THE GOLDEN CAGE
Dan drags a giant carrot into the ship's passenger compartment where Valerie gives Fitzhugh a small pea dinner. Betty and Barry come running inside, warning about two giants who spotted them near the picnic grounds. Fitzhugh, using this distraction as a moment to sneak himself some potato chips, chokes. Dan covers Fitzhugh's mouth to prevent him from bringing the close by giants right to the spaceship (kind of silly since they are inside a spaceship that has a hull that can protect them from outer space and really should be sound proof to the outside world). The giant men pass. Steve and Mark find an empty food can and spot a light high in a tree which reveals an overturned glass or plastic round jar. Inside it is a beautiful blond girl on a couch cushion, combing her hair.
Steve forbids Mark from freeing the girl, calling her a trap. They return to the ship, moody and quiet until they tell the others what they found (Val earlier having warned Fitzhugh to stay away from the food or she'd maul him; Fitz worried Mark and Steve haven't eaten--"it's all for one and one for all"). Betty and Dan, earlier, had found some potato chips under a giant plate which Dan had to hold up while Betty took some out from under. When Mark turns in, Steve tells them even if the girl were ugly, Mark would still want to save her--that's the way he is. Betty tells Steve that's the way he is, too. Upset, they all turn in for the night. In the morning, Mark heads out from the ship, followed by the others, who pick him up on the radar (Dan on watch). Putting his tie back on, Fitz says, "Mark can't be that stupid." Betty says, "Mark isn't stupid." Steve doesn't care to comment, "We'll argue about that later. Right now we have to go after him." Mark frees the girl who calls herself Marna but the two of them get cornered by two giant men.
With distractions from Steve, Mark and Marna escape into the woods. The giants take the empty jar. At a tree, Mark deduces Marna is Marna Whalean, daughter of Charles Whalean--whom he calls one of the greatest engineers who ever lived. He, his baby daughter, and wife left 15 years ago from the Space Flight and Research Center in Florida, heading for Paris, France. It never arrived. She asks, "You are my father's friend?" Mark honestly answers, "Let's just say he was my friend. Marna tells him the giants saved her and are her friends. The others break up into smaller search parties, having to ignore the major food shortage right now. They are to meet in two hours. Barry and Fitzhugh hide from a giant turkey which is also hungry. In a beautiful, flowering part of the forest, Steve and Betty catch up with Mark and Marna. Steve refuses to let Mark bring her to the ship. Betty takes Marna aside to show her "this beautiful place" while Steve tries to talk sense into Mark. Steve can give Marna his help but not his trust. He also refuses to let Mark leave the group, saying, "You're a part of the group," and he won't let the group security be endangered. Mark tells Steve that Marna's father helped him out when he needed it. When Mark wants Steve to let go of his arm, the two end up fighting roughly with the girls watching, Betty trying to verbally stop it.
The punch and roll fight ends with Steve knocking Mark down and hurting his own knuckles. When Betty tells Mark he is part of their group and can't leave, Mark tells her they've (he and Marna) have already left. They do even though Steve apologizes to Mark, "I'm sorry, Mark." Using discarded giant suspenders and a tree as a slingshot, Fitzhugh hopes to harpoon the turkey much to Barry's criticism. Marna feels bad about the fight between Mark and Steve; she and Mark kiss (a rare thing in an Irwin Allen show--see VOYAGE-TIME BOMB, LOST IN SPACE-MR FRIEND MR NOBODY, and possibly TIME TUNNEL-ATTACK OF THE BARBARIANS and RENDEZVOUS WITH YESTERSAY). Dan and Val witness Fitzhugh's first shot on the turkey. The harpoon misses but the bird gets caught up in the suspenders. Barry and Fitzhugh let Valerie think that was their plan all along. Val asked Fitz to be honest; Barry winks at Fitzhugh. They shake hands. The four leave to meet up with Steve and Betty. They discuss what to do about Mark--go after him. Fitz still has his turkey but Dan tells him if he stays around here in this world--he won't even have a Thanksgiving. Fitz says, "How depressing." Val puts it another way--Mark is an engineer who can fix the spaceship, if not they eat stale potato chips and cold carrots and peas for the rest of their lives. Marna takes Mark through a giant fence where a little door their own size is--and beyond inside the fenced in area is Marna's quaint, little, decorated house. But the door on the fence shuts by itself and Mark cannot get it open--Marna tries to stop him from trying to open it.
