Director: Nathan Juran
Writer: Peter Packer
Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, Jonathan Harris, and Marcel Hillaire
Composer: None (Stock Music)
Air Date: 9/6/1967
Production #: 1501
Threatened by an approaching comet, the Robinsons are forced to evacuate the season-two planet. Thereafter, Dr. Smith accidentally ejects the Robot from the Jupiter 2, requiring Professor Robinson and Major West to explore an automated prison ship while searching for their mechanical companion. Tampering with alien controls, Dr. Smith releases Phanzig (Marcel Hillaire)—a dangerous criminal—from confinement.
A loose remake of “The Derelict,” “Condemned of Space” provides a thrilling, memorable introduction to the third and final season of Lost in Space. Especially captivating are the creative concepts (e.g. space travel, suspended animation, and robotic prison guards) presented in this episode, the futuristic vision of which will appeal to science fiction fans.
By progressing at a swift and compelling pace from start to finish, “Condemned of Space” delivers an adventurous, riveting, action-packed story that viewers of all ages can easily enjoy. Specifically, the Robinsons evade a fiery collision, chase the Robot B-9 across hard vacuum, discover an alien vessel containing frozen convicts, encounter Robby the Robot for the second time, and quell a ship-wide rebellion before returning to outer space—events that establish an exciting new course for Lost in Space after a tedious, if not thoroughly stagnant, second season.
Also worth praising are the set designs featured in “Condemned of Space,” which provide the Vera Castle Penitentiary with a haunting and surreal atmosphere. Upon entering the prison, for example, Don and John traverse an empty, icy-blue corridor that serves to embody the underlying themes (i.e. the loneliness and isolation experienced by societal outcasts, represented in this episode as forgotten prisoners confined to a frozen ship) of Peter Packer’s narrative.
Confronted by a horde of angry prisoners, John risks his life to repair a mechanism that could save every person aboard Vera Castle—a testament to the noble, self-sacrificing nature of Professor Robinson.
“Condemned of Space” deserves its reputation as a rousing, iconic, and visually striking episode. Therefore, enthusiasts of the sci-fi/adventure crossover genre would be wise to view this classic installment of Lost in Space.
Overall Quality: 9/10
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