Director: Don Richardson
Writer: Barney Slater
Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, Jonathan Harris, and Abraham Sofaer
Composer: None (Stock Music)
Air Date: 2/21/1968
Production #: 1517
While traveling in the vicinity of a mysterious planet, the Robinsons are attacked by Sobram (Abraham Sofaer)—the sole surviving member of an ancient warrior race. Despite agreeing to cease hostilities against the Jupiter 2, Sobram insists that a single crew member stay behind and engage him in a final, glorious battle.
“The Flaming Planet” is a lackluster retread of “Attack of the Monster Plants” from season one. This episode does, however, benefit from a poignant subplot about an old, weary general hoping to prove his worth in one last spectacle.
By behaving in a silly manner, the killer plants fail to pose a credible threat to the main characters. Especially problematic are the mannerisms and sound effects of the planet’s parthenogenetic warriors, whose antics resemble those of Cousin Itt from The Addams Family.
“The Flaming Planet” contains all the elements of a classic science fiction offering: an army of killer plants capable of locomotion (The Day of the Triffids), a duty-bound general representing an alien warrior race (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country), and a compelling conflict raged with advanced warfare (The Terminator). Unfortunately, this episode struggles to combine its core themes in a mature and coherent fashion, resulting in an uneven climax where Sobram—a noble and cunning figure—accepts a lame cop-out to satisfy his lust for combat.
Favoring campy hijinks over intelligent science fiction, “The Flaming Planet” deserves criticism for its missed opportunities. Nevertheless, Abraham Sofaer should be commended for his elegant and sympathetic portrayal of Sobram.
Overall Quality: 5/10
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