THE KEEPER PART ONE
NARRATION: Last week, as you recall, Will and Dr. Smith were working with the Robot on an irrigation project, unaware that, within moments, they were to encounter the most incredible alien visitor ever to touch down on this strange, forgotten planet.
Robot digs with a shovel, completing the task Smith was supposed to do. Smith tells him now dig a 90 degree angle toward the hydroponic garden. He tells Will that the muscle of machine allows them more time for intellectual pursuits. Will says, "Dad says machines do too much work." John calls as he and Don start toward the area. Smith quickly takes the shovel from the Robot as the two men arrive. Don says, "I see it but I don't believe it." Smith says, "Go away, Major, you irk me." Smith throws the shovel when the two men leave to go get two pipes for the irrigation system. Will looks at Smith, "You fibbed." Smith tells him, "Never once did I say I was responsible." A strange machine like sound occurs, dreamlike and then a wind sound is heard. Smith's eyes get wide, "I am being summoned." Will follows a tranced Dr. Smith under a tree to another area. There are three box-cages--electronically lit and with clear, glass like material on three sides. One opens and Smith goes inside it. It closes. Will bangs on it. A hairy, biped monster with two horns shows up. It has blinking, glowing eyes. Will falls but gets up and runs off. The monster stops when it sees Smith in the other box. It tries to get to Smith, who comes out of the trance, sees the furry beast, and starts screaming his head off.
The monster roars at Smith. An alien, wearing an electronic light cumberbun, a silver suit, and thin beard appears. He raises his staff and his belt and staff light up. This causes the monster to go into the other mansized box, the door comes down, and the box vanishes. John and Don carry two pipes out of the Jupiter II. Will runs to them, "Dad! Don! Dr. Smith's in trouble...and there's this animal after him." Will brings them back. Don laughs at Smith being in the cage, "You sure look natural in there, doesn't he Will?" John moves his hand over the control light and Smith comes out. Don jokes, "Careful, Will, it could be dangerous." They see a lizard in a cage which Don calls a creature. Smith says, "I suggest we return to the Jupiter II at once." John agrees. In the Control Room, Don continues to tease Smith who warns of a day of retribution. John, Don, Smith, and Will go outside to stop the Robot who is carrying the lizard cage and will bring it inside the ship unless they stop him. He was not told to take it or leave it. It is an iguanadon reptile--harmless. On Earth, they were giant in the far past and survived the Ice Age (really one of at least five or more Ice Ages). The cage can use an environment of 300 above zero and 150 below zero. John wonders what animals could exist at those temperatures (see VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA-THE HEAT MONSTER, THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN, and FLAMING ICE). Robot tells them a thermo genetic unit is in each cage and cares for the bio needs of each animal. They are lured by sonar (?) recorded for high frequency electrical impulses. Smith wonders who sends the impulses. Robot says, "It does not compute." Maureen and Penny come out. A voice says, "Perhaps I can give you more information." The alien appears again and puts his staff in the ground but it flowers up--this is the second time he forgot to turn it off. He takes the flowers that sprouted on it and gives them to Maureen, "I know all of you." Don asks how he knows them. (In a scene here, he apparently has the staff in his right hand when he isn't supposed to but if one isn't watching too closely one could miss or ignore it).
The man says, "You are not alone in space---all the planets have eyes. I am known as the Keeper and I come from a world ten million light years away. I collect creatures of the universe, two of every kind." He has recorded the speech patterns of Earth people in space and can read the pure minds of children...like he does to Will. He cannot read the minds of adults as easily. It is his lizard which the Robot freed from the cage. John tells him if he revealed himself and told them what he was doing, they wouldn't have let the lizard escape. He will get it for the Keeper. The Keeper, his profession, not a title, says that is not necessary. He uses his staff to summon the small iguanadon back into the cage. The staff summons the animal from miles around--it is a relay. The Keeper tells Smith that they are both entitled to their opinions about whether or not the Earthlings are civilized or primitive. The Keeper mentions that the Robinsons have done well here for a primitive people. He also says, "This planet has many creatures you have not seen--some are harmless while others are..." He leaves, vanishing, telling them they shall have other occasion to meet. In his dark ship, the Keeper talks to an alien on a screen set up. The alien has a thick white beard. Keeper tells him the man named Smith does not live by reason so he can be controlled. The two talk about getting Smith and the children but the Keeper wants to try some other way than the use of his staff for fear of harming them.
