MUSIC-HERMAN STEIN and John Williams--uncredited stock music
NARRATION: Last week as you recall, Will Robinson had sent out a radio signal, unaware that far out in the void of space, a strange, missile like object was even now homing in on it.
TEASER---not fully recapped
John comes up the elevator and stops Will from sending signals--lightning bolts could home in the ship signal and crash down upon them. Smith believes other terrors out there could also come upon them: an alien runaway missile, war ships ready to swoop down on them. Smith is wearing his black velvet top shirt with a vee on it, outlined, with black trousers. John jokes and tells him to man his post throughout the night. He takes Will, "C'mon champ." They are heading for the elevator to go to bed when Smith picks up something on the radar scope on the control room panel. Overly dramatic, John says, "It's a missile and it's headed straight for us." We see a rocket ship in space flying. (This is where the cliffhanger ended.) Morning: we see the exterior of the Jupiter II and the entire complement are all at the window, listening to the beeping. John tells Maureen he doesn't know what it is (then why did he alarm Smith and Will in the control room by shouting out it was a missile?). Smith complains that, "That boy should never have been allowed to fool with the radio." Smith regards what is coming as alien space devils spitting flame and cosmic dust, spreading a lethal virus. Don notes it is getting close and then, that it has landed. Maureen says, "Well, we can't just wait for it to come to us." John will take the Robot out with Don; when Smith tries to get the Robot (whose head sensors do not individually rotate now) to remain in the ship with him (or rather "us"), John thrusts Smith into the group that goes out. Smith complains about him having to go out there and also about a laser gun that will do no good against "a monster that eats electrons for breakfast." Still, he takes a laser gun. Will talks John into getting his dad to take him, too. Smith orders the Robot to follow him, then says, "Better still, I'll follow you." Don backs up the group with a signal finder; they pass trees and rocks and a canyon area. One shot is from under rocks and an overhanging tree branch. Will has his hand on his belt--a soon to be familiar pose. Don and John check up ahead, leaving a nervous Smith to try to calm an already calm Will, who notes that Smith is trembling, not him. Robot says, "Object approaching." John and Don, we see as the camera pulls ahead and upward, are about two feet away from Smith, Will, and the Robot. They all look up. Don says, "It can't be. It just can't be." On a ledge above them, is a human man, wearing a cowboy hat, smoking a corn pipe, wearing an astronaut's space suit. "Howdy."
Jim Hapgood jumps off the ledge to in front of them. John introduces them all except Smith who coughs to be introduced later. Hapgood asks where they are and John tells them they don't know, "We were headed for Alpha Centauri, we went out of control and we crashed." Hapgood brings them (with Smith ordering the Robot to wait) to Traveling Man (his nickname for his small rocket ship). Hapgood tells Smith he reminds him of his grandpa who was named Zac, "I have a grandpa back in Pitts Springs by that name. Of course, he was a little more spry than you." Smith says, "Appearances can be deceptive, you know." Hapgood talks to the others about the planet being small, and how you can put the planet into the Pan Handle (Oklahoma). They don't the name of the sun. Smith tells him, "It's a terrible thing, being lost." Hapgood tells the others the ship is from 1982 and he took off June 18th, 1982 at 0600--15 years ago. He was on an alignment with Saturn mission and looked at the wrong star and his curiosity got the better of him. He avoids what really happened by telling Will curiosity killed the cat. John says, "I think we should get back to the ship, let the others know we're alright." John lets Will stay and Will tells Hapgood he brought him here. Hapgood is spraying the ship. He tells Will what surprises him is "finding things that you know can't exist but do--happenings that'll put your heart up your mouth and your blood up your toes, living things that breath fire and swim in ice." Will tells him the atmosphere is clean, not like home. Hapgood tells him he is decontaminating Traveling Man because of spores or bacteria on the planet may mix with alien spores brought in on the ship. It happened once: on a dinky planet in the Epsilon orbit. Will surprises Hapgood by asking, "Epsilon Indi?" Hapgood tells him, "No, Epsilon Eridani-how'd you know a thing like that?" Will says, "I studied astronomy." The planet was as pretty as the Rio Grande in spring but after a scout around, he returned to his ship to find it covered with locust-like bugs eating metal or something on it and he has a scar on his hand to show for it. Will will finish decontaminating Travelin' Man if later, Hapgood will tell him some more adventures. Hapgood tells Will to remind him to relate the tale of the Crystal Critters in the Ganymede system. Hapgood tries to smoke the dirt of the planet but it is dry rot. He leaves the area. Will follows, done spraying. He missed a spot under the craft--a stalk of some kind under the body of the ship--which now glows with contamination.
