Lost in Space Episode 41: A Visit to Hades

General Information

Director: Don Richardson

Writer: Carey Wilber

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

Composer: None (Stock Music)

Air Date: 12/7/1966

Production #: 9513

 

Overview

Upon playing a key combination of notes on a mysterious lyre, Dr. Smith is transported to an infernal penitentiary containing Morbus (Gerald Mohr)—an individual lost-in-space-a-visit-to-hadeswho bears a strong resemblance to Satan. Dr. Smith bargains for his freedom by agreeing to destroy the aforementioned lyre; but causes a rift in Judy and Don’s relationship when Morbus, having escaped imprisonment, captivates the young Robinson woman with his devilish charm.

For employing a less juvenile approach to humor than do the majority of second season Lost in Space episodes, “A Visit to Hades” should be commended. Don and Judy are nevertheless made to look utterly ridiculous at times, thereby undermining writer Carey Wilber’s otherwise subtle attempts at humor.

 

Pros

lost-in-space-a-visit-to-hadesCharacter actor Gerald Mohr gave an entertaining performance as Morbus, whose diabolical appearance contrasts amusingly with his benign personality.

Also interesting is a cameo made by the Metaluna Mutant from This Island Earth, who appears during a comical encounter with Dr. Smith.

 

Cons

The satirical undertones in “A Visit to Hades” are overshadowed by a goofy, childish execution devoid of any nuance whatsoever.

 

Analysis

When considering the campy, if not thoroughly cartoonish, tone by which season two of Lost in Space is defined, the shenanigans of Morbus (not to be confused lost-in-space-a-visit-to-hadeswith “Morbius” of Forbidden Planet fame) can almost be excused from a critical standpoint. That being said, Wilber’s degrading treatment of Don and Judy should not, under any circumstances, have been tolerated. One particularly dreadful scene, for example, features Judy—a normally dignified and mature young woman—throwing a temper tantrum upon learning that Morbus cannot send her back to the Jupiter 2. This obnoxious display is then followed by a sequence wherein Major West, normally a competent fighter, bumbles through a fist fight with Morbus and has a magic harp smashed over his head by Judy—a degrading situation for two likable characters to endure.

 

Concluding Comments

“A Visit to Hades” is marred by comedic devices of a cringe-inducing variety. Especially awful are the madcap characterizations of Don and Judy, which will likely offend the majority of Lost in Space fans.

 

Overall Quality: 4/10

 

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2 thoughts on “Lost in Space Episode 41: A Visit to Hades

  1. This is my number twenty-four 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.. :-]

  2. Here is another very fun, tongue-in-cheek type of story, as the series right now is in a brief streak of the more ‘LiS Lite’ adventures, ending with this one. This is a very entertaining tale, and Gerald Mohr as Mr. Morbus is very dry witty in his fun role.

    There was a period where this episode went way down for me, but it has more recently gained better traction once again, as I learned to love and appreciate its humorous aspects once again. Still, it is easily in my bottom ten on the season..