Daytime--Judy tells Don by the hydroponic garden, "Uh, I'm glad I wasn't there." They talk about the Keeper who gives her chills, "I couldn't like anyone who locked up animals in cages." Don says, "It was the way he looked at you...as if you were some sort of insect under a microscope." Judy tells him that the Keeper gives her the creeps and she wants to talk about something else--herself. Her hair is up and Don doesn't notice it but likes whatever it is she tries to goad him into noticing. He apologizes but has no idea what he is apologizing for or what he did wrong. It is all very light and easy going. Judy hates her up this way--it makes her look old. She puts it down just as the Keeper materializes. Judy moves closer to Don. He refers to them as animals and asks them to come with him as part of his collection. Don tells him an answer right now, "No." Using his staff, the alien vanishes. Judy puts her head in Don's chest. Judy asks Don something and the Keeper's voice answers her to think about his offer. He laughs in a menacing way. Day--lunch--Smith and Don verbally squabble but John, fed up, stops it, "That's enough out of the two of you." Maureen says of the Keeper, "I don't think the Keeper means us any harm." John asks, "Why--because he, ahh, gave you those flowers?" She laughs. Smith proposes Don and John accept the offer to give him Judy and Don. First he must take them all back to Earth. There are seven of them to overpower him. It is a simple matter, Smith says. Maureen says, "No, absolutely not, no," and, "...no matter how much I want to get off this planet, I won't resort to violence to do so." Smith says, "The end justifies the means." John tells him, "Not to me it doesn't and unless I'm badly mistaken, not to anyone else at this table." He ends the discussion. Robot carries a pipe and tells Smith 40 percent of the task is done and they should finish at 14: 15 this afternoon. Smith tells him to be quiet. Will and Penny come to him. Smith tells them they are doomed to struggle for survival on this bleak and barren wasteland since their parents won't resort to taking over the Keeper's spacecraft. Smith tells them they are too young and misquotes the Bible, "When I was a child I thought like a child but when I became a man, I think like a man." Will says, "I don't think it matters what age you are, if you're dishonest, you're dishonest." Smith shoos them away. Will tells Penny to gather rock samples his way or not at all. Penny says, "I hear, oh master, and I will obey." Will starts to chop at a rock but stops--seeing something. He calls to Penny--it is the Keeper who apologizes--he's been around animals so long he moves as quietly as they do. Will asks, "Are you out hunting for an animal, Mr. Keeper?" The Keeper says, "In a manner of speaking, yes."
He tells Penny some animals don't need cages and don't have to be locked up. Keeper lets Will charge his staff which works on stored cosmic energy. Will can hardly feel it--it is made of weightless matter. Keeper holds his hand as Will raises it. Wind, lightning, and thunder occur. It seems as if the Keeper's eyes glow red or something but it is difficult to tell in black and white. Lightning hits the staff. Keeper says, "On my world, Will, forces of nature are the servants of the people, not the masters." Keeper wants to show them his collection: "...a butterfly that sings like a bird, a frog that laughs...creatures from every planet in the galaxy." The start out but Penny tells him they should have told someone they were going to go. Keeper tells her they can call their parents over the audio visual radio in his ship. The Keeper summons an animal for them to see. Smith, nearby, goes into a trance. Robot tells Smith if they don't finish the irrigation system at his appointed time he will blow a computer tube in miscalculation (joking). A unicorn which Penny mistakes for a baby or a colt is really a full grown specimen. He will give them one--a smaller one. Will and Penny go with him to his space craft; Smith follows. Penny and Will arrive at a giant ship: a stalk with a large donut shape on top with support beams, and three landing legs. Will tells Penny it wouldn't hurt to take a quick look around. With the Keeper, they go in. The Keeper shuts the door down over the exit. Penny and Will turn to watch it close them in darkness. Will is heard saying, "Hey!"
