Lost in Space Episode 31: Wild Adventure

General Information

Director: Don Richardson

Writers: William Read Woodfield and Allan Balter

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

Composer: Alexander Courage

Air Date: 9/21/1966

Production #: 9502

 

Overview

Unbeknownst to the Robinson family and Major West, Dr. Smith plots a course for Earth using information given to him by the Robot. In doing so, the nefarious doctor accidentally jettisons the remaining fuel supply, requiring the ship to landlost-in-space-wild-adventure on a refueling barge. During the delay, Lorelei (Vitina Marcus)—an alien seductress with green-colored skin—attaches herself to the Jupiter 2 and lures Dr. Smith into outer space, forcing the Robinsons to make a decision that will impact their lives forever.

By emphasizing adventure-themed subject matter in a science fiction setting, the first half of this episode remains true to the original premise for Lost in Space. Despite initially benefiting from a serious tone, however, “Wild Adventure” is marred by the campy, groan-worthy interactions between Dr. Smith and his alien love interest.

 

Pros

Though normally an irritating, superfluous character, Dr. Smith serves to advance the central conflict of “Wild Adventure” on more than one occasion. In thelost-in-space-wild-adventure pre-credit sequence, for example, the good-for-nothing stowaway damages the astrogator during a scuffle with Don, who, in contrast to Dr. Smith, wishes to guide the Robinson family to Alpha Centauri as indicated in the series pilot. Later in the episode, Dr. Smith manipulates Penny into altering the navigation controls, nearly resulting in a collision with Earth’s sun—a highly intense situation that Lost in Space enthusiasts will no doubt enjoy.

 

Cons

Appearing on the cue of Alexander Courage’s musical arrangement, Lorelei floats around the ship’s exterior and flirts with Dr. Smith—now hypnotized by the girllost-in-space-wild-adventure from the green dimension—through a number of inarticulate, albeit soothing, vocal sounds. In addition to being thoroughly illogical (no creature, alien or not, could hover gracefully over a spacecraft traveling faster than light), the antics of Lorelei have no place in a mature science fiction narrative (that being said, the youngest of Lost in Space viewers may find the “relationship” between Lorelei and Dr. Smith to be amusing).

 

Analysis

(Spoilers beyond this point)

lost-in-space-wild-adventureFor highlighting the compassionate and forgiving qualities possessed by the Robinson family, “Wild Adventure” should be praised by audiences with a strong sense of morality. Specifically, Maureen insists that Major West rescue Dr. Smith from Lorelei, thereby sacrificing the perfect opportunity to return to Earth—a commendable gesture, and one that will appeal to those who admire the Robinsons for their exemplary value system.

 

Concluding Comments

“Wild Adventure” is an exciting, if uneven, episode of Lost in Space. Especially compelling are the near-misses sprinkled throughout this offering, which frequently culminate in a suspenseful, engaging atmosphere that fans of all ages can appreciate.

 

Overall Quality: 7/10

 

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4 thoughts on “Lost in Space Episode 31: Wild Adventure

  1. I loved the green girl. She seemed so….alien, plus I found her interactions with Dr. Smith to be one of the few times the obvious attempts of humor with that character worked. I also liked that Dr. Smith’s ruining things for the Robinson’s wasn’t his fault, although he was at fault for other things like getting too close to the sun. I hated it when they brought the green girl back later in the season. She lost the mystery around her and became just another LIS alien.

  2. This is my number sixteen ranked episode for the classic down home, cozy and fun, colored mid season..my second favorite season of the series, despite its much maligned and unwarranted status.. :-]

  3. The second colored episode continues the storyline. Alexander Courage did the first of his guest background incidental music scores here. It is very good. The fabulous music in this series always seems to match the story/episode perfectly.

    We are introduced to the girl from the green mist here. She will be back.. :-]

  4. The writers of this episode may not have realised that the girl from the green mist would make a deep connection with young male viewers. She is, dare I say, Jungian.

    Like the common, pre-adolescent dream of a beautiful young woman floating in through the dreamer’s bedroom window, the alien girl outside the Jupiter 2 is both attractive and repellent. Through Dr Smith’s childlike perspective, she resonated with a generation of boys who still had mixed feelings about girls. Summarised by robot as: “That does not compute”.

    Of course, mileage will vary. But there is a generation of men who grew up watching Lost In Space who will remember fondly the cooing soundbite of “oohhhh… Doctor Smiiiiiith”.