Director: Don Richardson
Writers: William Read Woodfield and Allan Balter
Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, Jonathan Harris, and Vitina Marcus
Composer: Alexander Courage
Air Date: 9/21/1966
Production #: 9502
Unbeknownst to the Robinson family and Major West, Dr. Smith plots a course for Earth using information given to him by the Robot. Complications arise when Dr. Smith accidentally jettisons the remaining fuel supply, requiring the ship to land on a refueling barge. During the delay, Lorelei (Vitina Marcus)—an alien seductress with green-colored skin—attaches herself to the Jupiter 2 and lures Dr. Smith into outer space, forcing the Robinsons to make a decision that will impact their lives forever.
By emphasizing adventure-themed subject matter in a science fiction setting, the first half of this episode remains true to the original premise for Lost in Space. Nevertheless, “Wild Adventure” is marred by the antics of Dr. Smith and his alien love interest.
Though normally an irritating and superfluous character, Dr. Smith serves to advance the central conflict of “Wild Adventure” on more than one occasion. In the pre-credit sequence, for example, Dr. Smith damages the astrogator during a scuffle with Major West and knocks the Jupiter 2 off-course as a result. Later in the episode, Dr. Smith manipulates Penny into altering the navigation controls and sends the ship on a collision course with the Sun—an intense situation that should appeal to fans of action/adventure stories.
Appearing on the cue of Alexander Courage’s musical arrangement, Lorelei—a girl from the green dimension—floats around the ship’s exterior and flirts with Dr. Smith through a series of inarticulate, soothing vocal sounds.
In addition to being thoroughly illogical (no creature, alien or not, could hover gracefully over a spacecraft traveling faster than light), the silly behavior of Lorelei may induce groaning from serious science fiction buffs (child viewers, in contrast, may find a great deal of humor in Lorelei’s “relationship” with the hypnotized Dr. Smith).
(Spoilers beyond this point)
For highlighting the self-sacrificing nature of the main characters, “Wild Adventure” may evoke praise from those with a strong sense of ethics. Specifically, the Robinsons and Major West give up an opportunity to return home in order to rescue Dr. Smith from Lorelei—a commendable gesture that offers a testament to the moral, compassionate values of the Robinson family.
“Wild Adventure” is an exciting, if uneven, installment of Lost in Space. Especially worth noting are the near-misses sprinkled throughout this episode, which maintain a suspenseful and engaging atmosphere from beginning to end.
Overall Quality: 7/10
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