Director: Sutton Roley
Writer: William Welch
Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, and Jonathan Harris
Composer: None (Stock Music)
Air Date: 12/8/1965
Production #: 8513
After a violent meteor shower, an Earth dog arrives at the Jupiter 2. Believing the canine to be an alien spy, Dr. Smith disassembles every laser pistol in the storage compartment—an action that prevents Maureen and the girls from defending themselves against a ferocious creature.
“One of Our Dogs Is Missing” may evoke criticism for its monster-of-the-week subplot and buffoonish characterization of Dr. Smith. Sensitive viewers will nevertheless appreciate this episode, which contains enough heartwarming subject matter for the whole family to enjoy.
This offering benefits from many cute, amusing, and sentimental moments involving the Robinson children and their furry companion. Especially worth praising is the climactic scene, wherein the dog—in a touching display of loyalty—rushes to the aid of young Will when a horned, bear-like monster surfaces from behind a rock to attack Professor Robinson and Major West.
The aforementioned monster may induce snickering due to its unconvincing appearance, which resembles a cross between Smeek—a space pirate featured in season two’s “Treasure of the Lost Planet”—and the alien werewolf showcased in “The Space Croppers.”
Also problematic is the behavior of Dr. Smith, who, though relatively stable until this point in the series, reacts in a bizarre and perplexing manner when confronted with the canine visitor. Specifically, Dr. Smith accuses the dog of espionage and, after rendering the Jupiter 2 defenseless against an alien attack, embarks on a mission to assassinate the Robinsons’ new pet—decisions that no rational human being, evil or otherwise, would ever make in the same situation.
By introducing a lovable pet with whom the audience can sympathize (much in contrast to Debbie the Bloop), “One of Our Dogs Is Missing” serves to reinforce the wholesome, family-friendly nature of this series. (Lost in Space enthusiasts may, however, question why the dog—potentially a worthwhile addition to the Robinson family—vanishes from the series after the events of this episode.)
For its riveting action sequences and emotionally stirring pet tropes, “One of Our Dogs Is Missing” should be commended. That being said, the antics of Dr. Smith—once a clever and conniving character—occasionally border on the absurd.
Overall Quality: 6/10
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