Irwin Allen may of been The Master Of Disaster in the 1970s but when it came to ending his 1960s TV shows he was The Master Of Grim. The last episode of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea began with the Seaview being blown out of the water, the last episode of Land Of The Giants was set in the Graveyard Of Fools and Lost In Space ended in the Junkyard Of Space. But this was not the intended end of LIS. Another season almost happened. And to correct another poster, The Robot was indeed going to be used if they got a 4th year!
We had a problem before Junkyard aired. The episode before Junkyard - the talking carrot show - has often been called the worst thing that Irwin Allen ever produced. So viewers were going into Junkyard mildly concerned that LIS had gone so far over the deep end that even the Seaview could not find it. Thankfully, Junkyard begins with a refreshingly new Joe Mullendore score that plays over footage of the space pod in flight. Then things start looking odd as we see the junkyard. No talking carrots in this hour...we are saved!
I like the way the Jupiter 2 is hijacker in this story, yes, the craft was also hijacker in year three's Target Earth, but now we had a full-on silver skinned alien at the controls of the Jupiter 2 and this makes for some thrilling adventures in space. Helped by the Mullendore score. Granted, a lot of the stuff on the alien planet leaves a bit to be desired but most of the space action is rather pleasing. I can think of several better episodes to end the season with, but you could do a lot worse than Junkyard.
First run LIS episodes left the airwaves in early 1968 and many viewers simply jumped over to ABC's Land Of The Giants in September 1968. Giants may not of been as good, but I personally call Giants the un-official 4th and 5th seasons of LIS.
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