MY FRIEND, MR NOBODY
NARRATION: Last week, we left our small party of space colonists as they began their first test drilling for radioactive materials. Materials that could be transformed into enough atomic fuel to lift their disabled space ship off this strange and alien planet.
Will and John are at the drill site. Don comes out of the spaceship with devices. He has the explosives to blast, a detonator and wiring. They are looking for radioactive minerals with which to refine fuel for the Jupiter II. John orders Will behind a rock. Will says, "Yes sir." Don and John take the drill site down and join him. Don runs a line from the hole to the detonator behind the rock with them. Penny is walking among weird rocks and trees. She finds plastic explosive pellets that Don dropped which are shaped like a science model of an atom. The firing starts. We see a rare overhead view of Penny as she runs to the area near the drill and the blasting hole, "Daddy?" John hears her and orders Don to cut the blasting switch. Don can't--it's already firing. John yells, "Well, jump the wires!" He runs out from behind the rock. Don pulls Will down as Will tries to move up and see. NOTE: Don's line of, "Stay here!" cannot be heard in this version. John dives out at Penny as the blast rises from the hole. This is where the cliffhanger ends. John dives at Penny, pushing her down, away from the blast. He asks if she can move her fingers and she tells him she is okay. He berates her for coming here and then tells Will to stop his ridiculing Penny--Will told her it was stupid thing to carry plastic explosives over. Don and Will go to check the rig. John tells Penny it is too dangerous here for her to help them (then why is Will helping you chauvinistic pig!). He tells her to go help her mother---Penny says Maureen is too busy (this is NOT believable as Maureen always seems to make time for the kids). She cannot stay here. Penny stops and reflects on Will, Don, and John working without her and goes. She finds a forestry area with rocks, flowers, and rock step-like structures. She mimics her mother and father, calls out, "And Will Robinson, you're nothing but a boy!" and kicks dirt. The area has giant mushrooms, flowers...and water. She tries to take a drink out of the lake (or spring) and the water rises up for her as she could not reach it (and the camera zooms in on it). She says, "Hey!" It repeats back to her in a strange deep but not unfriendly sounding voice. "Hey. Hey." Penny goes to a cave entrance which is far overhead. She talks to the voice and it repeats more of what she says. She backs up to a rock wall. A boulder over a smaller entrance opens. Penny hears more and more of her words reflected back to her in mass of continuous echoes. She falls back into the opening. The rock seems to close again.
Judy is looking through a loose leaf of drawings of girls with various hairdos. One says 349 and another says 476, another is 435. Maureen thinks 476 is just fine for Judy. She asks Will to find Penny. She puts the automatic hair setter on Judy's head. Will is hungry and wants to eat without her. Maureen wonders if he should go out and look for her now. Penny, happy, arrives and talks of a friend, an echo, a deep cave, and of pushing a giant boulder with one finger. Will calls her a sissy, making fun of her using a white rabbit and tea cup to add to the verbal tease. Maureen makes him stop and he laughs, "Alright, mom, alright." Maureen tells Penny she believes her. Penny tries to talk to her some more and tell her about the magic fountain but Judy's hair device goes off. When it comes off, Judy's hair is styled differently--nicer--with long hair in the back and the front styled better. Later that night (?) after dinner (?), Penny returns to the cave, calls to her friend, and opens the rock with one finger. She talks to her friend, who keeps echoing, "Can't you put words together?" He begins to, "You and I." Penny tells him she is coming in and won't get scared this time and runaway, "...cause I'm not afraid of you, see." She adds, "And you will be my friend, won't you? Won't you?" This is eerie because it doesn't answer her right away and the music is very mysterious. "Stay, my friend," it said. She goes in and the boulder closes. Day: drill site hole: Judy takes pails from Maureen who dropped Penny off to the road to her friend's. Maureen asks John if Penny is in any danger there--in the spring area. "She keeps talking about a cave that's dark and wet and shiny." John tells her it is probably limestone but there is no way she can in that far down. He and Don prospected the whole area and came up with nothing they can drill for. Judy notes Maureen's cheery pie; Maureen tells her she did it on the computer. Maureen doesn't want anything to spoil Penny's happiness mood which has come about lately. John tells Maureen, "Oh, nothing's gonna happen." Will watches Smith play the Robot in chess (Robot using his special chess claw) outside on a rock stand. He runs to Penny who is playing jacks with small objects and a ball. She tells Will the objects are from her friend. Will tells her they are just rock quartz and throws some. These hit the chess game, making Smith angry. Will and Penny run to them; Will apologizes. Penny tells Will her friend has a whole wall of rocks like those. The kids move off. Smith draws a line on the Robot's bubble with the "rock" which he gives to the Robot to analyze. As Robot does this, Smith moves to Penny to con her---he has very little work to do today and wants to know if he can visit her friend for some tea. Only she can see him, Penny relays. Smith tells the Robot to wait as he interrupts his con job on Penny. Smith tells Penny, "I'm not like your brother and sister, you know, I believe your friend." Penny tells him, "I'm sorry, Dr. Smith, you're just going to have to find somebody else to play with, by yourself." She leaves. Smith goes to the Robot and laments his programmers programmed him to be an unabridged dictionary. Robot tells Smith the contents of the rock--native carbon for one. Smith says, "Well, say it, say IT." Robot tells him they are commonly called diamonds. Smith takes one from the Robot's claw, "Diamond. Diamond. Diamond. Diamonds."