Inside, is a pit with electronic lights on a circular rim. Below is the creature it keeps caged. Of it, the Keeper says, "There are some things which the eyes should not look upon." He takes them into a smaller room and opens another door (to a huge and straight hall of cubicle cages)--birds of every color and which defy description. He closes that door (which sounds like some kind of musical symbol or something) and opens another--his carnivores--we hear growls. Will expresses a desire to see them, the Keeper tells him, "Some other time, Will." He takes them into a smaller room. In small cage about shoulder high, a light comes on, revealing what at first, looks like an empty cage. It appears and looks like a rock lizard--on all fours and stony looking. The female is there also but is less brave and the male pig Keeper says, "...which is as it should be." Another small cubicle just like is next to it. Inside is a creature with wings but it does not fly and teeth but it does not eat. It is furry and the Keeper tells Penny--it exists but how and why is a mystery. In another long hall are his masterpieces. He takes them to empty man sized cages near the front. The Keeper tells them to go in, then he demands it. They run and he chases after. Will waves his hand over the light to open the door and he and Penny race outside, followed closely by the Keeper. "Hurry Penny!" Will yells. The Keeper raises his staff and stops them in mid flight. They return to him, in a trance. Will says he is sorry and they both want to stay with him for always. Smith comes, also in a trance. He accidentally hits the staff of the Keeper's and it falls. The lights go out and his belt lights go out. Penny and Will run off. Smith tries to interest the Keeper in a trip to Earth, "The planet absolutely swarms with strange creatures." Looking at him, the Keeper says, "I am beginning to realize that." He cannot take the long journey to Earth---many of his specimens would not survive such a long flight--he says. Is he lying? I would think that a ship his size and having as much of a collection as it does would be able to sustain the animals indefinitely. He might go on his next expedition--in 200 or 300 years. Smith leaves, telling the Keeper, "We'll see each other again soon." The Keeper talks to himself, "Sooner than you think."
Night--Will and Penny tell the others what the Keeper did. He was almost friendly but then turned real mean. When the parents tell them to go to bed, even Will says, "I am kind of tired." They go. Don claims they're going to have to watch Will and Penny very closely from now on. Judy asks, "Mother you don't think anything can happen to them inside the Jupiter II, do you?" Maureen wants to be sure. Smith sums it up, "We're dealing with an alien with an obsession for collecting living specimens. Nothing we can say or do will change his mind about wanting the children." John agrees that Smith may be right. Smith and Judy turn in and go downstairs. John tells Don they will have to keep watch over night, lock the kids and Smith in their rooms. Don looks out the window, "Oh, I wake in an alien land and I dream of home. Listen to me--I sound like Dr. Smith." John tells him he is right--this is an alien land, "...and well, dream of home, too." Later, Don points to Smith to get in his room. Smith won't do it and like a child, holds his breath when don threatens force--which Smith brings up. John arrives and calmly tells Smith to agree to get in his room for his own good. Smith wants something to do--John counters by telling him they will get him something to read; Smith will get thirsty--John tells him they'll get him something to drink; he also wants music--John tells him he can borrow Penny's musical tapes. Smith asks for the Robot to keep him company. John sternly says, "Inside!" He pushes Smith in and closes and locks the door. John, much later, takes over from Don. Don tells him awhile ago, Smith said he was hungry and wanted to raid the storage locker. Don tells him Smith screamed like a wounded buffalo, then adds, "Come to think of it, a hungry Smith is more dangerous than a wounded buffalo." Later, John hears a continuous alien sound. He checks Will and has to stop him and then Penny from her cabin--both want to go out for a walk. Outside the Jupiter II, the Keeper holds his staff exerting full power to summon the children and Smith outside.
