Irwin Allen Wiki
"The Challenge"


LiS episode
1x22 / 22nd of 83 aired
Production #
First aired
2 March 1966
Written by
Directed by
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Last week as you recall, Will and Doctor Smith went to sleep outside the Jupiter 2, hoping an elaborate alarm system they had set up would trap a mysterious invader that lurked somewhere out in the shadows...


An alien and his son visit the planet for the boy, Quano, to undergo tests to prepare him to succeed his father as ruler of their planet. The boy is anxious to challenge Will and prove his superiority.

When the father relays the request, John is reluctant, but finally agrees to it because he realizes Will needs to also prove himself and prove that Earth boys are not weaklings, a label Quano has applied because of Will's scientific interests and his helping out with chores.

Smith hears the father tell Quano that if Will wins, the Earthmen will all be killed, so Smith tries to wear Will out with exercise. The boys do fairly well together, but the father decides he and John should replace their sons for the final test - electrified sabers. Quano resents being taken out of the challenge and runs off to fight an alien creature. John wins the contest with the ruler, who has a better opinion of Earthmen now. Guest Stars: Kurt Russell as Quano, Michael Ansara as the Alien Leader.

Background Information[]

  • For the stunts performed during the scene with the Volta Blade duel between Professor Robinson and the Alien King, Guy Williams needed no stunt double, as in all episodes involving fencing. Williams, of course, was an accomplished duelist after his time on the TV show Zorro.
  • The Volta blade apparatus would be reused in a considerable number of later episodes as various forms of alien equipment.
  • There is a common misconception in the beginning of this episode that Quano's hurled spear shattered the Jupiter 2's viewport due to the crash of glass. The sound was actually the spear crashing to the ground after hitting the set- it would be strange if a spear managed to break the glass which had survived meteor hits.
  • During Professor Robinson's Volta Blade duel with the Leader, he splits a tree in half with his sword. One half of the large tree falls on the cord of his electronic sword, completely trapping it. In the next shot, the cord has come "untrapped" from the tree and is again swinging freely.
  • When Will and Quano are walking along and about to enter the cave, Bill Mumy gets his foot tangled in one of the prop vines on the floor of the set. He shakes it off without missing a beat, and keeps walking.
  • Yet another warrior alien race is encountered that uses physical combat in order to establish social rank (as in "Hunter's Moon," "The Deadly Games of Gamma 6," and "Follow The Leader.") It seems Earth is unique in the galaxy in using schools, written tests, elections, debates, and the other rules of participatory government.

Links and references[]


Guest Stars[]

  • Kurt Russell as Quano
  • Michael Ansara as the Alien Leader