"Follow the Leader" | Episodes of Lost in Space | "Wild Adventure"

The episode opens with severe planetquakes on Priplanus. John remarks he has never seen them this bad--severe enough to tear the planet apart. He calls to check on the progress Don and Judy are making drilling for deutronium. He asks Don about the quake. Don says they didn't feel it, but John predicts one might strike their area soon.

Meanwhile, nearby Dr. Smith conducts a ceremony to commemorate his contribution to the advancement of space exploration—he has erected a statue to himself called "Spirit of Space" which he asserts will stand forever in his memory. Suddenly Don, Judy, and the others experience another terrible planetquake, just as John predicted. Back at the Jupiter 2 John theorizes that the planet has only hours until it disintegrates into cosmic dust.

While at the deutronium drill site, Will, Dr. Smith and the Robot meet a grizzled prospector who calls himself Nerim (anagram of "miner"). He explains to them that the quakes they have been feeling are the result of him blasting for a rare substance called cosmonium. He explains that cosmonium is very precious and the quintessence of life itself. Nerim also assures them that the planet can withstand his "small explosions." Smith, true to his greedy nature, decides that he must have the cosmonium for himself.

Meanwhile, the Robinsons continue to pack. John and Don send Smith back up to the drill site to collect the drilling equipment. Smith stops to talk to Nerim, who reveals that his mule, Robur (anagram of "burro"), has damaged a thruster control to his ship and Nerim will not be able to leave. Nerim says that he would give anything for a spare thruster control. He would even be willing to gamble his cosmonium.

Returning to the ship without the drilling equipment, Smith tells West and John Robinson that he lost his way and did not get the equipment. While talking with them at the astrogator, Smith pockets a thruster control he sees lying there. John sends Smith and Will back to the drill site.

Smith and Will return to the drill site and pay Nerim a visit. Smith and Nerim play a game of cards, betting the cosmonium for the thruster control. Smith has told Will that he found the control on a junk pile. Smith loses the card game and Nerim leaves, revealing that indeed the planet is going to disintegrate. Will finds a couple of flasks of cosmonium that Nerim has left behind. They leave Nerim's campsite and come across the "Spirit of Space" which has toppled in the recent tremors. Smith convinces Will to help him right the statue, but while doing this, they accidentally break one of the flasks of cosmonium, which spills on the statue. The cosmonium causes the statue to come to life. It chases Will and Smith. They give it the other flask of cosmonium, but it wants more. John flies in with the jet pack and chases the monster off with his laser. John, Will and Smith load up the chariot and make it back to the ship in time for departure.

Once the Jupiter 2 has taken off, John and Don experience problems with the thrusters. Smith admits that he didn't find the thruster control on the junk pile. Despite the missing piece of equipment, John and Don are able work out a solution to their problem and escape before the planet blows up.

