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LOST IN SPACE-The Mechanical Men


Chase - Posted on 10 October 2009

THE MECHANICAL MEN

WRITER-BARNEY SLATER

DIR-SEYMOUR ROBBIE-a real name?

MUSIC-ALEXANDER COURAGE

 

NARRATION: Last week, as you recall, we left Dr. Smith experimenting with the invention of a new space fuel, unaware that an army of tiny, mechanical monsters was, even then, preparing to invade their lonely planet... (lonely?)

 

TEASER-FULLY RECAPPED-new Smith music used here--more goofy scoring

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. The table blows apart and the ground shakes. Penny, John, and Don are on the ground but get up. John asks if Penny is okay. Smith is hiding behind the Robot. John tells him, "You could've killed us all."

Smith says, "I'm sorry, Professor, I really am."  John is angrier than usual, "Yes, you always are--AFTER the damage is done."  John holds him directly responsible. He tells Smith of a new policy, "From now on you are NOT to try to help us in ANY way."  Don adds, "You'll get us off this planet all right, Smith, you'll blow us off."  Robot is wearing an apron but resigns as Smith's assistant. Smith says, "You traitor!"  He storms off. Penny tells them poor Dr. Smith meant well. John says, "Yes, but how do we survive his good intentions."   Smith storming off, says, "Indeed, indeed, and indeed! A man of my quality!"   Smith hiccups, complains about his back, and feels with rest he will be a new man. Exhausted, he takes off his lab jacket and makes a pillow for himself, then lays down. "Indeed."  He falls asleep, mumbling. Night--a metal cart is under him. We see some kind of little shadow. Smith wakes up, wondering if he has missed dinner. He is tied with chains. Tiny mechanical men, all that look exactly like the Robinson Robot, are all around him and the cart. Smith yells.

 

ACT ONE

Control Room--Judy and Maureen play chess as Penny and Will wait at the window for John and Don, who have gone out to look for Smith. Maureen wants the kids to go to bed, telling them that Dr. Smith never misses two meals and should be back by breakfast. Judy says, "I think he stayed away just to teach us a lesson."  Robot feels responsible but Maureen tells him no--that Dr. Smith is acting like a child. John and Don come in; Don tells them they heard someone in the bushes behind them but when they called he ran away. Don says, "We can all use some peace and quiet around here."  There is a blast and the control room rocks. They go outside and find the forcefield has been blasted out. Maureen asks, "You don't think he's responsible for this, do you?"  John does. Judy says, "Oh he's done some bad things in the past but it's hard to believe he's gone this far."  Don disagrees, "How can you say that, Judy, you know Smith would go to any lengths just to prove a point."  Will knows he didn't do this and tells them he is innocent until proven guilty. John tells Will that his past record does point out guilt. Maureen suggests they turn in. As they go in, Will remains behind and looks out into the wilderness. Daytime--Smith is tied near rocks. Tiny Robots are around. A larger one, but not much larger, is a purple one on a giant pedestal of light and which moves.The purple one wants to do away with him but feels he may be valuable. Smith tries to con him but cannot, then he fears for his life, and then tries flattery and more conning. The purple one tells him they are corrosive resistant when he wants to be the one to help them keep from corroding. They are also self oiling. The purple one tells Smith the robots are superior. When Smith answers a question he says, "Indood I dee. I mean indeed I do!"  Will and Robot are in the garden. They don't believe Dr. Smith would stoop this low. There is a blast and they shake. Robot says, "My sensors tell me Dr. Smith has struck again."  John and Don are at the weather station which is wrecked. Don says the next thing Smith will turn his formula against is the Jupiter II. Will protests but John tells him, "Loyalties a fine thing, son but in this case it's misplaced."  Robot tells him, "Professor, you owe Dr. Smith an apology."  Robot tells them Dr. Smith is not responsible for these attacks. The truth is hard to accept. When John finds Robot won't answers, he orders Robot to tell them the truth. Robot cannot--it would be a betrayal--and is a question of loyalty to his own kind. NOTE: What crap--Robot has helped them against other robots in the past. Robot leaves. Don states, "How do you like that...he deliberately refused to follow his program pattern."   Judy and Maureen set up the table for food. This scene, with no background music is unsettling as it is very quiet. Judy stares out from camp. Maureen asks her, "What's the matter, dear?"  Judy tells mom that she feels as if someone were watching them. Maureen says, "Now that you mention it--I've had the same feeling."  Maureen laughs that they are acting like nervous old ladies. Judy jokes, "If you had said young girls, I would have agreed with you."  They laugh. Maureen turns to call the others for lunch but Judy spots moving rows of, "Tiny mechanical men!"  John and Don come out and Penny arrives also. John tells Maureen, "Yes, I see them too."   They are from the planet Industro and want the mechanical man of the family's to be released from "his bondage"  but John tells them the Robot is not a slave--he is more of a helper. For 10,000 years the tiny robots have searched for a great warrior who was said to someday come into their midst. This warrior will lead them into power and glory. If they refuse...they will be forced to attack. To prove their power, the purple robot tells them to watch while another robot throws a small black box like device. It blows a large tree in two halves.

