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"Lost in Space" The Space Destructors (1967)

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Classic episode.

Author: Seafood_Licorice from United States
16 December 2012

Dr. Smith ventures inside a cave and finds an alien machine capable of creating flabby men in cream-colored mock turtlenecks on demand. You cannot make this up. Peter Packer was a genius. For real.

I'm not sure how Will recovers after going through the machine himself, but hey, what can you do. One also has to wonder why every man that's produced by the machine immediately wants to kill everyone in sight.

Bonus points for the turtleneck-wearing midway through the episode that cracks a joke with Dr. Smith (I think this is Tommy Farrell?)

Star Trek may have been hard sci-fi, but this episode is just fun. One of the best of Season 3.

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The Space Destructors

Author: Scarecrow-88 from United States
28 July 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Dr. Smith bumps into an intricately designed cyborg-making machine (It works and is designed like a machine, using conveyor, as if baking a cake, complete with a long tunnel "spitting out" the cyborgs), accidentally creating a dangerously unstable (primitive models that really do work as assembly-line creations without artificial intelligence, not cognizant of their behavior, made essentially to serve), soon realizing the power at his disposal if he can get control of them. The "brain" of the machine will guide him in this process, but as he starts building an army, Smith becomes overtaken by the desire to rule as an "emperor of the universe". As Robot says, "the universe is already messed up as it is", so if Smith were to build up enough cyborg soldiers, his mad dream just might be realized. It will take John Robinson's badass fencing skills and athleticism, not to mention a bag full of grenades, to combat Smith's army, hoping to destroy the machine before things get out of hand. The cyborgs with prosthetic faces designed in the likeness of Smith are rather creepy, but the one Will has is especially unsettling (the make-up dept really pull out all the stops to get as accurate a look of Smith on Will's head as possible; it flat works!). Some of the special effects are really lousy, particularly when some of John's grenades go nowhere near some of the cyborgs when going off yet the cyborgs are still destroyed! As typical of Lost in Space, the cyborgs just vanish once they grenade explodes. The cyborgs must be really weakly constructed if just a simple slice or stab from John's fencing sword renders them incapacitated. As usual on the show, Don is dropped like an anvil by one cyborg, knocked unconscious, while John battles multiple cyborgs barely breaking a sweat. John almost sends Smith off the Jupiter 2 for good, but recants because Zachary's appeals to his sympathy through puppy-dog eyes and admittance of behaving wrongfully change his mind. No matter what this villain does, he is forgiven. Exactly as John says at the end, Smith placed the family, especially Will, in peril, all the bridges of forgiveness he has dynamited with his dastardly antics, yet because of the humane civility of the Robinson party, this villain continues to remain with them.

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Guy Williams gets to show off his fencing skills

Author: Reginald D. Garrard from Camilla, GA
1 October 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

TV viewers of a few years before "Lost in Space" initially aired recall star Guy Williams as Disney's "Zorro". As the swashbuckling Mexican, the actor brandished a mean sword in his fight against evil. Well, "Space Destructors" gives the athletic actor a chance to once again "flex his muscles" as he does battle with a horde of Dr. Smith look-a-likes, created by an alien cyborg machine.

Though most of the cyborgs wear pullover masks molded about Jonathan Harris's image, the best effect is the one worn by Billy Mumy after his transformation into the good doctor. Mumy's mask is a combination of creatively-placed facial overlays, a convincing hairpiece, and realistic coloring, giving the young actor the appearance of truly being a miniature Smith.

The cyborg machine itself appears to be made from every spare part then on the Fox lot, attached to a very ingenious conveyor belt. Recycled music from season one's "My Friend, Mr. Nobody" is used when the machine is in operation.

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