NARRATION: Last week, as you recall, we left Professor Robinson and Dr. Smith searching for a lost laser pistol, unaware that the Professor would, within moments, be plunged into an incredible encounter with a deadly, alien spirit.

TEASER-not fully recapped

John and Dr. Smith move into a 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." 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 awry: 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! He hits the floor of the cave. Smith runs out, stops by the cave mouth and turns to look back, but runs back some more to a rock. He sees a rock wall cover the entrance. This may be a wall slid over the opening--which looks rather fake. If rock props were used it would have looked better--but one can overlook the wall sliding down--perhaps it was the alien's trap door? The music as John awakens and finds an alien room is a very good mixture of previous LOST IN SPACE stock music (including a brief bit of music from the Unaired Pilot Number Two--Will in trap door). John gets up and calls for Smith several times, "Smith! Smith! Doc--tor Smith!" He goes through a hole (which is not an obvious hole opening but seems to be a continuation of the area John landed on) and sees alien statues, candle holders (from MAGIC MIRROR) and goblets. Two of the statues--with a small rim to sit on or put an urn of fire on were used in DANIEL BOONE's color episode (possibly called THE ENCHANTED GUN; it was about an Aztec or Mayan, one of the last of his kind; the statue would be used again in LOST IN SPACE and is used in THE TIME TUNNEL-THE WALLS OF JERICHO--possibly in other TIME TUNNELs as well). John stomps up a long flight of steps. He takes a curtain off the top area and finds a door behind it--a crypt or coffin with insignia. He can't open it. He hears the door to the room closing---it looks as if it closed even before this--as it was wide open when John came in. John runs down to it and tries to hold it back from shutting completely. He can't and it closes, sealing him in (good music as the door shuts and he runs down--it would be used again when Noble Niolani stuns Don in THE COLONISTS).


Will is fixing the Robot's power pack. Judy and Don come out of the spaceship. Robot blames Smith for his audio unit burnout, "He is constantly talking to me." Judy says, "Well, you don't have to reply." Don agrees--he could just shut his audio unit. Smith comes running, horrified, "We've lost Professor Robinson, sealed up in a dark catacomb," and when Will doesn't believe it, "Oh William! William, it's the sad truth!" Judy takes Will by the shoulders, "Father's alright--I'm sure he is." Judy goes in to get Maureen and the flashlights. Robot says, "I also will assist!" Smith tries to get out of getting the picks and shovels but Don yells, "You heard what I said--MOVE!" Smith bumps into the Robot, "Ninny!" A voice talks to John who pulls the curtain below the steps away. Behind it is a statue of alien woman with braids. When he turns, it falls toward him. He jumps and it falls, seemingly losing its head. John examines an alien knife but drops it when a giant dimetrodon comes out of a giant hole in the wall--another cave or an alcove. It roars at him. NOTE: This looks like one of the dinos from JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH but this may have been specially filmed here as when the dino vanishes the background matches perfectly. John grabs up an alien spear and throws it but the dino vanishes. The voice tells him he has courage. John goes back up the steps and the coffin opens revealing an alien body in a mask. We hear music from THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL. The voice tells John it has been waiting for a long time. Once many centuries ago this mummy was a leader and warrior. "My body has long ago been used up---I want yours as a replacement. You have all the qualities which I need. There is no escape." A flash blows behind and out of the mask which makes John fall on the steps. Smoke comes from the mask and makes John sleep there, "While you sleep, I will take over your body."