Background InformationEdit

  • This episode marks the first use of the new 2nd Series laser weapons that would be standard for the rest of the show, apart from a couple of deviations.
  • The teaser for this episode (in the last one) was part of the end last episode of the last season. The episode that contained the teaser featured the last 10 minutes in color which was a prelude to the next season which was the first season to be in color.
  • this may be the first time the Astrogator is actually called an Astrogator- although it is refered to as the Central Astrogator indicating that there may be more on the ship in differant places
  • The small oval devices in the Robot's headgear are working again in this episode for the first time since early in the first season.
  • When Smith is sent to the drill site, he asks Don for the key to the Chariot..
  • While boasting to Nerim, Smith claims that his uncle Thaddeus discovered the Comstock Lode all by himself.
  • In preparing to lift off, the family has to discard everything that is not absolutely necessary. They discard a lot of sporting equipment.(yet it seems to have come back in later episodes). One wonders where all this equipment came from in the first place.
  • There must be a universal standard when it comes to spaceship parts. The Jupiter 2's thruster control apparently works perfectly on Nerim's ship!
  • Will mentions that they must be traveling at almost the speed of light.
  • Nerim is an anagram of Miner, in reference to his profession.
  • One wonders what happened to the underground society that was shown in the season one episode "The Lost Civilization." Presumably they were destroyed when Priplanus exploded.
  • During Dr Smith’s dedication, the Robot’s elliptical sensors are rotating for the first time since Welcome Stranger (ep 6). However, after the opening credits, they have ceased to operate once again. Aaah, too fiddly – forget it!
  • Dr Smith and Will watch as Nerim’s smelter produces the cosmonium. All that is initially extracted is a dark liquid, filling a quarter of the glass beaker. In the next shot, however, Nerim holds up a container filled to the top with a honey coloured liquid.
  • Dr Smith is ordered to take the Chariot on his own to the drill site and retrieve all of the equipment. Although close ups show him steering the Chariot, exterior shots clearly show at least two people wearing parkas inside the vehicle (no doubt footage from the original pilot reused several times early in the series).
  • It is definitely not Jonathan Harris driving the Chariot. Look closely when he arrives back at the campsite –the driver is wearing a Dr Smith look-a-like mask.
  • In Island in the Sky (ep3), the spaceship crash landed on the planet, presumably causing untold damage to the landing struts. Yet during the climactic blast off, an exterior shot shows the perfectly intact landing gear being retracted.
  • As the Jupiter II lifts off the crumbling planet, the piano wires used to raise the craft can easily be seen.
  • Towards the end of the episode, the spaceship is engulfed by a mushroom shaped fireball, which causes the fusion core lights at the bottom of the miniature craft to come loose. In the next scene they have magically re-attached.
  • Early in the episode, it appears that Maureen is actually washing the astrogator…”must make it pop for the boys once we’re in space”
  • John tells Maureen that he and Don will take care of the heavy equipment. Huh? Then why tell Dr Smith to go and retrieve the drilling equipment? Isn’t that heavy equipment? Speaking of heavy equipment, it’s a cryin' shame we don’t get to see them dismantle the Chariot…
  • How is it that Dr Smith has suddenly become adept at driving the Chariot? Did he and Don slip off for driving lessons in Season 1? And more unbelievable is Don’s apparent trust with the good doctor to perform the task of retrieving the drill equipment on his own.
  • It seems a bit odd that all of the repairs to the Jupiter II can be performed in or around the spaceship’s astrogator.
  • How is it that Dr Smith has suddenly become an expert in aeronautical equipment and can spot a thruster control at 10 paces? [Oh, I see, it’s actually dymoed on the side!!]  Still, it sure doesn’t look the same as Nerim’s busted part.
  • And besides, when John and Don are repairing the spaceship, surely they will be looking for an integral part like a thruster control before they blast off? Nope, good to go!
  • It’s hard to believe Nerim would leave any of his beloved cosmonium behind, as he high-tails off after winning the card game. Indeed, it seemed like he probably cheated in order to be able to win the game and keep the cosmonium, so why does he leave it behind?
  • How does Nerim’s donkey fit into his rather crampy Jimmy Hapgood styled spaceship? And how is it that the planet he comes from happens to have donkeys (or burros) anyway?
  • How in Uncle Thaddeus’ name can the Jupiter II lift off the planet successfully minus one thruster control anyway?
  • Will rats on Dr Smith about the missing thruster, which prompts Maureen to tell the two to un-buckle and go up to the flight deck and tell the men the news. Whaa? She was just on the microphone to John earlier; couldn’t she relay the message that way? And didn’t John tell everybody to stay in their seats until the Fasten Seat Belts and No Smoking Signs were extinguished?? Not only that but at that moment it seemed like the Jupiter II was in danger of crashing back into the planet. Not exactly the smartest time for Mom to tell the boy to unbuckle and go topside!!
  • The opening episode has a cliff-hanger refresh (of sorts). Narrator: "Last week, our space family’s lost planet was rocked by a series of savage earthquakes...” Note the absence of the ‘as you recall’ tag, which makes sense considering there was no cliff-hanger from the 1st season finale, "Follow the Leader(ep 29).
  • Strother Martin, who guest stars as Nerim, appeared in many T.V series and movies; most famously as Captain, the prison warden opposite Paul Newman in 1967’s “Cool Hand Luke.”
  • For the lift off of the Jupiter II from the planet, small compressed gas bottles were remotely activated to simulate the engines powering up, with the four foot miniature spaceship then lifted carefully by piano wires.
  • New background incidental music was composed by Leith Stevens.
  • Once again, with Peter Packer at the writing helm, the character Nerim has a definite Wild West flavour to him.
  • Some rare continuity in this episode, courtesy of the 1st season finale, "Follow the Leader” which sees the Robinsons draw up plans courtesy of the evil warrior spirit Canto by creating blueprints for the means for drilling deutronium.

Classic LinesEdit

Nerim: “The boy’s smarter than you are, Zac boy!”

Dr Smith: “Cosmonium, the quintessence of the living force”

Dr Smith: “Why not face it? I’m afraid all of the king’s horses and all of the king’s men, will never put Jupiter together again”

John: “In a matter of hours, this planet will cease to exist. It’ll disintegrate into cosmic dust”. Dr Smith: “Cosmic dust, Professor, cosmic dust indeed.” John: Dr Smith, would you prefer gamma rays?”

Dr Smith's Robot Alliteratives Edit

1) “Blithering Bumpkin”   2) “Bumbling Bird-Brain”



Guest StarringEdit

  • Strother Martin as Nerim


  • "Never fear, Smith is here!"