soon, Smith puts his hand up and wears a strange device on his wrist. The rock closes. Don hears Smith scream and runs out to him, "Smith, you all right?" Don starts joking. Smith isn't amused or angry. He goes inside without any reaction at all. He is quiet and sullen. Judy and Penny come out. Judy says, "Poor Dr. Smith. He's the first one they softened up I guess." Don tells them they will straighten this up tomorrow. Judy says, "I hope they get the message." NOTE: This dialogue makes little to no sense. It is as if parts were cut out, leaving us with bits and pieces. Daytime--Robot pulls an electric cart with a huge rock on it. Penny asks him for help with the laundry but he balks at this, "Aw, come on, give a little lady a big hand." Will calls dad and mom from the Radio Transmitter Station 002. He tells them, "Don is taking good care of us but I kinda feel we need you and mom here, too." Don is working on the forcefield device while Judy and Penny are at the garden (SIGH! AGAIN!). The rock opens. Lightning hits. Judy screams as a blast blows up behind the garden table. Don runs to the girls who run at him. He puts his arms around them both. Suddenly, they are turned to a negative. A blast hits behind Will who falls and lands on his back on a nearby rock. He is unconscious. Judy, Don, and Penny are down on their stomachs, in the same state. The red faced alien with beady black pupils in red eyes, walks over them and makes another Judy, Don, and Penny appear, each one with a giant watch like device behind them!
Weird multi colored lights flicker over Will who begins to stir after the credits, "I've gotto get back to the Jupiter." He goes. Penny, at the laundry machine, doesn't listen to him. After he moves off, she raises her wrist to her ear--a strange watch like device is on her wrist. It flashes. Cue DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL music. Will goes to Don at the forcefield generator. Don doesn't listen to him. Will thinks this silent treatment is due to his going to the Transmitter Station without permission. He goes in. Don has a watch device on his wrist and reports on the forcefield energizer, "It...is...their...force...field...energizer." Will goes to the galley on the lower deck where Judy stirs something in a pot. Her eyes move as he talks to her. She won't talk to him. He pushes a button to see what they are having for dinner. A larger pot slides out. It smells like chicken. He burns his hand touching the cover but Judy lifts it without a problem. Will says, "Holy cow!" He sees what is on the fork--something burned, "You don't expect me to eat that?" Judy says, "When...food...is prepared...it must be eaten. You talk a great deal for one so young." She is talking slowly and deliberately. Will starts out but when Smith comes out and gives him the cold shoulder also, Will gets mad and goes up. We hear music from TREASURE OF THE LOST PLANET. Judy and Smith talk oddly. Smith forgets his name and goes to his cabin. Judy tells Smith his name, "I am Judy Robinson. You are Dr. Smith." Judy has to help him get in and pushes his arms down to close his door. Judy reports, "He is defective. He must be replaced." The alien tells her there is no time, "Learn, learn, learn." NOTE: He sounds like an exaggerated version of Boris Karloff--which adds to the weirdness of all this. The alien watches Smith prepare his bed (we hear bit of music that sounds like it comes from THE TIME TUNNEL). Will has a metal detector and is looking for the robot which he wonders if the others have banished for just being his friend. He finds the Robot knocked over a bit and somewhat wrecked with dark burn spots on him. Robot tells Will to brace himself for a shock, "You and I are the only survivors." The others are impostors, mechanical facsimiles, made to look humanoid. Robot leans on Will as they go on. They go into the rock area which opens. They go inside and the rocks close. Will hears the alien voice repeat what he says. Inside are devices of a control and attack system. A blast hits Robot who fades out. Will sits down on a pedestal area, "It looks like I'm the only survivor now." Beyond the area, past bead curtains (hey, this is the 1960s!) is a smoking, cold room with a device in the middle (which looks like the Wheel of Life from DEADLY GAMES OF GAMMA 6). On the far side of the room are tubes which contain the frozen forms of Smith, Judy, Don, and Penny!
