This was a really good episode. In seeing this, you can understand why Guy Williams became increaingly discontented with the show - and how Jonathan Harris' campy portrayal of Smith took the show in another direction. A very strong and convincing acting performance by Williams. Should have been more like this
This was the season finale of season 1. Professor Robinson becomes possessed by an ancient alien warlord and begins acting strangely and violently. It is up to Will to save the day but in the end it is only his love for his father that can save them all.
A riveting episode. The voiceover of the alien spirit possessing John is powerfully played by the same actor (I can't recall his name) who plays the alien judge in 'Prisoners of Space'. The climax of the episode is one that features one of the finest moments for Will Robinson, who comes through with a powerful weapon against the evil alien: The persuasive effects of his love and care for his Dad. He makes his final request as the alien is about to push him off the precipice: Asking the alien to remove his mask. In a simple but effective use of opportunity, he breaks through by saying the words, "I love you." In several other episodes we see Will using his persuasiveness to defeat the aliens ( namely, 'The Cave of the Wizards', where the shed tears of his love and comraderie for Dr. Smith blow the alien cave to kingdom come, releasing Dr. Smith and the Robot from its power; 'Junkyard in Space', when Will uses the Robot's memories of their friendship to persuade the Junkman to let him aboard the hyjacked Jupiter 2). These are just a FEW examples of Will's astuteness coming to the rescue!
Something that might seem at first like a continuity error between this episode and the 1st episode of the 2nd. season:
During his possession of John's body, the alien uses his advanced knowledge to implement repairs to the Jupiter 2 ( to the astonishment of Major West). Late in the episode the alien declares that the Jupiter 2 is "nearly ready for flight." Yet in the 2nd. season premiere 'Blast Off Into Space', the Robinsons are having to make speedy repairs to the Jupiter to escape the doomed planet. It may be, however, that the alien's repairs to the Jupiter in 'Follow the Leader', hastened the Jupiter's readiness for liftoff in 'Blast Off Into Space', making the repair needs far less drastic than if the alien had not shown up and forced the Robinsons to carry out his repair plans. It was from the alien's point of view that the Jupiter was 'nearly ready for flight'. Also, it's interesting to see a fissure that descends to 'the very core of this planet'. If such fissures were commonplace on 'Preplanis', its no wonder the planet was so easily pushed to its self-destruction by the mining activity of 'Mr. Nerim' in 'Blast Off Into Space'.
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