Director: Harry Harris
Writer: Barney Slater
Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, Jonathan Harris, and Michael Rennie
Composer: None (Stock Music)
Air Date: 1/19/1966
Production #: 8517
While tampering with the controls on the Keeper’s spaceship, Dr. Smith releases a variety of horrible monsters from their exhibits. Thereafter, the Keeper agrees to return the animals—now roaming free on Priplanus—under one condition: the Robinsons must deliver Will and Penny to the Keeper, who wishes to add both children to his collection of specimens.
An ensemble piece for the main characters, “The Keeper Part 2” will appeal to fans of Lost in Space. This episode also deserves commendation for its poignant finale, which serves as a testament to the kind and compassionate qualities of Maureen Robinson.
Though usually employed for comic relief purposes alone, Dr. Smith plays an essential part in advancing the Keeper’s conflict with the Robinson family. Specifically, the reckless actions of Dr. Smith provide the Keeper—previously willing to leave the Robinsons in peace—with an opportunity to bargain for Will and Penny, who, along with the others, will potentially die if the animals remain uncontrolled for a significant length of time. In a later scene, Dr. Smith manipulates the children into meeting with the Keeper, unwittingly surrendering themselves in the process—another effective, albeit skin-crawling, use of the Dr. Smith character.
“The Keeper Part 2” may evoke criticism for its giant spider prop, which, as opposed to the live animal featured in a prior sequence, fails to produce a convincing outcome.
By offering to take the place of Will and Penny aboard the Keeper’s spacecraft, the characters of John, Maureen, Judy, and Major West demonstrate a remarkable sense of loyalty, nobility, and self-sacrifice—virtues that reinforce the traditional family relationships at the heart of Lost in Space.
“The Keeper Part 2” should be praised for its elegant performances, terrifying aliens, and heartwarming twist in the final act. Science fiction buffs and Michael Rennie enthusiasts may therefore appreciate this offering, which, similar to its predecessor, earns its status as a true series classic.
Overall Quality: 10/10
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