The opening sequence of the Robinson\'s escape from the doomed \'Post Planus\' is terrific and fast paced. The Jupiter 2\'s acceleration sound effect (heard also in \'A Visit to a Hostile Planet\', \'Hunter\'s Moon\', the episode trailer for 'Flight Into the Future', and in \'The Promised Planet\') is nothing short of mesmerizing and captivating. The crash sequence seen in reverse holds an interesting symbolism ( a sort of death and resurrection moment ). It even takes place at night ( just as the crash landing in \'Forbidden Planet\' took place at night). The transition from the Jupiter\'s escape run over the planet surface into the scene where John and Don are viewing the comet dead ahead is equally captivating. The escape from the comet is reminiscent of the Jupiter\'s escape from the hyperatomic missile in \'Forbidden Planet\', with the Jupiter 2 pulling up and away at the last second from the comet. The episode transitions dramatically from hot to cold to hot to cold ( i.e., the heat of the comet; the cold of escaping oxygen when Dr. Smith accidentally opens both hatches in space, something he shouldn\'t have been able to survive!; the heat of the supernova; the cold environment of the frozen prison ship). Also reminiscent of the 2nd. season: Smith sneaking up to the control room just as he did in \'Wild Adventure\' to unleash another wild adventure. Last time it was the Jupiter\'s reserve fuel supply being jettisoned, now the airlock wide open to deep space. Wow! One question: Why would Dr. Smith feel he could get help from unknown aliens out there with his \'S.O.S\' canister? Another 2nd. season similarity: The Jupiter 2 losing air pressure at one point. Finally another interesting symbolism: The prisoners\' release from the detainment of their overlong frozen sleep echoes the Robinson\'s escape from their season-long detainment on an alien planet, making the 3rd. season the one season in which the Robinson\'s are not shipwrecked all season long. One question about the Robinson\'s space suit attire: Why are Prof. Robinson and Major West the only expedition members to be wearing the protective space gloves during the Jupiter\'s emergency liftoff?
The effect of the Jupiter II lifting off the planet is sublime. Then they get into space and find their way to an abandoned prison ship where the occupants are in cryogenic freeze.
I like this. But WHY oh why do they allow prisoners to wield weapons?! That's not very smart, but OTOH a bank of computers seems to run their penal system...
It also seems obvious that the moment their time is up and they thaw, they're going to go out and kill again. What's the point then, if there's no rehabilitation? I'd expect this to be a life imprisonment issue...
In short, the basic premise is good but the execution has more holes than a pound of swiss cheese.
The first annual episode anniversary of the season is the Season Three opener..a very popular episode. I have seen a couple people through the years even consider CONDEMNED OF SPACE to be like their very favorite episode of all. Why is it popular? Well, the reasons are obvious. When you think about it, the story really has no real weaknesses or pitfalls (besides accurate science, of course). The production team had interjected some serious high-flying drama, adventure and excitement back into the series. I, as a youngster, always looked forward to this one coming around in the rotation. I really cannot think of anything not to like about it. It hardly even has any real 'silly' moments or scenes. It is played pretty much straight, except for the usual Dr. Smith and Robot one-liners..but those are limited and bearable I cannot even really gripe about my usual Season Three complaints in this one (Dr. Smith's, Penny's, and
William's overacting, and the kids too 'old' for my taste). Ms. Judy and Ms. Penny look very stunning and yummy back in their silver flight suits. It had been quite some time since they wore them. Judy, especially, looks gorgeous here. And we see a rare few episodes look at Penny in her gorgeous long dark straight hair (which is her style in the first handful of episodes this year) before she gets that God-awful wig thingy going.
We had good outer space technology for the fans who love the Jupiter 2 in flight. They take off..they land on a prison ship..and they take off at the end. Speaking of the end, we also had a very solid final wrap to this episode. A little light, perhaps, but nothing to 'cutesy' or silly. It can be much worse. Overall, this was a very solid way to start what would go on to be the final season of LOST IN SPACE.
This episode is my #6 ranked of the season..so you see, I like it!
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