A CHANGE OF SPACE
NARRATION: Last week, as you recall, Will and Dr. Smith had climbed up to a plateau of cosmic dust to investigate a strange glowing light, little dreaming that it was soon to lead them on an unbelievable journey through space.
TEASER--not fully recapped--missing just some of the Smith dialogue from last time, "I knew it. I was right. It can't be anything else but..." This is all gone. Smith goes right from walking to falling into the sand.
Day---Will helps Smith down a ridge on top a plateau. There are bare trees. Smith says they are 20,000 feet high. Will measured it--it is only 100 feet higher than the campsite. Smith says it is affecting his asthma. At sundown, Will saw a glinting silvery and gold thing shining from an outcropping of rock. Smith wants to follow the shine to the mother load---maybe iron pyrite. Smith insults John's geology when Will tells him dad didn't think the glint was anything. Will says, "I'm a pretty good geologist." They climb up onto a rock. Will uses the binoculars and sees Mom and Penny washing. Smith drones, "Spare me the dreary domestic story." Suddenly, they spot the glowing rocks. Will warns Smith, who takes the binoculars and starts walking straight without looking where he is going. Will says that his father told him there may be cosmic dust pits on this plateau with no bottom. Smith ignores this and keeps walking but falls flat out into a sand pit and vanishes totally! This is an awkward edit job. Smith's arm and head pop up and he grabs a branch but it doesn't work. Will gets a branch and reaches him, pulling. "Don't panic, you'll only sink faster so don't panic!!!" Smith panics, "I'm not panicking! Get me out of here!" Will pulls him out. Smith tells him, "Spare me the preachment." We hear DERELICT music briefly. Will jumps across the cosmic dust pit (but clearly both of them could just walk around it) and forces Smith to. Smith said, "Agility, like youth is wasted on children." They see an outcrop---decomposed granite--fool's gold. They go past the area and see an alien spaceship and an alien control device on a platform, almost as large as the spacecraft. The Jupiter II did not get any signals of an alien ship having landed. Smith worries about contamination as Will moves closer. Smith gasps as the door to the alien space ship opens.
Will brings Maureen, Don, and John back to the alien spaceship, something Smith tells them was an unnecessary summons. It is of no earthly use to him. Maureen asks, "Well why does everything have to have an earthly use, Doctor?" Don says, "Don't let him answer that--or we'll be listening to the miseries of a galactic castaway." Smith answers Don, "Major, you irk me." Will saw a look inside when the alien door was open--it is as compact as a protein pill. Don asks the Robot to examine it. Smith tells Robot to be understandable so all can figure out what he is talking about, calling Robot a gaggilous gargoyle. Robot calls it an extra dimensional vehicle which has unlimited thrust, scope and speed. It is a sort of space relay station. Robot's space capability is limited to extra galactic experience--which means he cannot tell them much more about it except: that it travels at the speed of light squared and is capable of circumnavigating the universe and "space penetration possible up to and including the 6th dimension." Robot adds, "Warning! Unpredictable modifications in cell structure are a hazard of such multi dimensional space flight." John will check it out in the morning. He, Don, and Maureen go. Smith, Will and the Robot remain (who else?). Smith calls Robot his encyclopedic friend. Robot tells them the design is simplicity. When Smith wants more, Robot asks, "What do you want from me, blood?" Will laughs. Smith calls Robot a scurrilous scatterbrain. Will reminds Smith that dad wanted none of us to go near the ship yet. Smith asks if Robot is to be considered one of us and then answers his own question, "He is not--he's here to obey my orders." He calls Robot a cowardly clump and tell Will, "Quiet my boy, I'm in command here." They hear an alien tongue as Robot moves closer. Robot has to adjust to the alien language. Suddenly, a ray from the device knocks the Robot out. Smith pulls Will away. Night--Will leaves the Jupiter II to repair the Robot. Robot tells him an inaccurate wavelength adjustment on his part initiated the hostile response from the alien device--it was his error, not the alien device. They hear a sound, the device lights up and the base lights up. The door on the craft opens and Will goes in. The door closes. He learns how to open it and close it. He puts on the helmet and calls extra galactic control. The door recloses and won't open this time. The small craft lifts off over the planet and goes into outer space!
Near the Jupiter II viewport, Judy makes a recording for her cousin Joan on Earth using an old fashioned and very big and bulky tape recorder.
JUDY'S RECORDING TO COUSIN JOAN: "And so you see my dear cousin Joan, no matter what you may have heard to the contrary, life can be very normal on a strange and remote planet. Will still has to be reminded not to be late for dinner and Penny is still forgetful about her personal appearance."
