Lost in Space Episode 19: Ghost in Space

General Information

Director: Don Richardson

Writer: Peter Packer

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

Composer: None (Stock Music)

Air Date: 2/2/1966

Production #: 8519

 

Overview

Dr. Smith—unable to properly complete the task assigned to him by Professor Robinson—drops an explosive into a bog filled with ionized gas, releasing an invisible monster in the vicinity of the Jupiter 2. Unwilling to accept responsibility for his actions, Dr. Smith insists that the creature is actually the spirit of his late Uncle Thaddeus.

Combining spooky tropes with alien hijinks, “Ghost in Space” may appeal to fans of the horror/sci-fi crossover genre. Nevertheless, the antics of lost-in-space-ghost-in-spaceDr. Smith frequently detract from the gruesome, terrifying nature of said invisible monster.

 

Pros

Employing ghastly sound effects in conjunction with a layer of impenetrable fog, “Ghost in Space” establishes the perfect setting for a mysterious, bloodthirsty creature to stalk and prey upon members of the Robinson family.

 

Cons

Though initially ominous, “Ghost in Space” struggles to maintain a haunting atmosphere from start to finish—likely a consequence of the distracting (andlost-in-space-ghost-in-space highly incongruous) behavior of Dr. Smith. Specifically, Dr. Smith—a despicable coward who often panics when confronted with phenomena of a bizarre or inexplicable variety—responds to the bog monster by conducting a mock séance with Will, Penny, Judy, Maureen, and the Robot in attendance. In addition to being thoroughly out-of-character, Dr. Smith’s lighthearted reaction to a fearsome, malevolent creature may prevent the audience from taking seriously the grave (no pun intended) danger facing each member of the Jupiter camp.

 

Analysis

lost-in-space-ghost-in-spaceA monster-of-the-week episode, “Ghost in Space” provides little opportunity to explore the trials, dynamics, and relationships of the Robinson family and Major West.

 

Concluding Comments

“Ghost in Space” is a creepy, atmospheric installment of Lost in Space. Those in search of a classic black-and-white episode to view during Halloween season may, however, wish to forgo this offering in favor of “Wish Upon a Star”—a superior season-one entry.

 

Overall Quality: 4/10

 

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