Director: Irving J. Moore
Writer: Jackson Gillis
Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, Jonathan Harris, Leonard Stone, Dee Hartford, and Miriam Schiller
Air Date: 2/14/1968
Production #: 1523
After hiring agent Nancy Pi Squared (Dee Hartford), Farnum discovers that his soul has been sold to a malevolent alien knight. Hoping to appease his new master, Farnum recruits Judy for an intergalactic beauty pageant. Meanwhile, Dr. Smith decides to profit from the opportunity by throwing a wig and scarf on the Robot and altering his voice to that of a female, thereby making him eligible for Farnum’s contest.
A mindless camp fest, “Space Beauty” fails to explore Judy’s personality in a dignified, intelligent manner. Also worth mentioning is Leonard Stone’s painfully unamusing portrayal of Farnum, which will likely appeal to only the youngest of Lost in Space fans.
By including the Robot in Farnum’s assemblage of alien women, “Space Beauty” exhibits an utter lack of respect for the most iconic mechanism in science fiction history. Specifically, the pageant sequences feature the Robot dressed in feminine attire while speaking in a voice provided by Dee Hartford—a groan-inducing concept that had been employed to a similar effect in “Fugitives in Space,” wherein the Robot dons a chef’s uniform while baking Dr. Smith and Major West an explosive cake.
As opposed to Judy-centric episodes “Attack of the Monster Plants” and “A Visit to Hades,” “Space Beauty” offers little if any insight into Marta Kristen’s character—a flaw that can be at least partially attributed to writer Jackson Gillis, whose narrative gave Kristen no opportunity to demonstrate her delicate acting abilities, instead emphasizing the antics of Mr. Farnum and Nancy Pi Squared from start to finish. Those who enjoy Lost in Space for its compelling family dynamics may therefore wish to avoid this episode, which effectively squanders the perfect (and final) opportunity to develop Judy’s character.
Showcasing alien costumes that resemble cheap Halloween masks and plot devices campy enough to make the 1960s Batman cringe in horror, “Space Beauty” is arguably the most asinine episode of Lost in Space. Viewers of a serious inclination would thus be wise to search elsewhere for a riveting science fiction piece.
Overall Quality: 1/10
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