Director: Tony Leader
Writer: Norman Lessing
Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, and Jonathan Harris
Composer: Johnny Williams
Air Date: 9/29/1965
Production #: 8503
After losing contact with Professor Robinson, Major West lands the Jupiter 2 on a mysterious planet known as Priplanus. Meanwhile, Dr. Smith reprograms the Robot to kill every “nonessential” crew member—with a terrible outcome.
“Island in the Sky” will appeal to Lost in Space fans for its riveting action sequences and captivating character conflicts. Especially worth commending are the frequent clashes between Dr. Smith and Major West, who establish a permanent rivalry in this episode.
Still a dark and sinister villain at this point in the series, Dr. Smith hijacks the Jupiter 2 during a tense maneuver, attempts to kill Professor Robinson by sabotaging his parajets, and compels the Robot to attack young Will after arriving on the planet—actions that heighten the suspense, drama, and disaster elements of Norman Lessing’s narrative.
On the other hand, Major West will earn praise for his heroic and quick-thinking responses to the conniving Dr. Smith. When coerced into aborting a rescue mission, for example, Major West reacts by destabilizing the Jupiter 2, threatening Dr. Smith into defusing the Robot, and locking his unwanted guest in a freezing tube for the remaining journey—all clever decisions that confirm Major West as a worthy opponent to Dr. Smith.
Introducing an alien pet (Debbie the Bloop) for Penny, a comical relationship between the Robot and his disparaging master, and a heated confrontation between Dr. Smith and Major West, “Island in the Sky” solidifies a number of traits that would define each character throughout this series.
Combining science fiction and adventure aspects with a strong human antagonist, “Island in the Sky” should be requisite viewing for enthusiasts of the early Lost in Space episodes. Specifically outstanding are the performances of Jonathan Harris and Mark Goddard, who exhibit an intense and natural chemistry with each other.
Overall Quality: 10/10
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