Nearby, Penny smirks at Judy's comment about Will but gasps at the comment about herself. Maureen is doing something to Penny's hair--washing it or combing it or cutting it and Maureen comments on Judy, "...and Judy is just a little bit too critical." They all laugh. They hear and see a small spaceship pass overhead. Judy says, "It looked like a comet." Don and John come running out and join them in seeing it. Maureen wonders where Will is. John tells them when he is working on one of his projects, he shuts out any sound. Judy laughs, "Like a dinner bell." Penny thinks she will go tell him what he missed. Maureen says, "No dear, I think that would be rather unkind."
Will's small craft goes through some kind of star curtain. He sees curtains, galaxies, and a bright light instrument opens and closes--some kind of hole in space or a tunnel. He is in hyper space perhaps. There are flashes like lightning. He then sees black stars and white space! A negative effect!
Judy and Don sit on a rock, giving each other furtive glances of love. Judy comments on the lovely, peaceful night. Don says, "Yeah. It sure is nice to be alone for a change. You know you'd think on a planet this size, it would be easy to get away from it all." Penny arrives, "Oh, am I interrupting anything?" Judy says, "I hope that's not why you came." She says, "Of course not." Penny is looking for Will to play chess Penny's hair is in thick braids. Smith comes jogging to maintain his youthful vigor--he found a white hair. He recommends a space exercise program. Don mentions that Smith is supposed to be replanting the hydroponic garden after last night's storm. Smith tells him, "Major, your caustic remarks fall on deaf ears. Man does not live by bread alone." Robot arrives. Don remarks in a patient way, "Oh no, we sure picked a nice, quiet little spot tonight didn't we? You're supposed to be in your cubby hole, mister." Robot tells Don he was at the alien site and had a breakdown. Smith tries to avoid this conversation but Robot tells them about the lift off of the alien space ship...with amateur pilot aboard. Don asks, "What do you mean by amateur?" Robot tells them, "I mean Will Robinson!" Don and Judy stand up. Judy asks, "Will took off in the alien space ship?" Robot answers, "Affirmative." His sensors detect the ship returning. They hear it. Don orders, "Penny, get your mother and father, we're going out there. C'mon Smith!" He and Judy run hand in hand. Smith and the Robot follow them.
John and Maureen run to the ship with the others. Will comes out and starts talking like a super genius, including giving Maureen an analysis of her feelings. Smith calls Will an independent spirit like himself. Will talks about the speed of light thought of being the limiting factor on space travel---he has disproved that theory. Will tells John it is too hard for him to understand so he will try to simplify it for him. John says, "Well thank you very much." Will also tells Smith about Smith's obvious flattery and that Smith should try to be more subtle. John sends Smith to the garden to do his work. Smith wants to do it after dinner but John tells him there is no dinner until Smith's job is done. Smith goes to the alien ship but the door closes on him. In the Jupiter II control room, Will has set up a clear map to design a way to explain things to John and Don, who sit like school children. Will even has a pointer. He tells them to discard everything they know about energy conversion factors. They can't. Will can't teach them, he says, if they won't accept what he says. He calls their questions emotional and primitive. He won't be able to tell them anything. John tries to talk to Will about their easy going relationship and how it's changed; Will picks up on the word normal. He takes it to mean John thinks he is no normal. Will yells, "I haven't really changed-maybe you have!" He runs outside. Don says, "No he hasn't changed he's just become a far out super genius, that's all." Maureen enters and tells them Will ran past her, practically in tears. John says at least he's experiencing that emotion--he's still a boy. Maureen doesn't doubt otherwise. Don figures he has to hone up on his multi dimensional flight phenomena before Will will talk to him again. Maureen wonders if the trip harmed Will or if this intelligence increase can. John says, "No, only in his relationship to us."
