|Index||4 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is quite a refreshing, unique episode in the cannon Lost in Space. The explanation of how the Jupiter 2 lands on 1947 Earth in some hick town with wide-eyed, small-minded simpletons with limited intelligence (I'm just describing how they are presented by the writing department and performances of the supporting cast): runaway acceleration past the speed of light carried the Jupiter 2 into hyperdrive thanks to electromagnetic radiation, a space warp was the result. This from Robot. Anyway, we actually get to see the Robinson party on Earth, just in a different time, their welcoming "yokels" believing they are "Voltones" right "out of those science fiction magazines". Fearing they are aliens, the response from the locals is to kidnap them, with John Robinson knowing that the ship must return to their time. But Dr. Smith (who else?) is happy to be back home, even if it is in another time, feeling that their knowledge and technological advancements could benefit them greatly (they could become kings!). John and Maureen are convinced Smith has lost his ability to rationalize when he dresses in a fireman's outfit, ax in hand (???), pretending to be from another town called Chicasaw Falls, feeling his understanding of these "hostile aliens" could benefit the locals in capturing the Robinsons. When Will and Robot go looking for Smith, they are taken prisoner, tied up and held in a barnthis is because Smith betrays them. John gives an ultimatum to the likes of Cragmire (Robert Foulk), Craig (Robert Pine, Sgt. Joseph Getraer of CHiPs fame), Grover (Pitt Herbert) and Charlie (Norman Leavitt): he will get his son back or unload their superior firepower on their town. I think "Visit to a Hostile Planet" is unique if just for how the Robinsons clash with familiar surroundings instead of an alien world, even though the Earth characters of the 40s portrayed here aren't flattering. If anything the locals are conveyed as backward, uneducated, and easily duped. This is all played for comedy, and Smith motivating them to threaten force if the Robinsons don't stay (he is afraid to be left on Earth in '47 alone) works as pure folly. Especially cool is seeing a giant Jupiter 2 landed, its legs extended, with the Robinson party exiting/entering it, as opposed to the usual crashlanded ship on a planet's surface. Will even has a little girl he befriends, Cragmire's daughter. I must admit that seeing Robot on Earth moving about is rather neat...he even takes it on the chest plate by a frightened local thanks to a shotgun blast! How does Robot answer back: he gives them a little electromagnetic charge!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Robinsons make it to Earth, but it is 1947, so they are mistaken for
aliens. Dr. Smith decides he wants to stay on Earth no matter what, so
he turns on the family. Simple enough plot and simply executed.
Reasons to note this episode would be to give Will a little crush in farmgirl Stacy who tries to help him and Robert Pine as a downhome country boy who ends up briefly paired with Judy Robinson.
Clunky moments would be Maureen contemplating how an old Mayberry sheriff's department telephone works and then she instinctively proceeds to lift the earpiece up.
Also the bonehead farmhands pull up to the angry mob in an unbelievably good conditioned automobile roadster that is not a '47 model. Very Great Gatsby looking here.
And in this '67 episode, Professor Robinson exclaims that man first lands on the moon in '70. Pity he couldn't have just opted to tell the local yokels that man would land on the moon in about a dozen years or so and leave it at that.
Yet strangely, this episode for these faults (the hillbilly mob is unforgivable but easy to overlook) stands above the rest, mainly for the mood and effectiveness with the music, the show's stock music, yes.
And Smith brings it all home when his second-in-command offers to drive him back to Chicasaw Falls, Smith's believed hometown.
Definitely an episode that is proof the show was trying to recapture some promise lost with competing to Batman's campiness or evidence the show wasn't deteriorating that badly in competing with Batman.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I remember as kid watching this episode thinking how did they get all
of their junk , including the chariot inside such a small spaceship.
How could their be the two levels, plus the engine room (third level)
seen on episode 'Space Creature' John Robinson says "we are 50 years
past their time" which would be 1997. But by my calculation the year
would 2000 since the show starts in 1997 (launch date October 16, 1997)
One goof that I noticed is when the The robot gets shot by a bullet, a
few shots later the mark just disappears.
I strongly believe that big building around the Jupiter 2 when it lands are the Fox Studios (20th Century) sound stages.
It's funny seeing a very young Robert Pine, years before he was on the T.V. show C.H.I.P.S. It's also nice seeing outside scenes with nature lighting instead of controlled lighting scenes done within the confines of interior sound stages
Simply put, Season Three has already reached my very #1 top-ranked
episode of the season. "Visit To A Hostile Planet" is pretty much a
solid rock-hard exciting classic for me. As the older members may
recall, "Visit To A Hostile Planet" was the very favorite episode of
Wyoming Rosset ("Wy," or "The Midnight Cowboy"). Wyoming taught a
college writing class. He would play this episode to the students, stop
it right near the end, around the release of the cannon part, turn it
off, and have the students write their own ending. I always thought
that was an awesome idea, and how I wish I had been in Wyoming's class!
Anyway..I have heard of a few 'casual fans' who remember LOST IN SPACE from their childhood who mention this episode as one they recall as a very favorite. It certainly IS an episode that can be easily remembered years later. I have also heard other fans who like to 'dis' this episode for being a bit too 'goofy,' 'silly,' or whatever, as far as the local Green Acres-like townsfolk are concerned. To those fans, I will say what I usually say (or think) when the same people like to 'dis' Season Two in general for being too silly or goofy.."Get over it!" This far into the series is surely a far cry from the good old B&W days, so you take what you can get. This episode is also a good example as to why I would never use 'silliness' as a yardstick in grading episodes. It has probably a bit more 'silliness' than the previous episode, the season kickoff, "Condemned Of Space," yet it is a notch or two better.
In one of the old videos about the show (perhaps LOST IN SPACE FOREVER, 1998), June Lockhart, while narrating, called this a 'defining moment', or a 'big moment' for the Robinsons..landing back on Earth and all. I would agree. Besides an excellently written episode from Peter Packer, and an excellently directed episode from Sobey Martin (whom we had only heard from just one time in Season Two since the B&W glory days), probably the two things that stand out and make this episode a huge winner for me is the excellent and very interesting outdoor location shooting, and especially the almost chilling, great and final wrap/finish to the story, as we first get a glimpse of the Jupiter 2 spaceship flying through the blue sky, and then rising through atmosphere (right after Stacy and Craig's exchange about flying saucers) to get away from..earth! This episode had one of the very few (four of them) really good endings to a Season Three episode. I will note the others when they come up. Yes, the ending to this episode can actually send chills up and down my spine. I certainly cannot say that about many colored episodes for sure.
Speaking of Craig (Robert Pine), if you look at his credits at IMDb, you will notice that this appearance in LOST IN SPACE was just about the very first thing he did..pretty much the beginning of his career.
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