Director: Sutton Roley
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: 11/10/1965
Production #: 8509
During a severe drought, the Robinsons discover an alien fruit and collect a number of samples for edibility testing. Later that evening, Dr. Smith begins eating the fruit—still untested by Professor Robinson—and suffers a horrifying side effect as a result.
Similar to the majority of season one installments, “The Oasis” offers a riveting tale of hardship and survival on a hostile planet. Nevertheless, this episode is marred by tonal inconsistencies, juvenile comedic devices, and an occasional lack of narrative focus.
Jonathan Harris deserves praise for his disturbing portrayal of Dr. Smith, who transforms into a paranoid, accusatory giant after helping himself to a piece of alien fruit. Specifically worth praising are the climactic sequences, wherein Will, Professor Robinson, and Major West must convince Dr. Smith—now in a dangerously psychotic state—to return a stolen fuel cell before every person aboard the Jupiter 2 dies of thirst.
While singing a duet with the Robot, Dr. Smith takes a shower with the remaining water supply—a cringe-worthy display, especially by the standards of an early Lost in Space episode. (Viewers who enjoy this series for its comical, offbeat sketches involving Dr. Smith and the Robot may, however, appreciate the shower routine for its amusing subject matter.)
In addition to its embarrassing content, “The Oasis” struggles to account for one significant logical problem: after expanding to the size of three men, Dr. Smith fails to tear through his clothing items—apparently composed of indestructible material—and seek another source of concealment during his giant phase.
Despite delivering Will to a malevolent alien species in the previous episode, Dr. Smith evokes worried and sad responses from Judy and Maureen upon leaving the Jupiter 2—an aspect that slightly undermines the dangerous, if not existential, threat that Dr. Smith poses toward the Robinson family.
“The Oasis” is an uneven episode of Lost in Space. Though well-acted and poignantly executed, this offering is hampered by dated special effects and dubious science fiction elements.
Overall Quality: 5/10
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