Morning--Maureen outside the ship, tells Don and Judy that John is sleeping. Don and Judy leave to go finish work on the irrigation project. Penny and Will are in the same cabin now. Penny is reading. Will is making a slingshot which he says boys in the 18th and 19th century used to make. He asks Penny if she ever read Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn and find out what slingshots were. For those boys of the past, it is the same thing to keep as are their pen knives and marbles. Maureen asks if they are okay, then knocks on another door to check on Smith. Smith's voice sounds, "I've just been fed so I'm dangerous." He calls himself a blithe spirit but Maureen tells him to grin and bear it. His answer, "Indeed." He goes back in. From his spacecraft, the Keeper summons Smith and the children with his staff. In a trance, Will calls the Robot, "Come here, my mechanical friend, quickly I say."
NOTE: This makes Will sound as if he is still trying to impersonate Dr. Smith's voice to fool the robot into doing things for him. While it is never really stated, at this point, Robot has been obeying orders from everyone else in other episodes (not necessarily in either part of THE KEEPER). Since Barney Slater really hadn't written many recent episodes, perhaps he neglected this fact. To be fair, it was not really clear how the Robot just started obeying the others--but it happened a bit more with each passing episode (although in some episodes, ATTACK OF THE MONSTER PLANTS, for instance, the Robot is only talked to by Smith--and is acting mostly on Smith's behalf--he doesn't really see Judy lie down in the flower and may not have known she was there--for he doesn't tell the others--so it is possible he didn't see her there, nor pick her up on his scanners---?). Slater's THE SKY IF FALLING had Smith programming the Robot only but in Slater's own WISH UPON A STAR, John tells Smith to leave the Robot at the Jupiter II camp--proving that someone may be able to talk to him and order him besides Smith. Also, in THE RAFT, Will has the Robot helping him with shipwrecked sailor experiments (how could you ever forget those?). All in all it is never fully explained how the Robot's changes came about. In the first four episodes, he was Smith's pawn--and Smith fooled with his power pack in THE DERELICT, made him menace the Robinsons in ISLAND IN THE SKY and the very beginning of THERE WERE GIANTS IN THE EARTH but used him to try to warn the Robinsons in THE HUNGRY SEA. In THERE WERE GIANTS, Will also directly talks to the Robot and gets answers. In WELCOME STRANGER, it seems only Smith can give him orders. In MY FRIEND MR. NOBODY, it seems only Smith can control the Robot--who is broken up into four or five parts by the Nobody force--to be repaired by the cliffhanger into INVADERS FROM THE 5TH DIMENSION. In INVADERS, John and Maureen talk directly and get answers. In OASIS, Will talks to the Robot to find out where Dr. Smith is but only gets an old tape, not an independent thinker. In THE SKY IF FALLING, Smith has to program the Robot to compute the aliens but didn't have to in INVADERS. In WISH UPON A STAR, John wants the Robot to remain at camp, not leave with Smith. In the cliffhanger and into THE RAFT, Will can talk to the Robot but Robot seems somewhat unlively, launching the raft--a stupid act--just on Smith's catchphrase--not thinking independently as he would do later. In the cliffhanger and into ONE OF OUR DOGS, Will once again talks to the Robot after "turning him on." Yet, Robot doesn't blast the monster in ONE OF OUR DOGS--perhaps because no one told him to. ATTACK OF THE MONSTER PLANTS makes the Robot seem like Smith can only order him about and Robot even seems to be scheming along with Smith (did Robot know Judy was in the flower?). Finally, in RETURN FROM OUTER SPACE, Don, John, and Will give orders to the Robot--whose power pack and memory are once again tampered with by Smith---yet Robot seems loyal to Will's orders despite this tampering and returns to his post at the machine. Here, in THE KEEPER, Robot is once again not using independent thinking and lets the children out when Will disguises his voice. Go figure it all out ?
