Lost in Space Episode 78: The Promised Planet

General Information

Director: Ezra Stone

Writer: Peter Packer

Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, Jonathan Harris, Gil Rogers, and Keith Taylor

Composer: None (Stock Music)

Air Date: 1/24/1968

Production #: 1520

 

Overview

Having supposedly reached Alpha Centauri, the Robinsons are greeted by uncouth adolescents Bartholomew (Gil Rodgers) and Edgar (Keith Taylor). In lost-in-space-the-promised-planetcontrast to the Promised Land they were expecting, the Robinsons find themselves trapped in a psychedelic nightmare world governed by perpetual teenagers.

A groovy but goofy episode, “The Promised Planet” tries but ultimately fails to employ satire in a science fiction setting—a fate shared by “A Visit to Hades” from season two. Lost in Space fans born during the Post-World War II baby boom may, however, appreciate Peter Packer’s commentary on the frivolity that plagued 1960s youth culture.

 

Pros

lost-in-space-the-promised-planetAngela Cartwright’s performance will resonate with those of a sensitive inclination. Especially commendable is Cartwright’s convincing display of emotion during the scene where Penny tearfully parts from her parents—the memories of whom had been erased prior to this point, preventing either John or Maureen from acknowledging their daughter.

 

Cons

Professor Robinson, normally a man of remarkable intelligence and intuition, takes an extraordinary amount of time to uncover Bartholomew’s deception despite numerous red flags (e.g., Bartholomew’s claim that Earth ships had traveled to and from Alpha Centauri for three lost-in-space-the-promised-planetyears, which, if true, would blatantly contradict the Jupiter 2’s original five-and-a-half-year flight path).

Also worth criticizing are the campy elements (e.g., Dr. Smith’s agonizing usage of 1960s slang, Penny’s dance alongside leotard-sporting hippies, etc.) featured in this episode. Though potentially nostalgic, the antics of Penny, Dr. Smith, and Bartholomew’s gang of alien imposters hamper the impact of an otherwise worthwhile social statement from Packer.

 

Analysis

lost-in-space-the-promised-planetSimilar to “Collision of Planets,” “The Promised Planet” serves to expose the pseudo-progressive beliefs that characterized the hippie movement.

 

Concluding Comments

“The Promised Planet” may appeal to enthusiasts of 1960s counterculture. That being said, viewers searching for a serious look at social/political causes from decades past would be wise to avoid this offering.

 

Overall Quality: 4/10

 

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3 thoughts on “Lost in Space Episode 78: The Promised Planet

  1. This is my number nine ranked episode for the psychedelic and far out, all over the place, highly inconsistent and relatively overrated, shortest final colored season..

  2. Trivia

    “Space-a-Delic” by Pete Rugolo was the tune heard during the episode when Penny and Dr. Smith danced on the pool table, however per Angela, the Doors’ song “Twentieth Century Fox” was played during the shoot.

    • Thanks for the trivia, excellent music, and extremely innovative psychedelic humor. Where do critics get off finding anything negative about this fantastic series? I feel the plots were extremely poignant and the 60′[s humor second to none. The cheesy props only ad to the humor, how could anyone like Star Trek more than lost in space

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