Lost in Space Episode 4: There Were Giants in the Earth

Technical Specs

Director: Leo Penn

Writer: Carey Wilber

Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, and Jonathan Harris

Composer: Herman Stein

Air Date: 10/6/1965

Production #: 8504

 

Overview

After Will averts the Robot’s attempt on his life, the Robinsons are faced with a new set of dangers when a cyclops is discovered near the campsite. In addition, a rapid drop in lost-in-space-there-were-giants-in-the-earthtemperature requires the family and Major West to vacate the Jupiter 2 and venture south, where a cave containing the remnants of an ancient civilization provides temporary shelter from the elements; but not from a massive quake raging beneath the planet’s surface.

An exciting episode, “There Were Giants in the Earth” will appeal to Lost in Space fans with its adventure-themed subject matter. Also worth mentioning are the emotionally stirring family moments contained in this entry, which further strengthen the loving bond between Will and his father.

 

Pros

By limiting Dr. Smith’s meddlesome antics to the initial scenes, Carey Wilber’s narrative maintains a strict focus on the Robinson family and Major West at all times. Such an approach lost-in-space-there-were-giants-in-the-earthwill no doubt give viewers the opportunity to become acquainted with the central characters and their interactions with one another, with a particular emphasis on John’s firm but affectionate means of disciplining Will for his defiant behavior. Notwithstanding any dated special effects, the iconic cyclops sequence should also be commended for allowing Will a chance to rescue Don and John, even though he must once again disobey his parents in order to do so.

 

Cons

None, barring any minor inconsistencies between original footage and recycled material from the unaired pilot (as an example, the Robinsons and Major West appear to change lost-in-space-there-were-giants-in-the-earthclothes immediately following the second giant encounter, despite being confined to the Chariot the entire time).

 

Analysis

As indicated earlier, Professor Robinson’s relationship with Will is explored with penetrating insight at various points, thus setting the foundation for an unbreakable father-son bond between the two. Specifically, a scene in which John reprimands Will for tampering with the Robot serves the purpose of highlighting the former character’s remarkable patience when correcting the ill behavior of his son. This, along with Professor Robinson’s stern conversation with Will after being rescued from the cyclops, demonstrates that John can show tough love without succumbing to anger, thereby lost-in-space-there-were-giants-in-the-earthestablishing his position as a model parent.

Additionally relevant are the first hints at a potential friendship between Will and the Robot, which would eventually become a defining aspect of Lost in Space. Will’s display of fondness for the Robot makes for a truly poignant addition to this episode, especially when considering that the Robot had previously attempted to kill the Robinson boy while acting under orders from Dr. Smith.

 

Concluding Comments

Despite borrowing a great deal of material from “No Place to Hide,” “There Were Giants in the Earth” adheres to a coherent and original plot thanks to Wilber’s talents as a science fiction writer. By combining riveting action sequences with excellent family dynamics, this episode earns its place as a series classic.

 

Overall Quality: 10/10

 

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4 thoughts on “Lost in Space Episode 4: There Were Giants in the Earth

  1. The giant cyclops is truly iconic. The ruins of the ancient civilization were so cool. There’s so much they could have explored throughout their stay on this planet, what a wasted opportunity that they dropped it. Also, the recurring giganticism would have been fun to run with. Maybe Land Of the Giants diverted it away from LIS.

  2. At the end of this episode it says to stay tuned for next week, then in episode 5 they are back in the ship and there’s no conclusion as to how they got out and back to the ship. I remember being disappointed by this when the show aired in 1965.

    • Pamela, it is at the very end of episode 5 that they are back at the ship. A whole lot goes on in the next episode and it tells all about how they get back..

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