THE LOST CIVILIZATION
NARRATION: Last week, as you recall, the men of our small space colony had left the Jupiter II in search of vitally needed water, unaware that their course was leading them directly into a terrifying uncharted valley of volcanos.
TEASER-fully recapped, opening narration different...
Robot warns, "Danger! Danger! Volcano about to erupt!" John is driving the Chariot; Don tells him to pull over (in the middle of a volcano?); the ground sparks. Robot turns to see lava flowing their way. "Lava approaching! Lava approaching!" Robot says this once more. John informs them they are stuck. Will yells, "Lookout!" A rock ball of flame shoots right at the Chariot window and John and Don duck back. The ball of flame shoots past the Chariot. Will tells them the lava is gettin' closer. John suggests a run for it. Don tells him the lava's too close. Will has an idea: bypass the ignition system and hook the system directly up the battery via a wire. Will urges, "Hurry, Don, hurry!" Robot says, "Danger! Danger!" A lava spring flows up like a geyser. John says, "Okay, hang on, we're getting outta here!" They pull away from the shower of lava, sparks and ash. As they do, an alien man, thick eyebrows and eyelashes, moustache, and strange clothes, watches them on a large scanner screen.
We see the Chariot in extreme long shot. John and Don doubt there is water in the area they are in but the Robot tells them that underground is water. It is very hot--the eruption heated up the whole area. Will asks, "Where do we dig?" John says, "Oh, the Robot's going to tell us that!" Robot finds a spot near bushes. The sun blazes but the drill does find water---some. Will goes to take a drink and John warns him not to until it is tested. John puts a small amount in his mouth and spits it out. Will tells them the Robot is never wrong. Robot will now adjust his search for water that they can drink--they didn't use the adjective drinking when they programmed him for finding water. "We will now search for drinking water." The Chariot moves on over a ridge. It is getting hotter inside the Chariot even though the air condition is on full. Robot tells them it is 125 degrees outside and 104 inside. Don feels this time they can't blame Smith--he's a hundred miles away. Will tells them Smith took a part from the air conditioning unit, Smith complained about how it was getting hotter at night and he couldn't sleep. Last night, Will says, Dr. Smith took it. NOTE: This doesn't seem to figure with ALL THAT GLITTERS--which had three days and one morning pass after the menfolk left. Perhaps THE LOST CIVILIZATION happened the day after they left--Will says, "Last night" was when Smith took the unit out of the Chariot. Then maybe it took more time between the time the Chariot left the cave and returned to the Jupiter. Perhaps they had a few days' adventures searching for more water. In any case three and half days pass in ALL THAT GLITTERS and hardly one seems to pass in THE LOST CIVILIZATION but we must assume we are not seeing everything that happened to Don, John, Will and the Robot in those three and a half days.
Don tells the other Smith sleeps like a log. Robot says it is 110 and rising. Don says, "Who asked you?" John tells them they must find a place for protection or they will fry. Robot gets a solution, "Seek shade." Don says, "There's a bright remark for ya." Robot finds caves at 045 bearing. Don wonders about John listening to the Robot after the fiasco with the water. John tells him they have no choice. It is 131 degrees inside. They sweat. Don spots the cave ahead. Will touches the Robot, "I knew you'd find one." The Chariot pulls into a dark cave. Will tells Robot he can use the exercise. Robot says, "That does not compute." Don finds that Smith took the main thermostat. John scoffs, "Oh, he would take that part." Don can jury rig something. Will wants to go stretch his legs and he and Robot go deeper into the cave. They move along a ridge. Robot points, "Large supply of drinking water nearby." Will asks him if he is sure--he made them both look pretty silly with that salt water back there. Robot leads Will to a deep hole (JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH music). Robot says, "Danger! Danger! Danger! Planetquake!" A quake shakes the cave! "Danger! Danger!"