 

ACT TWO

John buys them some more hours to discuss with the family and the Robot the tiny robots' request. The purple one tells him if they refuse, "We shall return and destroy everyone here."  Penny braves up to ask, "Do you have Dr. Smith?"  Maureen touches her protectively. They tell her yes. As the mechanical men leave, John cannot believe it and shakes his head, "Tiny mechanical men, aye? Now that takes the grand prize!"   Don agrees, "From now I, I'll believe anything. They'll return Smith but we give up the Robot--personally I think we're getting the worst of the deal."  Control Room--all talk. Judy believes they can defeat them. Don tells her she is wrong--it doesn't work that way--one good man can beat 10 bad ones doesn't work or hold true. Robot comes up with a suitcase full of fresh power packs, a supply of oil, and picture of his family. Penny gets up, crying, "I can't say goodbye, I can't!"  She runs off, presumably down the elevator or into one of the back rooms of the upper deck. Maureen says, "I'll miss you, Robot."  Robot feels he can "lead his people to good and fruitful lives."  He says goodbye. Will goes with him, the Robot saying, "I would be delighted to have you accompany me, WILLIAM."  As they walk, Will fiddles with a stick, "Remember the time Dr. Smith sold you for food to THE SPACE TRADER?"  Robot says, "How could I forget? My memory banks also recall the first time we met just after we have taken off from Earth for outer space."  They shake hands, "Farewell, William Robinson."  As Will turns to go since it is getting late, Robot calls and stops him, asking for him to continue to go with him. Will does. They approach some rocky area and go under an overpass of rock. There is a reception with music playing (music from PRINCE VALIANT the movie). The mechanical men are not ready to release the Earth man. Robot walks down an aisle and salutes the tiny robots who cheer him. Will goes to Smith. One tiny robot activates a bomb but stops it as Smith makes it known that he will not try to leave. Smith says, "The pain, the pain."  Robot arrives with a crown and king's cape, holding a scepter. Robot jokes as a king. Smith calls him a frightful fractious frump. Robot jokes about having Smith taken away so Smith tells him, "The tide will turn and then, beware!"   Two mechanical men are brought to the Robot. They are in chains because they refuse to accept the Robot as their leader. The purple one wants him to crush them. Robot tells him the old way is over and the new way of kindness and compassion is here. Smith and Will think that is only fair. Robot will not kill them. Robot and Dr. Smith tell the purple one that Smith is more akin to be the kind of leader the purple one wants. Smith calls Robot a portentous popinjay. The Purple Mechanical Man agrees that Smith does have the qualities he wants in a leader: "he is sllllyyy, cunning,"  and a bunch of other things. He asks to speak to Smith a ways off and in private. Smith tells Robot, "I'll attend to you later."  John comes outside to Don who is working on the forcefield. Don has to rewire the photon circuit and the sub atomic charging unit is totally shot. John wants to pull a replacement from the galley power supply. Don says, "Maureen won't like that one bit."  It will mean cold food. John wants to be ready since in Don's words, he thinks "those mechanical monsters" will return. John tells him that when people who get what they want by force, they have a habit of coming back for more. John helps Penny carry a large bucket of water to the garden tabletop. Judy misses their Robot. Penny tells John she didn't realize the work the Robot did. Judy and John wonder what the mechanical men want with him. John feels whatever it is, they are going to soon find out. Will finds Smith in a deep sleep on a table. The purple one tells Will Smith is dreaming of a more understanding world, no doubt. Smith was reluctant to accept what the purple one wanted. Will and Robot want Smith awakened. Robot resigns as their leaders. The purple one lasers the Robot out, "Forgive me, oh great leader."  Lights go on over the table. Nearby is a shelf of lab equipment and beakers. The lights move over Smith as something odd happens via the machinery.

