Director: Justus Addiss
Writer: Barney Slater
Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, Jonathan Harris, and Henry Jones
Composer: Robert Drasnin
Air Date: 11/16/1966
Production #: 9510
Upon arriving at the Jupiter 2, Jeremiah Smith (Henry Jones) initiates a feud with his cousin Zachary—legal heir to the fortune of a deceased aunt. Hoping to claim the family inheritance for himself, Jeremiah tricks Dr. Smith into betting against a rigged, homicidal gambling device—with a ridiculous outcome.
Combining juvenile camp with insufferable pacing, “Curse of Cousin Smith” is a dreadful episode of Lost in Space. Especially worth criticizing is the shtick of Cousin Jeremiah, who comes across as a second-rate parody of Colonel Sanders.
Demanding payment from the Smith cousins, an automated gambling machine chases Zachary and Jeremiah back to the Jupiter 2. Desperate to end the shenanigans of both men, Professor Robinson employs a brilliant maneuver against the machine—arguably the only highlight of this episode.
Though amusing in concept, the Tom-and-Jerry antics of the Smith cousins suffer from a tedious execution. In one instance, for example, the Smith cousins attempt to kill each other with an explosive cream pie—a slapstick gag that, in spite of its incredibly simple nature, eats up a substantial portion of the middle act.
Also problematic is the fact that Professor Robinson—a mature and dignified leader—must repeatedly serve as a mediator between two belligerent, overgrown children. Fans of the Robinson patriarch may therefore take issue with this offering, which fails to properly utilize its ostensible main character until the final scene.
“Curse of Cousin Smith” is a boring and cartoonish effort. Science fiction buffs in particular should avoid this episode, which lacks a compelling explanation for its killer machine subplot.
Overall Quality: 1/10
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