Lost in Space Episode 65: Space Destructors

General Information

Director: Don Richardson

Writer: Robert Hamner

Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, Jonathan Harris, and Tommy Farrell

Composer: None (Stock Music)

Air Date: 10/11/1967

Production #: 1508

 

Overview

Using an alien machine, Dr. Smith creates an army of cyborgs—all produced in his image—with which to conquer the universe. Concerned that his friend willlost-in-space-space-destructors soon pass the point of no return, Will attempts to reason with Dr. Smith, with a horrifying outcome.

For employing science fiction to deliver an insightful cautionary tale, “Space Destructors” deserves praise from Lost in Space enthusiasts. It should be noted, however, that a primary aspect of Robert Hamner’s narrative concept (i.e. Dr. Smith replicas posing a legitimate challenge to the Robinson family) borders on the absurd.

 

Pros

lost-in-space-space-destructorsThough quite ridiculous, the Dr. Smith robots are made terrifying by the work of John Chambers—a veteran make-up artist known for his contributions to Star Trek and Planet of the Apes. Specifically, the alien robots bear a creepy resemblance to Jonathan Harris, which, when coupled with their malevolent motives, will surely impact the audience on a subconscious level.

 

Cons

(Spoilers beyond this point)

While confronting Dr. Smith, Will becomes trapped in the robot-generating machine. Thereafter, Will (now mutilated by the device) declares his intention tolost-in-space-space-destructors speak for the so-called master mechanism—a disturbing, if temporary, predicament for the most likable character in Lost in Space to endure.

Similar to “Follow the Leader” from season one, “Space Destructors” should be commended for showcasing the remarkable fencing abilities of Guy Williams (known for starring in the original Zorro series). That being said, Professor Robinson manages to defeat a powerful cyborg army with swordsmanship alone—a somewhat hackneyed, albeit exciting, conclusion to this episode.

 

Analysis

lost-in-space-space-destructorsIn the final scene, Professor Robinson prepares to banish Dr. Smith for his reprehensible actions. Despite initially defending himself with the usual excuses, Dr. Smith admits wrongdoing and accepts his punishment without protest, knowing that his antics will only further endanger those around him—a touching, heartfelt exchange which indicates that for all his vile behavior, Dr. Smith genuinely cares for the well-being of his host family.

 

Concluding Comments

“Space Destructors” is a flawed but mostly worthwhile episode of Lost in Space. Especially impressive are the make-up effects featured in this offering, which add a surreal and highly unnerving quality to the subject matter conceived by Hamner.

 

Overall Quality: 7/10

 

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3 thoughts on “Lost in Space Episode 65: Space Destructors

  1. This is my number seven ranked episode for the psychedelic and far out, all over the place, highly inconsistent and relatively overrated, shortest final colored season..

  2. Here is another long, long time sentimental favorite for me. It brings me fond memories because this was the very first favorite episode I had in the series, as far back as my earliest LOST IN SPACE memories go..back in the early 1970s. Of course, nowadays I see some flaws in there and unnecessary things, but I love it still.

    Really, I think that five of the first six episodes this season are really solid favorites. However, there are really only three more all season that I put into my elite eight (if you will) category. Some of those other later season popular episodes do not do nearly as much for me. I will mention that as I get there..

  3. It is my first time here. My name is Lucio and Lost in Space is one of the most wonderful memories of my childhood. As I saw these pictures I came back in time at lest four decades of joy and excitement. I am brazilliam and i own a Jonathan Harris autograph when he was in my city Fortaleza in 1995.Excuse my poor English mistakes and thanks for the opportunity to keep in touch with you guys.