Robot says, "It's danger! Danger!" He repeats "Danger" two more times. Will falls down the hole. Boulders crash together behind him. Will gets up and calls upward (we hear stock music which was used in the unaired pilot number two and which can also be heard in seasons three and four of VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA and also in various THE TIME TUNNEL episodes). Robot moves the boulders--he must search for his friend, Will Robinson. Will finds a drawing of a winged man-centaur like creature etched into a rock. Another quake shakes the Robot and makes him fall down the hole, too. Will fixes his condensers. Robot says, "Beware the first step." More JOURNEY TO THE CENTER music. Robot tells Will he is programmed to look after him. He uses trial and error. Will says they sure are giving those errors a workout. They look for a way out. John rigs a last part for the Chariot air conditioner. Don tells him that did the trick. Don and John go look for Will. Don brings some rope at John's request. They follow the heavy Robot tracks and then look down at the drop. Robot lifts Will off a rock ledge they climbed down and puts him down on the ground, having held him by two hands. Robot talks of water and Will tells him he has a one track mind. An open area is beyond the bend. Don and John find where Will fell. Don says, "Will couldn't have fallen this far and...what I mean is he couldn't be down here." The pair deduce what happened and find the stone with the drawing. Don hopes civilization doesn't survive down here--Will's down here. Why couldn't he hope for a friendly civilization? Will and Robot amid more JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH music and also stock footage of an ocean---find an ocean. Will tells Robot they have lots of water now but are also lost. John and Don climb down; John tells Don they will stay together. They go out to an open area but a quake hits. John pushes Don and hides himself under a ridge. A boulder coming down, misses John due to the ridge but rolls right at Don and pins his foot under it! John won't leave him. Smaller rocks fall as John looks for a stick to move the boulder. Will and Robot are in a jungle now. Robot's sensors indicate human life but the human presence is alien. Will thinks the Robot's sensors may have been damaged in the fall and Robot thinks it is a possibility. An alien man in a metal helmet and holding a spear laser gun, watches them from behind bushes and ferns. John gets Don out; Don feels John wasted all this time--he could have been looking for Will. John helps Don move on. Robot stops Will from going ahead, "Danger! Danger!" Robot suggests a doubtful Will try the ground ahead with a stick. Will gets a tree branch. He pokes it at the ground--a giant razor lined claw snaps up and chops the stick in half. The branch is eaten. Will apologizes to Robot. Robot starts answering him with "affirmative" over and over, causing Will to think his tapes are stuck. Will and Robot go into an opening in the jungle. Here is a canvass bed, a canopy, and a little girl--a princess--lying asleep on it.
MY FRIEND MR. NOBODY music. "It's just a girl," Will states. Robot suggests he kiss her to wake her up. It is the only way to wake her up. Will says, "Then let her sleep." Dr. Smith has programmed all literature stories into Robot including Sleeping Beauty. Will says, "Now I know why Don gets so mad at Dr. Smith sometimes." Urged by Robot, Will kisses her and she wakes up. Will tells her his sister Penny had a cat named Princess once. Will also tells her Robot made him kiss her. He also tells her Robot is awfully smart, "...maybe too smart for his own good." She says it is bad he is from Earth but not too bad as long as he is here on this planet and is not going back there. Will asks, "Now what's that supposed to mean?" Will and Robot go with her to see her army. She has a scepter. Don uses a stick as a cane. He and John see an underground world. Don wonders if it is complete with population. They see the large body of water. Will holds the Princess's hand as they move through the jungle. Robot says, "Danger! Danger! Danger!" Stock music is played--this music is used in the scenes to next week to promote SPACE DESTRUCTORS. Two soldiers get John and Don using spears that fire electric ball blasts. Will is taken to the throne room where there are also lots of computers. There is a rod like wall design behind the throne, lots of dark empty spaces, and lots of consoles. Major Domo, the alien that watched the volcano eruption, walks down a spiral staircase (one of many VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA first season prop pieces and sets that is used here). Will says of the Robot, "He hasn't got a name--he's a Robot." Princess wants Domo to show Will her army. A large urn holds fire. Princess leaves--they will show him the army later. A scanner above a floor hatch (the floor hatch being from VOYAGE) is also from VOYAGE. Robot cannot descend---he claims---the hole and his circumference do not compute. Is this a lie? Does Robot know some other way down? For later he goes down!!! The way into the lower room (the first season MISSILE ROOM) is through a diving tube from VOYAGE! Against a wall on upturned computer tables, held by shackles on their wrists are Don and John! Will calls, "Dad! Don!" There is smoke coming from a hot coal urn. John and Don are let off the rack like devices. A guard pushes Don; Will yells at the guard; John punches the guard. Domo makes the guards force Don onto one of the console "beds" while another guard holds John back. Domo puts a device on which makes Don fall asleep. We hear a sound from THE TIME TUNNEL. A blast occurs near Don's foot. Domo tells him to get on his feet; Don says, "I can't!" But he does--he is healed.
