Director: Sobey Martin
Writer: Peter Packer
Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, Jonathan Harris, Alberto Monte, and Corinna Tsopei
Composer: Gerald Fried
Air Date: 12/20/1967
Production #: 1513
When Dr. Smith discovers an alien woman known as Princess Reyka (Corinna Tsopei), Chavo (Alberto Monte)—a bounty hunter with silver-colored skin and a Mexican accent—demands that the girl be handed over to him. Refusing to comply, Major West provokes Chavo into threatening the Robinsons with an invisible army.
“Castles in Space” combines juvenile camp with offensive stereotypes. All but the most dedicated fans would therefore be wise to avoid this effort, which earns its reputation as one of the worst Lost in Space episodes ever made.
Despite opening on a serious note, “Castles in Space” contains a number of comedic devices (e.g., the Robot’s “bullfight” with Chavo and Dr. Smith’s horrifying imitation of Princess Reyka) that many would describe as appalling.
Though ostensibly derogatory, the ethnic traits, dialect, and appearance of Chavo can be forgiven due to the lighthearted, if not altogether innocuous, nature of his character. That being said, “Castles in Space” deserves criticism for offering no in-universe explanation, logical or otherwise, for the alien Chavo’s resemblance to a human being of Hispanic descent—much in contrast to “Welcome Stranger” from season one, which provides a detailed and believable backstory for a Southern cowboy (also a concept unique to Earth) whom the Robinsons encounter on a faraway planet.
For its dreadful humor and weak science fiction, “Castles in Space” will likely induce cringing from the majority of viewers. This episode does, however, benefit from a mature tone in the first act.
Overall Quality: 2/10
If you enjoyed this post, please enter your email address in the subscription box to stay tuned for more updates.