Director: Sobey Martin
Writer: Jackson Gillis
Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, Jonathan Harris, Malachi Throne, and Ted Cassidy
Composer: Robert Drasnin
Air Date: 11/9/1966
Production #: 9509
While inspecting a mineral drill, Will encounters an Arabian space thief (Malachi Throne) searching for a long-lost princess. Shortly thereafter, a towering slave (Ted Cassidy) mistakes Dr. Smith for a former master, resulting in an alliance between both men.
“The Thief from Outer Space” is an abysmal, cartoonish effort that will likely appeal to only the youngest of Lost in Space viewers. A brief but compelling sword duel between Professor Robinson and the eponymous Thief should, however, be commended.
Malachi Throne and Ted Cassidy (known for his portrayal of Lurch in The Addams Family) are mildly amusing in the roles of Thief and Slave, respectively.
“The Thief from Outer Space” is marred by the stale, groan-worthy comedic material conceived by writer Jackson Gillis. Specifically, the Ali Baba routine at the core of this episode becomes extremely repetitive and therefore tedious after the initial exchanges between the Thief—an abusive, mean-spirited man—and his Slave, an ostensibly submissive but secretly conniving person. Also worth criticizing is the “fat joke” employed by Gillis (the formerly beautiful princess is revealed to be a morbidly obese, unattractive woman), which indicates a lazy, uninspired approach to humor.
Quite possibly the first Lost in Space entry geared exclusively toward children, “The Thief from Outer Space” marks the point at which hard science fiction (originally a defining aspect of this series) was abandoned in favor of pure camp. (Fantasy themes had been present in this show since season one, albeit “The Thief from Outer Space” is the earliest episode to resemble an actual fairy tale.)
The enjoyable performances of Cassidy and Throne deserve praise from fans of both actors. Nevertheless, “The Thief from Outer Space” would best be avoided by those of a serious inclination.
Overall Quality: 2/10
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