But this kind of short-tempered behavior is the price we all willingly pay for having emotions. For without emotions, John can’t muster the energy (or loyalty…) to be a leader. Maureen is robbed of the essential quality of love, and as we have seen in the series, it is her love that holds the family together on so many occasions.
Other aspects of the narrative don’t seem to work nearly as well as the didactic through-line about emotions.
There is no valid science behind biophysicist Sesmar’s technology, which robs people of emotions, for example.
On the other hand, we have all heard those legends of indigenous peoples who didn't want their photographs taken, for fear that the photos would rob them of their souls. In a very real way, Sesmar's technology -- resembling photography -- does that very thing. If one accepts that the "science" of Sesmar is beyond the understanding of the Robinsons -- just as the science of photography was beyond those early, indigenous folk -- perhaps the issues of technology aren't so troubling here after all.
Does he possess emotions? If he doesn’t, it’s difficult to understand why he would prize them so much for his android.
And if he does possess them, Sesmar shouldn’t react with such surprise to the presence of emotions in others, right?
Indeed, his science in the episode automatically and instantly categorizes the emotions of Dr. Smith and the others. So if his tools so completely understand them, he should do so too. Yet if that’s the case, why does he react with such surprise and wonder to Penny’s emotions?
So we are to believe he knows of emotions, doesn't possess them, but prizes them for his android above all other things? Huh?
The whole point of this technology seems to be to interchangeably move emotional states between people. So why is there an automatic recall to the source once the emotions are out of the cards?
Contrarily, the series' merit rests, in some sense, on its understanding and excavation of the nuclear family and its interrelationships . We may gripe and bitch with our family members, but we also love them. That's a good lesson to remember as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, right?
That whole equation of "family" breaks down without emotions underlining it. If we don't "feel" for those around us, they are mere acquaintances. If we don't feel empathy for others, why bother to go to another planet in the first place and rescue the human race?
Since this story focuses on a building bock of family -- our emotional lives -- "'The Dream Monster" isn't a bad show, or a bad example of Lost in Space at this particular historical juncture (mid-second season).