Lost in Space Episode 26: All That Glitters

General Information

Director: Harry Harris

Writer: Barney Slater

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

Composer: None (Stock Music)

Air Date: 4/6/1966

Production #: 8526

 

Overview

While Don, John, Will, and the Robot spend a period of time away from the Jupiter 2, Penny encounters Ohan (Larry Ward)—an interstellar fugitive in possession of a talking disk. Concealing the device from Officer Bolix (Wernerlost-in-space-all-that-glitters Kelmperer), a galactic lawman in pursuit of Ohan, Penny and Dr. Smith discover a metal ring that, when fastened around one’s neck, allows the user to transform any object into solid platinum. Naturally, Dr. Smith takes advantage of the collar—with terrible consequences for both himself and Penny.

By employing the magic touch trope in a science fiction setting, “All That Glitters” offers a poignant morality lesson for fans of Lost in Space. Also worth praising is the character transition of Dr. Smith, who, for arguably the first time in the entire series, exhibits genuine remorse for harming a member of the Robinson family.

 

Pros

lost-in-space-all-that-glittersAfter turning Ohan over to the authorities, Dr. Smith decides to keep the stolen collar for himself. Much to his chagrin, Smith later realizes that everything he touches, including the food on his breakfast plate, turns to platinum, preventing him from eating or drinking as long as the collar, now permanently clamped around his neck, remains in use—a punishment that will no doubt satisfy those with a compelling sense of justice.

 

Cons

During his interrogation of Maureen and the girls, Officer Bolix (an obvious parody of Colonel Klink from Hogan’s Heroes) comes across as a highlylost-in-space-all-that-glitters intimidating, if not ruthless, enforcer of galactic law. That being said, the laughable costume worn by Bolix serves to undermine his credibility as a no-nonsense authority figure.

Hunting for Ohan, Bolix is accompanied by a pair of growling, bipedal creatures covered head to toe in black fur. Unconvincing by modern-day standards, the monster guards will likely prompt snickering from all but the most serious of viewers.

 

Analysis

(Spoilers beyond this point)

lost-in-space-all-that-glitters“All That Glitters” should be commended for developing Dr. Smith—once a cold and conniving saboteur—into a man who, in spite of his compromising behavior, actually cares about the welfare of his host family. Specifically, the good doctor rescues Maureen and Judy from Officer Bolix and, having transformed Penny into a platinum statue, prepares to sacrifice his own life if doing so would restore the child to her former self—a touching display that, though somewhat incongruous with the character of Colonel Smith from early season one, may appeal to audiences of a sensitive nature.

 

Concluding Comments

Similar to “My Friend, Mr. Nobody,” “All That Glitters” more closely resembles a typical fairy tale than it does a pure science fiction piece. The poignant and heart-warming subject matter featured in this episode does, however, compensate for the implausible premise on which it operates.

 

Overall Quality: 7/10

 

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