 

ACT THREE

Will tells John and Maureen at the spaceship what has happened to Dr. Smith and the Robot. The purple one made Will leave as they put the Robot onto a table.

 

Maureen says, "Oh poor Dr. Smith---you know everything always seems to happen to him."   Don says, "Yeah but not of it's own accord, Maureen. You might say he sort of digs his own grave and dives in."  Will says, "He's not to blame this time."  They start out to go get Smith back but Smith arrives. Maureen and Will greet him. Smith acts like the Robot, holding his arms inward as the Robot's arms would be. He talks with the voice of the Robot! Maureen says, "Oh John, Dr. Smith is talking like the Robot!"

 

Smith-with Robot's voice says the Lincoln's Gettysburg address, is not hungry, and later would like some oil! Don smiles and likes this. He will get Smith to help him. Don intends to make the most of this. Maureen tells Don it is not fair to take advantage of him. Don tells her it may not be but he intends to get the most pleasure out of this. Don takes Smith-with Robot's voice-off. Maureen says, "Don may think this is a good thing but I think it's terrible."  John agrees, "So do I."  Will thinks they transferred only the bad qualities of Smith into the Robot. John says, "If that's true, son, then our old mechanical man is now a very formidable foe."

 

NOTE: It is not stated how much time goes by but consider that Will says, "You're always so busy now,"  and much later, John tells Maureen that Will has adjusted to the loss of the Robot by now--therefore more time might have gone by than just one afternoon. Perhaps a week or two. Perhaps less time.

 

Smith carries rocks, digs, and carries a boulder for Don. Smith continues to talk like the Robot, more appropriately--with the Robot's voice. He clears an area of land. Will tells him, "You're always so busy now."  Will liked the old Dr. Smith much better. Smith waves his arms and in the Robot's voice says, "Warning! Warning! Alien approaching!"  Robot arrives and begins talking like Dr. Smith--with Smith's voice! Will is getting mixed up. Smith computes the Robot with Smith's voice's motives. Robot with Smith's voice tells him, "Silence ninny."   Smith's voice from Robot tells Will that there is joy in absolute power and calls Smith with Robot's voice a mental midget. Smith tells Will the Robot with Smith's voice grates on his sensors. Will brings Robot with Smith's voice to John and Don at the new weather station. John asks, "What can we do for you?"  Robot says, "As a matter of fact, there is."  When Robot with Smith's voice orders them about, Don jokes, calling him a big shot and teasing that he might take his power pack away. Robot with Smith's voice tells him he would have to take preventative measure were Don to act in such a way. Don says, "Oh well, I'm just shakin' in my boots. Now just what would you do?"  Robot with Smith's voice would electrify him and shows him how he would. John tells a lurching Don to take it easy--he means business. Robot with Smith's voice wants to appropriate the spaceship and tells them they will vacate the premises. He wants to fly back in it since the ships of the tiny mechanical men are too small for him. Will yells, "You oughta be ashamed of yourself---you were our friend!"  Robot with Smith's voice tells them he had to stop his subjects from taking the spaceship by force. John tells him, "Why we couldn't live for two weeks without that spaceship and you know it!"  Robot with Smith's voice says, "Where there is life there is hope."   John wants to talk this over with the rest of the family. Robot with Smith's voice would expect him to act with a democratic policy. John says, "That's something you wouldn't know anything about."  Robot with Smith's voice gives him to six o'clock. He leaves after telling them, "Give my best to Mrs. Robinson, Judy, and Penny."  Will says, "He may sound like Dr. Smith but he's not like him at all."  John agrees. Don stretches it when he hopes the forcefield can be activated. John says with some sarcasm, "Yeah, and while you're at it, why don't you go all the way---this doesn't happen except in some bad dream. I think we may have to give up the spaceship."                  

 

Night--conference in the control room with Don, the girls, Maureen, and John. John sounds optimistic but falsely so saying something like it won't be so bad. They will have extra food and equipment. Judy tells them they have their garden. Maureen adds they also have auxiliary heating units and they can live in tents. Penny would have never believed their own Robot would turn against them. John thinks it is the base instincts hidden in Smith's subconscious mind. Maureen laughs, "Yes."  They get started on unpacking the Jupiter. Later, Smith with Robot's voice sits on a crate outside the ramp. Will helps him up and wants to do something. Smith goes off to destroy their enemies. Will follows him as  Smith with Robot's voice says, "Zachary Smith is afraid of nothing."

