Apart from one of the greatest title for an episode of television, this is again a fascinating portrayal of aliens or as they refer to them “anti-humans”.
Their appearance in the last episode showing that they were watching the Robinsons was menacing and their appearance is a wonderful production, vaguely disembodied heads, though clearly, we can see that they’re wearing black, the effect is nonetheless very effective. As is the spaceship which is very alien and their motivation really makes this episode a solid story, the production design work on this show is brilliant and I’m shocked at the creativity around it all.
The anti-humans require a humanoid brain to augment their computer power to calculate a trajectory home to the fifth dimension. Dr Smith in his usual self serving manner offers up Will Robinson’s in his place. Apparently, he is too large for the alien scanning device and would have to be altered in some way.
Smith is more interesting than I expected as he feels a lot more complex than a one-dimensional foil.
The aliens are indeed forcing his cooperation and he does at times seem legitimately interested in betraying them.
When the aliens get Will they place him in a wonderfully alien-looking contraption but his human emotions make him incompatible and the aliens release him after accepting failure.
They are destroyed.
Poor Judy tried to warn them early on that something weird was going on but was dismissed. There was a moment where she has the slightest hint of vindication but I might have been projecting that on her behalf.
The cliff hanger is then Don seemingly being crushed by a boulder whilst working on their water extraction system (which I think is a great idea – the water thingie not Don being crushed).
Now THIS episode is high concept science fiction episode and on paper, it sounds dreadful but on screen it is riveting. The story beat of a child having an imaginary friend that turns out to be a powerful alien is one that’s shown up in Star Trek but this predates Trek and handles it well (better in my humble opinion).
It’s good to get a focus on Penny who hasn’t had a huge amount of the spotlight (though neither has Judy, apart from being a vague love interest for Don).
The production design is great, actually, it has been great in every episode so far. I was particularly taken with the drilling rig.
Mister Nobody has an almost Philip K Dick’esque vibe as he slowly evolves to become the genesis for an entire galaxy.
The robot being let loose was interesting as his lasers are more lightning bolts and in an unexpected turn of events is completely destroyed by the entity (later to be put back together by Smith).
Smith is starting to show more of a comical villain vibe as he is very excited about getting diamonds despite their abject worthlessness. He also utters the phrase: oh the pain, the pain for the first time and I’m guessing not for the last.
Stand out episode around a concept I thought I’d hate.
As soon as the “missile attack” scene was resolved and the main theme of the episode became apparent I was really dreading it.
A space cowboy shows up from Earth (though he’s been out there longer) and I just thought the episode was going to be camp rubbish but wow, nothing of the sort.
He’s stressing the importance of sterilising his spacecraft so alien microbes don’t damage it, he’s discussing the concept that alien bacteria could be extremely hazardous to humans.
He does try to smoke the first plant he sees which I kind of love him for. Then there’s a morality discussion over bringing children into space and putting them in danger and making the hard decision to return them to Earth.
It’s an extremely watchable episode that raises some interesting ideas and again the cliff hanger is pretty bloody awesome as Penny wanders on to a mining site during blasting!
I have a feeling that this is the last episode to be made up of footage from the pilot episode though it honestly hasn’t diminished the episodes in any way.
The editing has been extremely creative and made good use of what they had. The fascinating element here is that the original trip across the ocean was the trip back in this episode. They travelled over a frozen sea to fit the storyline in this one.
That element is also quite interesting as they discuss the orbit of the planet impacting the weather and the extremes in heat and cold and it’s all science! So yay!
I was struck by the image of the neutralised robot. It’s all a little messy as the robot is an agent of Dr Smith but it’s still a piece of equipment meant to serve the mission.
I prefer the idea that the robot only looks after Will like in the film and the reboot series.
I do have to say that I’m loving the cliffhangers at the end, they’re awesome. The storyline of the episode gets resolved and then the very next scene is the set up for the coming week!
This episode is probably 90% the pilot episode with some clever tweaks and editing Dr Smith and the Robot in.
Unfortunately the space women are doing the space washing again LOL.
I love how the Robot investigates the sound of the giants and comes back unable to process anything because he can’t wrap his head around what he saw.
There’s also talk about something in the soil that mutates things and causes them to grow huge which is a really nice tie in to the giant. Will doesn’t actually kill the giant in this, he wounds it and then West kills it later on.
I of course enjoyed the scene where the giant pea pod tries to kill them.
We end up back in the ruins from the pilot and then we’re off to the ocean again.
The Jurassic Park purists out there will be having baby raptors right now as this is very clearly not accurate to the scene.
The raptor wasn’t as frowny-faced in the film.
I’m kidding, Ellie was still wearing her over-shirt during this sequence and doesn’t quite hold the arm like that. Also, the flashlight is different but it’s what I pictured in my head and so I’m offering myself some artistic liberties!