Director: Don Richardson
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: 3/22/1967
Production #: 9527
Having exhausted his power supply, the Robot ventures into the Valley of Shadows to expire. Upon locating the Robot, Will and Dr. Smith discover that their mechanical friend has been transformed into a giant version of his former self—a result of extreme radioactivity. Only by entering the Robot’s body, now magnified by a hundred times, can Will and Dr. Smith repair the environmental protection unit before his time runs out.
By offering a unique and clever spin on the premise for Fantastic Voyage, “Trip Through the Robot” earns its reputation as one of the greatest episodes of Lost in Space. Especially terrific are the props, sound effects, and set designs used to represent the internal workings of the Robot, which, when coupled with the cinematography of Frank Carson, enhance the credibility of an otherwise extraordinary concept.
By portraying Will with a realistic manner of desperation, Billy Mumy compels the audience to accept the central theme of Barney Slater’s narrative (i.e. that the Robinson boy will stop at nothing to save the “life” of his beloved companion). Contrasting the noble and selfless attributes of Will, Dr. Smith frequently behaves in a despicable fashion, thereby accentuating the primary conflict of this episode; specifically, the not-so-good doctor repeatedly urges Will to abandon the Robot during his time of need, forcing the young lad to act alone (at least for the most part) when attempting to complete the gargantuan task before him.
In addition, many facets of the Robot’s interior will no doubt captivate fans of the science fiction genre. Similar to the white blood cells in Fantastic Voyage, for example, a self-activated laser machine serves to protect the Robot from so-called invaders—an imaginative twist on the source material.
For emphasizing the Robot’s worth, “Trip Through the Robot” deserves praise from Lost in Space enthusiasts. Though prior episodes (e.g. “War of the Robots” and “Wreck of the Robot”) had done so already, this installment indicates that Will and (arguably) Dr. Smith will place their lives in danger when providing assistance to a nonhuman friend—an aspect that further solidifies the Robot as an invaluable member of the Robinson family.
“Trip Through the Robot” is a classic and heartwarming, if occasionally sappy, episode of Lost in Space. Exceptionally poignant is the performance of Mumy, which allows the viewer to understand and relate with Will’s fervent dedication to the Robot.
Overall Quality: 10/10
If you enjoyed this post, please enter your email address in the subscription box to stay tuned for more updates