 

ACT FOUR

Will tries to stop Smith with Robot's voice. Smith values dignity, courage, and honor. The two hear a meeting of the tiny robots in progress with the Robot with Smith's voice. He is addressing the small ones, "Friends, robots, mechanical men of Industro, lend me your sensors."  The tiny robots hold torches. Smith with Robot's voice tells Will he wants to fight each one in turn. Will has to order him not to. Smith with Robot's voice says, "You never let me have any fun."  Robot with Smith's voice tells his followers that he has lured the Robinsons into a false sense of security and that now the robots can attack without warning. They will sweep the galaxy, spreading terror, going from victory to victory, conquering and taking. "Destroy. Destroy,"  Robot with Smith's voice says. Will gets Smith with Robot's voice to go, "Now come on!"  Soon the pair are surrounded by tiny mechanical robots. Smith with Robot tells them he will be forced to destroy. The Robot with Smith's voice arrives with Smith warning like the robot, "Warning! Warning!"  Will runs. Smith runs. Will finds Smith. Robot with Smith's voice arrives again as Will hides behind a rock. Smith with Robot's voice fakes that he is on the side of the Robot with Smith's voice and gets on his knees. He may be useful since he can fly the Jupiter 2. He will also have to polish the metal of the Robot with Smith's voice as well as oil him. Smith with Robot's voice is made to kiss the claw of the Robot with Smith's voice who calls him vulgar and tells him caring is a sign of weakness. The Robot with Smith's voice tells him to stand aside and sends him back to the mechanical men's camp. Will comes out after the Robot leaves and tells Smith he was wonderful but Smith is ashamed. They go.

 

Jupiter II: Maureen comes up the elevator, having made a list of all the food in the electric freezer which they will move out in the morning. They can't get the protein synthesizer out of the housing. Judy has it running on full power so they will have some protein units then. Don can get the auxiliary lighting out, later they will have to use torches. Don has an idea: to keep a radio signal out using the manual battery recharger from the engine room. Judy and Don both came out of the back room closet area (which has lots of equipment in it and shelves). The control room has suitcases. Maureen goes to the window, worried about Will. John tells Will has reconciled with the loss of the Robot. Maureen says, "Well, I guess...I guess I'm so used to worrying about him when he's off with old Dr. Smith."  John says, "Well, he's not with Dr. Smith."  Will runs and he and the Smith with the Robot's voice explains it all. John orders the girls and Maureen inside. Maureen stops on the ramp, "John, I handle a laser pistol pretty well, you know. Don't you think I ought to stay out here with you?"  John, smoothly but sternly says, "The next time I need a volunteer for a dangerous assignment you've got the job, I promise you."  LIAR. Maureen says, "I think you're going to need all the help you can get."  John says, "Inside the ship---that's an order."  Maureen says, "Yes sir."  She and the girls go into the spaceship but leave the door open!?! Will and Smith with Robot's voice go behind a rock, Will claiming Smith has the courage of a lion. John adds, "Before this night is over, he'll need it."  Smith warns, "Warning! Warning! Hostile robots approaching!"  With laser rifles, Don and John go behind rocks. Will and Smith have laser pistols. Robot with Smith's voice leads the rows of mechanical men. One lets a bomb go and it blasts an area. John blasts a robot. A tree is blown up. Don blasts another robot. Smith with Robot's voice goes out from behind the rock. John and Will yell for him to come back. Will yells, "Get back behind the rock!"  Smith says something in the Robot's voice that sounds like "Have A League" or "Happily Happily"  and "into the brave 500."  Huh? John says, "Will, make that idiot take cover!"  Will does. The Robot with Smith's voice asks for a truce and has a white flag. John goes out to him. He uses flattery and lies, saying he couldn't stop his subjects from attacking. John gives him five seconds to leave the area. He also sees more of the rows of mechanical men moving up on them. He runs back to his rock cover and he and Don seem to be firing their lasers but no laser beam is seen. The same is true for Will and Smith. They seem to be shooting and the lights on the guns seem to be going on but no beam. NOTE: This also happened in ONE OF OUR DOGS IS MISSING. Smith goes out again. John fires a direct hit on the Robot with Smith's voice. Robot falls out. Smith falls down. John, Don, and Will go to them. They see the mechanical men leaving--why? Without their leader they are not continuing. Why? And why isn't the purple robot around much either? Did Robot with Smith's voice imprison or kill him?

