ATTACK OF THE MONSTER PLANTS
Working title The Cyclamen
WRITER-WILLIAM REED WOODFIELD and ALLAN BALTER
NARRATION: Last week as you recall, we left Professor John Robinson and Judy at work refining atomic ore, unaware, a short distance away from them, a treacherous, man devouring pit lay waiting for its prey.
TEASER-fully recapped--music a bit different during cliffhanger
Judy and John (John in his T-shirt) are the drill site. Judy has a radioactive counter which reads 8.4 to 9.7--the richest vein they've found yet. Judy rushes, "Oh, I'll go tell the others." John tells her to tell her mother to pack a lunch for "us" ---they will be there all day. Smith, with his parka on, sits on a rock near a device. Writing, John tells him they need four more canisters of fuel. The machine does not make deutronium, it merely refines and concentrates radioactive ore. Smith is eager to get off this "wretched planet" and goes on, "...in no time at all we'll be off into the heavens, an infinitely better people for our ordeal, conditioned to survive in any kind of environment, toughened by our encounters with alien life forms...immune to..." Smith gasps as he sees the vine move around and strangle hold John's ankle and foot. The vine drags John into a pit of sand and John starts to sink. Smith yells for help. John yells for Smith to give him his hand but Smith won't help. John reaches back for something to hold onto (end of cliffhanger). Don, in his T-shirt, comes running and is also soon stuck in the quicksand (?) despite John's warning, "Don't get too close, Don!" Don yells, "Smith get over here!" John looks at Smith who yelled "No, no!" John says, "Don't just stand there, do something!" Smith comes over and John's pull starts dragging him into the pit also. Smith's jacket is pulled off. Smith moves back and runs off. Don says, "That dirty..." John says, "We need help!" Smith runs for help, telling them he will do that. John, mad, throws Smith's jacket out of his way.
Will plays lasso with a rope, Penny plays with Debbie, Judy and Maureen are doing something. Smith walks in calmly and tells Will to fetch a rope to his father and Major West. Maureen tells Will that Dr. Smith asked him to do something. Will complains, "He's always asking me to do something." Smith says, "No insolence." When Will goes, Smith tells Maureen and Judy, "When I was a boy, children didn't dilly dally when their elders asked them to do something." Smith goes up the ramp into the ship. Judy tells Maureen, "He's right, mother, Will never does anything I ask him to, either." Maureen says, "I'll talk to him." Will sees John and Don in the pit and throws the rope to them; John directs him to secure it to a tree. Don is almost under but the two men climb out. Will tells them Smith didn't tell him they were in trouble. Don says, "Now he's in trouble." Later, Don kicks Smith out of the ship with all his bags. Judy sticks up for Smith against Don's "unfair" treatment. "Mom, Dr. Smith didn't do anything wrong really." Don spouts, "That's just why we're throwing him out--he never does anything, every time there's trouble he runs, who needs him." Smith tells Judy she was the only one who cared enough to protest against this barbaric treatment. Smith warns Don, "If you don't take me, no one will go." He says goodbye to the children whom he considers "almost" his own. He won't say goodbye to Debbie. Smith takes his stuff; Don tosses a bed roll to him. Judy cries, "I think you're cruel, all of you!" She runs into the ship. Maureen tells Don, "She just doesn't like to see anybody hurt, that's all." He goes in after her. Maureen calls John outside; Don follows. The detronium canisters left on the table are gone. John sends Don after Smith, Don saying, "You bet!" It is an enjoyable chore for Don to get the canisters back. The hydroponic garden is set up again in tables as well as in the ground. Smith calls the Robot a ninkompoop and hands Robot all the bags. Smith will let him share his banishment--exile. Don catches up with him, chases him around Robot and two fuel cans fall. Don gets them and tells Smith the decision to take Smith with them is still up