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. In doing so, the nefarious doctor 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. Despite initially benefiting from a serious tone, however, “Wild Adventure” is marred by the campy, groan-worthy interactions between Dr. Smith and his alien love interest.
Though normally an irritating, 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, the good-for-nothing stowaway damages the astrogator during a scuffle with Don, who, in contrast to Dr. Smith, wishes to guide the Robinson family to Alpha Centauri as indicated in the series pilot. Later in the episode, Dr. Smith manipulates Penny into altering the navigation controls, nearly resulting in a collision with Earth’s sun—a highly intense situation that Lost in Space enthusiasts will no doubt enjoy.
Appearing on the cue of Alexander Courage’s musical arrangement, Lorelei floats around the ship’s exterior and flirts with Dr. Smith—now hypnotized by the girl from the green dimension—through a number of inarticulate, albeit 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 antics of Lorelei have no place in a mature science fiction narrative (that being said, the youngest of Lost in Space viewers may find the “relationship” between Lorelei and Dr. Smith to be amusing).
(Spoilers beyond this point)
For highlighting the compassionate and forgiving qualities possessed by the Robinson family, “Wild Adventure” should be praised by audiences with a strong sense of morality. Specifically, Maureen insists that Major West rescue Dr. Smith from Lorelei, thereby sacrificing the perfect opportunity to return to Earth—a commendable gesture, and one that will appeal to those who admire the Robinsons for their exemplary value system.
“Wild Adventure” is an exciting, if uneven, episode of Lost in Space. Especially compelling are the near-misses sprinkled throughout this offering, which frequently culminate in a suspenseful, engaging atmosphere that fans of all ages can appreciate.
Overall Quality: 7/10
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