Night--Penny will take Smith's shovel since Smith needs to rest. Don tells him to keep digging. They have been for hours. Maureen tells them to let Smith rest. Judy says, "I'm not tired mother." Robot advises against Don's idea of using explosives on the pile blocking the cave since that could cause further harm to John. Smith says, "Be still you non descript ninny!" Robot suggests since the Chariot lights only have a few more minutes of power, that they return to the Jupiter II and return in the daylight. Maureen gasps, "We can't do that." Don says, "For once, I agree with Smith, Maureen." Maureen says, "You can go bake to the spaceship--I can't leave here." Will and Penny want to stay. Maureen realizes Don is right--they can't work in the dark and little hen pecking mom also won't let Will and Penny stay up all night. Judy wonders if this is the right thing. Maureen says, "I'm sure he'll be all right." Robot tells them there is air in the cave. Will agrees, but tells them he is coming back first thing in the morning. NOTE: Why couldn't the Robot keep digging in the dark? The voice awakens John and the door opens. The alien has also--somehow--removed the obstructions from the entrance. It will possess him fully soon. John won't let him. The voice tells him he has no choice and will not remember anything that happened. "Take good care of our body." John awakens and rubs his head, then talks to himself. Somehow he must get up the ridges.

Jupiter II window: we see as Judy finds Maureen and Don up and asks them why they are. Maureen says, "The same thing you are--worrying." Don says he wishes he could say something optimistic... but Maureen tells him, "Please don't--I don't think I could stand it." Maureen says, "Don, I think we should go back there now." Judy gasps, "Dad!" John walks in and hugs Maureen.

Morning: all eat at the table which is turned longways from the doorway. Smith doesn't want Professor Robinson to question him about the accident. Robot tells Smith he chickened out on the Professor. Smith calls him a malicious moron. Will, cold-ish, and almost mean arrives, "Dr. Smith, dad wants you! He said now!" Robot tells Smith his moment of truth has arrived. Smith says, "Be still you bubble headed booby!" Smith tells John he did everything in his power to avert disaster but felt perhaps John felt some anger and ill will towards him. John calmly and nicely tells him he is not angry, "Certainly not, have some breakfast." Smith sits but John bangs the table with his fist, "DON'T TOUCH THAT FOOD!!!" He tells Smith that he won't have any food today and if he can't join them on time tomorrow, he won't eat for another 24 hours. Maureen thinks this is a bit unreasonable. John tells her it is no concern of hers. Don tells John, "Take it easy, John." John says, "Just because I expect a little discipline, alittle routine from that man does not mean I am sick." Maureen goes to him. John apologizes, "I'm sorry, forgive me, I've got this headache I can't seem to shake." Maureen tells him he needs sleep. Smith, apologized to by John, says, "We all have occasional outbursts of ill temper." When Maureen takes John inside, Don and Smith disagree over Professor Robinson. Smith calls him a sick man, "His responsibilities have become too much for him. I've been expecting this for quite awhile now." Smith sums it up: Professor Robinson is on the verge of a complete mental breakdown. Don says, "John Robinson happens to be the sanest man I ever met." Smith tells him there is a limit to the mind. Don walks off, aggravated at Smith, "You're right--there is a limit. And I've just reached it."

Will knocks on John's door on the lower deck. John tells him to come in, wearing a robe. John feels he made a prize idiot of himself. Will tells him, "Everyone understood." John says, "You're a good boy, Will. In many ways, you're a better son than I am a father." Will says, "I think it's the other way around." John says, "Instead of being lost out here in space--you should be leading the life of a normal boy--playing with youngsters your own age, going to baseball games, doing all the things a boy needs to do before growing up." Will says, "I like what I'm doing better." John smiles, "You're just saying that only because you don't know what you've missed." He lays down on his back. We hear the sad music from THE DERELICT and WELCOME STRANGER. "I should've insisted that you remain on Earth...and the girls, too." He puts his arm over his face, "...there's so much they haven't much." John's hand drops and he falls asleep. Will leaves, turning off the lights. John fights the alien from his sleep but the alien tells him he cannot---the alien is deep in his mind already. The voice seems to be coming from a black cushioned chair in John's room. The alien is going to leave this planet and needs a spaceship--The Jupiter II. John tells it that the Jupiter II needs a new power thruster, it lacks fuel, and needs repairs. The alien tells him this can be easily taken care of with his help. The alien makes him fall asleep, "Later there is much to do."