John watches as Penny is working in the garden. He goes to Maureen under the tent area just outside the Jupiter II. He eats some new thing Maureen has made--it tastes peppery; she tells him it is a new herb she crossed with one of their own species. John tells her that he and Don can help Hapgood get back to Earth and John looks up. Maureen knows there is something he is not telling her and asks. He asks her has he ever kept anything from her. She jokes that he better not--she'd ring his neck. They kiss (one of the few during the series). They talk about the discussion they had before leaving Alpha Control on Earth--about how they felt it was wrong to bring Will and Penny along. He asks her if she has ever regretted their decision. Smith, at the round porthole window, is trying to listen to their conversation. He gets a stethoscope and listens with it against the window. Maureen nods yes. If they pull Hapgood's ballast tanks he can take the children back to Earth. Maureen says, "No, John, do you know what you're saying?" John argues, "Well, not knowing how long we can last here or if we can ever get the Jupiter to fly again--they deserve something more than that." She asks if that is what he wants and he nods and says yes. She supposes if anyone should go, it should be the children. She cries and John hugs her. Both miss Smith coming out of the Jupiter II. He goes to Penny and says, "You're happy here, aren't you, my dear?" Hapgood soon meets them all, telling them he feels like an old man and that somehow it just doesn't seem right sending whole families into space. John and Don show him around the Control Room and he whistles. They show him the navigational guidance system and spectroscope. Hapgood supposes if he goes home he will settle down on a little launch pad. John tells him that Hapgood can have the system--"we stand a very good chance of getting where we're going without it." Hapgood wonders about back home---the thing is too heavy for his spaceship. He can't jettison any more than he already has. Smith comes in--he's overheard the whole thing and tells them they give up too easily. They possess a smaller mechanism that will do the same thing. Smith calls, "Come!" The Robot comes into the hatchway--he has a spectroscope, space sextant. Don asks what Smith gets. Smith smiles--the joy of knowing Hapgood will be reunited with his loved ones. They pick a star for him to use as a beacon to home in on and he can leave in 48 hours. Lower Deck: windows closed, Smith performs an operation on the Robot, Will assists, giving him a micro wrench and a rachet driver. Robot keeps warning Smith--this time it is his attitude stabilizer which loses power. Smith has him on because he needs his help. Robot warns Vidcom Film exposed--close shutter. Smith says he wished the Robot told him that sooner and pulls the tape out. Hapgood asks if it is painless and Smith says, "Completely." He takes out a small box-like unit, "I didn't know our robot had one of these." He pockets it. Robot warns---direction finder no longer workable, losing wobbledampner or wobbledabble, and spectra navigation unit. Smith takes it out and it looks a lot like the old cable vision changer boxes. Smith feels this is a cause for celebration. Night: dinner over. Jim tells Judy, who gives him more of Maureen's space pie, to call him by his first name. Hapgood takes more, "It'll suit me, honey, if it suits you." He eats some more. Don eyes this. So does Smith. There are some fake flowers in the scene for some reason. John and Maureen's cabin (a globe or star chart on the wall): they prepare Will and Penny about leaving. They don't want to go but it is not a choice. The children go to bed. John and Maureen go outside. Hapgood compliments her dinner. "Nothing in space has ever welcomed me and I'm sure it's been the same with you folks." He says it is like someone has a Keep Out--No Visitors sign up (well if they saw V: The Series, we know why). He thanks them for welcoming him--for a while he thought being alone, it there was no difference between living and dying--but they have changed all that for him--there is a difference. Hapgood looks up at the stars and tells them, "If a man could live forever, he'd really have it made." He wants to get back to lay in the guidance system for his ship. John confirms that Jim has enough solar energy stored. Before he leaves they take him aside. John says, "When you leave tomorrow, we want you to take Will and Penny with you." When he asks where, Maureen says, "Well, back to Earth, Jim." Hapgood flips, telling them to forget it--he'd be signing their death warrants as well as his own and that he is a little surprised that John could have something like that in his mind. When John says, "Well, I was just thinking of them," Hapgood counters with, "It's too bad you didn't think about them before finding out that space doesn't take too kindly to family outings." He goes on to tell him that this is way out yonder and he is not out of gas on a highway back home. John controls himself and goes into the ship to get some star charts that will help him. Hapgood won't look Maureen in the eyes. Don gets up and tells Hapgood he owes John an apology; Hapgood tells him he doesn't owe him anything except a thank you for a meal which quit giving him pleasure (hey, wait a second---Maureen did the cooking not John!). When Hapgood tries to leave, Don punches him. Hapgood jumps Don and we hear some very good Western type music. Getting up, Smith stops Maureen from interfering with the fight. She runs inside. Hapgood punches Don down, then adjusts the nav control device, sucker punching Don away from it. They fight again and roll on the dirt. Hapgood gets Don down under him but Judy takes a pan and hits him on the head. Hapgood collapses, "Alright, I apologize but I still ain't gonna take them kids." He falls. On his ship, the spores have grown into some kind of life-blob-plant-things with feelers.
