Director: Nathan Juran
Writer: Peter Packer
Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, Jonathan Harris, and Strother Martin
Composer: Leith Stevens
Air Date: 9/14/1966
Production #: 9501
While preparing to depart from Priplanus, the Robinsons experience powerful planet quakes caused by the drilling of Nerim (Strother Martin)—miner of cosmonium, quintessence of the living force. Motivated by greed, Dr. Smith gambles one of the Jupiter 2’s thruster controls in a card game with Nerim, potentially stranding himself and his companions on a doomed world.
An action-packed offering, “Blast Off Into Space” is an exciting premiere to the second season of Lost in Space. Certain logical and character inconsistencies do, however, prevent this episode from attaining the status of a true series classic.
By posing an existential threat to the Robinson family, the reckless behavior of Nerim compels each main character (with the obvious exception of Dr. Smith) to waste no time whatsoever while making arrangements to abandon Priplanus—an aspect that allows “Blast Off Into Space” to maintain a swift and absorbing pace from start to finish, much in contrast to the majority of season-two episodes.
Despite risking his life in order to obtain a small sample of cosmonium, Dr. Smith makes little effort to acquire the diamonds scattered throughout Nerim’s cave—a bizarre reaction, especially considering the relative ease with which Dr. Smith could collect the diamonds (valued as nothing more than a “dang nuisance” by Nerim) at one point in the episode.
After cracking a vial of cosmonium on a fallen monument, Will and Dr. Smith accidentally bring to life a humanoid creature made of stone. Though somewhat frightening, the presence of a “statue monster” stretches the credibility of an already dubious narrative.
Before helping Major West pilot the Jupiter 2 to safety, Professor Robinson shares a variety of heartfelt exchanges with his wife and children—interactions that, when complemented by the touching musical arrangement of Leith Stevens, will appeal to those who admire the Robinsons for their poignant family relationships.
The first episode of Lost in Space filmed in color, “Blast Off Into Space” benefits from a compelling, adventure-themed story. Nevertheless, the antics of Nerim—whose resemblance to a 19th century gold miner from Earth is never explained—and Dr. Smith grow exceptionally tedious after a while.
Overall Quality: 6/10
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