Day--Will goes to the Robot who has a hoe. He is concerned about his father. They talk. Will says, "It's just that dad's always so healthy." Smith comes, calling the Robot, "Dr. Dunderhead." He also tells them John has deep seeded mental problems and is disturbed. Robot says, "Baloney." Smith threatens to divide the Robot's computers and give him a split personality. He tells Will he has a degree in psychiatry but Robot asks for permission to speak. Smith gives it. Robot tells them, "It is not Professor Robinson who need psychiatric treatment--it is his doctor." Smith says, "Just you wait, you deplorable dummy!" Don sits on the table outside and is writing in a book. Judy is straightening out the table for dinner. John comes out and moves all her preparations for dinner. Food can wait. John says, "We're getting the Jupiter II back into space. I've devised a machine to make fuel--it can synthesize detronium." Don looks at it and declares it is years ahead of anything they can come up with. Don will be happy to get off this planet but wonders why John never told him about this before. John acts hostile, "Since when it is necessary that I discuss everything with you, Major West! You seem to forget who's in command here. It is I who give orders and your job is to obey them!" Don agrees, "Sure John, whatever you say." John says, "From now on things are going to be different around this camp." They have one week to work day and night to do this. Maureen asks, "Why the rush?" John says, "Because I want it that way, Maureen!" He is angry and storms off with the plans, telling them to have someone bring him his dinner--he will be working in the lab tonight.

Later at night--2AM--Judy, Maureen, Don, and Smith come into the Control Room, tired. Smith and Maureen sit in chairs in the Control Room. Don and Judy sit on the console at the front window. Judy says of workaholic John, "At least he let Will and Penny go to bed at the normal time." Don agrees, "But he sure wasn't happy about it though." He is in a rush to get that fuel machine built. Smith tells Maureen, "Your husband has become a tyrant, madam." Maureen thinks, looking straight ahead, "Has anyone noticed John's eyes--they seem to look right through you." Smith has noticed and it is cause for alarm. Don says, "One thing that bothers me is you never know what to expect--one moment he seems perfectly alright, then pow, he's like someone you've never met before." Maureen says, "Even I can't talk to him--he just walks away." Don says, "I know--I grabbed him by the arm, he got so angry he almost hit me." When Smith blabs he can help, Don gets up, "I never thought I'd hear myself saying this but I'm willing to take a suggestion from you, Dr. Smith." Smith tells them he has had the latest techniques in psychiatric procedures. Don jokes, "As a doctor or a patient?" Maureen tells Smith that Don was only joking. She would be grateful for anything he can do to help. Smith tells her, "For the sake of the children and you, I shall take the case." Judy says, "Good luck, Dr. Smith." Smith takes the elevator down, staring at his upright finger. John is in his cabin on a beach chair-couch. He tells Smith, "I have no friends." Smith tells him he is wrong. He gets John to put down his pen and clipboard and relax, resting his back and eyes. Smith says that must make him feel better. John only feels boredom. Smith tells him, although he may be unaware of it--he has been acting overbearing, hostile, and unpleasant. Smith wants to help--he says. John looks at him, "Dr. Smith--you're a fool!" The voice talks to Smith, "My name is Kanto--I am a great leader and warrior from the planet Questi." John and the Voice talk in tandem, warning Smith not to tell anyone. The voice tells him, "Remember what I have said, if you do not..." John finishes, "...I will be forced to destroy you!" Smith gasps and runs out.


Day--Smith talks to himself but Robot is there and will talk to him. Will arrives and Robot tells them the Professor has grown worse. Smith, nervous about the conversation, leaves. Near to the spaceship, the others have fuel machine built. Don tells them tomorrow they will be able to manufacture fuel. Maureen says, "Oh Don, you know I always thought I would be overjoyed at the thought of leaving this planet but I'd be willing to stay forever if it would help John return to normal." Judy comments that Dr. Smith said dad's getting better, "...but I haven't seen any improvement."

