Lost in Space Episode 76: Princess of Space

General Information

Director: Don Richardson

Writers: Jackson Gillis

Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, Jonathan Harris, Robert Faulk, Arte Johnson, and Sheila Mathews

Composer: None (Stock Music)

Air Date: 1/10/1968

Production #: 1519

 

Overview

Kraspo (Robert Faulk) and Fedor (Arte Johnson), two anachronistically fashioned space commanders, kidnap Penny and present her as the royal niece of Aunt lost-in-space-princess-of-spaceGamma (Sheila Mathews). Though initially resistant, Penny is forced to comply when Kraspo turns Judy and Major West into strips of magnetic tape and threatens to destroy them. Meanwhile, Will discovers a dark connection between Fedor and his computerized crew mates.

“Princess of Space” combines the stylistic elements of “Mutiny in Space” with the overused trope of autonomous machines run amok. Lost in Space enthusiasts of a critical disposition may therefore wish to avoid this episode, the recycled comedy of which falls tediously flat on more than one occasion.

 

Pros

Sheila Mathews—known to Lost in Space fans for her portrayals of Ruth Templeton in “Return from Outer Space” and Brynhilda in “The Space Vikings,” lost-in-space-princess-of-spaceas well as for her marriage to series creator Irwin Allen—once again delivered a strong performance despite the ridiculous nature of her character. Especially worth praising are Aunt Gamma’s poignant interactions with Penny, which, in addition to showcasing the delicate abilities of Mathews, display the tragically underused talents of Angela Cartwright in a manner that will appeal to viewers of a sympathetic and sensitive inclination.

 

Cons

Penny’s aforementioned interactions with Aunt Gamma aside, “Princess of Space” contains no character insight to justify the juvenile premise on which it operates.

 

Analysis

lost-in-space-princess-of-spaceOstensibly a Penny-themed episode, “Princess of Space” fails to explore Cartwright’s character with sufficient dignity or thoughtfulness. Specifically, Penny often engages in mundane, if not thoroughly absurd, conversations with cartoonish aliens while Will, Dr. Smith, and the Robot proceed to save the day through ingenuity alone—a formulaic resolution of conflict that provides few if any opportunities to develop or expand upon Penny’s personality.

 

Concluding Comments

An asinine effort, “Princess in Space” is marred by the hackneyed, cringe-inducing narrative devices employed by writer Jackson Gillis. Any exchanges between Mathews and Cartwright should, however, be commended for the emotionally compelling qualities thereof.

 

Overall Quality: 2/10

 

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2 thoughts on “Lost in Space Episode 76: Princess of Space

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

  2. Actually, this one has grown on me more and more over the years. Yeah, it is one of the sillier episodes, sort of a flashback and reminiscent to some mid Season Two stories. However, as you know, I love Season Two, so it is no wonder this one has grown in favor for me since the childhood days of the 1970s, my earliest recollections of the series. I just like the characters and the story quite well here. It is a ‘fun’ episode, where you kind of take it all in as a dream sequence and not at face value. We know that Jackson Gillis is very capable of writing excellent stories for this series. I give him more credit on this one..