My Friend Mr. Nobody
October 27 1965
Writer: Jackson Gillis
Director: Paul Stanley
Production #: 8507
A lonely Penny Robinson befriends a "voice" in a cave and discovers a diamond mine in the process. When Dr.Smith tricks Penny and later Don West into helping him acquire the precious objects the "voice" reveals itself to be an incredible alien life form capable of destruction.
Writer Jackson Gillis loves the Robinson women-especially the daughters-and shows it throughout the run of Lost in Space but never more so than in this, his first contribution. From the moment last week's cliffhanger is resolved (through the use of glaringly obvious mismatched stunt doubles) Gillis' story forces the director to focus on Penny in almost every scene she's in. Even when Maureen & Judy are discussing the benefits of the Jetson-esque hairstyling machine, thankfully never used again, and Penny says nothing, she is the focus of the scene.
The grotto where Penny meets Mr. Nobody is a huge set, very nicely decorated for this episode with lots of strange foliage.
Judy seems surprised to see a cherry pie in the 'picnic basket' but didn't they just have one in "Welcome, Stranger?"
When Dr. Smith tries to trick Penny into revealing the location of the diamonds it almost works. Penny believes his childish prattle but will not reveal where Mr. Nobody is ("I'm the only person he likes to talk to," she explains) . Meanwhile throughout the episode it is evident that the Robinsons still treat Smith like an adult and respect his opinions-especially Major West, oddly enough, who follows Smith on a "wild deutronium chase" . They may not like Smith very much but they listen to what he says at this point in the series.
Penny is an innocent child turned victim in this story (thanks to Smith's evil machinations) whose only crime is befriending an alien soul as lonely as she. Mr. Nobody seems very much a child himself-"I'm still growing," he says to Penny at one point.
Not only does Dr. Smith trick Penny & Don, he steals a porous clay sample from Prof. Robinson and during the climactic ending leaves Don to die as Mr. Nobody erupts in all his fury.. West and the family are spared thanks to Penny's tearful intervention-"I love them just like I love you!" but Smith, not for the first or last time almost causes the family's demise. Not the heartless saboteur he was in previous episodes but certainly still a dangerous force to be reckoned with.
The episode's conclusion is one of the series' finest. Between the robot (soon to be smashed to pieces by Mr. Nobody) running wild and firing electrical charges from his claws, the awesome storm, and Mr. Nobody's heavenly ascention in an almost religious scene this is an example of Lost in space at its absolute best.
Jackson Gillis whose writing credits include almost every TV cop show from the sixties through the eighties as well as "Zorro" and "The Adventures of Superman" created an amazing piece of 1960's television with this episode, aided greatly by director Paul Stanley whose credits include everything from "Charlie's Angels" to "MacGuyver" . This is the first 'fantasy' episode of Lost in Space and the eerie sometimes mystical music created specifically for this episode by John Williams, who scored such epics as "Jaws", "Star Wars" and "Superman" adds greatly to the suspensful story. The music was later re-used in many of the later "far out" fantasy episodes of season two. Again, one of the best Lost in Space adventures ever to air.
WHAT WERE THE WRITERS THINKING? DEPT:
Mr. Nobody is described by the robot as "Negative release of pure cosmic force with anti-matter core"...WHAT??? Oh well it sounds scary.
Penny's mom is worried when Penny tells her she fell in a cave. "Oh, I didn't get hurt or anything. Besides it was so dark in there I couldn't see, " says Penny. Does darkness prevent a painful plunge to one's death?
In the original version Penny encounters Smith and the robot while looking for something to do and she asks the Doctor
If you can teach him a silly little thing like how to fan you asleep, then couldn't you teach him something even simpler, like-well like Hopscotch? Or jumping rope, maybe?
And wear out his beautiful, complex circuits on little girl nonsense?
As Penny is sneaking off to help Mr. Nobody she encounters Will and whirls on him.
Will Robinson, you're going to keep your big mouth shut!
In the script John orders Don to "Break out the laser guns" but it was cut.
Dr. Smith, observing the alien creature's wrath exclaims "Good Lord!" but this too is cut.