Penny runs to the fantasy like area, curtseys to a flower which waves its petals at her, and gets a drink of water from the stream which rises its water for her. She passes trees and vegetation to get to the cave and goes in. The happy frolicking music turns mysterious then nefarious as we see Dr. Smith is following Penny with the Robot, telling him not to make so much noise--even though he is doing all the yelling. The Robot is set for 50 tons of pressure but cannot move the boulder over the rock despite being able to. Smith tells him to put it into low gear but falls. He orders the Robot to stop, calling him a blundering bag of bolts. "It does not compute." Robot makes a whistling sound, "Danger! Danger!" Smith shuts off the bottom switch on the Robot, stopping the noise and sends him "home." The Robot says "Affirmative." In the cave are stalactites and stalagmites. The voice won't answer her so she tells it she won't wait 50 minutes. At first she thinks it is listening to something else. When the voice answers her, she has to explain care to him. The voice makes the cave shake and gives it light, possibly from a hole in the roof. It tells her, "I don't know who I am." Penny wonders if he has been asleep or was growing up or changing. Her brother calls him Nobody who asks if Nobody is a name. Penny tells him it is, "Of course," but asks him to try to be Mr. Nobody. She wants to see more of him. Penny has to explain the word die, "When a person can't speak anymore or a person can't move anymore like before you could remember." The voice says, "I remember rocks, rocks bubbling." Penny looks around at the granite, "These?" She realizes it would take millions and millions of years for that to happen, "You're that old already?" The voice drones, "Read. Read." Penny has the Ugly Duckling, "Well, it might be a little young for you." When she talks to him, he does not answer this time. Smith answers her, calling Penny into the cavern deeper through another passage, telling her they can play marbles. Smith mentions crochet---he is talking through a hole in the ceiling and mentions diamonds which are all around Penny. There are also white crystal like structures jutting out of the walls. Smith's arm falls into the cave, "Save me somebody! Help!" Penny runs out and pulls him out via the back of his belt. Smith moves her away from the rocks. He lies, telling her he was out collecting flowers for her dear mother. Penny knew he was pretending but becomes concerned when she sees the rock close over the hole again and starts calling Mr. Nobody. NOTE: This scene is not really clear--why is she so concerned that the rock closed--there was another entrance and she hardly knew about this opening. It doesn't make sense. Smith moves off, talking to himself, "Now we know where to build a proper hole--a hole for blasting."
Smith sets about conning Don West who has had a bad day as it is. He tells him he is at the whim of Professor Robinson's pet theories about where to search for drilling areas. Don tells him the Professor is in command and they need the ingredients for rocket fuel. Smith shows him porous clay and lies about it having washed out to an area by a stream. The area he knows, he lies. Smith tells Don that Robinson is still eating. Don asks, "What are you up to, Smith?" Smith wants to take the portable rig but Don laments that there is one hour of daylight left at the most. Smith tells him he could do it himself but Prof. Robinson doesn't understand his competence with the explosive pellets. Don tells the truth, "You mean he doesn't trust you with the explosive pellets...or the laser guns." Smith tells Don he wants to partially redeem himself in all their eyes. "Mum's the word, you and me," he tells Don as Don runs off to get started, and turns to the Robot, "Oh, and you, too, my stupid friend." He plans to use the Robot to pick the diamonds up.