Penny adds, "Neither have I. If anything he's worse." Robot arrives with Will--the Robot has computed Professor Robinson's condition, "He is not mentally ill." Don asks, "He's not...?" Robot tells them, "He is possessed...possessed by an alien spirit." Robot tells them his information on this is limited but Will detects he is holding back something. Robot does not want to distress them further. They prompt him to tell them, "The alien spirit has not yet gained full control of Professor Robinson but time grows short. Unless some remedy is found, he will be completely taken over and lost forever. Forgive me for revealing such distressing news." John is at the window of the Jupiter II, watching from inside the Control Room. The voice tells him that the Robot told the others. John says, "There's nothing they can do to stop us now." The Voice tells him that they could be a hindrance. John tells him, "Then I shall remove them." The voice laughs, they are beginning to think alike.

Night--Will follows John from the spaceship to the cave; John keeps turning around to see if he is being followed. Will goes into the alien tomb area and we see a rare angle down on the boy as he ascends the steps and goes to open the coffin. A hand grabs his shoulder from behind before he can do this--it is his father! Will is at first relieved and calm it is but then gets nervous and afraid. John asks Will if he was spying on him. Will says, "No sir, I mean, yes sir, I mean I didn't mean any harm, sir." No one else knows and Will better keep it that way, John tells him. "Or I will punish you!" He makes Will leave. Will runs out. The coffin opens, "It is time for me to take over completely." John stands there, "Yes, I am willing."

Day--Judy and Don make fuel from the machine---right on schedule. Maureen arrives, not able to find John anywhere. They feel he is at that cave where all this started. Judy, Don, and Maureen go to the cave. The women insist on going inside with Don. They go in and the door shuts and traps them. They hear the Voice. John is on the steps and there is a blast. He is in alien clothes with gloves, black outfit, a neck collar, belt, and arm rings. Judy asks, "Dad, where did you get those clothes?" Maureen walks past her, "Judy." John has a sword; Don whispers to Maureen that they have to get the weapon away from him, "Talk to him but be very careful." Maureen goes to John and touches his face, "John you remember Major West--you've known each other for years. And you remember Penny and Will and ahhh, Dr. Smith." John comes round, "Maureen. Judy." He touches Maureen's face and brings his hand to her hand. He looks at Judy and goes to her, "Judy," hugging her. As he hugs Judy, Don grabs the sword away from him. Maureen yells, "Don no!" John turns on them and picks up another weapon that looks like a pointed spring, "There is no John Robinson--only his body. My name is Kanto!" Maureen tries again. John says, "Get away from me!" Maureen gulps, "Ohhh." He plans to leave them there. Maureen says, "You can't leave us trapped in here!" John says, "Mrs. Robinson, don't worry about your children. When I leave this planet they will go with me. They will be needed to run the spaceship." Don tries to grab the new weapon John picked up but fails. John calls him foolish, "I have destroyed armies!" Judy runs to another large statue of an alien. John lights up the sparking spring weapon and attacks Don. Maureen runs to Judy and they watch the long fight. Don gets a shield to block the electric hits. There are blasts and sparks. The fight is a long and exciting one with familiar action music. It ends with Don on his face. John turns him over onto his back and holds his gloved hand over Don's chest and face. A knife pops out of the glove over the hand. Judy yells, "No don't!" John confronts Judy and Maureen, who huddle together, "You may consider yourselves fortunate. I am usually not so lenient with my enemies. I've spent may centuries in this cave--perhaps you would enjoy it." He walks out and the door closes tight.


Night--Control Room--Penny and Will are in robes (Penny's is striped). Smith comes up with a late night snack for them. All three are worried--the kids won't eat. "While your parents are away, I am responsible for you." He sends them to bed. Robot says, "Goodnight Penny. Goodnight, Will. Remember to brush your teeth." Smith says, "Thank you little mother!" Smith eats the snack, telling Robot poor Will and Penny--they will have to make it up to them, be very good to them---being alone on this planet. Robot wonders what he means. Smith says, "You can't believe Mrs. Robinson or any of the others will ever return. As for the Professor, we can forget about him too." Robot won't, "I cannot forget--they are all there in my memory banks." When Smith explains he will have to take care of the children, Robot says, "Dr. Smith, the mother; Dr. Smith the father. It does not compute." Smith pulls the Robot's power pack.

