|Index||3 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A "cosmonium" prospector (Strother Martin, pretty much portraying
Strother Martin), whose blasting is tearing the planet's core apart as
he looks for the most precious metal of the galaxy, gets the attention
of always-greedy Dr. Zachary Smith. Cosmonium, as it turns out, is the
"quintessence of the living force", or perhaps in laymen terms "little
bits of sun". According to Robot and Professor John Robinson, who
understands what the hell its jargon is saying, if the Robinson party
doesn't get enough deutronium to get the Jupiter 2 off the planet they
will "disintegrate into cosmic dust". Of course, those who know their
Lost in Space understand that Dr. Smith will be up to no good and
stubbornly ignorant to the warning signs of a planet coming apart at
the seams (just harmless blasting on Martin's Mr. Nerim's part, or so
he believes), stealing a thruster control part needed by John and Don
while making repairs to the Jupiter 2 (this part is needed by Nerim in
order to get his space ship off the planet). Smith is foolish enough to
play Nerim in a quick game of "space cards"(galaxies are higher than
asteroids, asteroids higher than satellites, etc.) betting the thruster
control part for some of the cosmonium, losing, no surprise.
You know, funnily enough, this episode might be considered to entail a "green message" about what can happen to a planet if man extracts "too much" from it, as evident of Nerim's mishandling of the world while blasting inappropriately, causing irreparable damage. Carrying the stigma that would plague practically the entire second season, the opening episode, "Blast Off Into Space" features a laughable monster (get this: a statue with a vague human figure cut from stone by Smith expressing his "inner self" "awakens" when cosmonium is accidentally broken upon it, wanting more of the substance that gave it life!) and mind numbingly stupid behavior from Dr. Smith (he doesn't take serious the warnings of John Robinson that the planet was doomed to implode thanks to Nerim's ill-advised blasting techniques and the theft of the thruster control further establishes his mind boggling decisions to gain possible wealth (like Nerim would ever share anything with him, right?) by placing the Robinson party in peril). What does make "Blast Off Into Space" a unique episode is it finally gets our family off this freakin' planetI guess those drawn up plans spurned by the knowledge of the evil warrior spirit of Canto (the spirit that slowly started possessing John after he fell into its cavernous catacomb in the first season finale, "Follow the Leader") worked, the blueprints establishing the means for drilling deutronium. The episode immediately hurls our family into a perilous situation once the family does get off (which, thanks to Smith's thievery, doesn't go as smoothly as possible) the planet, heading for a giant asteroid, with the "tune in next week" logo flashing across the screen. The idea that this family would face "dangers in space" is short-lived as the Robinsons once again crash-land on a planet with further silly plots and cornball characters in store for our family. Martin's "old miner" is a caricature much the way Albert Salmi's pirate was, but the character actor is always fun to watch so his shtick I personally found tolerable, particularly the way he calls Smith "Zach boy" while enabling the fiendish schemer's fortune hunting ways by showing him the underground drill site (to get there, and it's a doozy, you must blow and hop, with this gravitational thrust carrying you back and forth to the site). The drilling equipment, I guess, was left behind thanks to Smith's new statue monster, his card game with Nerim, and laziness (Will comes along but is unsuccessful in getting him to get the drilling pieces in the Chariot as countdown to lift off looms), so if the Jupiter 2 follows the same fate as before they're screwed. Irwin Allen gets to blow stuff up in this one.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A space miner, Mr Nerim, is blasting the planet apart with his mining.
This is one of my three favourite episodes of LIS, the other two favourites are The Reluctant Stowaway and The Derelict.
In a nutshell, I am a sci-fi nutcase and a disaster nutcase...Blast Off Into Space covers both genres in glorious style! I am also a film score nutcase...we have a totally new composer here, Leith Stevens, bringing great music to LIS.
The whole hour is building up to this big bang at the end (much like a disaster movie), with camera shaking planetquakes, then we get to the end with the wonderfully filmed Jupiter 2 blasting off with flames below her! Love it!
The Leith Stevens musical score so is perfectly matched to the hour and it underscores the conversations between Nerim and Smith so perfectly.
Jonathan Harris as Smith and Strother Martin as Nerim give this a Bonanza In Space feel...a theme writer Peter Packer was now very comfortable with.
The Robinsons also have some nice words to say to each other before blast off and we have a monster as a bonus.
Blast Off Into Space is a total and complete knockout from start to finish!
Okay..I am back.
Here we go..the blessed and glorious (in all-living color) Season Two kick-off episode. Many will put this one as the 'weakest' of the season openers (if you will) but not me. Yes..I rank this one ahead of "Condemned Of Space. And why wouldn't I? I boast of how much I love colored Season Two, and although it may not be as overall as 'exciting' as "Condemned Of Space," "Blast Off Into Space" gets my vote as a few notches higher. Why, you might ask. Well, the reasons are obvious. Being so utterly close to and recently removed from lovable B&W Season One, it still has a Season One feel to it. They are still on the lost and forsaken and barren planet. The kids (Penny and William in particular) are still quite young. Dr. Smith is not overly 'over the top' with an "effeminate" (to coin Robert's phrase) characterization, like he is in later Season Three episodes..and the story is very solid.
Basically, this is still an episode to love (if you are a big B&W fan), of course. Just like "Condemned Of Space" and "Visit To A Hostile Planet," there is really nothing not to like so far in the anniversary season. All three are pretty much devoid of pitfalls and drawbacks.
I have seen fans share their dislike for Mr. Nerim and his mule, for being too 'earth-like,' or something. Who cares? Maybe it is because I love a good western-style episode, or because I love Strother Martin's appearances in THE BIG VALLEY (or whatever else), but I like him and his characterization of the old miner just fine. His donkey was just an added interest. Actually, Mr. Nerim was an extremely likable old chum. It is odd and very rare, however, that the main guest star was done and gone pretty much at the midpoint of the story.
The new background incidental music guest scores from Leith Stevens were not exactly 'stellar' or a big favorite of mine, but it (the music) works just fine for the story. It was a big plus to bring on a guest composer for such a huge occasion as a season premier..especially the first colored episode premier. This was big!
How big was it? Well, "Blast Off Into Space" is my #7-ranked episode on the season..slightly above "Condemned Of Space," yet slightly below "Visit To A Hostile Planet." Wait! Who is trying to compare episodes from 'across the seasons?' That is never a good idea, and never an easy thing to do. :-]
Here is a very interesting bit of trivia you may not know. This is the one and the only episode where the guest star's character's name is listed in the opening credits, instead of saying "Guest Star." What I mean is, instead of reading "Guest Star Strother Martin," the opening credit reads "Strother Martin as Nerim." This is totally a one-of-a-kind occurrence.
So far, the illustrious Peter Packer has helmed all three anniversary episodes. That streak ends tomorrow..
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