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. Major West refuses to comply, prompting Chavo to kidnap Will and threaten the Robinsons with a nonexistent army.
“Castles in Space” combines juvenile camp (a defining aspect of season two) with stereotypes of an offensive nature. 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 can only be described as appalling.
Though ostensibly derogatory, the ethnic appearance and dialect of Chavo may be excused given the lighthearted, innocuous environment in which his character is employed. That being said, “Castles in Space” deserves criticism for offering no in-universe explanation, logical or otherwise, behind Chavo’s resemblance to a human being of Hispanic descent—much in contrast to season one’s “Welcome Stranger,” which provides a sensible and detailed backstory for a cowboy (also a concept unique to Earth) whom the Robinsons encounter on a faraway planet.
A dreadful, incoherent episode, “Castles in Space” will likely induce cringing from the majority of viewers. The serious, if not thoroughly engaging, tone of the first act may, however, appeal to those of a mature and serious inclination.
Overall Quality: 2/10
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