Penny comes down the ramp of the spaceship (and we see that there is no astrogater in the Control Room--just tables now) and moves to Maureen who is near the dish washer machine under the tent. "Mother, do you think just a place could think and talk...well, like here, maybe?"
Maureen says, "Well, maybe."
Penny tells her, "I asked daddy if it was only people who could have brains and he said very few of them do."
Maureen says, "Well, darling, I'm sure that there are all sorts of mysterious forces that we don't understand, even forces with far more intelligence than we have."
Penny asks, "You mean like a rainbow could have feelings or the moon maybe?"
Maureen smiles, "Why certainly, I think so." She tells Penny to scoot but when Penny sees Smith skulking about, she turns to her mother and says, "Mother, I'm scared--if a thing can like you, it can get mad at you, too." Maureen refuses to allow her to go see Mr. Nobody and tells her to talk to him right here. Penny now realizes Maureen doesn't understand about Mr. Nobody at all and tells her she thought her mother believed her just a little bit at least. Maureen tells her she does, "I really do," and goes into a short story about her imaginary friend, Mr. Noodles who lived inside her teddy bear when she was a little girl. To her, Mr. Noodles was very real. Penny cries, "Oh mother, that's the silliest thing I ever heard. How can anyone live inside a teddy bear!" She runs inside the Jupiter II crying. Maureen calls after her.
Don tells Smith that he checked out this whole area and there is nothing here. Smith tells him by the outcropping there is a main deposit. Don tells him there may be just a little limestone. Don tells him, "Doctor, these minerals are at the wrong end of the spectrum." When Smith insists he is right, Don suggest maybe a bird dropped the clay here. He might as well check it out since they are here.
John asks Will about a piece of porous clay that was in his backpack but Will doesn't know what happened to it. Will is making what John thinks is a necklace for himself but it is for Penny made out of diamonds. He tells John that Penny has gone all goopy over an imaginary friend. Will tells Penny that the diamonds are what her friend has in his cave. Penny realizes Smith knew all along. It is night out the window. Will, going into the elevator, tells her they are just useless things "up here" and tells her that Smith is somewhere with Don---blasting. When Penny runs toward the door, he asks, "Where are you going?" He says this as the elevator goes down.
The drill goes off and Don says, "Doc, of all the wild goose chases." Smith says they have to go deeper and sets the drill on again.
Penny comes out of the Jupiter II doorway (timing off or was she waiting until the area was clear of the adults that would stop her?) and runs out toward the cave. The music build up here is used many times after on LOST IN SPACE (including THE GOLDEN MAN, WRECK OF THE ROBOT, THE COLONISTS, and KIDNAPPED IN SPACE as well as many, many others). Penny runs through the brush.
The drill hits a cave and shakes the ground a bit. Smith excitedly runs for the pellets but Don stops him, telling Smith he is still in charge here. Don sets it up. Penny is in the cave but not past the boulder yet. She cries for Mr. Nobody to wake up and let her in. Don tells Smith they must only put one pellet into the hole or the whole area will be a wreck--useless to them. Smith distracts Don with the firing wire. Nobody lets Penny past the boulder, opening it for her. She apologizes (for what I don't know--she didn't do anything wrong!). Smith takes the entire contents of the bag Don had and dumps all the pellets into the hole. Nobody finally answers Penny who tells him to come out form the middle of this planet where "you've been growing all these years." He tells her, "I don't know yet what I am to be." His words are slow and labored but they have been from the start. Penny tells him he has to move and hide somewhere else---"Let Dr. Smith have his dirty old diamonds!" There is a blast and Penny falls flat, rocks falling on her, dirt falling in, stalagmites and tites falling. Nobody sees Penny isn't moving or speaking anymore and thinks she is dead, "Penny, please don't die!"
