Lost in Space Episode 43: The Dream Monster

General Information

Director: Don Richardson

Writer: Peter Packer

Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, Jonathan Harris, John Abbott, and Dawson Palmer

Composer: None (Stock Music)

Air Date: 12/21/1966

Production #: 9511

 

Overview

lost-in-space-the-dream-monsterHaving assembled an android known as Raddion (Dawson Palmer), Sesmar (John Abbott)—a mad scientist—proceeds to graft the noblest attributes of John, Maureen, Will, Judy, and Penny onto his new creation. As a result, only Major West and Dr. Smith can undo the effects of Sesmar’s transpirator, thereby restoring that which was taken from the Robinsons.

A season two highlight, “The Dream Monster” will appeal to fans of serious, thought-provoking science fiction. This episode does, however, deserve criticism for its hackneyed resolution.

 

Pros

Following the personality transfer, all members of the Robinson family are reduced to slothful, apathetic versions of their former selves—a highly amusing subplot lost-in-space-the-dream-monsterthat offers comic relief without the use of camp. Especially humorous are the antics of Professor Robinson, who, now relaxing on a sunny afternoon, recommends that Dr. Smith and Major West “go inside (the Jupiter 2) and take it easy” while fleeing from a deadly monster.

On a more solemn note, John Abbott should be commended for his portrayal of Sesmar, the intellectual brilliance of whom is contrasted with an almost childlike curiosity toward human emotions—an aspect that prevents the Sesmar character from coming across as a malevolent figure, even when employing methods of a harmful and deceptive nature.

 

Cons

By communicating via high-pitched purring noises, Sesmar’s lab assistants—both of whom resemble munchkins wearing scuba gear—frequently detract from the ominous tone of this episode.

 

Analysis

lost-in-space-the-dream-monsterSimilar to “The Space Primevals” from season three, “The Dream Monster” contains a scenario in which Dr. Smith and Major West, two men who despise each other with a passion, must cooperate in order to survive—an effective, compelling use of the Smith/West rivalry trope, and one which indicates that even mortal enemies can set aside their differences in a life-or-death situation.

 

Concluding Comments

“The Dream Monster” puts an intriguing twist on the legend of Dr. Frankenstein, the great-grandson of whom appears in “A Visit from Johann”—an episode of The Munsters that also features Abbott. Lost in Space fans may therefore enjoy this entry, which provides a unique opportunity for Dr. Smith and Major West to rescue the Robinson family from peril.

 

Overall Quality: 7/10

 

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4 thoughts on “Lost in Space Episode 43: The Dream Monster

  1. I agree this is a season two highlight. I think it’s similar in tone and content to The Phantom Family. Together they are highlights of season two.

  2. This is my number two 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. What was always a very solid episode has gradually turned into one of my very, very top favorite colored episodes through the years. As colored episodes go, this one is played quite straight. It even has a fantastic Season One look and feel to it..with the great old survival themes in play, and even the men folk dressed down in their white T-shirts. Excellent stuff.

    This is the middle in the trio of very solid and straight mid-Season Two really, really goodies..

  4. ..oh, I forgot to mention..

    this one also utilizes a whole lot of my very favorite spooky music..the music that always plays in Raddion scenes. I think that excellent spooky music (which I always love in episodes) is old Bernard Herrmann music from THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951), or something.