Director: Irving J. Moore
Writer: Jackson Gillis
Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, Jonathan Harris, Leonard Stone, Ronald Weber, and Gary Tigerman
Composer: Alexander Courage
Air Date: 11/29/1967
Production #: 1514
While enjoying a peaceful afternoon, Will and Penny are kidnapped by Farnum (Leonard Stone)—an alien zookeeper. Shortly thereafter, Oggo (Gary Tigerman)—a young caveman owned by Farnum—teleports his master to an inhospitable planet, allowing control of the exhibits to fall into the hands of Dr. Smith.
“A Day at the Zoo” is a poor man’s remake of “The Keeper,” a phenomenal two-part episode that also details the story of a space-faring animal collector. The majority of fans should thus avoid this offering, which fails to update its recycled subject matter in a compelling fashion.
For exemplifying the carefree essence of the Robinson children, Alexander Courage’s musical score deserves praise from the audience.
Though arguably less irritating than certain other guest characters featured in this series (e.g. Admiral Zahrk from “Mutiny in Space”), Mr. Farnum—a flamboyant, high-strung man—can hardly be described as amusing, at least when viewed from a mature framework.
Also terrible are the comedic devices employed by writer Jackson Gillis, which, even by the typical standards of this series, frequently border on the absurd. For example, the Robot engages in a boxing match with the space knight known as Mort (not to be confused with “Gort” of The Day the Earth Stood Still fame) only to be chopped in half during the fight—a gag that falls tediously flat and should never have been attempted in the first place.
Despite alluding to themes of a profound and serious nature (e.g. the consequences of parental neglect), “A Day at the Zoo” is marred by campy subject matter. For a superior examination of the main concept explored in this episode, Lost in Space enthusiasts are advised to view both installments of “The Keeper” from season one.
Overall Quality: 3/10
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