Will and Penny go out amid the creepy music from DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL. Maureen comes out of her cabin with John and finds the kids are gone. She alerts John who tells her to call Don on the radio. John goes to Smith's room to find Smith laying down but awake. Smith seems to ignore John's pleas for help. "He's using his staff to summon the children--I want you to take me to the ship." Smith can't hear him--he has ear plugs in. He takes them out and John ushers him outside. They meet Judy and Don outside the Jupiter II ramp. Don, John, and Smith go to the Keeper's craft. Will and Penny have just met the Keeper outside his ramp. Smith walks up to the Keeper, now in a trance as well (we do not know if he put the plugs back in after he left his cabin or if he took the plugs out on the Keeper's command summons--perhaps the summons penetrated the plugs). John yells, "Smith get back here!" Don calls, "Get back here, Smith!" John tells the Keeper, "I'm going to tell you once more--I want you to send Will, Penny, and Dr. Smith over here." The Keeper tells him to shoot and moves away from the children. His energy is cosmic and Don tells John, "Shoot. If you don't, I will!" John fires a direct shot into his chest but the Keeper is unharmed, "Now go before my anger clouds my judgement and I destroy you." John hands Don the slingshot and whispers to try for the lights on his staff. Don backs off behind a rock as John moves closer, proposing a deal, "Suppose I let you have Don and Judy instead of Will and Penny? You said they were good specimens." Keeper warns John not to come closer but John yells, "Now Don!" Don fires a rock from the slingshot into the lights on the top of the staff. The staff top breaks apart.
TAG AND CLIFFHANGER: Penny, Will, and Smith run to John and Don. Don tosses the slingshot to Will, telling the Keeper what it is called. John takes it, "You wouldn't know anything about this but once a young man named David killed a giant called Goliath with this." Keeper asks if this freedom is worth it. John says, "In our world, men and women have fought and died for it." Keeper calls them foolish but Don counters with, "Maybe but it's what sets us aside from all the others." Keeper goes into his ship, "You are not worth further effort on my part." They leave. Night, The Keeper leaves his ship. Smith and the Robot are behind a rock, unseen by the alien (maybe he knew Smith was there and knew what would happen?). Smith tells Robot, "Come along, follow your leader." Inside, we hear FANTASTIC VOYAGE sound effects. Robot scans and computes the controls, warning Smith not to tamper with the alien controls. Smith touches two controls. Doors open. "I think I may have done something wrong." Smith calls the Robot a ninny and pulls him outside, down the ramp, and behind the rocks, "It's all your fault, you tin plated fool!" Robot calls out, "Danger! Extreme Danger! All Creatures Escaping!"
Monsters come running out. Are they giant? Are they man-size? Are there two of each? Shrug and read on. The monsters that come out are: the cyclops from the unaired pilotS and THERE WERE GIANTS IN THE EARTH; the Rubberoid mummy man from WISH UPON A STAR with newly added black eyes, The Skunk Cabbage Bush Monster in THE RAFT, and the furry monster from the beginning of THE KEEPER part one. They are filmed four times--thus we see their feet, their faces, etc. In the gleam of the lights on the alien ship's doorway, it is very surreal, to say the least. Too bad we couldn't see different monsters. Also--how did all those dinosaurs that we see later as well as the creature from the pit--get out of the ship? Are there other, bigger exits that Smith opened up as well? Smith screams as a bat faced thing flies over head and then right at him!
TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK SAME TIME SAME CHANNEL
REVIEW: THE KEEPER, both parts one and two, even with the silly looking spider---appear to be the highlight of the first season, and, possibly, of the entire series LOST IN SPACE. The spider later on, may be silly looking but at least it afforded us a good action filled climax--and with a bit of imagination--it could be thought of as scary. This, the only two part LOST IN SPACE wastes no time in its story--and in fact, part one is as tension filled and interesting as part two--and can stand on its own hour for merit. Future series that drag two parters out (BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY, V, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, and GALACTICA 1980 could have learned from this).