Director: Don Richardson
Writer: William Welch
Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, Jonathan Harris, Royal Dano, and Kym Karath
Composer: None (Stock Music)
Air Date: 4/13/1966
Production #: 8527
While searching for water during a heat wave, the male members of the Jupiter crew seek shelter in a cave. As Professor Robinson and Major West work on the Chariot, Will awakens the princess (Kym Karath) of an underground society whose military commander, Major Domo (Royal Dano), plans to invade Earth.
An obvious tribute to the Flash Gordon serials of the 1930s, “The Lost Civilization” will appeal to fans of adventure-themed science fiction. There are times, however, when the plot contrivances in this episode border on the absurd.
By forgoing the antics of Dr. Smith, “The Lost Civilization” maintains a serious, camp-free tone from beginning to end. Especially somber are the desperate actions taken by Don, John, Will, and the Robot, which reinforce the dire threats (planet quakes, water shortages, and volcanic eruptions) facing the Jupiter 2.
(Spoilers beyond this point)
Fleeing the princess’ chamber, Will and his father are surrounded by Major Domo—whose visage and machinations resemble those of Ming the Merciless—and his army. Moments later, a violent quake prevents the major from executing John, allowing him to escape with Will—a hackneyed resolution to the main conflict.
Also illogical, a young and inexperienced princess is granted leadership of a technologically advanced warrior race. As a result of this fact, critical viewers may struggle to accept the very premise for this episode.
Seemingly without hesitation, Professor Robinson allows the princess to return to her original resting place within the disintegrating cave—a morally questionable decision, especially when considering the destruction of Priplanus in “Blast Off Into Space.”
“The Lost Civilization” is an entertaining installment of Lost in Space. Nevertheless, this episode is marred by weak storytelling and narrative clichés.
Overall Quality: 6/10
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