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"Island in the Sky"

Island in the sky.jpg

LiS episode
1x03 / 3rd of 83 aired
Production #
First aired
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Written by
Norman Lessing, Shimon Wincelberg
Directed by
Tony Leader
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Last week, our space family aboard the crippled Jupiter 2 prepared to make a landing on an unknown planet, far beyond our galaxies. A landing that would allow them time to make desperately needed repairs on their spaceship. To learn more about the mysterious surface of the planet below, Professor Robinson had planned to send their enviornmental controlled robot down to investigate. Unbeknownst to him, however, the nefarious Doctor Zachary Smith had other plans for the mechanical marvel...


While outside the ship, Prof. Robinson's parajets misfire, and he plummets towards the planet below. Don attempts to follow in the Jupiter 2, but Dr. Smith's sabotage causes the retro-rockets to fail, and the ship crash lands. They then search the planet for Prof. Robinson, using the space chariot.

Background InformaThis is the first time the Chariot is used.[]

  • Besides his talents as a screenwriter, Norman Lessing was also an expert chess player and was acknowledged as same by the United States Chess Federation.
  • The writer co-credits were probably due to a rewrite of Shimon Wincelberg's original work to accommodate the inclusion of Dr. Smith.  Wincelberg is listed as a writer on many early scripts  and worked with Irwin Allen on the original premise of the show when it had neither Smith or the Robot.  As the first episodes include much of the original pilot's footage, chances are Allen paid other writers to add scenes that would enable him to use the footage in an episode that was consistent with the revised format.
  • Smith refers to the "green hills of earth", the title of a short story by Robert Heinlein.
  • This marks the only time in the series that the Robinson's EVA 'Parajets' were used. The third season's Space Pod makes the Parajets obsolete. As the Space Pod was not added to the props until the third season, it was not available for use by Professor Robinson in this episode.
  • For the last time, the freezing tubes of the Jupiter 2 are used. Also this marks the last time Smith is called by his title of Colonel by any character, soon he would be just Doctor.
  • Don places himself in a freezing tube as protection during the crash instead of joining the others. This was done so the shot showing the crash landing from the Flight Deck POV in "No Place to Hide" could be used here.
  • Strange science - arm thrusters and an unprotected astronaut surviving a brush with a planet's atmosphere. John managed to get the parajets working - and far enough from the surface to survive a landing - when they were supposedly out of fuel in the first place.
  • The idea of an astronaut jumping from high altitude to land safety on a planet's surface had been explored by NASA under Project Excelsior. Instead of parajets the astronaut was to use a drogue parachute, the type used by drag racers to stop themselves. In March 2012 adventurer Felix Baumgartner jumped from a height of 13.5 miles and landed safely; he also jumped October 2012 from 24 miles up. Robert Eustace jumped from 25.7 miles October 24, 2014.
  • The strange bush that saps the Chariot's power is referred to as an 'Electric Sagebush' in the title theme that plays over its scene.
  • When Professor Robinson is using the rope to climb out of the gulley, you can see that the Silver coating on his spacesuit costume has worn off in the seat of his pants. The radio he was using that seemingly exploded as he was reaching for it is apparently still there as seen when he is climbing the rope up when being rescued.
  • When the Robot is playing chess as the episode opens, his claws have attachments to enable him to pick up the chess pieces.

Production history[]

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bloop; Chariot; colonel; electric sagebush; galaxy; Jupiter 2; parajet; planet; William Shakespeare