Day---Will is on a rock staring up. Judy is working nearby in the garden and asks him for help. She tells him when he answers her in a snooty way, "Will just because you're a brain now, you don't have to insult everyone else." Will calls her silly and tells her soon she will leave in a corny huff. She does. Penny comes and sees Will who ducks under the garden table to her. She will beat him at chess. He insults her without really realizing it. Penny asks, "Will, whatsa matter with you?" Will answers, "I dunno." They play and Will calls the game boring, explaining every move. Penny still wants to play but Will guesses what she will do---but doesn't really know. When Smith arrives, Penny tells him, "There's nothing to kibbutz--I've had it." She leaves the game. Smith and Will play chess. Smith is seen through by the boy. He is very transparent to Will now. Will understands Smith only too well. Smith wants to make the same flight if it will do to him what it did for Will. Will explains Smith's motives--he wants to be lord of the galaxy, be taken back to Earth and made President of the United States--at the very least, Will adds. Smith hasn't thought of that but it would be very nice, he admits. Will tells him, "We just don't communicate on the same level of maturity." He leaves. Smith holds a chess piece, "Very well, William Robinson Socrates Einstein. I'm not done with you yet." This brings back a certain amount of menace to Smith, even if for alittle while and even if diluted from his evil self in the first five episodes.
Control Room--Will turns on Robot and tells Robot if dad let him, he can pack all the Jupiter II into one tenth the space and calls the Robot obsolete. Robot tries to explain why he is not obsolete. Maureen comes in and turns the Robot off--he should be in bed--it's late. He tells her he doesn't need as much rest as he used to. Maureen calls his mind wonderful and this gives Will a chance to tell her the others don't think so, "They think I'm some kind of freak high brow." She tells him he is the same boy he always was. Maureen tells him tomorrow they will go on a picnic and if he enjoys it as much as he used to, it will prove he hasn't changed. Will says, "I don't think it'll help but I'll go." Maureen takes him down toward bed. Later at night--Smith finds Will redesigning the Jupiter II plans. Will is on a rock using a lantern-he couldn't sleep. Smith claims to a have come to a decision. Will hardly looks at him, "Oh, who do you plan to get in trouble this time?" Smith says, "Oh ye of little faith." He will go into the ship for Will, he says, to find a way to relieve Will of this intellectual isolation, "I volunteer!" Will tells him to skip the big talk, adding the word, "Huh?" Smith tells Will he no longer kind. Will won't be talked down to. He knows Smith is not doing this for him and tells him so, "Admit it for yourself." Smith says he has been cut to the quick by Will. Will thinks it is wrong to hold back scientific knowledge from someone who wants to know (WHAT? HOLD IT BACK FROM THIS MONSTROUS GREEDY DOPE!). He tells Smith the layout of the alien ship. Smith smiles, telling Will they can be BOSOM BUDDIES when he returns. Will tells him he sounds phoney when he talks like that but it will be nice to talk to someone on his own level.
Morning: Smith walks with a bag to the alien ship, singing, "Oh Susanna, Won't you cry for me, for I've come from Louisiana with a banjo on my knee." The alien ship door opens and Smith goes inside. He goes in, puts on the helmet, takes the craft upward, and asks to be Lord of the Galaxies. Standing on a rock, Will watches. John and Don pass by and Don asks Will to go to the drillsite. He tells them about Smith's flight. HEY WHAT ABOUT THAT PICNIC? DID IT HAPPEN OR NOT? Dough! Smith's vehicle flies across wonderfully white clouds and streaks back down to the ground. Excellent effects work. The trio go to welcome him. Smith comes out---an incredibly old, old, old man with a long white flowing beard and moustache, hunched over and very wrinkled. He calls Will a young upstart. He never should have listened to him, he tells them, now because of him, he is this old man. "Oh, the pain, the pain," the old voice says.
From the table, which is now sideways from its previous angles, Judy sadly watches Dr. Smith who is sitting in a wheelchair, away from the group. Will goes to him as Smith finishes soup, "Calamity" is one word the Doctor uses. He is wrinkled and old but wants more broth, "My teeth are not what they used to be." Judy and Maureen asks about helping him. When Will returns to the table to issue more broth, Maureen gives it to Don, "Don, why don't you take it to him?" Don asks, "Me?" Maureen says, "Here, it might make him feel better." When Don brings it, Smith says, "How very nice of you, Major, and high time, too!" Smith tells Don, "I fear you will soon be performing an autopsy on my mortal remains." Don tells him not to talk that way--he and John are going to simulate the effects of a flight in a test chamber which may give them a clue about how to reverse it. Smith says then he can return to his young handsome self. He wants dessert. Don says that at least his appetite is okay. Smith yells, "Would you begrudge me my last remaining pleasure!!!" Don goes to get it. Night--John, Don, and Will try tests; Will warns John about the test. John says, "Be quiet, Will!" The test blows up. John throws his hands up. Maureen, Judy, and Penny run to them. Maureen says, "Oh John!" Will tried to warn John. John feels that whatever space corridor Smith went through they won't be able to simulate it here. Will figures he can try another flight but Maureen won't hear of it. Smith come down the ramp with a cane, his rest disturbed. His hopes have been raised and now he feels doomed when they tell him it failed. John says, "We haven't given up, Dr. Smith." Smith croaks, "Keep trying--it may prove useful to others even though I won't be here." He turns to Judy, "Help an old man up the ramp, girlie!" Judy helps him up. Will and Penny wonder about the deep space equivalent of the fountain of youth. Later, Smith comes out of his cabin to go to Will. He is in his wheelchair. In the lab and near the galley they talk. Smith tells Will time and tide wait for no man. Will laments that Smith won't give him a drop of his venerable blood instead of just allowing Will to use one white hair. Smith feels one drop may mean the difference between life and death. Smith wonders about a test flight, calling Will, "Sonny." Will thinks it is worth the try. Smith cons Will into going, Will defending his father to Smith when Smith says John is not even his intellectual equal. Will does wish John'd have more intelligence than Will. "It's no fun to explain things to your own father," Will frets, "...and everyone else." Smith cackles, "Think how your mother would be happy to have her own little Willie back." Will smiles. Smith laughs. Will will go.
