Director: Don Richardson
Writer: Peter Packer
Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, Jonathan Harris, John Abbott, and Dawson Palmer
Composer: None (Stock Music)
Air Date: 12/21/1966
Production #: 9511
After producing an android known as Raddion (Dawson Palmer), a mad scientist named Sesmar (John Abbott) steals the best attributes of John, Maureen, Will, Judy, and Penny in order to enhance his new creation. Only Major West and Dr. Smith, unaffected by Sesmar’s transpirator, can restore the personalities of each family member.
A season-two highlight, “The Dream Monster” will appeal to fans of serious, thought-provoking science fiction. This episode does, however, deserve criticism for its hackneyed resolution.
Following the personality transfer, all members of the Robinson family turn into slothful, apathetic versions of their former selves—an amusing contrast to the original versions of each character. Especially humorous are the antics of Professor Robinson, who, now reduced to a lazy bum, recommends that Dr. Smith and Major West “go inside (the Jupiter 2) and take it easy” while fleeing from a deadly monster.
Also worth praising is John Abbott’s portrayal of Sesmar, whose intellectual brilliance is complemented with an almost childlike curiosity toward human emotions—an aspect that prevents Sesmar from appearing malevolent, even when employing methods of a harmful and deceptive nature.
By communicating via high-pitched purring noises, Sesmar’s lab assistants (midget-like creatures fashioned with scuba gear) frequently detract from the ominous tone of this episode.
Similar to “The Space Primevals” from season three, “The Dream Monster” contains a scenario in which Dr. Smith and Major West, two men who despise each other with a passion, must cooperate in order to survive—an effective use of the Smith/West rivalry trope.
“The Dream Monster” puts an intriguing twist on the legend of Frankenstein (on a side note, Abbott plays the great-grandson of Dr. Frankenstein in “A Visit from Johann”—a classic episode of The Munsters). Lost in Space viewers may likewise enjoy this entry, which provides a unique opportunity for Dr. Smith and Major West to rescue the Robinson family.
Overall Quality: 7/10
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