Morning: Smith goes to Hapgood and cons him, telling him he enjoyed listening to his answer to the ridiculous request the parents made. Hapgood just says it is impractical. Smith calls Will and Penny undisciplined and precocious brats; Hapgood tells him he doesn't have to go and call them names--they're just normal kids but they don't belong with him. Smith wants off this benighted planet. Hapgood tells him he took the chance of being stranded when he volunteered. Smith tells him he was the engineer President of Zachary Smith Engineering Corporation when he was shanghaied or whisked into space at the last moment. Smith claims to have degrees in medicine and science. Smith cons him about being able to build him a launch pad when he takes him back to Earth. Hapgood tells him to engineer himself another way out of this. Smith asks what Jim has done. Everywhere he goes, he leaves his mark that reads: Hapgood Was Here! This is his 91st mark. Hapgood goes to John and Don who are working on a huge device on a lift with chains. They are quiet. Jim says, "Howdy," and John says hello back. Hapgood will leave if they say they are still mad. John says, "We're not angry--at least I'm not." Hapgood asks Don who replies he is just sorry he didn't hit him any harder. Hapgood and Don agree it was a pretty good fight. Hapgood asks John if he still wants him to have the guidance system since he is not taking the kids. John says, "Take it--someone might as well get home." Hapgood starts to leave to check on his ship--he hasn't done that yet. John and Don lose the device which tumbles toward the ground...and Hapgood gets himself under it, injuring his back but saving the device. John tells him, "We'll get you into the ship." Maureen and Judy coming out, see this and help. Maureen tells Judy to get Dr. Smith to examine Jim's back. Judy says she is sorry for hitting him now. Maureen tells her to just get Dr. Smith. Later in the lower deck cabin, Maureen brings space chowder soup to Hapgood who is on his back in bed. He says, "I've been more trouble to you folks than an old goat in a paper mill." Maureen tells him not at all--he's probably saved Don and John a months extra work. Zac told Hapgood he will be fine in the morning. Maureen tells him that he is the commander of his own ship and that his decision is the only one that matters. Later--or the next morning--Hapgood walks out of the ship and zippers up his spacesuit front. We see the dish washer and coffee device. Penny and Will go with him to check out his rocket craft. On the way he tells a story: a big fish which was all mouth and had long feelers where it's mouth should have been (due to low gravity) touched metal and there was a whale of an explosion. Coming onto the rocket, they see the large growth of animals or spores all over the area. Hapgood warns them to stay back near the rocks and goes for his decontamination unit. They don't listen and move into the area. Hapgood climbs up Traveling Man. Penny is moved away from Will by several feelers of the plant-like bacteria-monsters. She falls in one of them, Will tries to pull her out and it seems as if both are covered when one of the things raises several leaf like arms. Hapgood runs to the kids and pulls on them.
Hapgood grabs Will out and sends him for the decontaminator, then grabs Penny. Will climbs up the rocket and gets the spray, shooting some of the things that are after him. He takes a long time getting it down and shooting the one holding and pulling Penny down into it. They take her out. Hapgood tells Penny to go ahead and cry and snaps at Will not to laugh at her neither. The others come running. Will tells them he didn't decontaminate Traveling Man as good as he should have. Penny tells them, "I...I fell into one of those things and Mr. Hapgood, he pulled me out." Hapgood says, "Don't go making a mountain out of a mole hill there, young lady." Hapgood adds, "Uh, John, you and Maureen oughta be getting the kids ready for that long ride they have ahead of them." Will stares, sad. The parents take Penny and Will off. Don shakes Hapgood's hand and he and Judy leave. Smith tries to con Hapgood one more time. Night at the Jupiter II camp--we see the stock shot of the Robot Trail made in THE ISLAND IN THE SKY. Inside, on the lower deck, Smith cons Will while Penny climbs down the step ladder. We clearly see the circular ceiling of the lower deck above them and some kind of power core off to the back of the deck. Smith cons both kids, telling them they cannot ask their parents how they might feel about their leaving--they can't ask their parents to lie for them. The parents also would have to conceal the heartbreak. Smith tells them they are strong and that he wouldn't blame an average child for staying or even running away and hiding, "...but you and Penny are not average children, are you, oh no, oh no." Night: front of the Jupiter II camp: behind a rock is Smith with the Robot. Smith wears his jacket. The Robot gives him a time signal. Smith predicts Hapgood will leave in about one half hour. Smith adds, "If my estimation is correct, things should start to happen right about now." Maureen tells John she can't find the children, that Don checked Hapgood's ship. The two go up on the elevator, meeting Don and Judy returning