Despite the occasional references to boredom (as, for example, in the episode “Space Circus” in season two), the Robinsons have a number of ongoing tasks on whichever planet they find themselves marooned.
Will, and occasionally his sister Penny, are seen rock-hunting on occasion, but this rock hunting is sometimes with the express purpose of locating ore deposits. These ore deposits are either for identifying likely areas to drill for deutronium fuel, for elements needed in different ship’s systems (cobalt manganese for the food purifier in “Space Circus” for example, or a type of clay—for water purification?—in “My Friend, Mr. Nobody”
Drilling for deutronium can almost be considered an element of “set dressing.” It is portrayed or referred to in many episodes, although it forms a pivotal activity in relatively few. Sharp viewers may also note that the refining apparatus is almost always near the drill site in earlier episodes, but entirely absent later in the series. With the third season, the Robinsons seem to have solved their chronic fuel problem, though as drilling features little in any episode of that season. “Attack of the Monster Plants” has the production and consumption of deutronium as a central plot device. In addition to the episodes already named, at least passing reference is made to drilling in “Ghost in Space,” “Follow the Leader,” “Blast Off into Space,” “The Android Machine,” “The Thief from Outer Space,” and “The Wreck of the Robot.”
The building or maintenance of weather stations is an off-site activity that is seen or referred to almost as much as drill sites in the first two seasons. As with drilling, little reference is made to them in season three, probably owing to the relatively short stays on the different planets visited. “No Place to Hide” and “There Were Giants in the Earth” show the weather stations as a vital part of the Robinsons’ struggle for survival on Priplanus. Reference is also made to them in “The Space Trader” insofar as they fail to warn the Robinsons of the bizarre weather they experience.
The weather stations are also used in season two (“The Deadly Games of Gamma 6,” “Mutiny in Space,” and “The Mechanical Men”) as well as in season three (“Collision of the Planets”) but in each case the reference to them is peripheral.
Relay stations are also maintained by the Robinsons to improve their communications capabilities. They are seen or referred to in “One of Our Dogs is Missing,” “The Colonists,” “The Phantom Family,” and “Castles in Space.” Oddly enough, it is only in “Castles” that one is the scene of the action; in the other three episodes in which they are mentioned, they are used to explain the absence of crew members from the central story.
There is only one reference to a radar station in the series; this occurs in the season three episode “Space Beauty.” John and Maureen have left the camp to work on a distant radar station and are absent for the entire episode. The actual reason for the absence of these two characters in “Space Beauty” as well as in “Fugitives in Space,” the episode filmed immediately before “Space Beauty,” is one of the “legends” of Lost in Space trivia. June Lockhart and Guy Madison caused such delays in filming “The Great Vegetable Rebellion” because of their uncontrollable fits of laughter that they were written out of the two subsequent episodes.