Director: Nathan Juran
Writer: Barney Slater
Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, and Jonathan Harris
Composer: None (Stock Music)
Air Date: 12/14/1966
Production #: 9514
While exploring a nearby cave, Will and Dr. Smith encounter a trio of Saticons—ominous, malevolent aliens who kidnap and dismantle the Robot. Despite recovering and restoring the Robot, the Robinsons are disturbed to learn of the Saticons’ newly acquired technology.
“Wreck of the Robot” operates on a captivating, albeit oft-used, science fiction premise (i.e. one or more enemies manufacturing a device with which to conquer the universe). Also excellent is the relatively serious tone of this episode, which serves to establish the Saticons as a credible threat to the Robinson family.
By dressing in cloaked attire and swaying their bodies from side to side, the Saticons exemplify a subtle creepiness that will appeal to fans of the sci-fi/horror crossover genre. Complementing the spooky vibes generated by the Saticons, the stock music featured in “Wreck of the Robot” accentuates the sense of dread, helplessness, and apprehension underlying the Robinsons’ every interaction with the enigmatic aliens—an effective use of Bernard Herrmann’s composition from The Day the Earth Stood Still, and one that distinguishes the Saticons from other antagonists, many of whom border on absurd, presented in season two of Lost in Space.
Fearing that the Saticons will remove him from the Jupiter 2, the Robot audibly moans while lamenting his situation to Will—an extremely campy moment that undermines the grave, existential threat facing the Robinson family and potentially the entire universe.
Similar to “War of the Robots” from season one, “Wreck of the Robot” deserves praise for highlighting how greatly the Robinsons cherish their mechanical companion, almost as if he were a member of the actual family. Specifically, Professor Robinson and Major West go to extraordinary lengths in order to protect, retrieve, and reassemble the Robot following his ordeal with the Saticons—a poignant gesture which indicates that every human character, with the possible exception of Dr. Smith, cares deeply for the Robot, even when not taking into account his worth as a utility.
For emphasizing Robinson family values in a compelling narrative, this episode should be requisite viewing for fans of Lost in Space. In addition to its heartwarming subject matter, “Wreck of the Robot” provides a chilling and memorable introduction to the Saticons—arguably the only menacing (or even halfway decent) villains in the entire second season of this series.
Overall Quality: 8/10
If you enjoyed this post, please enter your email address in the subscription box to stay tuned for more updates.