 

Smith is back to normal and with his own voice. Smith says, "Who turned out the lights?"  Smith is afraid the tiny robots could attack at any moment. When John tells him they are safe, he yells, "No one is ever safe on this hostile planet."  He spots the laser pistol in his hand, screams, "Blah! Oh dear!"  He runs for the ship. Don laughs, "Looks like the old Smith's back to normal."  Will says, "Boy, am I glad."  John says, "You know something, son, so am I. Now I wouldn't tell him this but I wouldn't have him any other way than his old mean, cunning, conniving self."   Don agrees, "NEITHER WOULD I."  Don suggests they get this Robot back to working order. They do. Don says, "Hey there,"  as Robot comes back to life.

 

CLIFFHANGER: Day the drill site. Judy and Don notice an electrical storm starting. Don says, "Let's get Will and Smith and hightail it back to the ship."  At another drill site, Robot says, "Warning! Warning!"  A low pressure area with electrical disturbances is arriving. Smith is on a rock, eating from a basket of food. He calls Robot a hard headed harbinger of evil and says, "Never fear Smith is here,"  to a warning Will. A lightning bolt hits a tree behind them. NOTE: there is a blast but for some reason, the tree dematerializes amid it. Smith feels he is the target. Will tells him about some caves they can take refuge in. Smith says he loathes caves--they are always full of crawling things. Will holds Smith' hand as they run to the cave wall and a hole in it. Lightning picks up. Smith looks in, "Such a crevice can only be the lurking place of vicious aliens."  Will looks in and finds it gets bigger on the inside. Robot can't fit in. Robot tells him to get Dr. Smith inside before he melts (a reference to THE WIZARD OF OZ perhaps). Smith pushes Will to go first, "I shall fight a rear guard action against the elements."  They go in and the cave is very dark. Lightning picks up but only makes it more scary and Smith jumpy. Smith tells Will he has claustrophobia--a fear of confinement in small places. A blast and he screams. Lightning blasts outside. Rocks slide and cover the hole, sealing them in the total darkness of the cave.

 

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK SAME TIME SAME CHANNEL-white lettering

 

REVIEW: Not a terrible story but not one really worth the effort it takes to get through it. It isn't as bad as many others: GIRL, QUESTING, VIKINGS, TOYMAKER, MUTINY (you know the list) but it isn't as good as BLAST OFF, WILD, GHOST PLANET, DREAM MONSTER, WRECK OF THE ROBOT, GOLDEN MAN, REVOLT OF THE ANDROIDS, THE COLONISTS, TRIP THROUGH THE ROBOT, and PHANTOM FAMILY. It has one thing going for it--the novelty of having the Robot have Smith's voice and evil side while Smith has the Robot's voice and virtuous nature. That aside, it is really unclear as to the tiny Robot's motivations and background--why leave after they lose the Robot? Why need a leader for so long when they seemed to have multiplied for that long anyway? I also like how Don, Maureen, and John interact with each other over Smith in this story and in others about this time: TRIP THROUGH THE ROBOT and THE PHANTOM FAMILY. Maureen and Don are almost at odds on how to treat Smith while Judy and Maureen at times realize how childish Smith acts. Yet I also like the fact that John and in a lesser way, Don, do seem to have feelings for the imperfect Smith. It is clear he is an annoyance but they all still like him anyway, accepting him for what he is.

 

NOTES: The Robinson robot design, clearly was not exclusive to Earth. This episode proves that. Perhaps the Robot is not from Earth at all. Oh, he was made on Earth and completed on Earth by what seemed to be Earthlings, however, some parts of his construction and programming were decidedly NOT FROM EARTH and were of alien origin. This fits in with a great deal of what comes later in the series regarding the Robot. He knows a great deal about outer space law and beings and can communicate with the Robotoid in CONDEMNED OF SPACE and the alien machine in KIDNAPPED IN SPACE to name but two instances of this. The Robot had implanted in him, via tape, an alien princess. The alien girl was turned into a piece of computer tape and hidden there in the Robot by an alien nurse who fled to Earth to hide her. If one alien knew about and tampered with the Robot, then perhaps others did. Also, perhaps aliens worked with the government on the most secret of levels to cooperatively produce the Robot. Perhaps the design was from Industro or from some other planet which also shared the design with Industro. Certainly, the Robots in THE GHOST PLANET knew something of his design and make.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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