Lost in Space: Season 2, Episode 5

Space Circus (12 Oct. 1966)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Comedy | Family
5.4
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A space circus comes to town and the owner wants Will to run away with it.

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Title: Space Circus (12 Oct 1966)

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Episode complete credited cast:
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Will Robinson (as Billy Mumy)
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James Westerfield ...
Dr. Marvello
Melinda O. Fee ...
Fenestra (as Melinda Fee)
Dawson Palmer ...
The Cosmic Monster
Michael Greene ...
Nubu
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A space circus comes to town and the owner wants Will to run away with it.

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12 October 1966 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

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1.33 : 1
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Space Circus
24 November 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

To quote Dr. Smith regarding this episode, "Oh dear, oh dear." A traveling "space circus" lands on the new planetary home of the Robinson party (currently needing to fix a purifier (they need cobalt magnesium in order to truly operate the machine) which will keep plants alive for human consumption). The PT Barnum of this outfit wants Will for his troupe after he seems able, with the help of their telekinetic female performer, Fenestra (the stunning Melinda O Fee), to materialize objects by thought. How to get Will to join them will obviously not be an easy task, but Dr. Marvello (a well cast James Westerfield, who makes a fine showman, but despite the attempts to make him sinister (he says he will not leave the planet without Will and manipulated Dr. Smith (wanting to so badly get home to Earth) into trying to talk the boy into leaving with them) by the script and direction, the actor is just too likable for this to every quite work) will do whatever it takes to see that the boy joins his circus. The creature featured in this episode is called by Marvello the "cosmic monster", but looks like a polar Sasquatch (I'm thinking the costume was inspired by an Abominable Snowman), not quite as ridiculous looking as the bird alien thing from the previous episode. The monster does present a threat to the Robinson party and it appears that Marvello might turn it loose if he doesn't get what he wants. To be honest, "Space Circus" is strictly for the kiddies and circus fans; I think those wanting to watch stories more akin to "Wild Adventure" containing more science fiction than circus acts/performances will find this episode rather a bore. If seeing Dr. Smith summon his inner Gene Kelly while seeing "Tip Toe Through the Tulips", hoping to impress Marvello (who seems appropriately repulsed), isn't bad enough, hearing Robot sing a few verses of the song only makes matters worse. Good for a few laughs, but this episode is, to me, a rather forgettable (or I want to forget about it) one, maybe remembered by those who watched it as a kid, with warm feelings of nostalgia. My favorite moment is when John discovers Smith's diabolical scheme in Will's possible departure with the circus troupe telling him that if any harm came to his son he'd skin the scoundrel alive! The ending is sure schizophrenic as Marvello changes personalities at the snap of a finger, going from a sure-footed stance that he would not release Will (the cosmic monster endangers John's life as the two "duke it out", an obvious mismatch) to all warm-and-fuzzy realizing that a performer must have his heart in it or else the magic isn't there—it is an odd change of mind that once again gets the family off the hook. There's an emotional scene where Will, convinced by Smith, quite the slithery snake that he is, to not tell the Robinsons of his departure, says goodbye to his family in a subtle way not to give them the impression he would be leaving them. Smith, as always, puts the Robinsons in another predicament, toying with the controls of the purifier (just as John and Don had about reached success) so that he gets enough time to persuade Will to leave with the circus due to the lack of food available to the rest of his family. Yep, a prize peach that Dr. Smith. His "punishment" is hilarious and deserved.


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