Lost in Space Episode 24: His Majesty Smith

General Information

Director: Harry Harris

Writer: Carey Wilber

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

Composer: None (Stock Music)

Air Date: 3/16/1966

Production #: 8524

 

Overview

Upon discovering a bejeweled crown, Dr. Smith is made king of the Andronicans—malevolent aliens who, unbeknownst to Dr. Smith, employ the crown as a bait for capturing, preparing, and sacrificing a useless, despicable man at a yearly festival.lost-in-space-his-majesty-smith To prevent suspicion among the Robinson family, one of the aliens (Kevin Hagen)—a hirsute, physically repulsive humanoid—creates a hardworking, self-sacrificing duplicate of Dr. Smith to assume his place aboard the Jupiter 2.

Alluding to human sacrifice as an alien cultural practice, “His Majesty Smith” should be requisite viewing for fans of the sci-fi/horror crossover genre. That being said, the introduction of a comedic subplot (i.e., Dr. Smith competing with a superior clone of himself) serves to undermine the gruesome threat posed by the Andronicans.

 

Pros

Donning royal attire, Dr. Smith demands that his subjects address him as “Your Majesty.” Unwilling to comply, Major West—whom Dr. Smith believes would make lost-in-space-his-majesty-smithan excellent court jester—demands that Dr. Smith abandon his throne and stop embarrassing himself. Infuriated, Dr. Smith commands one of his servants to fetch the head of Major West—an amusing sequence that distracts from the sinister, macabre inner workings of the Andronican society.

Despite bearing the visage of a hairy, uncivilized creature, the alien portrayed by Kevin Hagen exemplifies a cold, sophisticated manner while describing the ritual sacrifice to Dr. Smith—a disturbing contrast, especially when heightened by the horrified reactions of Jonathan Harris.

 

Cons

lost-in-space-his-majesty-smithBy overplaying the antics of Dr. Smith and his alien doppelganger, “His Majesty Smith” leaves no opportunity to explore the machinations of the Andronican people—potentially a fascinating, albeit morbid, alien race—beyond a surface level.

 

Analysis

Despite featuring two opposite versions of the same character, “His Majesty Smith” lacks a penetrating analysis on the dual nature of man—quite unlike “The Anti-Matter Man,” a similarly themed episode from season three.

 

Concluding Comments

“His Majesty Smith” is marred by an inconsistent tone coupled with a lack of narrative focus. The performance of Hagen (known for his benign role of Dr. Hiram Baker in Little House on the Prairie) does, however, deserve praise for its unnerving qualities.

 

Overall Quality: 6/10

 

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