WAR OF THE ROBOTS
NARRATION: Last week, as you recall, we left Will Robinson, Dr. Smith and The Robot idly fishing in an alien pool unaware that within a few yards of them, stood the frozen figure of an incredible, mechanized monster.
(All are in clothes from GHOST IN SPACE). Smith (in his white-beige shirt), Will, and the Robot fish off of a rock embankment near moss and some trees. Smith relives his youth of a barefoot boy fishing off a warm river bank with bees in a blue sky and his cheeks of tan. Robot catches a big fish on his line; Smith takes it and tells Robot to be, "Quiet, you mumbling mass of metal." He will have their finny friend in a moment. Will and Robot continue to warn him but Smith loses the fish. Will and Robot mention how Smith didn't catch anything. Robot says, "As you've said the proof of the pudding is in the eating." As an insulted Smith prepares to leave, Will says, "Oh, we didn't mean anything, Doctor, honest we didn't." Smith sticks his chest out and head up, "He did not get away--I released him." Will smiles and Smith leaves first. Will and Robot leave also and if you look you will see A FLUB as Will trips and almost falls into the water. As they carry the lines and Robot carries the fish they caught, Robot suddenly acts funny which is the way Will puts it. Robot drops all their fish, "Warning! Immediate Danger! My sensors will not accept the possibility of its existence!" Will drops the poles, "Golly!" He moves past rocks, looking upward as he backs up. Behind him, unseen by him as yet, are trees, vines and a small nitch---which contains some kind of alien robot monster. Will starts to turn and sees it. Robot warns him as the Gort music from DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL plays. Robot tells Will this is a Robotoid. Will puts a loose retro stat wire back together. When that doesn't revive the new robot, Robot says to consider this failure a success. Will says, "Thanks a lot." Robot tells Will he is using wisdom by leaving it alone. When Robot and Will move away, the Robotoid lights up, whines, and shoots a ray laser from under its chest, burning a bush to ashes.
Robot music as he and Will return to camp. Maureen is making a space salad and will use the last of their flour to make hot biscuits. Will asks if dad is around and John returns just then. He tells Will, "We have a robot of our own," when Will tells him about the alien robot. John will take Will and Robot to investigate; Robot wishes to remain at camp to clean the fish. Maureen tells them the biscuits will be ready in 30 minutes. John tells her he will back in 25. John and Will go to the robotoid. Will wonders who left the robotoid here. John says, "As Smith would say a mass of metal fit for naught." They find the robotoid inactive, its memory probably erased--John says. He wants to get back--he can smell the biscuits from where they are. Will asks if he can work on the robotoid. John tells him if he can handle that plus his normal chores. Will tells him he will do them double fast. John says, "Never mind the double fast. Just get them right." Later, Will and Robot work on the Robotoid. Will has to repeat everything to the Robot twice and is getting mad at the Robot. Telling him doesn't get him anywhere. Robot says, "I am a Robot. A Robot is a machine which performs as programmed. A robotoid is a machine which goes beyond programmed--it has free choice." Will calls the robot jealous but Robot tells him, "Jealousy--a human emotion. I am a machine." Will tells him after he is done with the Robotoid, he will do a tune up on the Robot. Robot turns on the energizer for Will and tries to convince himself by saying over and over, "I am not jealous, it is a human emotion." Night--Control Room--John and Don play chess (the astrogater is gone as it has been since WELCOME STRANGER). Maureen brings coffee. Judy says, "We already have one Robot," to Will. The Robot is gone. Will tells them he is with the Robotoid--he just knows it somehow. Don says, "Now we have a runaway Robot on our hands." Maureen and Judy finish the chess game as Don and John leave with Will; Don will get Dr. Smith. They look for the Robot. Smith calls him a miserable mass of metal. Robot is not fooled by the Robotoid's silence and tells him so. It has been aware for two days--ever since Will had the fusion unit refined. Robot picks up a hammer, "I destroy!" Smith stops him; Robot drops hammer and tunes Smith out. Smith calls him a metallic murderer. Robot won't talk to Smith who threatens to remove his power pack for a month. John doesn't want him to do this. Bible misquote via Smith, "Spare the punishment and spoil the Robot?" John tells him, "We're not dealing with a child." Will says, "The way he's been acting lately, I'm not so sure." John says, "Will, this is a piece of scientific equipment, not a creature of flesh and blood." Don wants to ask the Robot some questions; Smith says, "Indeed," figuring if the Robot won't answer him, he certainly won't answer Don. Don says, "We'll see," and asks. Robot answers some of Don's questions. In regard to the robotoid, Robot says, "I do not like it," over and over. Smith says, "Just you wait, you tin plated fraud." When Will asks if Robot will return to the spaceship, Robot asks him if it is an order. Smith tells Robot it is an order. Robot says, "I comply and obey." They leave. Robotoid fires a ray at the sledge hammer, destroying it completely.
