Director: Sobey Martin
Writer: Jackson Gillis
Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, Jonathan Harris, Woodrow Parfrey, Lou Wagner, and Kenya Coburn
Air Date: 10/18/1967
Production #: 1509
Befriending an elf-like boy known as J-5 (Lou Wagner), Penny invites her new acquaintance aboard the Jupiter 2. Thereafter, the Robinsons arrive on a space station manned by Colonel Silas Fogey (Woodrow Parfrey)—an eccentric old man who indicates that, given the shortage of available fuel, J-5 will be unable to return to his home planet. Infuriated, J-5 unleashes Zaybo (Kenya Coburn)—an imaginary friend—on the station before assuming control of the Jupiter 2.
“The Haunted Lighthouse” is a mildly entertaining, albeit drawn-out, episode of Lost in Space. Worth praising in particular is the performance of Woodrey Parfrey, which will appeal to fans of oddball humor.
Upon encountering another human being for the first time in years, Silas Fogey mumbles incoherently; chuckles like a madman; and grabs hold of the Robinson patriarch, hugging him tightly—a highly unexpected display from a dignified space colonel, whose jovial manner provides an amusing contrast to the straight-faced reaction of Professor Robinson.
On a technical note, the haunting musical arrangement of Joseph Mullendore should be commended. Specifically, Mullendore’s composition embodies the mysterious, alien nature of J-5 and his invisible accomplice, thereby enhancing the charm of two otherwise unremarkable characters.
Despite lacking the pathos of “My Friend, Mr. Nobody” (the first Lost in Space episode to explore the imaginary friend trope), “The Haunted Lighthouse” contains a laudable message—namely that immersing oneself in fantasy can never satisfy the need for human companionship.
Offering an implausible explanation for Zaybo, an alien shape-shifter who shares a secret connection with J-5, “The Haunted Lighthouse” will likely disappoint enthusiasts of the science fiction genre. Penny’s friendship with J-5 may, however, tug the heartstrings of sensitive viewers.
Overall Quality: 5/10
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