Lost in Space

Season 1 Episode 2

The Derelict

Aired Wednesday 7:30 PM Sep 22, 1965 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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out of 10
51 votes
  • Spooky Spooky

    After Dr. Smiths antics have placed everyone in peril the Jupiter comes across a giant space ship believed to be a derelict. In fact it is not. It is inhabited by strange glowing aliens and crysteal type webs. While Don and Dad are trying to figure out the derelicts maps Dr. Smith angers the aliens and forces the entire family to flee for their lives.
  • The series episode #2, "The Derelict", is ranked at #4 for the entire series.

    This is a very high-level follow-up to the first episode, continuing right where we left off...as they pretty much all do. There are no weaknesses whatsoever in any of these first episodes of the series. It's all great drama and extremely high adventure. The incidental background music here is fabulous. Everything is fabulous. Peter Packer wrote the teleplay for this adventure, his first installment during the series. Packer would go on to write the most episodes of LosT iN SpacE. He wrote a total of twenty-five episodes. After escaping an approaching comet, the castaways run across a colossal alien spacecraft which opens up and draws the Jupier 2 spaceship inside for another thrilling tale.

    Really, really out of this world, superb and magnificent stuff. This classic seems to actually get a semi-bad rap quite often, and I find it rather amazing that I find myself having to defend the SECOND episode of the series so much. The usual comment is that it is "too slow in parts." Oh, my..what in the world do you want?!? Like Robert says, this one is totally 'five out of five stars'..just like the other fabulous first five best episodes of the series. It is a complete, moving, and interstellar epic. This would be the only one of the first five to not really have (hardly any) original footage from the original pilot, "No Place To Hide." They apparently decided to add an entire episode in there to stretch the fabulous epic out some more. Perhaps this is the reason why a bit of it may appear as 'filler' or "slow," in the words I have seen rather often. To that I would answer that the pacing is just perfect throughout. This one is set up absolutely beautifully. This episode is very eerie and downright spooky a lot. The tense, exciting, and stellar ending more than makes up for any given "slower" periods..periods very nicely building up the atmosphere. This whole episode is a great atmospheric story..and that does not even count the great, great, great incidental background music scores from Herman Stein (who would return again), and whoever else may have helped with the music here (Hans J. Salter?).

    There were several just purely 'simple' scenes here..warm scenes..beautiful scenes..sad scenes..scenes to introduce us more to the characters and invite us to get to know more of their personalities and relationships.

    Of course, the Jupiter 2 spaceship encounter with the massive, mysterious spacecraft is completely epic and fantastic stuff. And one of those very simple and quaint scenes that I speak of, is just fabulous to me (they all are actually)..but this one tends to bring a tear to my eye..which can definitely happen a lot in these B&W episodes, by the way. Before the encounter with the huge derelict, at the upper deck control console, we have the first 'real' exchange between the handsome Major West and the lovely Ms. Judy Robinson. I cannot recall the entire conversation right now, but Major West talks about Judy should be getting sleepy, and asking her something about if she would like to go home. Judy's last line of the exchange is, "I never did like school"..as the Herman Stein beautiful "family theme" music begins for the very first time. Right there, that music, is some of my very, very favorite of all, always used in the very sentimental and sadder moments. As the music is playing, and immediately following, the scene segues to hearing a tape recording coming from inside Ms. Penny's cabin below decks. Her father opens her sliding door, listens for a moment, and asks, "Shakespeare?"

    I absolutely, absolutely love those little, simple scene..and every other scene contained within this story. There is no way this story should receive less than five stars (in Robert's older grading system it is a 9.5). "The Derelict," in fact, is a 9.7 for me. I think this may be Robert's second favorite episode of the whole shebang. It is just about there for me as well, and we both LOVE the music scores here.

    One additional note..this is the first of the next four episodes where we do not see the usual "Written by" in the opening credits. Instead, we see "Teleplay by" and "Story by." This is obviously because the story for the entire first five (pilot) episodes was from Shimon Wincelberg. However, a different writer did write the screenplay or in between "Teleplay" for each. The great Peter Packer, who would go on to write more episodes of LOST IN SPACE than anybody else, is here already for his very first contribution..and the episode is directed by 'one-director-wonder' Alex Singer. A lot of these very early episodes were directed by 'one-shot' directors, interestingly enough.

    A continuing B&W epic for the ages..


  • Pretty darn gripping considering what Lost in Space became.

    They are indeed Lost in Space and indeed in a space craft. There is great atmosphere in this episode. I really felt for a time this was a ship out in the middle of who knows where. The repair expedition feels gripping and it was nice to eliminate sound except through radio com-links. That is the biggest mistake that sci-fi does is use sound in space. If you want creepy take out the sound. When John Robinson is walking up the ship and you don't hear the boot sounds or anything else, my heart was trembling. It really felt scary. In addition the discovery of their first encounter with alien life is really well done with impressive special effects. it was nice not to have human actors being the aliens. It was nice the loss of communications ability and the impressive array of technology aboard the ship that has mapped the galaxy. I really felt out there. Nice use of Nasa photos of the galaxies. This is one of the last episodes that feels dark and moody. The show would eventually find its 'lighter and campier' side and shift the focus to Lassie and Timmy type camp. Too bad.