Smoke fills the area as Don and Smith recover. Don finds the empty pellet bag but Smith denies doing anything and blames Don for leaving the bag out where the pellets rolled out into the hole. Smith tells Don he was mistaken this time--there is no deposit here they can use. Don tells him, "Dr. Smith, you've finally said something sensible but tell me something--why is it whenever you come near something...the roof caves in." They start out back to the ship. Nobody cannot get Penny to move or talk. He thinks she is dead. Thunder hits but Smith notes the sky is perfectly clear enough for it to not be thunder. The music moves to a tingle as John and Maureen, holding hands, move up the Jupiter ramp. They hear the storm arising and hope it won't wake the children up. John kisses her and goes to check the outside equipment. Nobody tells Penny he will find whoever did this to her and will make them be taught a lesson. Smith and Don feel the ground shake but don't hear Nobody yelling, "YOU HURT PENNY, I WILL DESTROY YOU!!!" Don thinks it is an earthquake but it doesn't stop and continues shaking as Maureen exits the Jupiter II telling John that Penny isn't in her bed. Maureen starts calling Penny. Don and Smith are seen from far above (Don is limping). A huge blast occurs. Rocks fall and rain down on Don and Smith. Wind picks up while at the spaceship ramp, John and Judy pull Maureen back from going to find Penny. Trees shake. Lightning picks up. Smith goes to his knees, picking up diamonds. Don, fighting off falling rocks, runs to Smith and gets him up and they run. Robot goes wild, whistling sounds emitting from him.
As the wind and lightning (and one assumes rain) pick up, John gets Will to get the Robot to explain what is going on. Will has to mimic Smith's voice yet again to get the Robot to respond, "Won't you please give us your analysis my metallurgical friend." Robot says, "Affirmative! Negative! Release of pure cosmic force with anti-matter core. It has anger! It will destroy us!" Will yells, "That's stupid! Forces and things don't get angry!" The Robot responds, "It has anger! It will destroy us!" NOTE: Somehow, the Robot has picked up on the fact that there is a real Mr. Nobody--something which is interesting when you consider how human he becomes later on. Don falls and Smith pauses but continues past him. Judy calls out to Don and runs out. John yells, "Judy come back here! Will, get inside!" He swings Will around toward the door and Maureen and runs off after Judy, passing Smith as Judy did before him. The father and daughter help Don toward the spaceship. Smith runs to Maureen and Will. The boy sees the diamonds. The other three arrive and before going inside, Smith throws back the diamonds, "Wait! It is a far, far better thing that I do! Take back your filthy diamonds! Leave us alone!" A tremendous lighting and thunder blast makes them all duck. After it they scramble up the ramp into the Jupiter II. Don suggests the lasers but John tells him they cannot let it get that close--they would be torn apart. Will tells his dad the Robot has laser circuits. Smith sends the Robot out (thunder cutting off his last command to "march, my metallic hero, mar...."). Finally, they close the door. The Robot is ready to fire on John's command, "Tell me when sir, tell me when." Smith gives orders over a radio to the Robot. John tells him to wait until the Robot is close to its center to break apart the force. Maureen sees something out the viewport window and picks up the solar binoculars. John orders Smith to make the Robot fire and it does. Using the binoculars, Maureen sees Penny running and tells John, who orders Smith to have the Robot cease fire but the radio won't work and the Robot continues to fire. Penny is running in the wind, "The spaceship! Oh no!" Smith cannot halt the Robot. Will points out Penny, "There she is!" Maureen sees her, "She's running right toward it!" Judy yells, "Penny watch out!" Smith calls cease fire but it won't respond. John puts the binoculars in Smith's free hand and runs for the door, followed by Maureen.
With the door half open now, John blocks Maureen from being whisked out, "Penny! Get back," he screams. Penny yells, "Please don't hurt them! Don't hurt anyone! I love them! I love them just like I love you." Suddenly, everything in the storm stops. Nobody says, "Love. Love. Love you. I love you, too, Penny." Everyone inside the ship is just listening but apparently can't hear Nobody. Maureen looks at John, we see Smith, Judy, Don, and outside, Penny. Finally, everyone moves out of the spaceship, opening the door again and going out. Judy (or Will) says, "It's gone." Smith warns, "Careful now. Be careful." Will runs to the Robot. Penny looks up and says, "Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Nobody but where are you?" John and Maureen run to Penny and he grabs her up and hugs her, Maureen hugs her, also. Penny says, "It's gone" or "he's gone."
Will finds the Robot in many pieces--four or five. Suddenly the sky lights up the ground below. Will looks up and the constellations are moving about. Judy asks, "Don? Don, what is pure cosmic force--what does it turn into?"
Don is looking up, illuminated by the light, "I don't know. There's a lot of things...I don't know."
John looks up, "It's like a new Milky Way."
Penny looks at them, "Welp, caterpillars can turn into butterflies, can't they?"
