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 save their mechanical friend before 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 will appeal to fans of science fiction.
By portraying Will with a realistic manner of desperation, Billy Mumy compels the audience to accept the central theme of this episode (i.e., that Will would 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, even urging Will to abandon the Robot during his time of need—a plot device that forces Will to work alone, at least for the most part, when attempting to rescue his friend from certain doom.
“Trip Through the Robot” also deserves praise for its compelling sci-fi aspects. Similar to the white blood cells in Fantastic Voyage, for example, a self-activated laser machine protects the Robot from so-called invaders—an imaginative twist on the source material.
For emphasizing the Robot’s value as an individual, “Trip Through the Robot” should be commended by Lost in Space enthusiasts. Worth noting in particular is that Will, Major West, Professor Robinson, and even Dr. Smith place their lives in danger when restoring the Robot to his former state, thereby demonstrating how the human characters love and respect their bubble-headed friend.
“Trip Through the Robot” is a classic and heartwarming episode of Lost in Space. Exceptionally poignant is the performance of Mumy, which serves to reinforce Will’s fervent dedication to the Robot.
Overall Quality: 10/10
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