After making a deal with the Time Merchant, Dr. Smith returns to earth just before the launch of the Jupiter II. If he doesn't get on it the Jupiter II will crash into an asteroid.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Prof. John Robinson
Maureen Robinson
Maj. Don West
Judy Robinson
Will Robinson (as Billy Mumy)
Penny Robinson
Dr. Chronos
General Squires
Sgt. Rogers


After making a deal with the Time Merchant, Dr. Smith returns to earth just before the launch of the Jupiter II. If he doesn't get on it the Jupiter II will crash into an asteroid.

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Release Date:

17 January 1968 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The robot was never verbally named on-screen. Irwin Allen reputedly liked Rodney as its moniker, whilst an intriguing hint can be seen in "The Time Merchant", where the Robot's shipping crate is stamped "General Utility Non-Theorizing Environmental ROBOT" (capitals highlighted in red) suggesting that the machine's name was Gunter. It referred to itself with the above title (adding "Control" before Robot) during the second season. See more »


With the alarm sounding at the launch pad, when the guards run past the robot, he is shown hidden behind a blue sheet. In the next camera shot close-up, the robot is covered with a black sheet & a blue sheet. See more »


The Robot: [Chasing Smith around a chair] There is no time for playing games, I advise you to come peacefully.
Dr. Zachary Smith: [Keeping chair between Robot and himself] You'll never take me alive!
The Robot: Your condition is unimportant, you must be on that ship at blast off!
See more »


Features Lost in Space: The Reluctant Stowaway (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

This Contains One Of Lost In Space's Greatest Moments
29 May 2007 | by See all my reviews

A time merchant sends Will and Smith back to earth just before the 1997 blast off into space!

The ending of this hour has a scene between Dr Smith and The Robot, involving Smith revealing his character flaws, that can only be called deeply touching. It is indeed one of the greatest scenes of Lost In Space.

It has been reported that Tufeld's Robot voice changed from episode to episode or scene to scene due to poor sound mixing hardware and other things. Never is this more obvious than in The Time Merchant. In the opening minutes of this hour Tufeld speaks in his year one-ish mechanical man voice but once on earth in 1997 he speaks, to Dr Smith, in his regular more human/comical voice: "You will just look silly hanging by your toes in space".

With Irwin Allen time travel shows it is usually William Welch who writes them and they all have a style that is very obvious and entertaining. The Time Merchant is not scripted by Welch and is more comical than anything Welch would script. I like the humour of the episode but am a bit undecided if I want this kind of in-your-face humour in such a compelling story.

Added note: The episode would be remade in the form of Land Of The Giants: Wild Journey (1970).

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