Lost in Space Episode 24: His Majesty Smith

General Information

Director: Harry Harris

Writer: Carey Wilber

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

Composer: None (Stock Music)

Air Date: 3/16/1966

Production #: 8524

 

Overview

Upon discovering a bejeweled crown, Dr. Smith is made king of the Andronicans—malevolent aliens who, unbeknownst to Zachary, employ the crown as a bait for capturing, preparing, and sacrificing a useless, despicable man at a yearly festival.lost-in-space-his-majesty-smith To prevent suspicion among the Robinson family, one of the aliens (Kevin Hagen)—a hirsute, physically repulsive humanoid—creates a hardworking, self-sacrificing duplicate of Dr. Smith to assume his place aboard the Jupiter 2.

Alluding to human sacrifice as an alien cultural practice, “His Majesty Smith” should be requisite viewing for fans of the sci-fi/horror crossover genre. That being said, a comedic subplot (i.e. Dr. Smith competing with a superior clone of himself) around the halfway mark severely cheapens, if not undermines, the gruesome threat posed by the Andronican race.

 

Pros

Donning royal attire, Dr. Smith demands that his subjects address him as “Your Majesty.” Unwilling to comply, Major West—whom Dr. Smith believes would make an excellent court jester—demands that Zachary abandon his throne andlost-in-space-his-majesty-smith stop embarrassing himself. Infuriated, Dr. Smith commands one of his servants to fetch Don’s head; but chooses to spare the major when prompted by Nexus (Liam Sullivan)—a cute and amusing sequence that serves to distract the viewer from the sinister, macabre inner workings of the Andronican society.

Despite bearing the visage of a hairy, uncivilized creature, the alien portrayed by Kevin Hagen exemplifies a cold and sophisticated manner while describing the ritual sacrifice to Dr. Smith—a contrast that, when coupled with the horrified reactions of Jonathan Harris, will surely disturb those of a sensitive temperament.

 

Cons

By overplaying the antics of Dr. Smith and his alien doppelganger, “His Majesty Smith” leaves no opportunity to explore the machinations of the Andronican lost-in-space-his-majesty-smithpeople—potentially a fascinating, albeit morbid, alien race—beyond a surface level.

 

Analysis

Despite featuring two opposite versions of the same character, “His Majesty Smith” lacks a penetrating analysis on the dual nature of man—quite unlike “The Anti-Matter Man,” a similarly themed episode from season three.

 

Concluding Comments

“His Majesty Smith” is marred by an inconsistent tone coupled with a lack of narrative focus. The performance of Hagen (known for his benign role of Dr. Hiram Baker in Little House on the Prairie) should, however, be praised for the compelling and subtly unnerving qualities thereof.

 

Overall Quality: 6/10

 

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