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BEHIND THE SCENES (SPACE DESTRUCTORS)

Updated: May 22, 2020

Lost in Space "Space Destructors" (Season Three March 6, 1968)

Dr. Smith, Will and the Robot discover a spooky cave that contains a number of complex machines and an assembly line of some kind. When Smith fools around with the computer, the machines start up and the assembly line produces a cyborg. The cyborg comes to life and attacks Smith and the Robot, injuring the Robot very badly.

Smith runs screaming all the way back to the Jupiter-2. The cyborg follows him and Don and John kill it with their disintegrator net. When asked what happened to the Robot, Smith lies and says he doesn’t know. John is angry and confines Smith to the spaceship until he fesses up or the Robot comes back.

Dr. Smith sneaks out of the Jupiter-2 that night and goes back to the cave to fetch the Robot. The Robot is on the ground, too damaged to get up. In his zeal to wake him, Smith mistakenly bumps the computer and produces another cyborg. It chases Smith, intending to kill him, but when the doctor touches the computer again, the cyborg suddenly becomes subservient. Smith is pleased with this turn of events, realizing that he can now create many slaves to do his bidding.

Smith does just that, and is soon being treated like a king with cyborgs preparing meals and dancing for him. He gets one of his new slaves to repair the Robot and then brags to the Robot about how he will first take control of the Jupiter-2, and then take control of the universe. Robot is not impressed.

Time passes, and the Robinsons, concerned about the whereabouts of Smith and the Robot, decide to begin searching in the morning. Will is too worried to wait that long and goes out to search on his own. He goes to the cave where he finds that Smith has created cyborg soldiers in his own image. The doctor explains to Will that he intends to conquer the universe, and Will is upset, thinking Smith has gone mad. Will wants to run home to warn his family, but Smith locks him up in a cell with the Robot instead.

In the morning, John and Don begin to search for their three missing crew members and are confronted by Dr. Smith who announces that he is now in command. When they protest, Smith sets one of his cyborg warriors on them. John and Don kill the cyborg, but are forced to back down when they realize Smith has an endless supply of soldiers at his command. John and Don go back to the Jupiter-2 to set up the force-field in case Smith and his army decide to attack.

Dr. Smith goes back to his cave to create an even more powerful breed of cyborg. Will and the Robot manage to escape from their cell, and Will runs to Smith, pleading for the doctor to see reason and change his mind. Smith accidentally pushes Will onto the assembly line. Will gets caught up in one of the machines, and is turned into a cyborg with a face that matches Dr. Smith. Cyborg Will tells Smith he is no longer needed and will be destroyed. Smith is horrified and runs, screaming, back to the Jupiter-2.

When he arrives at the spaceship, Smith tells the others the terrible news, and John and Don rush to the rescue. Don is soon hurt, and John must fight his way past countless cyborg soldiers, but he bravely continues on. When he finally reaches the cave, he speaks to his son, but finds that neither Will’s mind (nor his face) are his own. John grabs Will and hauls him out of the cave while the Robot blasts the evil computer and its machines. With the alien technology destroyed, Will is returned to his normal self again. John is angry enough at Smith to eject him from camp, but the doctor proves to be so pathetic that John takes pity and offers him one last chance.

Why does Dr. Smith always think he has to randomly push buttons on machinery he knows nothing about? It causes trouble every time. Does he never learn?? In the moment before the cyborg pushes him over, you can see dents and a cover plate in the back of the robot's body. This is the "stunt" (dummy) robot body, which was used specifically for this type of action.

Why don't John and Don have and use their laser guns in this episode? John tells Will they're going to go to the cave to examine the things he found there, but then they don't go.

How is it that the cyborg creation machine happens to speak English? In order to create the 'army' of Smith clones, casts were made of Jonathan Harris' face. Because of his claustrophobia, Harris was extremely frightened of carrying out such a procedure given that it would take around three hours to work, and was only able to go along with it thanks to the actions of the caster who tried to ease his fears.

The reason why or how this considerable military industrial complex is hidden in a cave on an obscure planet is never given. Perhaps since supposed the same planet as in "Hunter's Moon" it has something to do with the Zahn.

When Will and the Robot are being held prisoner by Dr. Smith's cyborgs, why doesn't the Robot just shoot the guard with his electric bolts?

The fight scenes with the cyborgs at the end look as if they've been sped up. After John and Don fight with the two cyborgs, John's hair is messed up. When John walks into the cave, his hair is suddenly back to normal again.

