Penny finds a cavern and while exploring she discovers an alien presence. Penny befriends the presence, teaches it to speak and play games. Soon she also discovers a wealth of gems and of course Dr. Smith has to foul things up. He traps Penny in the cave by landslide when he decides to blast for the gems. Once rescued from the cave in The presence retreats to space as a travelling intelligence and newborn galaxy.
Dr. Smith's greed comes to the forefront in this episode, and, as usual, it nearly costs him and everyone else their lives.
At the start of the episode, we have a Penny Robinson who is bored with her lot in life. Will, Don, and John are setting explosives in order to start mining for fuel-related elements. Penny stumbles upon an area where Don, Will, and John are about to set off an explosion to start mining. They set the firing pin before they realize that Penny is in danger. They argue that Penny can't stay there. She offers to help, and nobody wants her help. Mom doesn't need her. Dad doesn't need her. She wanders off, distraught and frustrated. A sad Penny happens along a path where water bubbles up from a stream and a heavy bolder opens up to her. Inside the cave, she meets a faceless voice. She befriends the never seen, only heard alien. She teaches him to read. When she tries to explain everything to her parents, she first gets ignored. Maureen and Judy are busy with Judy's new hairdo. When they eventually do listen, they don't believe her. They think she's making things up. Penny shows Dr. Smith some diamonds she found in the cave. Smith and the robot follow her. His greed reaches such a cresendo that he steals an ore sample from John and pretends he found it when he speaks to Don. Using this deception, he convinces Don to drill at the cave site. Smith's real plan is to blow the cave open and then collect all the diamonds. He sneaks extra pellets into the hole without Don's knowing it. Unbeknownst to Smith and Don, Penny is in the cave when the explosions go off, and Penny is knocked out by the concussion. Mr Nobody gets mad and a storm results. There's a dramatic scene where Maureen is screaming for Penny, Don and Smith are trying to return to the Jupiter, and the storm is raging. Ultimately, Penny comes to and begs Mr Nobody to stop because she loves them. A strong episode with few weak points. Aside from the alien "force" or voiceless being or whatever Mr. Nobody is, the episode has no weaknesses that I can think of. I love many of the scenes, such as the scenes between Maureen and Penny where Maureen, thinking Penny is only using her imagination, tries to be an understanding friend and ruins everything. I also love the scene where Dr. Smith is playing chess with the robot. Will tosses the diamonds, valuable on earth but useless where they are, and the diamonds hit the chess board. Smith is initally irate until he realizes what they are. He scratches the robot's dome and then greedily asks the robot analyze the stuff and confirm that they are diamonds. A wonderful scene!
Angela Cartwright is an underrated actor and this episode really showcases her talents from subtle body language to emotional breakdowns. She really has a good range and a convincing stance that should have brought her more attention. Sadly this is her only time. This show once again proves that Lost In Space is Not about science fiction. Once again the term cosmic force is used which is another way of avoiding any solid science. I just love how the cosmic force can somehow evolve into a spiral galaxy yet still manage to communicate verbally with Penny through the vacuum of space. In addition there is a great action sequence where somehow the family thinks that lasers can destroy a cosmic force. However it's all exciting due to John William's music and great wind machines. From the dark perspective, its one of the last episodes that takes itself even somewhat seriously. Johnathan Harris, as we see in the next episode is going camp.
This is my absolute favorite episode of the series! Without a doubt, Lost In Space went downhill later, but this represents the brilliance of the first season (definitely the best season). Penny is my favorite character, and this showcases Angela Cartwright's amazing talent even as a teenager. This episode has real emotional appeal, and is awesome because it isn't just a typical Will, Smith, Robot story. And I think its incredible the real emotion held throughout the show. Angela Cartwright is FABULOUS! I love her to death. Sweet, funny, best characters... what is there not to love about this episode?
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