It only took until the fifth episode of the anniversary season to bring the first so-called 'clunker,' and one of my personal "Dirty Baker's Dozen" episodes. I thought much more highly of this episode in the old days, but that was another story and another time. There are a couple of noteworthy interesting things here, but that is all. This was the episode that introduced the viewing audience to the all-new 'Space Pod' (where did that thing come from?). Also interesting is the aliens' time bending devices they wear on their belts. Those were very cool and had possibilities. I think the story should have revolved more around those things, instead of the silly "we need someone to perform delicate brain surgery on our supreme leader" idea..say what?!? This episode introduced us to new Season Three writer Robert Hamner, and as Robert (Herzog) always mentions, he treated to Robot as an overly silly character. He also liked to have space members locked up in 'jails.'
On the surface, this episode appears exciting (in keeping with the early Season Three theme), but all it really accomplishes is groan worthy moments and ideas. It 'tries' to (still) be more serious than the majority of Season Two, but overall, it comes off even less good than its predecessors. Although the footage of the derelict spaceship is always classic (in color this time), we have seen it before. The first segment is easily the best. After everyone is on the space probe is where the episode falls apart many notches.
Penny's hair continues going through its transformation here. Silver flight suits once again are nice.
I want to mostly put the blame on brand new LiS writer Robert Hamner here. He simply did not have a grasp on LOST IN SPACE and characters..especially our metallic friend.
As Scott alludes to, "Kidnapped In Space" sticks out like a sore thumb in the early Season Three going..
You know, watching this episode at the tender age of 12 or 13 in the mid 70's, I realized how silly the whole thing was. I agree with the previous reviewers, that there was a good idea in this thing somewhere. The alien's ability to manipulate time is somewhat intriguing. Unfortunately, in the fine LIS tradition, the whole thing degenerates into a mish-mash of campy acting, cheesy silver makeup and cheap sets. The whole thing about the robot going to medical school is really goofy, even by LIS standards. The alien "Supreme Ruler" looked like a prop from the set of "Beat the Clock". The introduction of the Space Pod is noteworthy, and it is very similar looking to the eventual Lunar Lander.
In certain respects this episode seems like a complete disconnect from the previous two episodes of the 3rd. season. Significantly, the writers of Lost In Space did not include an episode in which the Robinsons struggle to return to their own time after taking off from Earth in 1947. That would have been a very exciting episode for the writers to include, and provided powerful series continuity like that of the 1st. five episodes of the 1st. season. The most striking aspect of this episode is the premiere appearance of the Space Pod, and the question evoked on the part of LIS fans: Where was the Space Pod for the previous two seasons of Lost In Space, especially in the episode 'Island in the Sky'?
One possible theory:
When the Robinsons went back to Earth in 1947, they affected the course of history. When they returned to the present ( presumably they returned to the present ) it was now to an altered timeline. In the unaltered timeline, the Space Pod did not exist ( note that the Space Pod Bay had previously been a storage room, as seen in the episode 'The Mechanical Men'). Now it suddenly did exist. Also when the Jupiter 2 encounters the Xenian space probe (which looks exactly like the derelict spaceship encountered in the 1st. season), Prof. Robinson remarks: "I've never seen a spaceship that big in my life." It's possible that in the altered timeline, the Robinsons never did encounter the derelict ship, thus Prof. Robinson's comment. Also suggesting an altered timeline: In this episode it is made obvious that prior to the Jupiter 2 expedition, the Robot had been a sentient, self-determining entity, rather than the comparatively mindless automaton seen in the first few episodes of the 1st. season. We learn that he majored in medical science ( or something like that), but then decided he was more interested in space exploration. Later in the 3rd. season in 'The Antimatter Man', the Robot tells Will that friendship was one of the first virtues programmed into him, further suggesting that he had been designed as something more than just a machine by Alpha Control. Also, the Bloop, who was seen in the first two of the 3rd. season episodes, is conspicuously absent in this episode and for the remainder of the 3rd. season.
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