Lost in Space Episode 39: Curse of Cousin Smith

General Information

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

 

Overview

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. lost-in-space-curse-of-cousin-smithHoping 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.

 

Pros

lost-in-space-curse-of-cousin-smithDemanding 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.

 

Cons

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 spitelost-in-space-curse-of-cousin-smith 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.

 

Analysis

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Concluding Comments

“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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3 thoughts on “Lost in Space Episode 39: Curse of Cousin Smith

  1. I do not find this story “boring.” Maybe in the old days I did, but like many, this has grown on me through the years. Of course this is not classic LOST IN SPACE, but I could still watch it every day of the week. I find it highly entertaining.

    Like I always say, if I had to pick a most “boring” episode, that would be my very least favorite of all, “A Day At The Zoo.” But like them all, I can still find fun with it. I just find that one more “boring” than all the others..not “Curse Of Cousin Smith.” :-]

  2. This is my number twenty-six ranked episode for the classic down home, cozy and fun, colored mid season..my second favorite season of the series, despite its much maligned and unwarranted status.. :-]

  3. I did not think a whole lot of this one back in the old days of the 1970s, but this is precisely the types of stories that have grown on me through the years. This is obviously not a ‘thrill a minute’ episode, but they do not at all need to be.

    Although this episode is quite unexplainable and far-fetched, it can be enjoyed quite well for its down home and cozy LOST IN SPACE warmth.

    That being said, it is one of the bottom five episodes of the season..