Lost in Space Episode 15: Return from Outer Space

General Information

Director: Nathan Juran

Writer: Peter Packer

Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, Jonathan Harris, Reta Shaw, Walter Sande, Sheila Mathews, Robert Easton, Harry Harvey Sr., Helen Kleeb, Ann Dore, Donald Losby, Keith Taylor, and Johnny Tuohy

Composer: None (Stock Music)

Air Date: 12/29/1965

Production #: 8515

 

Overview

Utilizing the matter transfer unit left on Priplanus by the Taurons, Will—hoping to replace the Jupiter 2’s supply of carbon tetrachloride—teleports himself lost-in-space-return-from-outer-spaceto Earth. Upon arriving in the small town of Hatfield Four Corners, however, Will struggles to convince the local residents to contact Alpha Control on his behalf.

Combining alien technology with a holiday setting, this offering should appeal to those of a sentimental nature. Also touching are the sacrifices made by Will in order to rescue his loved ones, which serve as a testament to the strong family values at the heart of Lost in Space.

 

Pros

Despite behaving in a naïve, anachronistic manner, the townspeople demonstrate love, kindness, and charity while taking care of Will—a poignant reminder of an innocent time period in American history. Especially laudable are the actions lost-in-space-return-from-outer-spaceof Aunt Clara (Reta Shaw) and her nephew Davey (Donald Losby), who, though skeptical of Will’s account, have no trouble accepting the Robinson boy as an adopted family member.

Additionally worth noting is the acting of Billy Mumy, whose portrayal of Will in this episode borders on exceptional. Specifically, Mumy deserves praise for embodying the frustration of a child who, while in desperate need of assistance, fails to locate a single adult willing to believe the truth concerning his predicament—a situation with which the majority of young viewers can undoubtedly relate.

 

Cons

lost-in-space-return-from-outer-space“Return from Outer Space” never explains why the townspeople, several of whom possess detailed knowledge of the Alpha Centauri expedition, remain unable to identify Will—whose face appears on national television in “The Reluctant Stowaway”—as the youngest traveler aboard the Jupiter 2.

 

Analysis

As evidenced by John and Maureen’s unwarranted suspicion of Will, “Return from Outer Space” offers a worthwhile lesson on the importance of trusting credible witnesses—even when presented with fantastic or unusual testimony.

 

Concluding Comments

“Return from Outer Space” benefits from topnotch performances, heartwarming character interactions, and an effective contrast between Priplanus—a desert-like planet with no aesthetic value—and a quaint New England town decorated for Christmas. Science fiction fans with a sense of nostalgia will therefore enjoy this episode, flawed continuity notwithstanding.

 

Overall Quality: 10/10

 

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3 thoughts on “Lost in Space Episode 15: Return from Outer Space

    • This town looked like it belonged in 1940s Bedford Falls. Old style telephones and cars as well as no television in any homes. And this is supposed to be 1997?

  1. This episode is being viewed now, in 2018. We run through a parsing process by distinct eras:
    I am old enough to have seen this episode on its first run in 1965. Hatfield Four Corners types of towns had many idiosyncratically dated real analogous dated towns all over the southeast/ New England.
    There is a certain ineffable heightened sentimentality and passion in this episode, empasized by borrowed score from Miracle on 47th Street, also filmed at Fox . Just as in My Friend Mr. Nobody earlier in the first season, it’s as though the crew and cast knew this was going to be “sparkling” for Christmas!
    In thise days, new episodes were not pulled from broadcast during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.