While teaching the game of roulette to Will and Penny, Dr. Smith finds a gold coin. When he investigates, he discovers a treasure chest, but the only thing inside is a smaller chest containing a metallic head. The Robot warns the others that the skull is a sophisticated mechanism capable of speech, and that a party of four aliens has arrived on the planet, but Smith dismisses the information.
Later that night, the metallic head speaks to Dr. Smith. He is horrified and has Penny take it outside the ship. Will is occupied outside, and is overjoyed when his old friend Captain Tucker appears. Tucker assures Will that he has mended his ways and is no longer a pirate, but they are interrupted by the approach of three aliens. The trio announces that they are searching for the lost treasure of the pirate Beelibones.
It is eventually revealed that the metallic head is a doodlebug, a device for locating treasure. It is attuned to Beelibones’ personality, but since Dr. Smith is enough like the dead pirate in character, it will give him the information they need to find the buried treasure. Will is disappointed to find that Tucker lied to him about reforming himself. The three aliens are in fact Tucker’s accomplices, and they force Will to help them locate the treasure.
The doodlebug leads them on a wild goose chase, and two of the aliens are killed by booby-traps. When they finally find the place the treasure is buried, the last remaining alien refuses to dig for it, fearing a similar fate, and forces Will to dig in his place. When they do unearth the treasure, it turns out to have had value only on Beelibones’ home planet where gold and silver were very common—the chest contains bars of iron, a priceless commodity where the dead pirate came from.
Will decides to remain Tucker’s friend, despite his disappointment, when the captain renews his promise to reform his life.
- Sadly, the actor, Albert Salmi, who played the pirate Alonzo P. Tucker in this and the 1st season episode ‘The Sky Pirate’ shot and killed his wife then himself in 1990.
- Smith says gambling is a ‘gentleman’s art.’ However, in the episode “Mutiny in Space,” Smith said gambling was vulgar.
- When the skull appears in Doctor Smith’s bedroom for the first time, John says someone is just playing a practical joke and blames Will. Since when does Will play mean tricks on his friends?
- Why is Will so happy to see Captain Tucker? Didn’t they part on bad terms?