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"The Hungry Sea"

Hungry sea.jpg

LiS episode
1x05 / 5th of 83 aired
Production #
First aired
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Written by
William Welch, Shimon Wincelberg
Directed by
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Last week Penny and Will Robinson became separated from the others - and found themselves hopelessly trapped in the dead city ruins - far beneath the surface of the strange planet. Now, suddenly, as they survey their mysterious surroundings...


As Don and the Robinsons continue their journey south, they cross a frozen sea, then continue on land after a seemingly interminable crossing.

Meanwhile at the Jupiter 2, the temperature continues to plummet, Smith sticking it out, then the temperature stops dropping. Smith and the Robot conduct analysis of the planet's orbit, but Smith initially rejects the Robot's findings of the characteristics of the planet's orbit.

As the temperature continues to rise, Smith panics and can no longer accept the impending death of the Robinson party - it would mean he, too, would be stranded as neither he nor the Robot know how to fly, let alone repair, the ship. Smith radios the Robinsons, but Don cuts him off and then Smith signs off, and sends the Robot after them. The Robot somehow makes the long journey fast enough to catch up to the Robinsons - the sea is still frozen although the temperature is now above freezing.

John and Don, taking a little walk, return with samples of plant that was burned then frozen. Just then, the Robot reaches them and announces a warning - Don shoots a laser and disables the Robot. At first light, John examines the data readout from the Robot, reconciles it with his own observations, and realizes what's happening: the planet is following a highly elliptical orbit with the sun at one end, and they are headed for perihelion. Don wants to keep heading south; John overrules him and they set up a shield against the sun, which, sure enough, ignites small bushes on the ground around them.

After perihelion, they take down the damaged sun shield, Don packs up the robot in pieces and they head north again, this time using the chariot's amphibious capabilities to cross the sea in its liquid form - a storm begins while they're crossing, and a connection in the solar batteries gives out; Don goes up top to fix it, is swept off by a wave, but manages to climb aboard and complete the connection. The chariot arrives at the north shore and then passes through lush vegetation that has regenerated since the swing around the sun. The Robinsons then take some time to "give thanks" and observe an informal religious service.

Smith is astonished to see the chariot approach with the Robinson party safe.

Background Information[]

  • The last segments of the original pilot, No Place to Hide are used here. Don disassembling the Robot explains the Robot's absence in the chariot ride back north, and the pilot episode's southward crossing of the sea in liquid form becomes the northward crossing for the return home, while the lush vegetation "of the tropics" becomes the renewed vegetation after they cross the sea on the way home. The Robinsons still stop for prayer, but the pilot episode's image of two aliens is not used.
  • This is the first episode to show conflict between John Robinson and Don West.
  • The Robot demonstrates the ability to play the guitar while Smith sings "There's No Place Like Home".
  • Smith cancels his previous orders to the Robot to kill the Robinsons off in this episode.
  • The "Robinson alive? Impossible!" line from Dr. Smith is re-used footage from Island in the Sky. When this line is spoken, Dr. Smith is back in the coveralls he was wearing in that episode.
  • An extreme elliptical orbit alone could not explain the seasonal variations seen in this episode. Presuming the freezing cold takes place at aphelion and the burning heat takes place at perihelion, the timespan indicated in the script for the planet to go between these extreme points in its orbit is only a few days, which means the whole cycle will repeat itself rapidly. Axial precession could be ruled out as the planet's has two good sized moons which tend to reduce this effect. The planet must be in some wild oscillatory orbit about its sun. This might lead to variations in the sun's gravity pulling on the planet's surface, in turn cracking the crust. This would explain why Mr. Nerim overestimates the amount of explosive to use in 'Blast off into Space'.
  • Part of Leigh Harline's soundtrack from "The Enemy Below" was used to score the scene when the Chariot is sailing the stormy Inland Sea. Other segments of this score would be used again as the Andronican anthem in "His Majesty Smith" and as the Dranconian anthem in "The Cave of the Wizards." Harline would later contribute original music for the episodes "The Sky Pirate" and "Ghost of Space."
  • Near the end of the episode, Major West appears to fall off The Chariot into the sea. And the Robinsons react with sorrow. But, all they had to do was look through the windows of The Chariot to see him hanging on to the ladder rung.
  • Dr. Smith sends The Robot after the Robinsons after the temperature has risen above freezing, but when the Robot crosses the inland sea, it is still completely frozen. This discrepancy is small when compared to the rate at which the ice on the sea melts. Ice takes 80 calories of heat to melt one gram and has a relatively high albedo so that sunlight reflects off it. Volcanic activity - possibly related to the ground quakes - releasing heat into the water would be more effective in melting the water on the timescale given.

Production history[]

  • Shooting final script submitted [1] - July 30, 1965
  • As with the last episode, the dual writing credit was probably due to William Welch writing additional scenes in order to flesh out the re-used pilot footage originally penned by Shimon Wincelberg.

Links and references[]