to Prof. Robinson but if he asks for Don's vote, Don is voting to leave him here. Later, behind a rock, Smith spies on Will, John, and Don, all three in T-shirts, at the drillsite. John takes five cans. Don knows Smith is listening so gives Will a fuel canister and fakes a lie to Judy about not taking Smith. The fuel to weight ratio will be critical--Smith will have to be left behind. Smith leaves as Judy says, "I thought daddy said he was taking Dr. Smith." Don's tease is called nasty by Judy. Don says, "He deserved it." Smith intercepts Will to say goodbye--he says. Will tells him, "My father promised that you were coming with us." Smith calls it a lie, then not the whole truth. One of us has to be left behind. Smith takes Will to his "humble" campsite and Will sees many shaving kits. Smith puts a kit on the rock near a flower stalk and petals. They hear a strange sound and the kit is engulfed by the flower as it bends over the kit and rock. Smith pulls the kit out of the pod and finds another. It made an exact duplicate of it--he has three watches on his arm now. He has more pork and beans and bacon cans. Smith takes the canister, "You too want to see me abandoned on this forsaken planet," he says to con Will into giving it to him. Will says, "Golly" twice. Smith figures cellular mitosis, cell division in these plants duplicates not just themselves but anything. Smith grabs Will's arm and promises to make more detronium if he tells his father to take him. Smith keeps one can. Will goes. Smith pours the pellets back and forth from cap to can. He puts the can down. The flower stalk knocks it over. Will goes to Don and John at the drillsite. John looks at the can Smith gave Will--and crushes it--it's a plant, "He gave you this fake and kept the real deutronium." By the rock, Smith listens and Don answers Will's question of why, loud enough for Smith to hear, "Because he knows we can't go back to Earth unless we have enough detronium." Don goes on to explain that they found another vein and now have enough detronium without the one he stole. John wants to get the ones they have back to the ship safely. They move to leave and Will says, "And leave Dr. Smith out here." Later, Smith goes to John outside the Jupiter II and makes a bargain. He will give him the extra fuel can for a spare. John says, "We'll take you along if it's humanly possible. Concerning your recent behavior, that's more than being fair." Smith goes to get the can but find that the plant ate the detronium. Smith finds more and more giant flowers and high stalks, "Good heavens--they feed on deutronium!"
Smith goes to camp. Maureen leaves him and goes inside the ship. Smith tells the truth to John--the plants ate the deutronium. Smith says, "I'm doomed to be left behind." He tells John to remember he did not volunteer for this mission (an argument he told to Hapgood in WELCOME, STRANGER). John touches his shoulder, "I bear that in my mind, Dr. Smith." Smith goes to Penny, Debbie, and Will near a rock and sits. Will tells him, "You shouldn't have tried to trick me." Smith says, "I didn't just try--I succeeded, let's not forget that." Penny asks Smith, "If you do stay, will you tend to my garden for me?" Smith says, "Your garden will wither and die--I promise you that!" Don puts his hand on Smith's shoulder and tells him he computed the fuel to weight ratio--and it's critical. Penny wants to take the bloop. Smith argues for himself over the bloop. Will insists, "I think the bloop should go!" Penny adds, "So do I!" Don tells them there is no way she can without some sort of capsule. Will says, "I'll build her one." Don shakes his hand, "It's a deal." Smith says, "Bloop indeed!" He's worried by all this. Smith in his parka goes to the Robot at night and finds the Robot let his campfire go out. Yet Robot insists he did tend the fire. Smith wonders why he has to be so literal. Judy is among the flowers. Smith watches. Judy smells the flowers. One large one opens its petals (amid MR. NOBODY music). She appears to be in some kind of a trance. Judy goes to the opening one and lies down, curling up. The petals close around her sleeping form.