Domo says, "Perhaps we are not quite as primitive as you thought at first." They go up to see lots of equipment. Don asks what it is for. Robot says, "It does not compute." Domo (who has thick eyebrows and small moustache, looking like Ming the Merciless) says, "Do not be surprised my friends." He explains, "Centuries ago my people planned the conquest of the universe which is too much for any one race to do." They collected man power and stored 1000 generations of soldiers. The planned attack would begin when a traveler from another planet would find their way to awaken the princess. Domo turns on the scanner on the side wall, ready to activate the warriors. They see the warriors in rows of tubes (NOTE: music used as they first see the warriors is from some other, earlier movie--it is also heard in VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA as fight music in THE DEATH WATCH, THE MUMMY, and THE CREATURE II). And the first attack will be against whatever planet produced such an intrepid and ingenious warrior, "Therefore the first attack will be made against the planet Earth." Zoom in on Will's shocked face.
John is amused that this intrepid hero is his son Will. Domo has Don and John taken to a cell--he says. Domo says to Will, "You will see your father again unless you disobey me. You, Will Robinson, you will marry the princess." Will gulps, "Me? Marry her?" Her consort will begin a dynasty that will control the universe! Will gasps he is just a kid, can't support a wife, and has no job. He refuses. The Princess overhears him talk of fun and dismisses Major Domo. They talk of fun with Will telling her, "I'm not your husband and I don't wanna be." Fun is, Will tells her, "I dunno, messing around. Doing a thing just because you want to. Skipping stones." He tells her skipping stones underhand is fun. He got one stone to skip ten times. If you're married, Will goes on, "You can't do things like that--you have to worry about things like money and I don't want to get married and miss all the fun, nothing against you, though, you're okay." He helps her down from the throne and asks her, "No hard feelings?" She says, "No, Will Robinson, no hard feelings." Will asks the Robot about that silly story and how it ended--it ended that the Princess and the hero who awoke her, got married and lived happily ever after. Will repeats that, "Married? Happily ever after?" Robot says, "You are correct--it does not compute." Princess goes to John and Don, sees the resemblance to Will in John, and frees John from the rack. She won't free Don so John tries. Don tell him, "Get out of here while you can." Princess urges John to do the same. Don adds, "She's right, get out or we'll all die!" Princess says, "That is true--go." She runs. John tells Don he will be back.
Will sits forlorn near the throne as Domo prepares the wedding ceremony. John waves a shhh to the Robot who spots John behind the throne (where did he come from? He didn't get up the hatch that Will went down earlier). Will leans against the throne. John goes to Will, "We're getting out." They sneak to the floor hole but spears point at them. Domo and the guards are back. "Well gentlemen..." He goes on about his plans.
John counters, "You never listen, never learn. You're all the same you would-be conquerors, whether it's a continent, the world or the universe, a few pages in history in exchange for millions of lives--is it really all that important to you?"
Robot says, "Danger! Danger! Danger!" Will, thinking the Robot meant the guards, says with anger, "You're a little late, aren't you?!"
Domo tells the guards, "Kill him!" Will yells, "No!" A quake hits giving John the chance to fight the guards down. Another comes running at John but the Robot uses his arm to bat him away. The quake throws Will into a corner of the computers. John punches Domo as they fight. Domo hits into a device and is electrocuted to death. John and Will go below and pull on Don's wrists---like that will help! Robot comes down and tosses the control device that manages the shackles on the rack over. It blows up. Don is free. John yells, "Alright let's go!!!" They all run. The hot coals turn over and a fire starts near a wheel (which is also in THE GHOST PLANET). Will tells the Princess to come with them but she will go back to her sleep and await another day. Will worries that the quake will bring the whole place down. She thinks, it seems, she will be protected. Will goes. "Goodbye Will Robinson--have fun," the little blond girl says but no one can hear her. She goes back to sleep.
The Chariot exits the cave which Will sees get sealed up---gone. Don says, "That suits me fine." NOTE: Hey, what about their water? Did they get any? Will wonders about the princess. John figures perhaps some other young man will find her some day and awaken her. Will wonders about the invasion. John says, "The army will be turned loose on the universe. That's a possibility our world's going to have to live with--I only hope it doesn't happen in our time." Isn't he just so selfish and stupid? Doesn't he care about future generations? Then again, the other hand, what can he do about it? To me, it looked as if the army and the entire area below was going to be destroyed by that last quake and fire. Thanks John Robinson for giving us another worry. On the more serious side, the writer may have been going for "we must live with the thought of atomic destruction."