Morning: Smith has a chef's hat on as he prepares eggs benedict for the kids--well, breakfast anyway. Robot agrees they should eat--one of the few times Dr. Smith is right. Smith calls Robot a blithering bumpkin. Kanto approaches the camp site! Robot warns, "Come no closer or I will destroy." The alien is wearing his mask and outfit--the same outfit John had on. He is here to help and has info about the rest of their party. They sit at the table. "Your parents, your sister, and Major West are, unfortunately, no longer on this planet." His comrades took them to Questi and stranded him here when he rebelled against this inhumane action. More DAY EARTH STOOD STILL music. The alien tells them he can fly the Jupiter II to his planet to help free the other members of the family. The voice of the alien is the same voice that took over John. Will stands up--he doesn't believe this alien--they saw no spaceship land and saw no other aliens. He also wanted to know why dad was acting so strange. The alien tells him that was the work of his former friends. Will runs off. Smith is afraid and holds Penny in front of him. The alien tells them to prepare to depart. The alien goes into the spaceship; Smith holding Penny between him and the alien.

Night: Robot finds Will whittling a stick with a knife near the spaceship. There is some kind of barrier from Kanto to prevent the Robot from computing more about this alien. Robot says, "I too miss the rest of the family. Alert! Alert!" Kanto arrives. There are crates, suitcases and packages out. Will and the Robot tell him they are going to remain here. Kanto says it looks like he has a rebellion on his hands. Robot says, "When Penny and Dr. Smith learn of what we intend to do, they will stay also." Kanto wants to show Will something that will prove what he has told them. He wants Robot to remain here and Will agrees. Kanto tells the Robot there is work to do here. Will tells Robot, "Do as he says." Kanto brings Will over a ridge of rock which juts out over blackness and a pit. Will never saw this place before. The rock bridge just ends abruptly. Will trips but stands up. The pit reaches down to the very core of this planet, Kanto tells Will. Will looks down at the deep hole and puffs his chest out, "I know why you brought me here." Kanto asks, "Do you?" Will does, "You're gonna push me off, aren't you?" Kanto says, "Yes, Will Robinson, I am." Dust and pebbles fall from the bridge and down the pit.


Will says, "You're gonna push me off, aren't you?" Kanto says, "Yes, Will Robinson, I am." Yes, again. It's a recap okay!!!? Kanto tells Will, "You're a very bright young man. It is regrettable that you must be destroyed but it must be done." Will asks if he can see his father's face one last time. Kanto agrees and takes the mask off--it is John. OH, WHAT A SURPRISE!!! Will says, "Goodbye Dad, I love you." John asks, "What?" Will says, "I love you, dad." John starts to fight Kanto. Will kneels down to touch John, "We all love you. Nothing's stronger than the feeling we have for you, dad!" John throws the mask down the ravine and the voice of Kanto screams all the way down. Will tells John, "He's gone forever, dad." Will wonders what chased him off. John says, "Love, Will, in all the galaxies of this universe there is nothing stronger." He hugs Will and they leave the ridge....this leads into one of the following....

CLIFFHANGER NUMBER ONE--this follows the above scene directly--no fade out or fade in and no commercial in between the above and this, just a seque dissolve right into....

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, " 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.


NOTE: NEXT WEEK, ATTACK OF THE MONSTER PLANTS WAS RERUN. This lead to the strange event of having a cliffhanger not fully recap a repeat cliffhanger from before!!!!

CLIFFHANGER TWO-in syndication and at the end of the reruns of FOLLOW THE LEADER...this cliffhanger was shown--also NOTE: sometimes in syndication the above CLIFFHANGER NUMBER ONE is depends on what station aired it and when...also, this cliffhanger does not fully recap the TEASER of BLAST OFF INTO SPACE!!!

