Director: Robert Douglas
Writers: Bob Duncan and Wanda Duncan
Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, Jonathan Harris, Walter Burke, Fritz Feld, Larry Dean, Tiger Joe Marsh, and Dawson Palmer
Composer: None (Stock Music)
Air Date: 1/25/1967
Production #: 9518
Upon encountering a mechanical catalogue, Will and Dr. Smith are plunged into the workshop of Mr. O. M. (Walter Burke)—an eccentric toy maker who continues to operate without permission from Zumdish. Mistaking the pair for renegade toys, Mr. O. M. compels a wind-up monster to chase after Dr. Smith and his young companion, who discover a portal to Earth while fleeing for their lives. Meanwhile, Mr. Zumdish and his security guard (Tiger Joe Marsh) threaten to destroy the android machine before Professor Robinson can extract Will, Dr. Smith, and the Robot from Mr. O. M.’s factory.
“The Toymaker” is a disjointed, albeit occasionally touching, holiday episode. All but the youngest of Lost in Space viewers are therefore advised to forgo this offering in favor of “Return from Outer Space,” a superior Christmas tale from season one.
By combining scary monsters (a defining aspect of this series) with an innocent, magical atmosphere similar to that of Disney’s Babes in Toyland, “The Toymaker” may appeal to Lost in Space fans of a sentimental nature.
While roaming the alien toy shop, Will and Dr. Smith discover a door that leads to Earth. Instead of immediately prying open the door (concealed only by a half-dozen planks) and jumping through it, Dr. Smith takes an inordinate amount of time to admire a glimpse of Christmas scenery before taking action—a highly unrealistic response from a man who desires nothing more than to return home.
Also worth criticizing is the characterization of the Robot, who behaves cowardly in one instance and over-sensitively in another. (Though capable of emotion, the Robot had never before valued his “feelings” over the welfare of his family.)
In order to rescue Dr. Smith from Mr. O. M., Will sacrifices his only opportunity to utilize the gateway to Earth—a poignant decision which indicates that, despite being a mere child, the Robinson boy will go to extraordinary lengths when helping a friend in peril.
The second Christmas episode of Lost in Space, “The Toymaker” can best be described as a series of fantastic, if not thoroughly nonsensical, events amalgamated together without a coherent purpose in mind. This installment does, however, deserve praise for its heartwarming subject matter.
Overall Quality: 3/10
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