Lost in Space Episode 11: Wish Upon a Star

General Information

Director: Sutton Roley

Writer: Barney Slater

Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, and Jonathan Harris

Composer: None (Stock Music)

Air Date: 11/24/1965

Production #: 8512

 

Overview

Banished from the Jupiter 2 for neglecting the hydroponic garden, Dr. Smith establishes camp near an abandoned spacecraft. Thereafter, the not-so-good doctorlost-in-space-wish-upon-a-star discovers an alien thought machine that can materialize any object desired by the user—with a terrifying twist.

Despite favoring pure fantasy over traditional science fiction, “Wish Upon a Star” deserves praise for its horror-movie atmosphere and topnotch acting from Jonathan Harris. This offering should likewise be commended for its valuable morality lesson, which promotes a solid work ethic over greed, slothfulness, and an attitude of entitlement.

 

Pros

Though a lazy, despicable coward, Dr. Smith evokes sympathy due to the terrified and pathetic reactions of Harris. While sitting beside a campfire in the middle of the night, for example, Dr. Smith—visibly cold, lonely, and depressed—must defend himselflost-in-space-wish-upon-a-star from a hideous alien creature, forcing the viewer to pity him in spite of his atrocious behavior. Also effective are Dr. Smith’s confrontations with the Rubberoid—a ghoulish, humanoid monster who “demands” that Dr. Smith, now frightened beyond belief, return the thought machine to its rightful owner.

From a narrative standpoint, “Wish Upon a Star” creates a chilling contrast between the lighthearted, fairy-tale tropes of the early scenes and the nightmarish tone of the Rubberoid sequences—a difference that serves to shock and disturb the audience, initially unprepared for the horrors awaiting Dr. Smith and the Robinson family.

 

Cons

lost-in-space-wish-upon-a-starLost in Space fans may question why Professor Robinson—supposedly a wise and intelligent man—would entrust Dr. Smith with gardening duties, allowing him to accidentally ruin the entire food supply.

 

Analysis

“Wish Upon a Star” indicates that in order to develop a humble and appreciative outlook, one must earn his possessions through labor, patience, and dedication to achieving goals—a fact that Professor Robinson, acting as the moral compass of the group, eventually realizes after witnessing the thought machine corrupt his family.

 

Concluding Comments

Arguably the scariest installment of Lost in Space, “Wish Upon a Star” should be requisite viewing for enthusiasts of the sci-fi/horror crossover genre. Especially worth noting is the twist ending of this episode, which contains an important message for viewers to consider.

 

Overall Quality: 10/10

 

If you enjoyed this post, please enter your email address in the subscription box to stay tuned for more updates.

Please note: Comments that are malicious, offensive, or excessively profane will be removed. Off-topic messages belong in the About section.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 thoughts on “Lost in Space Episode 11: Wish Upon a Star

  1. This is a favorite of mine. I like everything except the way Judy is written. I cringe every time she comes out and cries “Oh mother” after her dress is ruined. She may as well say “I’m a girl. All I can do is look pretty, now what will I do?”. In regards to Dr. Smith, Don’s the only character that seems like a real human being.

  2. One of the best of Season One.

    In addition to the first five, this episode and Invaders from the Fifth Dimension, The Keeper and My Friend, Mr. Nobody are my favorites.