Lost in Space Episode 9: The Oasis

General Information

Director: Sutton Roley

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: 11/10/1965

Production #: 8509

 

Overview

During a severe drought, the Robinsons discover an alien fruit and collect a number of samples for edibility testing. Later that evening, Dr. Smith begins eating the fruit—stilllost-in-space-the-oasis untested by Professor Robinson—and suffers a horrifying side effect as a result.

Similar to the majority of season one installments, “The Oasis” offers a riveting tale of hardship and survival on a hostile planet. Nevertheless, this episode is marred by tonal inconsistencies, juvenile comedic devices, and an occasional lack of narrative focus.

 

Pros

lost-in-space-the-oasisJonathan Harris deserves praise for his disturbing portrayal of Dr. Smith, who transforms into a paranoid, accusatory giant after helping himself to a piece of alien fruit. Specifically worth praising are the climactic sequences, wherein Will, Professor Robinson, and Major West must convince Dr. Smith—now in a dangerously psychotic state—to return a stolen fuel cell before every person aboard the Jupiter 2 dies of thirst.

 

Cons

While singing a duet with the Robot, Dr. Smith takes a shower with the remaining water supply—a cringe-worthy display, especially by the standards of lost-in-space-the-oasisan early Lost in Space episode. (Viewers who enjoy this series for its comical, offbeat sketches involving Dr. Smith and the Robot may, however, appreciate the shower routine for its amusing subject matter.)

In addition to its embarrassing content, “The Oasis” struggles to account for one significant logical problem: after expanding to the size of three men, Dr. Smith fails to tear through his clothing items—apparently composed of indestructible material—and seek another source of concealment during his giant phase.

 

Analysis

lost-in-space-the-oasisDespite delivering Will to a malevolent alien species in the previous episode, Dr. Smith evokes worried and sad responses from Judy and Maureen upon leaving the Jupiter 2—an aspect that slightly undermines the dangerous, if not existential, threat that Dr. Smith poses toward the Robinson family.

 

Concluding Comments

“The Oasis” is an uneven episode of Lost in Space. Though well-acted and poignantly executed, this offering is hampered by dated special effects and dubious science fiction elements.

 

Overall Quality: 5/10

 

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4 thoughts on “Lost in Space Episode 9: The Oasis

  1. Jon, I came across your ‘Midnite Reviews’ recently. I love the short concise format with the pictures. I hope to add lots of comments, thoughts and opinions. This was my all-time favorite series and a long time passion.. :-]

    I am also big on ranking the episodes..

  2. This episode never explains why Smith’s clothing grows with him. Unless the clothing is made out of unstable molecules as worn by Marvel’s Fantastic Four?

    • That certainly never bothered me. This is, after all, science fiction, adventure and fantasy. It is filmed in classic early series B&W, and that makes it fantastic right away.. :-]