The others arrive outside; Val threatens to drag Fitzhugh inside by the ears if the captain gives the word. Inside, Marna's home, a TV reveals a giant who talks English to Mark from his lab site and tells him Marna's parents are dead. Marna gives Mark jello which comes from a door when she presses certain buttons. Marna cannot show him her garden out back because the giants have put out a white line. Mark goes to open the back door but an electric shock jolts his hand. Mark gets angry and shouts at her that she is a prisoner. Marna tells him she must follow the rules and cries, "I'm happy! Don't spoil it!" She wants Mark to go and bring the others, giving him a giant ruby in a case as proof of her friendship. Mark goes, meeting Steve, who just found his way to the outside door of the fence. He was going to flush Mark out (?). Mark believes the ruby is a transmitter which will track him to the spaceship Spindrift and the others. He tells the others that Marna didn't want anyone hurt--she's just brainwashed, not setting up a trap willingly. The giants track Mark and Steve while the others will take different routes. Fitz still wants his ruby--which gives Steve an idea. While the others take off ahead of the two, Mark and Steve are tracked by the giants again--who are dangerously close.
Dan and Steve tie the ruby box to the turkey's leg and cut it free of the suspenders; Dan, the athlete, angers it with a stick--throwing it like a javelin to get it moving off---this leads the giants after it. At night back at camp: Mark broods outside while Fitzhugh laments the loss of "his" turkey. Steve comes out of the ship and sees Mark, goes to him, and tells Mark that maybe Marna isn't just an empty shell. He believes Marna tried to keep Mark from being hurt--it doesn't make her a heroine--but perhaps Mark rekindled a spark and maybe someday she may come out of it. Valerie kids Fitzhugh about his turkey, "Don't worry, Mr. Fitzhugh, maybe someday we'll run across a nice, giant wolf with a taste for brave white hunters." The others and Val laugh as Fitzhugh, half heartedly says, "Now see, here, Miss Scott!" Steve says good night to Mark, who turns from his rock seat, "And Steve...thanks."
REVIEW: An important episode character wise as the group cohesion begins to cement itself. The adults sometimes call each other using the last names ("Miss Scott", "Mr. Fitzhugh", "Captain") while Barry almost always does this early in the show, production wise. These early episodes provide nice, panoramic shots of the Spindrift, both interior and exterior. One flaw is the ship is always lit up at night and couldn't be too difficult to spot by passing giants. Once in awhile, they camouflage it and a publicity shot from THE CRASH shows them doing this. Mark's background is explored slightly more than usual and we learn some from his comment, "Let's say he was my friend," which implies he didn't feel he returned the friendship as he should have. Steve was a bit too pushy in this one but it does emphasize his friendship toward Mark and the idea that when it comes to decisions--Steve is in charge. Fitzhugh genuinely seems to care that Steve and Mark weren't eating and tells them to eat and that it is "all for one and one for all," which makes Val laugh and roll her eyes, scoffing at this. Fitz is not the villain Dr. Smith was in LOST IN SPACE's early episodes. The giants were once again non personalities; the one on screen was frightening, perhaps due to the fact that he had little screen time and was discussed by the others as a force for their imprisonment. Due to the fact that the series couldn't keep introducing new Earth survivors for the Spindrift gang to come into conflict with, the giants' roles had to expand. The music varied from the usual William's tunes and some of it was used again. Much of it is not heard again. It made an interesting change is quite nice. Celeste Yarnell was good as a brainwash victim. Dawson Palmer played many monsters in Irwin Allen shows (such as IDAK in LOST IN SPACE-REVOLT OF THE ANDROIDS). Camera work was exceptional in THE GOLDEN CAGE. One example is an almost three dimensional tracking shot of Fitzhugh and Barry walking through the oversized forest. Our view comes from above bushes, trees, and vines which occasionally block our view from the pair while the camera also slowly lowers from overhead to level shots. Well filmed. The Steve-Mark fight looks like it was done entirely by Conway and Matheson. Although there are a few night scenes, most of the rest of this episode takes place in the daytime. The flowery area of the park was different from the house of Marna set and the usual park areas the little people run around in. It, the fence, and Marna's home had an appropriately plastic, phoney looking feel---which made it adequate as this is what is was--a giant trap. An obvious dub is when Barry explains how the harpoon missed the turkey but it was caught in the suspenders. This seemed to be added in after filming.