Director: Ezra Stone
Writer: Margaret Brookman Hill
Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, Jonathan Harris, Sheila Mathews, and Bern Hoffman
Composer: Alexander Courage
Air Date: 2/8/1967
Production #: 9520
While play-acting with Will and Penny, Dr. Smith acquires the hammer and gauntlets of Thor (Bern Hoffman). Thereafter, the valkyrie Brynhilda (Sheila Mathews) teleports Dr. Smith to Asgard, where an army of frost giants will soon invade. Terrified of Thor, Dr. Smith succeeds in taming the god of thunder, leaving Asgard without a strong defender in the upcoming battle.
“The Space Vikings” is a campy, juvenile episode of Lost in Space. There are times, however, when the performance of Sheila Mathews—former wife of Irwin Allen—will surely entertain those with an appreciation for absurd humor.
The set designs featured in this episode contribute to a magnificent, captivating atmosphere that effectively complements the lair of a powerful deity and his wife. (That being said, the props and backdrops employed in “The Space Vikings” might have been better utilized in a more serious and compelling effort.)
Hoping to gain the trust of Thor, Dr. Smith pretends to squeeze water from solid rocks (in reality, the good doctor substitutes a pair of sponges for the stones given to him by Thor, producing a bizarre but convincing deception). Though mildly amusing, the above-described scene is followed by a cringe-worthy, idiotic display wherein Thor—now reduced to a blubbering mess as a result of Dr. Smith’s psychological manipulation—admits to being a fake warrior and attributes his insecurities to an unhappy childhood which, according to a follow-up confession, never existed in the first place.
Similar to “Who Mourns for Adonais?” from Star Trek: The Original Series, “The Space Vikings” raises the possibility that extraterrestrial beings might have influenced, at least in part, the ancient Earth legends with which Thor, Brynhilda, and other gods are associated—a fascinating, rarely explored concept in the science fiction genre. Unfortunately, Margaret Brookman Hill’s narrative premise is never examined with the dignity that it deserves—quite unlike the aforementioned episode of Star Trek, which portrays the Greek god Apollo as a complex and semi-realistic figure.
Notorious among Lost in Space fans, “The Space Vikings” earns its status as one of the worst episodes in the entire series. Especially awful are Thor’s interactions with Dr. Smith, which will likely induce groaning from the majority of viewers.
Overall Quality: 3/10
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