Later Smith is in the wheel chair outside the ramp of the Jupiter, waving goodbye as Will takes off in the alien ship. The others come running out. Maureen tells him, "Dr. Smith, you'd better explain...and quickly!" He tells them. John approaches him, "Why you crazy old fool!" Maureen stops him--she wants to get out there and asks Judy to get Penny. Don pulls Smith along, calling him a foxy grandpa. Smith warns him about his delicate back. Penny, Judy, Maureen, John, Don, and Smith arrive at the alien site. Don isn't sure it is the same ship that arrives. John says, "It does look alittle different." The door opens and a creature steps out, scaly with fins, wearing an ornament, and it has a face that vaguely resembles William Robinson! It moves at the space family!
The beast fires a laser from its fingertip at the others feet, making them back off. Don pulls a gun but Maureen says, "Don don't!" Smith and the others think maybe this is Will. Penny asks, "Mom is it really?" Smith tries to talk to it, calling him a life long friend. The alien talks some language, "Grungh Brunghy." John yells for Robot. Robot comes and they move aside so it can go up to the alien monster being. Robot translates--it wants its other vehicle. Maureen says, "Thank goodness it's not Will." Robot translates from John to the alien--telling it Will took it but will return it shortly, using, "Quadro Mikiy flimsa, doomsa hemla membia." The alien fires a laser from his claw and the ray stuns Don's hand and makes him drop his laser pistol. It moves at them, "Grahha!" Robot says this means, "Silence!" It moves over each of the group, its claw raised at them. It moves its claw at Don's face when he tries to bend down for his gun. Smith tries to tell the alien his dilemma. Don tells Smith it can't understand him. Smith says it might hear the plea for pity in his voice. The alien grabs Smith and shoves him away. Penny yells, "No!" The alien puts him down on the central device unit, "Greegy no claa." It plants a timer into the ground which by light velocity will give them three minutes. Judy asks, "What if Will isn't back in three minutes?" Don says, "He's got Smith as a hostage, I guess. Our king." John has an idea--he will use the Robot to request from the alien a chance to examine the velocimeter, distracting the alien so Don can sneak around and attack him from behind. Smith asks Robot to tell our alien friend he meant no harm. Robot says, "Negative, computers preempted for more important task." To the alien he says, "Frala chemla horgla." John takes out his gun. The creature begins to show Smith the velocimeter but Smith gasps he doesn't understand him. Don goes to hit the alien from behind with his laser gun but the ship returns just then. Don runs back to the others. John tries to warn Will to stay inside but the alien fires a ray at the door and opens it. Will comes out and goes to Smith, who tells Will the situation, "He's going to punish you for taking his ship by abducting me." Will tells the alien, "Hello there." Will explains but cannot use larger words any more. Smith calls him, "Willie," seeing Will cannot use big words at all. Will explains in all--it makes three rides they took in the ship. The alien moves at Smith but Will tells Don not to shoot, "Maybe I can talk him out of it." John says, "Let him try." Will tells the alien that Dr. Smith as a slave is not a good idea, "He's not much use when it comes to work and he can't live much longer..." Smith says, "Oh dear!" Will goes on, "Unless you take him up and change him back." The alien grabs Dr. Smith. Will is in the way of John and Don firing lasers as the alien takes Smith into his ship and leaves, all the alien machinery vanishing, leaving a crater area infront of Will. Will says, "I guess it didn't do much good talking to that alien--we'll never see Dr. Smith again." Maureen hugs him.