Smith smiles as Judy goes to sleep. He tells Robot he will be winging his way back to Earth soon and that the balance of power has changed. Robot says, "That does not compute." Smith laughs and lays down and continues to laugh, "I can hardly wait for morning." Smith saunters into the Jupiter II camp that next morning. Maureen ignores him for breakfast. Smith is cheerful and sees John shaving using a small mirror. Smith tells Maureen she has a pioneer loveliness--he's always said so. When Don comes out, Smith calls him the representative from the military who is rubbing the sleep from his eyes like a little boy. Smith goads them, asking where Judy is--he doesn't see her, the fairest flower of them all. Penny tells him she likes to sleep late. Don says, "If you've done anything to her, Smith." Smith says, "Please--I wouldn't harm a hair on her head." Penny and Will return from Judy's cabin with the news that she is gone. Smith tells them he had nothing to do with her disappearance but gives them two choices--one being they leave with he taking Judy's place--which they won't do. The other choice is Major West takes Smith to Earth, leaving the family here bathed in togetherness and love. When he arrives on Earth, he will organize a rescue mission. Smith wants breakfast now. Later, Smith orders Will to bring out items. Will finishes taking out his own things from the ship. Smith tells him now to start packing Smith's things in and Smith packs Will's arms up with stuff. Penny takes boxes out; Debbie is carrying a luggage suitcase out. Debbie hangs on Penny's arm as Penny goes back inside, taking Smith stuff in. Smith goes to Maureen, "Well things seem to be going very well, don't they..." he sees Maureen's accusing stare, "...dear lady." He backs away from her. John and Don check telemetry--it all checks out. Don storms, "John, we can't let that little worm force me to take him back and leave you here." John says, "Well, we can't leave without Judy." Smith is in the doorway and tells them to get on with it. Smith goes back outside. Don tracks Smith out and chokes him from behind. Smith fakes his heart and then a seizure. Don yells, "Smith you got to tell me where she is!" Smith points just as John starts to pull Don off Smith, "Don!" Judy is coming over the ridge into the campsite. Maureen hugs her. Maureen says it doesn't matter what happened to her. Don looks for Smith and wants to beat him up. Smith tells him he was merely joshing...just as Don was. John says, "It's all over now, Don, Judy's back with us." Maureen throws a celebration dinner and even invites Smith. All go into the ship. Dinner that night outside the ramp--just outside it. Maureen tells Judy this salad is her favorite--little hearts of cyclamen and mixed greens. Judy snaps at her that she isn't hungry and wants to go to bed. Don offers to walk her in but she snaps at him not to bother. The ship looks bigger than ever. After dinner, Smith goes out and starts to undig one of the stalk plants to put in a bucket. He will be a rich man when he takes this on his return to Earth. He sees Judy there, touching the giant plants. "Good Heavens, she's one of them!" Judy, at first nicely, calls, "Come here." Then she commands him, "Come here." Smith goes and lies to her, telling her he was checking to see if Will left anything of his behind. He knows she is a duplicate. She says, "I bring them detronium." Smith cons her into giving him back two detronium cans for him and Major West to fly home in. Then the Robinsons will stay here and make as much detronium as she wants. We hear some brief DERELICT music. After Smith leaves, the duplicate Judy feeds the plants the detronium.
Morning--a bright morning blocked out from the Jupiter II control room by giant flowers, stalks, pedals, and growth. Will gasps, "Holy cow!" He calls the others up. John, Maureen, Don, and Penny come up and John figures it is cyclamin. Don says, "Any organism that grows that rapidly will sooner or later snuff out any other life on the planet." The Chariot is near the hatch. Don and John will go to it and use the neutron gun attachment. John tells Maureen not to open the hatch again unless he or Don is right beside it. They get to the Chariot. Don fires out the bubble hatch which is wide open. The flowers and plants just bounce back. Judy runs outside and the flowers move aside for her. She goes to the Chariot and pulls Don's neutron gun wire out, then makes her way to the front of Chariot and scrambles with John's weapon power. John fights with her and her sleeve rips. Beneath it, he sees two strange marks on her arm. Judy looks savage, snarling and mean with grit teeth. They take her back to the Control Room. Maureen asks, "Who are you? What are you? What have you done with our Judy?" Don snaps, "Alright, let's have it!" The plant Judy says, "I'm sure you are aware, as Dr. Smith is, that we, the plants, are capable of reproducing an image of anything." The real Judy is safe and unaware of what has happened. When Maureen asks if she will give her back, the duplicate Judy smiles, "No but I can give you what Judy very nearly has--immortality on this planet. She wants more detronium." Don tells her they can't--they don't have enough fuel to give her for that. She says, "You have none at all. I fed the last of your supply to the plants last night." In exchange for immortality, she wants them to make more detronium. John tells her there won't be more--they don't make it--they find it in the ground. Maureen asks, "Then we won't be leaving this planet, will we, John?" John says, "I'm afraid not, darling." Plant Judy tries to reach Smith, telling him he lied. John is madder at him, "You let us go on thinking this was Judy, knowing that Judy was out there somewhere." Smith yells, "You were going to leave me here!" Don wonders how Smith knows Judy is okay and chokes Smith into telling him where she is. Smith lies but John sees through it and Smith tells the truth. Maureen and John push the plant Judy into her seat. Don wants to try fire but they can't; John suggests freezing--but same problem. Will tells them they can freeze the plants--he experimented with the plants and found out they freeze at 44 degrees (NOTE: This is bad---liquids freeze at 32 degrees and can only be frozen unless Will meant the plants go dormant). Will is sure. Night: using decontamination units, John, Don, and Smith are freezing the plants. They have on parkas. Plant Judy is gasping for air. Plants fall. John finds Judy and holds her. She is unconscious.