Day--Will turns Robot on outside the Jupiter II. Will wants to connect the central computer to the master relay on the robotoid. Robot warns him not to. Will says, "Dr. Smith sure must have made a mistake in your programming---you don't like robots." Robot corrects him, "Robotoid." Will wonders if reconditioning the robotoid's memory banks would help. Robot says, "I do not compute." Will calls him stubborn. Robot admits it may be an error in his programming. As Will starts out, Robot says, "Stop William Robinson, I am a little bigger than you." He will go to watch over him as he works on the robotoid. Will tells him he can come and, "...from now on why don't you call me Will--we've known each other long enough to drop the formalities." Robot is pleased and they go. Will connects the Robotoid but it doesn't work at first. Robot will disconnect the fusion wires--the parts on the robotoid will come in handy in the future though. Suddenly, the robotoid bleeps before the Robot can put him out of commission. Will makes it say, "Hhh-ell-o." He commands it and it walks with him back toward camp. "Fol-low." Sil--lee. A close up on the Robinson Robot who says, "Bad. Very bad."
Later, Smith and Will feel as if they cannot feed the robotoid any more information. Smith calls Robot a clumsy has-been. Will tells Smith not to talk about him like that, "He hears you and has a reaction." Smith calls it thin skinned. Will says of the robotoid, "He scares you the way he learns so fast." John and Don come outside. Smith has told the Robot to behave or he will dismantle him and use him as a motor vehicle of some kind---he may do it anyway. Good old caring John says, "Before you go tearing apart one robot, you'd better make sure this one works." Maureen and Judy come out. Smith takes Maureen's watch and steps on it. Judy is mad--it was an anniversary gift from dad. Robotoid waves three fingers over the watch and restores it, cleaned and polish--it even has a new crystal. Don wants it to help with the Chariot; Judy to darn socks (?!)--what a geek. Robot comes, carrying garden vegetables in a basket.
Night--Robotoid goes to a rock and lays a circular device on it. On the device an alien being with the face of a wolf appears, telling the robotoid it has been many decades since they left the planet. The wolf seems to be white haired and its mouth does not move. Other than the mouth not moving, it is an effective mask and quite scary. It is the robotoid's Master. They still require subjects for their tests. Robotoid will communicate with them again and they come to the planet and take the humans off the planet. Maureen and John watch the Robot out the window of the Jupiter II control room. Maureen wishes Will never activated the Robotoid. John says, "You and Will, a couple of real softies." Will told John today that he was sorry he found the Robotoid. Maureen says, "So am I." John says, "Well, that's a fine how do you do. The next thing you know, you'll be in tears." Maureen says, "Don't you give me that big strong masculine stuff, John Robinson. You feel the same way about our Robot as I do." John laughs, "I guess you're right." Duh. Then why let Smith threaten to take it apart, oaf. Robotoid goes to the Robot and tells him to leave. They verbally spar. Robot has 110 computer units, "I will not give up my family." The fight escalates until the Robotoid fires a ray from below his chest that knocks the Robot out. "That is a small reminder of what is in store for you if I am further provoked."
