Director: Don Richardson
Writer: Peter Packer
Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, and Jonathan Harris
Composer: None (Stock Music)
Air Date: 2/2/1966
Production #: 8519
Failing to complete the task assigned to him, Dr. Smith drops an explosive into a bog filled with ionized gas—an action that releases an invisible monster near the Jupiter 2. Unwilling to accept responsibility for his mistake, Dr. Smith insists that the creature is actually the spirit of his late Uncle Thaddeus—with a ghoulish outcome.
Combining spooky tropes with alien hijinks, “Ghost in Space” may appeal to fans of the horror/sci-fi crossover genre. Nevertheless, the antics of Dr. Smith frequently detract from the gruesome, terrifying nature of the invisible monster.
Employing ghastly sound effects in conjunction with a layer of impenetrable fog, “Ghost in Space” establishes the perfect setting for a mysterious, bloodthirsty creature to stalk and prey upon members of the Robinson family. (On a similar note, horror buffs will observe many parallels between this episode and a classic Universal Monster film.)
Though initially ominous, “Ghost in Space” struggles to maintain a haunting atmosphere throughout—likely a consequence of the distracting and incongruous behavior of Dr. Smith. Specifically, Dr. Smith—a despicable coward who often panics when confronted with bizarre or inexplicable phenomena—responds to the invisible fiend by conducting a mock séance with Will, Penny, Judy, Maureen, and the Robot in attendance. In addition to being out-of-character, Dr. Smith’s nonchalant reaction to a fearsome, malevolent creature may prevent the audience from taking the bog monster seriously.
A monster-of-the-week episode, “Ghost in Space” provides little opportunity to explore the trials, dynamics, and relationships of the Robinson family and Major West.
“Ghost in Space” is a creepy, atmospheric installment of Lost in Space. Viewers looking for a scary, black-and-white episode to watch during the Halloween season may, however, wish to forgo this offering in favor of “Wish Upon a Star”—a superior season-one entry.
Overall Quality: 4/10
If you enjoyed this post, please enter your email address in the subscription box to stay tuned for more updates.