Judy wakes up, complaining of cold. Smith gives her a blanket. Daytime--the camera pans from a rock to Will, Smith, and Debbie walking with buckets. Penny drifts off somewhere else, behind them. Robot is trying to find a vein of radioactive ore and his sensors need to be free of burden, thus Smith complains of them doing work for the machine. They pass trees and a large rock. Smith tells Will, "Your father's desire for revenge has broken me." Will says it is not revenge--they need rock samples to see if they can find radioactive ore. Debbie puts a large rock in the bucket Smith is carrying. He yells at her, "Stop that!" Smith tells Will to tell his father to vent his hostilities on someone else. Will yells as Smith walks off, Debbie following him. Penny finds a nest and an egg but it is high up on the alien machine, suddenly now named Taurons. This is one of the machines the aliens left when they came. Dad told Penny and the others not to go near them. Debbie climbs up the machine. Penny climbs up to get the huge egg and hands it to Smith when she comes down. Smith will prepare it to rival the culinary delights of Ancient Rome. Penny calls Debbie down after Smith vacates the area. Debbie turns a switch and the machine lights up in places. Penny takes Debbie down (telling Debbie, "You know what Dad said about those things") and backs up as the machine sparks. She backs into a flat disk area on the ground. A ray comes from the mirror like device on the machine and envelops her and Debbie (the monkey like alien life form in her arms). She bangs on it. The ray goes up and she, it, and Debbie are gone!
TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK SAME TIME SAME CHANNEL
REVIEW: A good episode, perhaps the best Judy centered episode. Odd that since the real Judy has very little to do in it. It is Marta's great acting as the plant Judy that gives this story menace. Woodfield constructed a good story, despite not really knowing the characters. At this point, would Smith really have fooled Will so easily? Wouldn't Will have noticed his canister was a plant? Would Maureen and John have let Smith join in on their dinner after what he did to Judy? We do know Smith would have used these means to get himself on the Jupiter. Will seems almost cold to Smith here. Despite some of this, this tale is really rather interesting all the way throughout and holds one's attention. It is nice to have Don conning Smith for a change; also fun to see how the children give Smith his worries when they start to not like him and what he is doing, especially when they want to take the bloop...despite what is happening to him. I don't know how much time lapsed between Judy being found and the cliffhanger with Penny and Debbie being whisked off by the Matter Transfer Unit of the alien Taurons (now thus named on air), but the plants vanished from around the campsite pretty quickly and from the area in general. Also, what the heck happened to the plant Judy? Did she wilt? Did she die? Did she...we are not told or shown. The plants did not seem to be intent on killing anyone or even harming the Robinsons--they didn't hurt Judy even when being frozen by the men so why couldn't they just walk to Judy and pull her out--why did they have to freeze the plants--just to walk past them? Ahh, well, another case of crime against the murdering space family Robinson. Don's teasing of Smith was as petty and childish as Smith. In fact, it drove Smith to do close to his worst--not revealing where Judy was. Of another note is the fact that nothing is mentioned of the destination the Robinsons chose to try for in THE RAFT---Alpha Centauri. I guess they would chose whichever they felt they could get to at the time but here it seems they would try for Earth if they could get into space. This, of course, changes back to Alpha Centauri later on (BLAST OFF INTO SPACE).