"Wish Upon a Star"

Wish upon a star

LiS episode
1x11 / 11th of 83 aired
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Last week, we left Doctor Smith dozing, as Will worked over the Chariot. Will was unaware that, within moments, Doctor Smith's carelessness would imperil all their lives...


After being scolded for destroying a fuel cell and allowing the hydroponic garden to die of neglect, Dr. Smith leaves the Robinson camp to fend for himself. Alone and afraid, he shoots at some bushes and a star-shaped alien flies out. The next day, Will finds Smith, and the two discover the wreck of an alien spaceship. Will finds a machine that can materialize anything one wishes, which Smith promptly claims for himself.

Will makes Smith feel guilty for hoarding the machine, so the Doctor donates the machine to them, at one point trying to wish up a new Jupiter 2 but getting a miniature instead. It then starts to play on their greed, so John tells Smith to get rid of the machine; Smith returns to exile, and turns the wreck into a luxurious home for himself.

When he asks the machine to give him a servant, the machine's owner, a strange rubberoid creature, reappears to retreive it, and Smith runs back to the Robinsons, hiding the machine along the way. The alien follows him to the Jupiter 2, John reasons out that the alien has the right to the machine, and directs Smith to return the machine to the alien. Will realizes that the alien was actually being magnanimous and shared the power of the machine so that the Robinsons could have a little bounty, but the alien cut off access when Smith showed how greedy the Earth people could be. The alien is aware of Will's explanation, and rewards the boy with another genuine Earth apple like the ones he wished up earlier.

Background InformationEdit

  • The first instance in the series of an episode that is essentially a morality tale, the story also is the first in which anything necessary to the plot can literally be conjured up without concern about the actual science involved.  Prof. Robinson fulfills his first role as the ethical conscience of the series and Dr. Smith as the avaricious fool.
  • The mummy creature will return in "The Keeper: Part II", and the memorable sound he makes is used for the cloning machine in "His Majesty Smith". Also, the odd hook-nosed creature making a brief appearance after Smith shoots a bush is changed and reused in "The Keeper: Part II".
  • This is the first of many times Smith is exiled from the Robinson camp.
  • The miniature Jupiter 2 procured by the wishing machine is the 18" model used for space scenes throughout the show. It is also interesting that Dr. Smith chooses to manifest another Jupiter 2 as the result suggests the reason why the developers of the wish machine couldn't use it to repair their own ship.
  • In the opening scene where Don and Will are working on the chariot the IBM logo can be seen on the top one of the electronic assemblies in the rack.
  • The explosive nature of the gas used as fuel for the Chariot suggests it's made with hydrazine, a chemical often used as a propellant in maneuvering thrusters in spacecraft. 
  • Ibm
    As in "A Change of Space", this is another LiS example of a creature that has a remarkably advanced civilization and yet can only grunt, howl, or gesture at our space family. And as the mummy creature only grunts, howls, and gestures, its exact motivations with respect to the return of the machine are just moral guesswork on the part of Prof. Robinson.
  • The thought machine prop will return in "The Space Trader" as the Trader's language translation device.
  • The wreck is convincing enough, but begs the question how the creature has survived this long and to where it disappears at the end.

Production Timeline Edit

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Special guest starEdit

Uncredited co-stars (alphabetical)Edit


Bach; Beethoven; Jupiter 2; Mozart; rubberoid; star-shaped alien; tapes