The alien in the chair, Lemnoc, confronts Will who confronts the alien himself, quite brazen and bravely. The alien shows Will the "others" at the Jupiter 2 on his scanner TV screen. Smith sits down as Judy and Penny are tending garden. Lemnoc makes the fake Smith converse with the girls. There is no taste to the food they are preparing in the garden. The girls turn their head in unison to his questions. Will calls it all mediocre and criticizes it. "My people are dying out from lack of the will to survive," Lemnoc states. He wants the duplicates to inspire his people to survive. Will tells him to ask his father for help. Lemnoc trusts no one--he purposely waited for his father to be absent. Lemnoc makes Will put a daisy in liquid which freezes it and Lemnoc cracks it--a state of suspended animation. Beyond the beads, the alien shows Will the others. If released, the duplicates will be destroyed, turning back into the cosmic dust from which they were formed if they have direct contact with the originals. Lemnoc puts his hand on Will's shoulder but Will pushes it off. Lemnoc gives him 24 hours to teach the duplicates to be like his real family. Will thinks it isn't enough time but Lemnoc tells him it is all the time he has--the real ones cannot live beyond that time, unfortunately. Lemnoc tells Will he would not betray him, "one who restores his people's will to survive." He wants Will to trust him but doesn't trust Will--he will keep watching him on his screen. Robot has already been repaired to help Will. Lemnoc tells Will, "You are wasting THEIR..." pointing to the frozen sisters, Major, and Doctor, "...time." After Will and the Robot leave, Lemnoc lets Don out. Don won't deal with Lemnoc until he lets the others out. Don attacks the alien but Lemnoc uses his medallion to stop Don on the spot and makes him return to the tube which turns shut with Don in it. Robot teaches the duplicate Don and Smith at the outside devices. Reading on the weather device: barometric pressure is 27.9 and falling. An intense storm front is in the vectors D-F. NOTE: For some reason, to me anyway, the rocks in the background and the desert, look a bit more like the first season planet backdrop. Just nutty from watching season two too much, I guess. Smith touches the wrong buttons in the wrong sequence and a blast blows him onto the Robot who tells him had he been human, Smith would have died. The duplicate Smith would like to be like the real Smith and would also like to meet him. Lemnoc watches from his base--and if you look--he has X-Rays of bodies on the wall around his screen. NIGHT---Robot teaches Judy and Penny how to sing Fair Es Jocka. Will asks him what the heck he is doing since they only have a few hours left. Robot is teaching them to remain calm in times of extreme danger to keep up their morale. Lemnoc says, "Good, good." He sure does sound like FRANKENSTEIN. Will tells them that sometimes it is good to be afraid. Will has to cut all power as the cosmic storm hits and shakes the ship. Wind and what looks like snow or leaves rains down on the duplicate Don and Smith, who are outside. Robot grabs Will by the arm and keeps him from falling, "Hang on, Will Robinson!" Will yells at the other two duplicates who are outside, "Come in out of the storm!" The two duplicates fall from the storm. "Oh no! Now they'll never let them go! I've failed! I've failed!"
Will tells the duplicate Judy and Penny it is all over. Judy can't feel anything but is willing to learn. Will and Robot go out to the fallen duplicates. Robot tells Will since they never lived, they cannot die. To repair the mechanism Will has to straighten their legs out and thump them. Smith's legs give Will a hard time but he steadies them down with a rock. He thumps the doubles of Don and Smith and the two come alive. Will tells them that they should have known enough to "come in out of the rain." When the double Don asks, "Rain?" Will answers, "Cosmic storm--it's the same difference." THAT PHRASE IS SO ANNOYING. Will has to give them a crash course if they are going to learn "not to sit around like a bunch of dummies." In the control room, the four doubles of the others sit in chairs. Will has a pointer and tells them, in a drill, "We're being attacked by hostile aliens and monsters." Don breaks out the guns. Smith rants, "It's the end of the world. Oh dear what's to become of me." Smith activates the forcefield at Don's order. Will tells them they did, "Pretty good." He hopes it will please their master. Don tells him, "We know only you." Robot says, "Warning! Warning! It is LENNOC." Huh? Will goes out to meet him. Lemnoc makes the Smith and Don facsimile come outside. Will says, "This is your boss---Mister LEMNACK." Huh? The two seize Lemnoc and won't release him. Don says, "You are the enemy. You must die." The duplicates are attuned to Will now. Lemnoc yells, "Boo" at Smith and Smith yelps in fear. Smith says, "I am the bravest coward that ever lived." Lemnoc tells Will he will meet his family at the entrance to the control cave. Will goes. Lemnoc frees himself by lifting his arms. It has been a ruse to get Will to leave. The duplicates have always been obeying him. The Don double goes in to get the others. Lemnoc looks at the Smith double who tells him that Dr. Smith would never navigate the Jupiter 2 except under duress and pressure. Will runs to the cave which is shut tight, "Don! Judy!" He can't open the rock. Will gives up and starts to leave but then Penny, Judy, and Don come out. Will will tell them what happened on the way to the ship. NOTE: No one realizes Smith is not there. WHAT DOPES!
