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

General Information

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

lost-in-space-there-were-giants-in-the-earthAfter 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.

 

Pros

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 sciencelost-in-space-there-were-giants-in-the-earth 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).

 

Cons

Though flawless from a narrative standpoint, this episode is marred by dated special effects and minor continuity issues.

 

Analysis

lost-in-space-there-were-giants-in-the-earthHighlighting 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.

 

Concluding Comments

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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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..