Smith and Will find the robot the next morning. Smith tells him to get up, calling him an inept gold bricker. John and Don come; Don finds a burn mark on the Robot. They straighten Robot out; Smith not helping. Don asks, "What's the matter with you Smith--are too light for heavy work or too heavy for light work?" Robot will not answer John about what happened. Smith calls him a fugitive from a junk heap. Robotoid has the Chariot engine plans. Don and it will work on the Chariot together. It tells him it does not need assistance but his presence is welcome. Don and the Robotoid go, Robotoid calling Don, "Sir." Robot asks, "Can I help anyone?" Will asks John who is going to check on some weather station equipment--a far too complex job for the Robot (?). Will tries to cheer up the Robot, "There'll be plenty of things you can, plenty of em'." Will promptly leaves with John. Smith is very cruel to the Robot, telling him to go after Robot says, "No one requires my services any more." Robot tells Smith to say goodbye to the others, especially Will, "Farewell, Dr. Smith." Robotoid, Will, John, and Don are near a table. Robotoid retires. At the outside table, Judy asks, "How did we ever get along without the Robotoid?" Maureen says, "I hate to admit it I'm almost a lady of leisure." Don admits the Chariot will be doing speed records thanks to the Robotoid. Will says, "I don't like him." When Don tells Will there is no comparison between the Robot and the Robotoid--the Robotoid is superior to our old machine, Will goes ballistic, "You oughta be ashamed of yourself talking about our friend that way!" Will asks to be excused and apologizes to John and Maureen for the way he yelled. He goes. Don shrugs, "I didn't realize Will felt so strongly about our Robot." Double Duh. Hasn't he been paying attention for the whole first half of the season? Maureen says, "He's not wrong you know. We owe him a great deal." John adds, "We owe him our lives." NOTE: I am trying to figure out when he thought this? What has the Robot done to save their lives up to now? If anyone can think of anything let me know---he's certainly threatened their lives several times--THE RELUCTANT STOWAWAY, ISLAND IN THE SKY, THERE WERE GIANTS IN THE EARTH, MY FRIEND MR. NOBODY, and even as late as THE SKY PIRATE---all due to Dr. Smith. Judy worries that the weather will destroy the Robot outside. Maureen says, "I know Robots aren't supposed to have any feelings but it's almost as if when he found out he wasn't needed anymore, he left to destroy himself deliberately."
Night--Will comes up the ladder and sees the Robotoid by the gun rack near the doorway in the Control Room. He tells him to stay away from the guns even though the Robotoid tells him he was going to clean them. "You do not like me, do you, Mister Robinson?" Will tells him the robotoid he doesn't like it, would never like him if he stayed with them for 100 years, and to stay away from him. He also adds, "Don't call me anything, don't even talk to me." He tells it to do things for the others, not him. Will goes out after the Robotoid does. Robot calls Will over to a rock. Robot has been trying to overload his power cells and burn out his memory banks---what Will calls the equivalent of suicide. Robot found he is too heavily protected by circuit breakers, "One more human quality I have been cheated out of." Robot tells Will he is hiding from his enemy--Dr. Smith--who is coming. Will would never let Smith dismantle Robot. Will tells the Robot to stop talking defeatist. Robot leaves warning Will, "Beware of the Robotoid." They say goodbye and Smith arrives. Smith and Will talk. Robotoid is supposed to give Smith a massage and didn't show up. Smith won't hear one word said against the Robotoid--that friendly servant of man. Robotoid calls the wolf alien being again--if necessary he will destroy Will Robinson.
Day--John realizes the mistake they all made when the weapons are found missing; Don realizes it when he finds the Chariot out of commission. The energy projector on the forcefield is missing. Maureen, Will, and Judy come outside. Smith declares he is not responsible for any of this. They figure it is the Robotoid. Judy says, "We were all taken in by him." Maureen says, "Except our Robot--he knew something was wrong from the very beginning." Robotoid arrives, telling John, "I am in command here. I give the orders now." To show it will not be threatened, it fires a ray blast and blows up a rock.