Night continues...Control Room...Don checks the controls and tells Will he looks like he's just seen a ghost. Will says, "Not too wrong..." NOTE: We can see the Jupiter Control Room roof when Don is seen in close up or from Will's point of view. Will points out that the Smith outside with Robot is not the real Dr. Smith. Will gets excited as the Chariot pulls up, "Mom and dad are back!" John helps Maureen out and notices Smith sleeping sitting on a box but with his back straight up. Maureen and John are wearing parka. They came back as soon as they got Will's message. Maureen says something about glad to be back due to the clip they were travelling (huh?)--anyone know what she means--is it clip (meaning fast paced?) or is it from the cliff we were traveling? WHO KNOWS? Don will tell them inside about the rocket barrage attacks. Lemnoc tells Smith that one of him is quite enough and his hours are numbered. He makes the duplicate Smith deactivate the Robot by removing his power pack, then tells the double to go inside and learn about the ship. John, Maureen, Don, and Will discuss what to do--about blasting into the control chamber and...the duplicate Smith comes in and starts asking about the thruster controls, the linear accelerator, the astrogater controls and the gyros. John tells him, "You'll never fly it nor will anyone else but ourselves." NOTE: See the JUNKYARD OF SPACE. Maureen tells the double, "We know you're not one of us." Smith says, "Oh dear." When Will mentions about the double "living", Maureen asks, "You call that living?" John wants to get some blasting equipment with Don and the two leave. NOTE: They never get it or perhaps this was just a ruse to get out of the control room without the double Smith knowing about what they were really up to...going to Lemnoc's. Maureen goes out to help them get ready. John told Will to activate the Robot and bring him in to help with the double. Will tells the double, "You're so much like Dr. Smith I could almost like you." The double walks into a wall girder at the viewport. Lemnoc tells John that visitors are always welcome and also welcomes back the Major. Smith is in his triaginous abode. Lemnoc is astounded they want him back, "He is utterly useless." John tells him, "That would be our problem, wouldn't it?" The other duplicates are on their way to the home planet to help his people survive. Lemnoc will give them Smith if they give him the Jupiter 2, picturing that the duplicate Smith at the controls of the Jupiter as it arrives on his planet, a stimulus to his people's creativity toward the future. John tells them they would not survive without the ship but Lemnoc tells them they would manage with their survival instincts so well honed. John tells him the answer is no. Don adds, "And we still want Smith back." This breaks into a fight with Don fighting Lemnoc as John rushes into the other room to try to free Smith. John is hit with a blast of cold air as he enters and tries to work the controls. Lemnoc pushes Don into controls and runs into the other room. John pulls his gun, "Release him!" Lemnoc ducks under the device and manages to jump John's legs. They fight, Lemnoc punching John back and down. Lemnoc recovers his fallen medallion but Don, running in after his recovery, jumps him from behind. Lemnoc tosses Don off of him. John is thrown also and falls into one of the tubes which tumbles over. Lemnoc uses his medallion to turn them into a negative image. They stop. He talks to them about how easy would be to put them alongside their "precious Dr. Smith." He lets them go, giving them less than one hour to hand over the spaceship. NOTE: As they walk out of the cave, Don whacks his head hard on the Lemnoc firing device--this was not planned. John and Don return to the spaceship. John tells Maureen and Will, "He'd release him on one condition--that we let him have the Jupiter 2." John tells Will it came down to a matter of their own survival or Smith's. He suggests they turn in. In the Control Room, Smith, the double, talks to the Robot. Will comes in, "You're excused Robot." Robot says, "Affirmative." Will acts cold to the duplicate who is wants to learn about the propulsion unit. Will yells, "You're orders are canceled! By me. Stop acting like Dr. Smith. You're not Dr. Smith---you never were and you never will be, you're just a bunch of cosmic dust!" Will recovers from his outburst, "I'm sorry--I shouldn't have called you that. You are pretty smart." Will supposes he could have taught him to be like his dad instead of like Dr. Smith. The duplicates says, "But I love being like Dr. Smith." Will has tears flowing down his face, "Well, if it's any satisfaction to you, you'll be happy to know that there won't be a Dr. Smith around here for much longer. You'll be the only one...and you're not gonna be very long." Will is crying more now. The duplicate asks, "Can't I be your friend?" Will, a lump in his throat, says, "No." He runs to the elevator and waits for it to come up, looks back at the double, and goes down, seemingly feeling bad about what he said but meaning every word. The duplicate Smith has a reaction and goes to Lemnoc, telling him he has free will now and has forgotten all that he did learn about how to fly the spaceship. That last part is a lie. He moves to go free the real Smith--who only has a few minutes left to live. Lemnoc asks, "Are you out of your mind?" The double Smith says, "No Master, I am out of YOUR mind." He goes in. Lemnoc goes to stop him but the master unit's wires reach out and grab Lemnoc all around his body, holding him down. The double says, "Go back to your little friend, Dr. Smith. As much as I would like to take your place--I know that it could never be." He does free Smith--who looks out at his own image as the eyes open. A blast and Smith is out. He runs past Lemnoc, pausing just long enough to scream at him. Lemnoc gets up now, free from the wires (perhaps the double and the machine were in cahoots--working for each other at this moment--just long enough for the double to free the real Smith or maybe the double made the machine wires hold Smith). Lemnoc finds the double gone...all that is left of him is cosmic dust which a gust a wind blows away out of his fingers and off the floor, scattering the sand like particles. Lemnoc bows his head, "I should have listened to the boy. More can be achieved through friendship than by fear. Now it is too late." Will tells the others about the quarrel he had with the double and that the insulted the fake Smith. They are at the table having coffee. Smith comes back, singing, "I've been workin' on the railroad..." then says, "Ahh, my dear friends, how glad I am to see you." He adds "I must be off about my business..." Will opens Smith's sleeve to see if the device is on his wrist. He tells the others this is the real one. John says, "For once, I must say...we're all delighted to see you." Robot tells them, "At times, I preferred the other Dr. Smith." Smith balks at this, "Other Dr. Smith?" He calls Robot a ludicrous lump and claims there can only be one Zachary Smith. Maureen laughs and so do the others. Smith walks off.