Penny calls Mom and Judy out, "They've come back." John asks Maureen if everything is alright." Maureen says, in her ever self confident mode, "Now it is." In other words, thank goodness the male members are home, now I can't louse things up. Will tells Penny about his "Sleeping Beauty." Don tells Judy, "The most incredible thing..a whole civilization (well, some guards, a Domo, a little girl, and an army anyway) underground." Robot goes and wakes Dr. Smith up. Smith is laying down on an outside couch with shades on. Smith gasps, "I'm innocent! I swear it!" When he sees it is the Robot, he calls him a neanderthal ninny. Next to Smith, is the small portable Air Conditioner Unit blowing on him. Robot tells him, "Everybody has someone. I have only you." He tells Smith he reminds him of Sleeping Beauty. Smith calls him a monstrous metallurgical meddler. Robot laughs. Don arrives and takes the unit out of the blower. He threatens Smith and leaves. Smith calls him an insolent puppy. He didn't intend to bake. Smith tells the Robot, "I'm ready to forgive you. Fan me." He gives the Robot a giant leaf and Robot fans him. We hear the LOST IN SPACE theme play out the end.
CLIFFHANGER: 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, "I knew it! I was right! It can't be anything else but..." He falls flat out into a sand pit and vanishes totally!
REVIEW: Well, it does seem like an old FLASH GORDON serial doesn't it? Which is not too bad, considering Smith isn't around to add his silly two cents. Here, it is straight action adventure; flawed but fun. Of course, like MIDAS was the inspiration for ALL THAT GLITTERS, the inspiration for this one was SLEEPING BEAUTY. The Will-Princess dilemma is unintentionally funny today since it is such a down casting of marriage and how fun and marriage cannot go together. Will's part in this with the Princess is awfully cute as kid stuff goes. The music is a bit different at times---mostly stock music from a previous movie--stock music which is used in VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA episodes (THE MUMMY, THE CREATURE II, THE DEATH WATCH, and others). The grand music heard in the tag when the Domo watches the Chariot and when Will and Robot, then John and Don, find water is also from a previous movie--possibly the same one as the "fight" music. This episode, while not without problems, shows what LOST IN SPACE could have been like if Smith was downplayed just a little bit more than usual---more action, adventure, and a bit more serious. By the time the second season was in full play, it was less like an adventure and more like a satire or silly slapstick comedy. Sad. I also wonder about the lost civilization--somehow I do not think they are originally from this planet--Priplanus (as named by Will in RETURN FROM OUTER SPACE--and only named there) but it does fit--they live underground as the Illuminated Ones were supposed to and as the city in THERE WERE GIANTS and THE HUNGRY SEA did--perhaps to stay away from the upper soil and the Cyclops (?). Domo seems like Ming the Merciless in look and character, which is not bad since FLASH GORDON, FLASH GORDON'S TRIP TO MARS, and FLASH GORDON CONQUERS THE UNIVERSE were the best of any serials made. The Princess comes and goes for no reason, as does Domo. Domo leaves only to allow for the short lived escape attempt and The Princess leaves for Domo to make Will and the others uncomfortable--in her presence he may not have. Yet, she seemed to have little power over Domo and the guards--perhaps just a figurehead. She also didn't want to force Will to marry her but Domo was going to make it happen anyway. We saw no other women--so I would question whether this was a "whole civilization" and also question the Princess's morality--it's okay if Earth is invaded since Will won't be there. Could she stop it even if she wanted to? I've always felt there was more to Priplanus than met the eye. Perhaps the planet was the scene of some war between races, some from the planet, some from other planets. The soil seemed to be okay at times, at other times--it contained a parasite and changed life forms--this may have been something added to the once fertile soil as a weapon or means to create weapons--such as the cyclops and man eating plants...and duplicating plants. Perhaps it was a means to contaminate a planet...or even to make it more comfortable for other aliens who found eating garden peas better when they contained living monsters! Or maybe it was all an experiment gone wrong. The Cyclops may have been a weapon against the Illuminated Ones by some other race--maybe the Ruler's race from THE CHALLENGE, or the Sobrams in THE FLAMING PLANET, Megazor's Zon race from HUNTER'S MOON, the wolf alien race from WAR OF THE ROBOTS, or even the race Kanto from Questi came from. Weather machines (THE SPACE TRADER) exist so maybe the orbit and weather were thrown off by this. Perhaps the races from THE GOLDEN MAN used this planet for one of their wars but more likely they used the SECOND SEASON PLANET more than once. It would make an interesting story to go back in time and find out what happened to this planet.