When the cyborg attacks him in the cave, why does John throw off his grenade belt? This is one of the few episodes where Smith's actions cause Prof. Robinson to exile him permanently from the expedition. Smith then shows apparently a genuinely contrite self-assessment of his actions, causing the Professor to give him another chance.

If the computer and its machines were so easy to destroy, why didnt the Robot blast them in the first place when he saw trouble brewing?

Dr. Smiths Cyborg Chef prepares him a lot of fancy food. Where did the food and the ingredients needed to make it come from? Where did the bowl of fresh Earth-fruit we see sitting on Smiths dinner table come from?

Who dresses these cyborgs and Why do they choose such silly costumes?

Didn't Will and the Robot use that exact same fake sick to fool the guard and escape from jail trick three episodes ago in Kidnapped in Space?

How does that cyborg-making process work? Them seem to be created out of bread dough. Mmm... fresh baked cyborgs.

Since Dr. Smith almost accidentally destroyed Will, it's a miracle that the Robinson's welcomed him back with open arms.

Good quote - Smith: "What a frightful mess I've made of everything. And all I wanted was to rule the universe."

I knew there was an episode when Smith mention Alexader the Great, Julius Caesar, and Napeloion, but the cyborg Will seem not to have Hercules strength John was able to carry him. Now, I do think that while Smith likes the idea of being emperor, the machine had a hold on him too.

This is one of the few episodes I remember something of from my childhood. The faceless cyborgs made an impression on me as a child. The appearance of the first cyborg is a reminder of how LIS had elements of horror from time to time. That first Cyborg, with his deep muffled "roar," would be pretty scary to a child.

For Season Three standards, later in the series, I guess it can be considered "scary" or "elements of horror," but there is certainly much scarier things earlier on, especially in classic black and white Season One episodes, or in colored Season Two..

This was rather one of the few times he reverts back to villainy then does a 180 I think that the quality was poor but the sword fight was good zorro no doubt was there.

Yes, the Dr. Smith we see in this episode is slightly reminiscent of the evil Dr. Smith at the beginning of the episode. Good point, too, about Zorro - I wonder if Allen and Co. did that intentionally as a sendup of Guy's previous stint as Zorro?

Well, Smith was stupid enought to create a general with abilities of Casear, Alexander, or Napeloin or Genghis Khan. With those types o abilities for a general you were not going to win.

Now, about the cyborg that was guarding Will and the Robot. What did he have in his left pocket when the Robot pretends to be dying. You can see the shape of something in his pocket. A packet of cigarrettes?

A next question would be..why would a 'cyborg' have a wallet in his pocket? Because LOST IN SPACE was far too silly and ridiculous by this point perhaps. Although, this one is along, long time fond and favorite episode of mine, going back to my youngest recollections of the series.

Back as far as my oldest recollections of the show go, back to the early 1970s, this one was the very first favorite episode of the series can recall. So, this one is always a long-time sentimental favorite with me. For the season, this one is currently ranked at number seven in my book. I always love episodes with good fight scenes and that fabulous Johnny Williams 'fight music,' as I like to call it..two versions of it.

The two classic 'fight music' cues I speak of were first heard in very, very early series B&W Season One's "Island In The Sky" and "The Hungry Sea."

I doubt if Bart/Bartell La Rue played the first non-speaking cyborg. Over at imdb, it looks like Mr. La Rue mainly did voice acting only. I would think it a better guess to say that Dawson Palmer played that first cyborg..who was being baked like a cake.

It is obvious that cyborg number one is not the same actor as cyborg number two. Their movements, actions and faces are all noticeably different. There is no information on this topic on the web that I can find. Does anyone know who that first cyborg actor is? Dawson Palmer perhaps?

This was one of my favorite episodes as a kid especially the android making machine. Watching the episode now, one of the highlights is Guy Williams fencing scene. The coda was typical LIS schmalz, right down to the music; I remember worrying that Billy Mumy might cry because that was a bit embarrassing when I was seven or eight years old.

Of all the mischief-making activities based on greed and selfishness Zachary Smith has adopted, this stunt tops the lot. After all the second chances John and Maureen Robinson have given Zachary Smith during the past 64 episodes you would think Doctor Smith would show his gratitude by improving his awful ways. The least Professor John Robinson should have Doctor Zachary Smith confined to his quarters, and have the Robot to watch over him, at all times.

After turning Will into a mindless cyborg, The Robinson family must be ever more soft-hearted than Meg Morris in Prisoner: Cell Block H to still have him with them.


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