In “There Were Giants in the Earth,” the Robinson family takes productive steps to build a self-sufficient community on the strange world where their ship, the Jupiter 2, has crashed.
Here, he is more amusing and shiftless than evil, a change in his usual persona. He ends up staying at the Jupiter 2, however, because of a production point. Harris was not an original cast member, and therefore not included in the pilot. And the first several episodes re-use elements of the pilot episode. Therefore, having the Robot (another new addition, post-pilot) and Smith remain at camp solves the problem of explaining their absence.
Despite these antique attitudes, Lost in Space remains intriguing because of the visualizations, and the production design. This episode features the first use of the rocket pack (a gimmick later used on Ark II ), a visit to an alien tomb, and several close-up peeks at hard Earth "tech," including the weather station, the force-field generator, and yes, the aforementioned laundry machine.
I am not sure why this big, clunky "space pioneer" gear appeals to me so much, and on such a basic level...but I just can't get enough of these live-action props (the kind you see at the Robinson homestead). At this point, I would say that the production values of Lost in Space far outstrip those of Star Trek (1966 - 1968). The narratives and characters, of course, are a different story.