The Robotoid does not want to harm any of them, however, it will not tolerate any hostile act against it. "There are those that have need of you, I will inform them and they will come." Smith tries, unsuccessfully, to con the Robotoid. It orders them into the spaceship. Will overhears Don and John planning an attack and runs just as they make their move. Maureen moves at the Robotoid which turns toward Will and she yells at it, "Don't you harm him!" John roughly pulls her back as he and Don rush it and are punched down. "I have the strength of a hundred like yourselves." Will finds Robot whose memory banks are pleased to see him. Robot knows he is worried. When Will tells him what's happened, The Robot tells him it is no concern of his, he does not have a heart, only cold metal parts. Will says, "But the Robotoid has everyone a prisoner on the Jupiter II and he's sending for some aliens to come and take them away." Robot says, "It does not compute," and that they are no longer his family. Will asks, "What about Dr. Smith. I know you want to help him." Smith's rejected him most of all. Robot's electric deenergizer could be used against the Robotoid but he needs recharging--his force beam is low. He demonstrates this to Will. He will have to get extremely close to the alien robotoid. In the spaceship, John stops an idea by Don: to rig up an electrical field in the Control Room to blow up the Robotoid. John feels that plan could blow up the whole spaceship. "He really played us for patsies," Don says of the Robotoid and tells Maureen at least Will is free to roam around. She says, "I'd rather have him here." The watch as the Robotoid contacts his Master. The wolf aliens will leave for the planet. Robotoid has to send a continuous homing signal. Will and Robot plan. Will brings Robot to the Robotoid. Robot tells him, "My loyalty is not to these Earth people. They are not of my own kind." He wants to serve the Robotoid, who sends Will to join the others. Robotoid computes the Robot but his memory banks cannot scan him. Robot gets closer; the Robotoid warns him not to get any closer. Smith watches from the window the Jupiter II control room. Robotoid tells Robot he will destroy him if he gets any closer. The Robot's small compartment which was used for testing the soil in ISLAND IN THE SKY, opens up; a small pipe comes out and smoke emits from it, blinding the Robotoid. The others come out to the ramp and watch, wondering what happened to the Robot as they hear a force ray--the sound of the Robotoid's ray. Then they hear an electrical charge from the Robot. The Robotoid says, "You have destroyed me." Will tells the others this was the Robot's idea. Don says, "And I thought the Robotoid was superior." They run to the Robot. John tells the Robot, "There's something more too, something that doesn't make any sense but you're more than a machine." Maureen says, "We'd like you to come back to us." Robot does. One week later---Will comes out of the spaceship and asks Smith if he'd like to go fishing. Smith can't--he's admitted to treating the Robot, their mechanical friend, very badly indeed and now to make it up--he has to give the Robot a rub down. One week has passed of this and Smith is going to do it for a total of two weeks--one week more. Will laughs as Smith rubs down the Robot--goofy music. Will leaves. When Robot gives Smith orders, Smith says, "I compute, I compute."
CLIFFHANGER: It looks like dusk as John is covering the hydroponic and other tables. There is lightning and a storm. Maureen calls John inside and a table falls over. They see a radiation meter--there is cosmic radiation in the storm. Maureen opens the door for Judy who runs across the camp to the ship door, "I made it." Don tells them, "Good thing Smith installed those arresters last week." As Don goes below to check on the kids, Judy tells John (AND WE SEE A BRIEF BUT FULL CLOSE UP ON HER) she those the arresters under some brush this morning. John goes to Smith who is checking his heartbeat as the lightning blasts outside. He asks Smith if he installed those arresters he asked him to about ten days ago. Smith says a man of his years cannot do all this manual labor. He never gives an answer that lets John know Smith knows what he is talking about--the arresters. Don comes up, "Will's below but Penny must be outside." Maureen says, "Oh John." John pulls Smith outside as tumble weeds fly by. Maureen follows. Don closes the spaceship door! Maureen yells, "Penny!" Penny makes faces in the mirror--an alien mirror turned on its back with strange animal--ram like--faces on it. Penny calls Debbie silly, "It's just a mirror." A mirror with some cracks in it. Smith calls and finds her as she returns his call. Penny picks Debbie up on her arm as they hurry to avoid the cosmic storm. Smith stops and looks at the mirror--"An alien mirror, abandoned by some other space traveler perhaps." It is solid platinum. Smith tells Penny not to bother dad about it--it's worthless he tells her. She urges Smith to come on and go. Lightning blasts again and Smith falls back, the wind picks up. "Under here!" Penny hides under the mirror and Smith follows with Debbie. A lightning blast hits the mirror with blasts. The ram face lights up and smoke emits from its nostrils.
TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK SAME TIME SAME CHANNEL
REVIEW: A fairly straight forward adventure, Robot vs. Robotoid. Smith treats the Robot most unkindly here (almost totally uncaring this time) but makes up for it--both rare things. Robby the Robot of course, plays the Robotoid. This lead to all sorts of errors made by people who knew little about LOST IN SPACE--saying Robby starred AS THE ROBINSON ROBOT. This is simply not true. Perhaps Robby inspired the Robinson Robot but I feel of the two Robots (who, together, hosted ROBOT WEEK ON THE SCI-FI CHANNEL IN AMERICA recently), the Robinson Robot is the superior design. Here, the Robot begins to establish his own personality free from Smith and the others, not merely taking orders or waiting to be turned on---he is an intelligent being capable of emotion and rational thought beyond simple programming. He would now know Smith's plans could never work out and would not be a part of these plans--although forced to sometimes (see or rather don't see THE SPACE VIKINGS where he is forced to create a fake Thor hammer; also forced to make a fake copy of the GALAXY GIFT for Smith to give the fake to the alien Saticons; also in SPACE CIRCUS the Robot knows of Smith's plan--and gives it away this time).
Another error, made by JOHN PEEL of the insidious, infamous and very badly put together THE LOST IN SPACE FILES, is that the music for this episode came from FORBIDDEN PLANET. WRONGO. The Robotoid--Robby the Robot came from FORBIDDEN PLANET but the music here is pure LOST IN SPACE stock mixed with music from THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL. That computer type music from FORBIDDEN PLANET, is, thankfully, NOT USED on LOST IN SPACE ever. Peel also makes the mistake of saying this about Penny's absence, "Penny is missing from this entire episode without any explanation, this is very odd but this would happen throughout the series to give the actors a rest, or to enable them to do guest spots on other shows." EXCUSE ME but this is also WRONG. Penny is not in this episode, that is true--and Will and the Robot are not in the next--THE MAGIC MIRROR but that is all for the first season. For season two, John is only heard via radio in THE ASTRAL TRAVELER with explanation; also John and Don are only seen in a Chariot snow scene--briefly in THE GALAXY GIFT; although gone for the war in THE GOLDEN MAN, John, Will, and Don are in the end scene, back from a trip--explanation. This hardly means they were missing for the entire episode without explanation. Maureen and John were away in THE PHANTOM FAMILY but return for most of the second half, John and Don even having a fight with Lemnoc. Point being: John Peel doesn't know much about LOST IN SPACE. Third season: John does not appear in A DAY AT THE ZOO. John, Maureen, and Penny are only seen briefly at the Chariot and at the end of the episode CASTLES IN SPACE. John and Maureen appear at the beginning and end of PRINCESS OF SPACE, having some time alone for once. Don and Maureen only appear via a specially filmed section of THE TIME MERCHANT--Judy and Penny are missing from this episode except for flashbacks to THE RELUCTANT STOWAWAY. John, Maureen, Judy, and Penny are missing from FUGITIVES IN SPACE. John and Maureen are missing from SPACE BEAUTY. This and their absence from the earlier filmed FUGITIVES were supposedly due to their bad behavior during the silly GREAT VEGETABLE REBELLION. So I hardly think the many missings in the third season constitutes "many times throughout the series."
John was pretty fickle about the Robot before this--not really making up his mind that he was more than just a machine--and sometimes reverts back to this (TRIP THROUGH THE ROBOT). The family should have had more loyalty to their Robot but at least this episode establishes their loyalty. Smith and the Robot are constantly at odds after this---something which made the series both better...and at times, worse. It became overbearing with just the two of them to the exclusion of all else and all seriousness. It was just used a bit too much. Adding that to all the problems the show had--scientific inaccuracies, increasingly goofy aliens (starting with THE SPACE CROPPERS), goofy music, logic in the plotline and overall continuity, this brought LOST IN SPACE down so much, it hardly ever recovered--however, it stayed in the ratings. From here on LOST IN SPACE can and should be considered total fantasy, not science fiction in any sense of the word--and I pretty much feel that way about all the Irwin Allen series--they are pure entertainment, fantasies, not serious science fiction...and in many ways, they are more fun because of what they are than because of what they aren't. I would have liked a bit more seriousness kept in LOST IN SPACE but, with a few notable exceptions, this was not to be.