Fade into Penny, John, and Maureen shaking inside the Control Room IN COLOR. It stops and John calls Don at the drill site. Penny's hair is very long and down over her shoulders. Penny is wearing her new outfit (red-orange in color are her shirt, pants, and boots, yellow stripes along shirt). John feels the quakes are happening at a depth that can crack the core of this planet. Don tells him they just got that last batch of detronium---all they need. John asks if they felt the earthquake. Don asks, "Earthquake, what earthquake?" John tells him to pack up and get back--it might hit there next. Judy goes up a ridge to call Smith and Will at Don's orders. "Dad just called--he said there might be an earthquake, right here in this very area!" Syndication versions of BLAST OFF INTO SPACE used to begin at this spot. Smith is holding Will and Robot at attention in some kind of silly ceremony for the unveiling of a statue--the Spirit of Space--he made which Will comments doesn't even look like him. Smith tells them it is the artistic inner self. The statue is holding a golden globe. Will asks, "Now can we leave?" Smith complains about the sanctity of this moment. Will says, "Didn't you hear what Judy said...we might be right in the middle of a..." There's a blast. We hear the old, usual cliffhanger music instead of a variation or music from BLAST OFF INTO SPACE. Will yells, "Hit the dirt!" Judy goes flying off the ridge backward---serves her right--it took her long enough to get off it. Don is hit by pieces of flying debris and is hit off the drill piping toward the Chariot.


REVIEW: FOLLOW THE LEADER is typical--your-leader-is-being taken over material which was in almost every Irwin Allen series. LAND OF THE GIANTS had THE UNSUSPECTED while VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA-SABOTAGE-THE TRAITOR-DESTROY SEAVIEW!-MUTINY-BLOW UP and many, many more. THE TIME TUNNEL never had General Kirk taken over but it did have Doug brainwashed in INVASION, Tony with amnesia fighting against Doug in THE DEATH MERCHANT, and Tony possessed by the GHOST OF NERO. LOST IN SPACE would tread on this territory in a different way with THE ANTI MATTER MAN. Here, it is the body of John that is taken over. John Peel thought the scene where Will's love overcomes the alien possession was sickening. Well, to some it might be but to others, more sensitive, it seems to be that love between family members is important. It doesn't say much for Maureen though that her love couldn't break through when Will's could. To be fair, Maureen had Don's violent mistrust in the way. FOLLOW THE LEADER is good but flawed. Why do the women and Don go to the cave without any laser guns? Why didn't Will tell the others, fear of John punishing him? If the Robinsons can make fuel--why the drill site in BLAST OFF INTO SPACE and other later episodes? Why couldn't the Robot dig at night? Why didn't the Robot and Will think of finding Judy, Don, and Maureen at the cave? Or Smith could have thought of it, maybe? The alien mask is a delightfully alien and spooky one, which turned up in VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA--DEADLY CLOUD. The tomb set was well done. Alien technology should have been confiscated by the Robinsons whenever they could--the robotoid in WAR OF THE ROBOTS and the fuel machine here could have been used. This was made something of in CONDEMNED OF SPACE. Having your leader taken over by aliens or anything else is a particularly scary idea and it is played upon here to good effect, the tension Guy Williams brought to the episode is wonderfully contrasted to his usual John and to the other members of the family. Even though the alien was plaguing his mind, the scene with Will in his cabin and his guilt over having his three kids lost in space seemed very real---this must bother him--and Maureen too---sometimes--even when an alien mummy isn't bothering you! This episode wasn't taken over by Dr. Smith but Smith played an important part and added to the fun by not being too ridiculous. Another interesting thing to note: the clothing, machinery, weapons, and attitudes of Kanto from Questi are all very similar to the alien Ruler and Quano in THE CHALLENGE. Since the Ruler and Quano know of this planet and of Earthlings--it is not unlikely that they are from the same planet or the same star system, maybe even the same race as Kanto. The fuel machine was designed from parts of the volta blade power unit in THE CHALLENGE. The volta blades are electrical sabres--the knife device John uses on Don is similarly electrified. The spears used in both episodes are the same. The Ruler probably treats women of his planet not unlike Kanto treated Maureen. And even the names Quano and Kanto are similar. Could Kanto be some long ago warrior from the same planet?