Maureen hugs her and looks up, "Oh John, look, just look."
Nobody says, "Goodbye, Penny. Goodbye Penny."
Penny says, "Goodbye, Mr. Nobody."
Nobody repeats, "Goodbye. Goodbye."
CLIFFHANGER: Will runs to under one of the tents--this one off to the right side of the Jupiter ramp. He swings a diamond necklace. He sees Smith has fixed the Robot as good as new. Smith asks him what he is swinging. Will explains a diamond necklace he made for Penny, telling Smith the diamonds are useless stuff and that girls always like useless stuff. Will tosses it off to the side of the spaceship. He asks the Robot, "Hey, wanna play chess?" Robot says, "Affirmative." Will and the Robot move off. Smith picks up the necklace, "When I think of the worth of these rocks back on Earth---oh, the pain, the pain." We see an overhead shot of the Jupiter II, the tent, and Smith! All of a sudden, they appear on a murky, cloud like view screen in a very dark spacecraft of some kind. There are four bubble like controls. A clawed, alien hand moves over the devices! Freeze frame.
TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK, SAME TIME, SAME CHANNEL...
REVIEW: Well now. This one starts out exciting with the blast and pure action sequence, becomes mysterious, and then character driven...as almost all of them put themselves before Penny. It makes us not like the others too much but by act four, they all redeem themselves by showing how much they do care for Penny--thus all are very human. Jackson Gillis, who writes so so stories for some shows, wrote very well for others and this LOST IN SPACE is his best story for any show...while his A DAY AT THE ZOO and THIEF OF OUTER SPACE are his worst for any show! Fortunately, his THE MAGIC MIRROR, later, is very good and has a lot in common with MR FRIEND MR NOBODY (Penny reaches another plateau in her growth in both episodes, encountering strange forces in both). Gillis also wrote for GILLIGAN'S ISLAND and THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN (and often). His story about Superman destroying an asteroid and saving Earth but becoming radioactive and infective to humans was so good it was remade in LOIS AND CLARK. He is much better with fantasy driven science fiction than just straight fantasy. The exciting climax is made all the more tense and invigorating since we know the others care for Penny but haven't exactly shown it lately just as Penny, innocent, has not reached Mr. Nobody--or so she thought. It is also a touching story emotionally...and THE MONSTER TIMES reviewed it positively...so it must be good. A child and her imaginary friend is a good spring board for a story and this one works in many ways. One of these is the mysterious force and sensitive idea that things we don't understand (much like in SPACE: 1999's mysterious and very well done first season) can have feelings and motives we don't know about. Some of Penny's actions in act one and two seem to be a bit...too average for someone who passed a psychological test to come on such a mission into space...she seems a bit too silly and at times, even mean herself. This is reversed later in the show when she tries to redeem herself. Smith still is the only voice to control the Robot but after it is wrecked by Mr. Nobody, this changes for INVADERS FROM THE FIFTH DIMENSION. The astrogater is not seen in this episode ---it is clearly missing from the control room. Another strange thing is that no one but the Robot picked up on the force being more than just a storm...he knew it had feelings. How? Based on this, the Robot's later change into a more human personality is not so odd or out of whack after all. The others couldn't hear Nobody but Penny did and somehow, the Robot picked up, maybe not on his voice, but on the fact that it was more than just a storm. The concept of cosmic forces building on the planet to shoot into space, as bizarre and improbable as it is, is a nice one and those ending scenes just after the storm, with Penny telling Nobody she loves him and he her, sends tingles down the spine and makes one feel the wonder of the universe and even creation. A great episode. A classic, dare I say. ONE REALLY IRRITATING INCONTINUITY MISTAKE is when Smith discards the diamonds in the end tag--it is not so bad when he throws them in the middle of the storm--that's a good touch, making the character show some sign of remorse, perhaps for the second time (since ISLAND IN THE SKY when he seems worried what the Robot might do to Will). Smith, at the end of the tag cliffhanger, after the storm and Nobody leaves, discards the diamonds--we don't know this for sure---but he seems not to have the riches in later episodes, being greedy again. Perhaps the diamonds should have melted or something at the end, since the show needed Smith to remain "poor" and thus, "greedy"--having the diamonds and even keeping them here, would make Smith lose his greediness. John Peel's bad book about LOST IN SPACE claimed Maureen's silly Mr. Noodles was called Mr. Bubbles. Indeed.