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
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 who 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.
Also interesting is a cameo made by the Metaluna Mutant from This Island Earth, who appears during a comical encounter with Dr. Smith.
The satirical undertones in “A Visit to Hades” are overshadowed by a goofy, childish execution devoid of any nuance whatsoever.
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 with “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.
“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
If you enjoyed this post, please enter your email address in the subscription box to stay tuned for more updates.