from outside (and they have flashlights). The two children are nowhere in the area. John tells Judy to call Hapgood and tell him to delay as long as he can. Don runs out; John and Maureen far behind. Maureen starts to say, "John, they didn't really want to go, maybe we should..." John yells, "They're going!!!" Smith smiles and moves up the ramp to the doorway, spying on Judy as she tries to convince Hapgood to wait just a little longer. Hapgood cannot delay more than 20 minutes, so it will have to be a solo flight. He plans on flying charter flights to the moon--but figures that would get boring. He thinks of Will and Penny--he will set down right near Alpha Control and hand him over. John finds the two (both wearing their parkas with hoods) in the bushes near some rocks and brings them to Don and Maureen. Will says, "I know you thought it was best for us but you really didn't want us to go, did you?" Hapgood lifts off. We see Smith from far above (and the dead bacteria monsters too), "Hapgood don't leave me!" Hapgood calls the Jupiter and everyone is there listening. He figures he didn't want to go back to Earth--he just realized it. There ain't nothing, he says, that he hasn't seen or done twice on Earth but, "...out here, I ain't hardly scratched the surface." He thanks them and if he is ever within hollerin' distance of Earth, he will tell them where the Robinsons are. He admits he is hard to understand to himself and to people like them but knows he would be put out to pasture if he went back to Earth and he wasn't ready to be put out to pasture like an old racehorse who's done with living---he has too much living to do. Smith returns to the Control Room, sad looking. Hapgood also tells them it would be too sad to separate Will and Penny from their folks--too hard on all of them he guesses. He would have done it but they weren't too keen on the idea and that's the truth. A supernova drops in and it is all purple, silvery and gold. He yahoos to them and tells them he will get back to them later. Maureen says, "And we're not through with living either. Yahoo!" Smith says, "Oh be," or something like that. We see the rocket pulling into space.
CLIFFHANGER: 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, "Stay here!" John dives out at Penny as the blast rises from the hole. Freeze frame into...
TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK! SAME TIME, SAME CHANNEL!
REVIEW: This episode tends to be forgotten since it is pegged between the first five action packed story arc of the Robinsons getting lost, encountering the derelict, landing on Priplanus (not yet named so), and surviving the cold-hot cycle and two immediately shown episodes MY FRIEND, MR NOBODY and INVADERS FROM THE 5TH DIMENSION, both other worldly and with strange alien forces. WELCOME STRANGER, however, is a first hand lesson to all those---uhmmm---critics who claim Irwin Allen shows only had cardboard cutouts of characters and no characterization--while Hapgood might be a cliche of a Southerner, he does add some spice to the series without being mean, evil minded, or silly. The often edited scene of John telling Maureen his idea is moving and touching and is the first time this "sad" music is used in its entirety. There is also a Western type sound to the new soundtrack by Herman Stein. A great deal of music from this episode is used again in many later episodes (SPACE CIRCUS for one--the titles for instance) and so it should--it is very, very good. Older tracks by John Williams are also used as are tracks from Stein's THE DERELICT. Of the new music, it is notable to mention the end music as Hapgood lifts off and says goodbye to the others, then sees the nova--it is great music and used again in part, in LAND OF THE GIANTS-the unaired pilot. The spore business is wild but a bit odd since the Jupiter II didn't have to worry about what it brought down..but perhaps it has its own auto decontamination units. Hapgood didn't appear to have checked his ship the entire night after the fight--that is a bit unusual but then again, if he did, we wouldn't have had the excellent and scary spore monster scene. Smith is still up to his more menacing ways even if a bit less edgy and Machiavellian. His "appearances can be deceptive" leads us to suspect he is more horrible than he is showing, even now and even in the first five episodes. Certainly, he shows this more evil side again in INVADERS FROM THE 5TH DIMENSION, THE SKY IS FALLING, and even ATTACK OF THE MONSTER PLANTS. A nova cannot come in as a nova is an exploding star unless the star was traveling itself...which stars don't really seem to do. How Hapgood survived in space is a difficult one to answer--he'd need fuel himself as well as food and spare parts and water....Warren Oates made this episode quite entertaining. The effects of his rocket taking off are used many times in later episodes, even the color ones. Another SPACE: 1999 comparison: EARTHBOUND featured one of the Alphans having the ability to go back to Earth with visiting aliens---and Commissioner Simmonds highjacks his way on board. NOTE: Smith's is still the only voice the Robot responds to.
STAR NOTE: Episolon Eridani is one of the nearest naked eye visible stars, it is only 10.8 light years away and has a solar diameter of 9.