Director: Sobey Martin
Writers: Barney Slater and Herman Groves
Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, Jonathan Harris, Don Matheson, and Françoise Ruggieri
Composer: None (Stock Music)
Air Date: 11/17/1965
Production #: 8510
Utilizing a crablike mechanism to survey Priplanus, a family from the planet Tauron establishes a campsite near the Jupiter 2. Against the advice of Professor Robinson, Dr. Smith provokes a conflict with the Taurons—with a surprising outcome.
Employing science fiction as a vehicle for political commentary, “The Sky Is Falling” indicates that a preemptive war doctrine can result in devastating consequences for everyone involved. Those with a narrow attention span may, however, wish to avoid this episode for its languid pacing.
Don Matheson (whom Lost in Space fans will recognize from season two’s “Revolt of the Androids”) deserves praise for his portrayal of Rethso, mute leader of the Tauron family. Specifically, Matheson’s unique hand gestures communicate the intentions of Rethso, who, though unable to speak, exemplifies the love, authority, and protectiveness of a strong patriarch—similar to Professor Robinson.
“The Sky Is Falling” should also be commended for its effective use of the Dr. Smith character, whose paranoid and xenophobic attitude serves to escalate the tensions between the Taurons—initially peaceful explorers who prepare to defend themselves against a perceived threat—and the Robinsons, who wrongly connect the disappearance of Will with the arrival of the aliens.
During Will’s absence from the Jupiter 2, John and Maureen spend an inordinate amount of time deciding whether to confront the Taurons. Despite highlighting the dedication of both Robinson parents toward their missing son, the family discussions in this episode become slightly tedious and repetitive after a while.
“The Sky Is Falling” contains a worthwhile message on the dangers of jumping to conclusions, making accusations without evidence, and always assuming the worst about others—a lesson that both civilians and foreign policy officials would be wise to consider.
Science fiction fans may enjoy this offering, which benefits from a compelling narrative conflict, a believable depiction of humanoid lifeforms, and an exciting confrontation in the climactic scene. “The Sky Is Falling” should likewise be noted for its realistic performances, which add a strong human element to the hasty and irrational decisions of each character.
Overall Quality: 8/10
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