Updated: May 10, 2020
BEHIND THE SCENES (FOLLOW THE LEADER)
Lost in Space "Follow the Leader" (First Season April 27. 1966)
Professor Robinson, after being trapped in a cave overnight, comes under the spell of an alien entity. The alien, desperate to leave the planet, guides the professor through the repair process, but others, seeing the change in personality, question the mental health of John Robinson. Will they manage to save the professor's humanity, or will the alien personality be successful at killing all those who threaten his plan?
The cosmic radiation meter used in the fuel refining setup at about 34 minutes is actually re-labeled automotive dwell tachometer used by car repair shops for tune ups.
When fully possessed by Canto, John leaves the cave with a warrior glove, sealing up others behind him. When he thereafter appears at the Jupiter-2, the warrior glove is gone and he's disguised by a mask, which was last seen back inside the cave.
Dr. Zachary Smith: Be still, you bubble-headed booby!
This is my second favorite episode in the show, one of the things that make it unique is the fact that this episode is focused on John Robinson. Which to me I think is great as John in the show gets sidelined a bit much. This episode was dark and unique for its kind as it divulges into sci-fi horror. Really like the plotline which is a bit similar to Mario Bava's "Planet of the Vampires" and this episode was on the same time as that movie; as that film was about evil alien entities taking possession of a crew. It sorts of touches upon the father/head of the household archetypes but flips it upside down.
I really like Guy Williams performance as a man under possession and constantly conflicting with this evil alien warlord Kanto. Also like the set layout and pieces with Kanto's lair which look good obviously inspired by the ruins of Mayans and Egypt, as it really has an aura of mystery as they suggest an alien civilization that existed thousands of years ago. Let alone the fact most of this episode takes place at night, which gives this episode an ominous evil atmosphere.
It's scary seeing how John can just turn on a dime, at times I'm afraid he might hurt a family member or two. It's suspenseful and almost a little sad as we see Kanto is just making his relationships and life with his family in ruins along with his soul. Really liked that one psychological evaluation scene with Doctor Smith and John, the doc is clearly out of his depth in both the Psychology field and exorcism field, what happens in the end I found blackly funny as Kanto reveal himself to Smith and Smith as usual does the Shaggy and Scooby, in other words run away.
One of the highlights no doubt is the fight between Don and John/Kanto which I thought was fun, it's sort of that fan wish come true as some of us have always wonder which character would win. The swordfight between Don and John/Kanto is good/decent, it's true that it looks a bit rough and not fancifully choregraphed but that's because the fight is somewhat realistic, which I didn't mind, it actually makes sense as Don hasn't had to fight with a regular sword. Thought that one sword that John/Kanto wielded was rather unique as it's basically an electric coil which I thought was interesting.
Also, like Will in this episode as we once again see the endless extent of his courage, in this episode it is surprising when we discover he truly is willing to die at the price of saving a family member which I thought was really touching and deep.
Can John or even any of the family save his soul from this alien demon, you'll just have to wait and find out???