One of my favorite episodes. So much takes place here as the Robinson's trek across the planet to survive the rapidly changing weather, a giant, a lost city, earthquake, massive whirlpool and storm as well as some nice scenery of the strange new world.
Wow! What an episode! I loved the drama of the scene where Will is alone in the chariot at night. Unknown to everyone except Dr. Smith, Dr. Smith had programmed the robot to kill unnecessary Jupiter personnel when the robot finds them alone. Each murder had to be done in such a way that it appears to be an accident. They did a really slick job of making us feel the tension when the robot tries to kill Will. Will ingeniously stalls the robot with a chess game to check his circuits, thus buying enough time to radio the Jupiter and get help.
It's fun to watch Smith dodge doing any work while making it seem like he has been going at "top speed all day". We are treated to how valuable Will is. He saves Dr. Smith and his sisters with quick-thinking by lasering the mutant plant. He saves John and Don by getting the radio telescope working well enough for everyone to see that a giant is attacking them, and then, while Maureen is trying to decide what to do, Will grabs a laser and shoots the giant, thus saving the men. Slightly illogical points: Right after Smith deactivates the robot, there is a sequence that makes little sense to me. John asks Smith how the robot got activated. Smith's explanation was that he was alone to face who knows what danger. Come on! The robot was activated when the Jupiter crash landed and the robot was with them (and not Smith) when they found John! It was when Will, imitating Smith, asked the robot to bring Don a rope that the robot returned to the Jupiter, and Dr. Smith. John also asks Smith why Smith wasn't on hand to control it when they returned. When they returned to the Jupiter Two with John alive, Smith was standing there with the robot! If John was asking Smith why he didn't join them to head to the chariot at night to find Will, that was not only a strange way to phrase the question, but why didn't they force Smith to come with them, especially knowing what they already knew - that the robot was Smith's henchman? When the robot is deactivated and they head back to the Jupiter with Will, they don't take the robot's power pack from Smith's hands. In fact, they leave Smith there with the robot, and their backs were turned. I always wondered why one of them, especially Don, didn't grab the power pack and force Smith to go back to the Jupiter with them, so they could watch his every move. When John and Don repair the chariot in the early morning of the day after they rescued John and, the previous night, Will, they roll over the footprints of the giant. John says "I never noticed that rough terrain before". He sounds as though he had been over that ground many times before! Wrong! He had only been in that area once - and most of that was on foot at night, and even that journey was the previous night!
Don and John, and later Will, are seen on what appears to be a rather perilous, steep, narrow journey to the weather station. If it was so hard for them to scale the mountain to get to the weather station equipment when they were carrying nothing, how did they get the equipment up there?
Irwin Allen surely knows how to spend money well and he was determined to get every scrap of footage from the original pilot shown in the series and this is such an example. This includes location footage from the desert of the chariot and of course footage of the cyclops and the jetpack. This is the last episode where obvious affection between Judy and Don West is shown. Only hints of that will occur in the next episode and then dropped from the series to make way for Dr. Smith and Will to take over the series. This is also the first episode where Dr. Smith begins to show his later trademark stunts of laziness and lying to avoid any support of the crew. Frankly after the stunt of the Robot trying to kill will (also one of the last episodes where the robot is a threat to the crew) I can't believe anyone wouldn't want to take Dr. Smith and introduce him to a lazor blast! This is also the first episode where the crew sets the tone for the series which means all talk of getting off the planet is forgotten.
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