Director: Nathan Juran
Writer: Barney Slater
Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, Jonathan Harris, and Dawson Palmer
Composer: None (Stock Music)
Air Date: 10/19/1966
Production #: 9506
While testifying before an alien jury, the Robinsons and Major West are forced to answer for a series of criminal acts committed in outer space. Upon further investigation, Judge Iko of the Galactic Tribunal determines that Dr. Smith alone is responsible for the crimes in question.
By paying homage to “The Derelict” and “The Reluctant Stowaway” from season one, “The Prisoners of Space” will appeal to those who enjoy the first two episodes of Lost in Space. Specifically, Barney Slater’s narrative offers a clever, satisfactory conclusion to the initial story arc featured in this series.
During the courtroom sequences, an ominous fog effect is employed in conjunction with the spectacle of spooky, physically grotesque aliens lurking in the background—a terrifying display that works to heighten, if only on a subconscious level, the apprehension that viewers will experience upon witnessing Will, Major West, and Professor Robinson defend themselves against accusations of a heinous variety.
In contrast to the bubble creatures of “The Derelict,” Judge Iko employs vocal sounds rather than electrical impulses when communicating with humans—a discontinuity that Slater fails to address in his aforementioned narrative.
Fearing that Smith will incriminate himself if required to testify, Will and the Robot assist the not-so-good doctor in carrying out his escape plan. In doing so, however, both characters endanger the welfare of the entire Robinson family, every member of which stands falsely accused as a result of Dr. Smith’s conduct.
(Spoilers beyond this point)
In the penultimate scene, the Robinsons sign a petition to spare Dr. Smith the punishment that he deserves. Though anticlimactic, the resolution to this episode serves as a testament to the kind, forgiving nature of the Robinson family.
“The Prisoners of Space” is a haunting, atmospheric episode. For this reason, fans of the sci-fi/horror crossover genre are advised to view this entry.
Overall Quality: 9/10
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