A signpost is put up on the former alien site: IN MEMORY OF DOCTOR ZACHARY SMITH--WHO WAS TRANSFERRED FROM THIS SPOT TO THE VAST UNKNOWN OF THE SIXTH DIMENSION--GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN.
The others have planted this sign there. Penny has her hand on it. Maureen says, "All we can is hope that wherever Dr. Smith is, he'll survive." The group starts back to camp--good old incorrect John telling them that there isn't any more they can do here. Well, in a way he's right. The alien ship returns and they run back to the area: Maureen can't really run too good, can she? They find Smith there--his former younger self, the alien ship taken off again. Smith reads the signpost and throws the robe, the cane, and the sign, "Indeed, indeed, and indeed," following each throw. He has a metal note which Will says the Robot can read. Smith calls that a splendid idea. Smith gives it to Robot, "Read it to me, my dear friend."
ROBOT'S READING OF ALIEN NOTE: I bid you farewell. Planet is unsuitable as extra galactic relay station. From the brave youth I have learned their speech. I knocked off some of the bearded one's years to please the youth. He sure is a dandy.
Smith complains that the alien could have made him a few years younger than before. Don laughs, "Smith, you haven't changed a bit." They all leave and the Robot. Smith says, "As for you, sire, I'll attend to you later!" Smith goes off and the Robot laughs.
CLIFFHANGER: John has a rope and Smith a flashlight as they move to a deep cave during the afternoon. Smith lost a laser gun. John tells Smith, "You know we never checked out this area yet. I oughta ring your neck allowing Will to come here." Will wanted unusual rock specimens. John tells Smith the laser is a lot more valuable than the crown jewels which Smith mentioned. They go into the cave and look over a ridge. The pistol is on the floor. Smith tells John, who wants to send him down there for two buttons and an old shoestring, "You know my phobia about heights." NOTE: see ISLAND IN THE SKY. Will told John what happened: a sound was heard, a small lizard appeared, Smith screamed, dropped the pistol, and ran out. Smith tells John his facts are all wrong: the lizard was huge, the reptile flung it from his grasp, and he made a calm, orderly retreat. John says, "Knowing your unquestioned bravery in the past, I can believe that!" Sarcasm, huh? John climbs down the rope which he places around a rock. Smith tells claims to be able to hold onto the rope and pan it out, "Never fear, Smith is here." John lands on another ridge, then goes off it, asking for more rope, which Smith pans out. Just then, as he goes off the ridge, a cave in occurs following a shake--possibly an earth quake. Rocks fall down. Smith is hit by a pile of dust and small rocks. The rope falls and John falls downward!
TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK, SAME TIME, SAME CHANNEL
REVIEW: This enjoyable episode works rather well. Bill Mumy did an excellent job creating super brain Will in this one. He wasn't just an annoying snob super intellect but a multi leveled personality using what was once Will's personality and not changing it too much. It was a superb job, one overlooked by fans and viewers. You liked him, felt sorry for him, yet also could see how the others were irritated by him. I would have liked to see the picnic Maureen promised to take him on but perhaps that never happened since Smith got "old" the next morning. While Maureen is particularly sensitive in this episode and it fits with her personality considering all that has gone before--she makes Don take Smith the broth and feels the same way about Will as before----John acts stupider than usual (which can happen). While I like his stalwart father persona, here he flops at every opportunity with Will---he doesn't even try to understand Will, only get irritated by Will's impatience, even insulting Will, and not really apologizing when he makes mistakes in this episode (Will warns him about the machine blowing up but he tells Will to be quiet; after it blows up, he doesn't apologize). Poor writing accounts for this. They should have made John try harder and more sensitively. Also the Will-Judy insult scene could have been a lot better. Jonathan Harris makes Smith very good in this episode---both as a villain again and as a very old man. The makeup was quite nice and his acting makes you really believe Smith is very old. Another big plus for this episode. Still another is the well conceived alien monster being. A nice outfit, very cool and very alien (and used in VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA in THE MERMEN and THE MERMAID). It has its own language (as did THE SPACE TRADER and the alien family in THE SKY IS FALLING). When the alien emerges from his spaceship and moves at the family--well, it's a classic LOST IN SPACE moment from a classic episode. The character interplay and friction is well done (except for the already mentioned John-Will stuff)--who says there isn't character development on Irwin Allen shows?
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