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His Majesty Smith

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His Majesty Smith
King'
Overview
Series Lost in Space
Season One
Production
Original Air-Date March 16, 1966
Written By Carey Wilber
Directed By Harry Harris
Episode Chronology
Order in Series 24th in Series
Order in Season 24th in Season
Previous Episode "The Space Trader"
Next Episode "The Space Croppers"
Title Image
Majesty55

This installment comes from the final half of season one of the show and it is another example of the change in format from adventure and survival to farce and fantasy. Dr. Smith (Johnathan Harris), Will (Billy Mumy), and The Robot (voice of Dick Trufeld) come upon a jewel-laden crown.

When Smith decides to try the crown on, the act unleashes a lightning furry, and Will helps his friend remove the crown. To assure Dr. Smith that the crown is harmless, Will dons it. Suddenly, trumpets blast and humanoids aliens appear, announcing that the wearer of the crown is to be the "king" of their home world, Andronica.

Though flattered by the offer, Will turns them down. However, after sending the lad and The Robot on their way, Smith tells the entourage's leader (Liam Sullivan) that he is descended from kings and would make a perfect ruler for their planet, suggesting that he be considered.

After Dr. Smith departs, the leader, called Nexus, transmits a message to his superior, a hairy-faced alien (Kevin Hagen) that is a true citizen of Andronica. The ensemble that Smith and Will had met were nothing more than cybernetic creatures to look human-like by the real Andronican.

Smith becomes King and is to be shortly whisked away to the planet. However, the Robot has detected something sinister from the Andronicans and submits his findings to the rest of the Robinson family. It is decided that a rescue attempt is to be made before Smith departs.

The alien intercepts the conversation and decides to solve the problem by "making" a duplicate Smith and passing it off as the real thing. The new Smith is everything the old Smith wasn't: hardworking, considerate, inventive, and self-sacrificing. The Robinsons suspect nothing.

However, the real Smith discovers that an Andronican king is no more than a figurehead and is to be ultimately sacrificed during a planetary celebration. He manages to escape and return to the Jupiter II to the surprise of the rest, who thought all the time that the doppelganger was the "real McCoy".

When the Andronican humanoids come to claim Smith, the "false" one pretends to be the real Smith and goes off to the planet, leaving everything "normal" as it should be.

Some may think that this is not one of the best of the first season, but it benefits from the performances of Hagen and, in a dual role, Harris. Hagen had previously appeared on Irwin Allen's "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea," and would later portray "Inspector Kobick" on the producer's "Land of the Gisnts." Though most television fans remember him as "Doc Baker" on the long running "Little House on the Prairie" show.

Notes:

  • Liam Sullivan played the part of the head android-human Andronican named, Nexus. Sullivan was born William Edward Sullivan on May 18, 1923  in Jacksonville, Illinois, USA. He died on April 19, 1998 (age 74) in Los Angeles, California, USA.
  • Liam Sullivan was one of the few actors to have appeared on both classic Sci -Fi shows "Lost In Space" and "Star Trek". Sullivan played Parmen, in "Plato's Stepchildren" for Star Trek.
  • Kevin Hagen played the actual hairy and homely Andronican alien.  Hagen was born Donald N. Hagen on April 3, 1928  in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He died on July 9, 2005  (age 77)  in Grants Pass, Oregon, USA. Most people will know and recognize Hagen from "Little House On the Prairie, where he played Dr. Hiram Baker (Doc).
  • Live coverage of the Gemini VIII splashdown meant that 1x24 episode "His Majesty Smith" was postponed. CBS received over 2000 calls of complaint that night.
  • The exterior of the alien spacecraft in this episode is the same as that used in The Keeper.
  • Dr. Smith, Will and the robot expect to find wild truffles on an alien planet. Truffles are an Earth species
  • In the background of the Andronican's chamber can be seen the model of the Bubble creature's ship from the 2nd episode, although it is upright. Also returning is the noise made by the Rubberoid - it is used here as the sound effect of a cloning machine.
  • The rise of Dr. Smith as the most popular character on LIS is confirmed with this episode, the first to truly center on him.
  • This is the first of several times throughout the show that Dr. Smith is either duplicated or has a doppelganger, and the plot of the clone/duplicate sacrificing itself to allow the real Smith to live on is touchingly reused in season 2's "The Phantom Family".
  • The sequential lighted ring above the cloning table is the Jupiter 2 lower power unit from the full size model, also used in The Lost Civilization episode
  • In the scene with the two Dr. Smiths seated next to each other in the control room of the Jupiter 2, the opening in the floor for the ladder is not there.
  • Why did one of the Smiths have to leave? I can’t believe people as tender-hearted as the Robinsons would leave either one of them behind on an alien planet all alone.
  • If the Robinsons absolutely HAD to chose only one Smith, why wasn’t it Zack? The Doctor may have been there first, but he is lazy and selfish and causes nothing but trouble. Zack was hard working and very kind. He would have made a far better addition to the crew.
  • It was suprising to see Doctor Smith's daring escape from the alien ship. Bashing somebody over the head and running away is hardly a normal thing for Doctor Smith to do. Usually he's so inept he just sits there and cries!
  • If the Andromedans discover their King is really Zack and they decide not to kill him, what prevents them from coming back to fetch the real Smith again? Obviously traveling from world to work is a quick and easy process for them, so what would hold them back?

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