Lost in Space

Season 1 Episode 1

The Reluctant Stowaway

Aired Wednesday 7:30 PM Sep 15, 1965 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
67 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

As the Robinson family prepares to leave Earth to colonize Alpha Centauri, a spy from a foreign country, Zachary Smith, becomes trapped aboard while trying to sabotage the space vehicle. After liftoff, the ship is whisked off course and into a meteor storm due to Dr. Smith's extra weight upsetting the navigational computers. In and attempt to save himself, Smith revives the crew early, resulting in the Robinson family with Smith becoming Lost In Space.moreless

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  • As of September 1965, this was awesome!

    People seem to forget that "Lost In Space" pre-dated "Star Trek" by one year; Whereas "Star Trek" ratcheted up everyone's awareness of all things Sci-Fi, for 1965-66 "Lost In Space" was the yardstick anything else was measured against and unless you were a grown-up science geek the show was sufficiently believable. Even decades later, the drama of the first half of this episode is excellently conveyed and Jonathan Harris' performance was award worthy! There was none of the campiness of the second and third seasons (I was particularly impressed with his delivery of the Karate chop on the Security guard lol). I didn't get to see this episode until the 1990's and I was taken aback at how serious the tone of the show was. Some of the technology flaws are glaring when viewed today (Tape drives and an analog clock). But even though "Star Trek's" Enterprise was infinitely more capable as a space vehicle, the Jupiter 2's Body type always struck me as the ultimate "Sports Car in Space".moreless
  • review

    A real hokey epsiode to start the series with. {Ceratinly the Epsiode O "No where to Hide" would have been much better to start with}. Quite uncharaistic is Smith killing a guard and and throwing his body into a refuse cart where it would be found. {The cart is supposedly under the ship but doesnt even show up on the stage set!} Likewise as a sabateur Smith is buffon; he only sabatoges the mission by his staying aboard by his extra weight; his reprograming the robot only makes the ship go off corse instead of blowing them all up. Lastly there is no explanation as to why he is supposed to sabatoge this mission. {The 1998 movie has Smith trying to sabataoge the mission so that unexplanied interests can control Earth water supply} In short the episode has all the characthcers of a hurridly written script put together at that last minuite. Likewise the Robinsons were never reach Alpha Centuri since it would take at least 100 years to get there from Earth! Still this silly and naive script much better than the movie! Ironically although the series had higher rattings than Star Trek it was Star Trek that did better in reruns! David also wrote for Star trek!}moreless
  • Re-shot Pilot

    This is the re-shot pilot where they changed the name of the ship and added Dr. Smith as well as softened the women because back then we couldn't have smart, strong women in a television show. Little did anyone know that this series would take off as strong as it did and for the first season in B/W it was a much more serious and somber show.
  • The best of the best

    Well, I just discovered this site and all the feedback and information I can add. I plan to make plenty of comments, reviews, opinions, quotes and such in the months to come. One quick correction from the credits listed above on this site...Byron Morrow and Hoke Howell do NOT obviously appear anywhere during this episode. Don't know what somebody is thinking. I've seen this error before. Byron Morrow and Hoke Howell were guests far away in a Season Three episode entitled, "Time Merchant", which has absolutely nothing to do with this beauty. "The Reluctant Stowaway" is the best the series had to offer. All of classic B&W Season One is one of the very best years in television history. It's all galactic, out of this world adventure. Nothing in the series, or many other series, can approach this greatness. This is my input #1!

    The elite of the elite..the granddaddy of them all..the yardstick of success..the 10 of 10s..and it all occurred a mere forty-seven years ago on this very evening.. 8-)


  • Three cast member listings for this episode are incorrect.

    This is one of the best series pilots Irwin Allen ever produced. After years of watching the color antics of Smith and the robot, this episode comes as a real shock. It's fast paced, well acted and has great music. Truly a 10+ episode.

    I need to point out, however, that this episodes list of guest stars is incorrect. You have Byron Morrow as Gen. Squires and Hoke Howell as Rogers listed. However, they are not in this episode, they are in The Time Merchant in season 3. You do have Hal Torey listed as a General, which is correct, but he is the only one.

    Also, Irwin Allen is listed as The Voice of the President. This is also wrong, since Ford Rainey, who plays the president, was not dubbed over. It's his own voice. The only voice over Irwin did was announcing the president: "Ladies and gentlemen...the president of the United States!"

Hal Torey

Hal Torey


Guest Star

Don Forbes

Don Forbes

TV Commentator

Guest Star

Fred Crane

Fred Crane

Alpha Control Technician

Guest Star

Bob May

Bob May

The Robot

Recurring Role

Dick Tufeld

Dick Tufeld

The Robot (Voice)

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Before becoming lost, the Jupiter 2 would have reached Alpha Centauri, a distance of approximately 4 light years, in about 5 years. However, the spaceship was written off by Alpha Control and declared beyond the limits of the Milky Way, but the closest edge of our galaxy is 25,000 light years showing this to be impossible.

    • Dr. Smith states he has won three GM (Grandmaster) titles at the Oxford University Chess Society. In fact this goes against the actual rules of the world chess organization FIDE (World Chess Federation) that state a chess title is won for life.

    • In this episode, the first of the regular series, it's heard that the Robinson's voyage has taken five years so far. This differs from the 98 years that had been stated in the unaired original pilot.

    • Dr. Smith holds the rank of Colonel.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Narrator: This is the beginning. This is the day. You are watching the unfolding of one of history's great adventures. Man's colonization of space. Beyond the stars.

    • Narrator: Here now is the Jupiter 2. The culmination of nearly 40 years of intensive research and the most sophisticated piece of hardware yet devised by the mind of Man. Bold in concept, brilliant in execution, this most delicate yet most colossal of instruments makes possible Man's thrust into deep space, and will soon set out on its quest for a new world. This super spaceship stands two stories high. The upper level contains a fantastic sophisticated guidance control system. An electronic elevator connects both floors of the intergalactic vehicle. The upper and lower levels are operationally self-contained. Here on the lower deck, pulsating with unbelievable force, are the great atomic motors that will power the ship to new world.

    • Dr. Smith: Send us back to Earth. Every second you waste sends us thousands of miles in the wrong direction. What are you doing?
      Don: Waking up the Robinsons.
      Dr. Smith: No, don't wake them.
      Don: Why not? It's their lives too, and since I'm the only one who can pilot this ship, I'll make the decisions.
      Dr. Smith: Have it your way, then. Make it a family outing. Why not?

    • Maureen: (surprised to discover that Dr. Smith is aboard the Jupiter 2) Why, Dr. Smith, you shouldn't be here at all!
      Dr. Smith: Precisely the point I'm trying to make, Madam. Without much success, I might add.

    • Dr. Smith: (speaking to Will about the Major) Well, that's the military mind for you. Kill or be killed. That's all they understand.

    • Maureen: Now I say we turn back. Don't you have an opinion?
      John: No, I don't. Not until we've checked every component inside-out and know exactly how we stand.
      Maureen: And then?
      John: And then I'll let the computer make the final decision.
      Maureen: And will the computer also take into consideration a man's love and concern for his family? Or has all that been put into cold storage for the duration?

  • NOTES (1)

    • This is the first episode with the familiar theme song and opening sequence from the first two seasons (the unaired pilot had no theme music). This theme was composed by John Williams, famous composer for such movies as the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies.