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
After saving Will from the Robot, the Robinsons encounter a variety of new threats on the planetary surface. Upon facing a giant cyclops, a drastic temperature decrease, and a slew of natural disasters, the Robinsons leave the Jupiter 2 and seek shelter inside an alien cave—with an ominous outcome.
“There Were Giants in the Earth” is an exciting episode of Lost in Space. Worth praising in particular is the clever use of footage from “No Place to Hide” (the original series pilot), which provides the basis for a compelling new story.
Featuring a giant cyclops, an ancient cave, and the skeletal remains of a long-deceased humanoid, “There Were Giants in the Earth” offers a seamless blend of science fiction and horror-themed tropes—many of which serve to enhance the mysterious, unknown variables of the Robinsons’ journey across an alien world. Especially chilling are Bernard Herrmann’s eerie motifs from The Day the Earth Stood Still, which heighten the spooky, otherworldly atmosphere of an alien catacomb in the cliffhanger scene (resolved in “The Hungry Sea,” the final installment in Lost in Space’s initial five-part story arc).
Though flawless from a narrative standpoint, this episode is marred by dated special effects and minor continuity issues.
Highlighting Professor Robinson’s loving approach to disciplining Will, “There Were Giants in the Earth” should be commended for its traditional family values. Specifically, Will’s disobedient actions evoke a stern response from Professor Robinson on two separate occasions. However, Professor Robinson never abuses, berates, or humiliates Will despite addressing his defiant behavior in a firm corrective manner—an exemplary model that many parents would be wise to follow.
Showcasing giant monsters on a faraway planet, this episode will appeal to fans of the sci-fi/horror crossover genre. Viewers of a sensitive nature may also enjoy this offering, which, in addition to its father-son dynamic, hints at the future friendship between Will and the Robot—the most touching aspect of Lost in Space.
Overall Quality: 10/10
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