Director: Nathan Juran
Writer: Barney Slater
Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, and Jonathan Harris
Composer: None (Stock Music)
Air Date: 12/14/1966
Production #: 9514
While exploring a cave, Will and Dr. Smith encounter a trio of Saticons—ominous, malevolent aliens who kidnap and dismantle the Robot. Despite recovering and restoring the Robot, the Robinsons learn a disturbing secret about the Saticons’ true motive.
“Wreck of the Robot” operates on a captivating, albeit oft-used, science fiction premise (i.e., one or more enemies manufacturing a device for conquering the universe). Also worth noting is the relatively serious tone of this episode, which serves to establish the Saticons as a credible threat to the Robinson family.
By dressing in cloaked attire and swaying their bodies from side to side, the Saticons exemplify a subtle creepiness that will appeal to fans of the sci-fi/horror crossover genre. Complementing the spooky vibes generated by the Saticons, the stock music played in “Wreck of the Robot” accentuates the sense of dread, helplessness, and apprehension underlying the Robinsons’ every interaction with the enigmatic aliens—an effective use of Bernard Herrmann’s composition from The Day the Earth Stood Still, which gives the Saticons a distinct edge over other antagonists featured in season two of Lost in Space.
Fearing that the Saticons will remove him from the Jupiter 2, the Robot audibly moans while lamenting his situation to Will—a campy moment that downplays the grave, existential threat facing the Robot, the Robinson family, and potentially the entire universe.
Similar to “War of the Robots” from season one, “Wreck of the Robot” deserves praise for highlighting how greatly the Robinsons cherish their mechanical companion. Specifically, Professor Robinson and Major West go to extraordinary lengths in order to protect, retrieve, and reassemble the Robot following his ordeal with the Saticons—a poignant gesture which indicates that each character (with the possible exception of Dr. Smith) cares deeply for the Robot on a personal level.
For emphasizing Robinson family values in a compelling sci-fi narrative, this episode should be requisite viewing for fans of Lost in Space. In addition to its heartwarming subject matter, “Wreck of the Robot” provides a chilling introduction to the Saticons—arguably the most menacing villains that appear in season two.
Overall Quality: 8/10
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