CLIFFHANGER: Daytime---Smith is in his lab coat (uh-oh--duck and watch out!). There are beakers on a table near the Jupiter II ramp. Smith asks Robot to hand him the XYZ formula, calling him a nickel plated nincompoop. Robot jokes he thought it was the MQW formula. Penny, Don, and John come down the ramp (NOTE: the ramp sometimes looks like all one piece but at times--it seems to have a small indent down as if it were two pieces). They all ask about his experiment. Don smells it--and asks if it is a new kind of chicken soup. Smith tells him his feeble jokes and crude humor will not make him despair. It is a new rocket formula for the Jupiter 2. John claims they do not have detronium but Smith tells and shows him it is in liquid form...something John never saw before. Smith claims, "There is enough to get us to Earth and back if necessary." Smith tells them it is a scientific breakthrough of his own. Robot adds it was found with the help of his humble assistant. Smith snaps, "Silence you bungler." NOTE: In the far background is a device which looks like the volta blade machine or a weather device. Smith sums it up, "I have discovered a way to get us off this unhappy and unhealthy planet!" Don asks, "Uh, Dr. Smith, before we go placing the laurel leaf upon your noble brow--I have a question." Smith snubs, "You always have, Major." Don goes on, "Well, we've been trying for months to get off this planet..." he goes on to ask why Smith only just found it out. Smith tells him he has only recently "reached the limits of his endurance," which pushed him into such despair that he had to do something. Smith pours the liquid detronium fuel formula into an engine. Nothing happens. John wonders, "It seems your experiment is a failure, Doctor." Penny goes wide eyed, "Look!" The liquid bubbles and smokes green. Robot warns, "Warning! Extreme danger! Explosion imminent!" Smith gasps, "No, no! It can't be!" John grabs Smith's arm and pulls him back, "Everybody run!" Don grabs Penny and they run. Robot moves off. A large blast destroys the table and seems to fill the air, engulfing everyone, the Robot's bubble just barely seen above it.
TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK, SAME TIME SAME CHANNEL-red lettering
REVIEW: THE PHANTOM FAMILY is good for a number of reasons. First, Smith is not really center stage--the double is and his relation to Will. Billy Mumy does a tour de force here, acting up a storm (no pun intended) when showing his feelings for Dr. Smith as opposed to the double. He really wants to feel for the double too but his loyalty lies with the real Dr. Smith. Jonathan Harris does a good job at not making the fake Smith look too sympathetic too soon. It is only when he realizes Will's upsetness at the real Smith's death or near death that he comprehends what Dr. Smith truly has in Will. Smith sings I'VE BEEN WORKING ON THE RAILROAD, something the first fake Smith (Daddy Zac) did in HIS MAJESTY SMITH. While that was also a duplicate story, this one does not suffer from being more of the same. Both are good, with MAJESTY outshining this one a bit. In one scene the Robot's mouth flashes affirmative to Will but the voice of Dick Tufeld (the Robot) was not added. Lemnoc is one of LOST IN SPACE's creepiest aliens, having more presence than almost all of the second season aliens (with the exception of the aliens in WRECK OF THE ROBOT) as well as having both menace and motives. John Peel peels this episodes apart again--asking why Lemnoc's people lost interest...that isn't the point of the story--perhaps it was something in their alien psychology or perhaps it was a wide scale planetary drug dependance (as happened in STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION). Peel misses the point as to why the fake Smith rebelled...he cared for Will and felt something he really shouldn't have...something touched him. He also cites Lemnoc getting tied up in the end as being not explained. Does everything have to be explained? I was wondering that also, however, it could have been the fake Smith making the machine do that. Why question why the doubles turn to cosmic dust when they meet the original...it doesn't make much sense but perhaps, again, it has to do with the mental and emotional strain of such a meeting. Lemnoc could have taken the real family back with him but perhaps that was not permitted on his planet. He does seem to learn his lesson at the end. More ADDAMS FAMILY type music lifted from TREASURE is used here. The fight with John, Don, and Lemnoc is impressive enough and looks real.