Tuesday, December 08, 2015
Lost in Space 50th Anniversary Blogging: The Girl from the Green Dimension" (January 4, 1967)
In “The Girl in the Green Dimension,” the space siren who once attempted to lure Dr. Smith (Jonathan Harris) to the stars (in “Wild Adventure”) returns. This time, Athena (Vitina Marcus) is in love with Smith and believes him to be a handsome warrior.
Smith realizes that Athena, from the “green dimension,” has the ability to see the future, and decides she is worth having around. At least, that is, until a suitor shows up for her: the green-skinned space Viking named Urso (Harry Raybould).
Because Smith refuses to fight Urso for Athena’s hand, the alien turns Will (Bill Mumy) green too.
It’s not easy being green. It’s also not easy reviewing this spell of Lost in Space’s (1965-1968) second season. It would be difficult to name a sillier, more inconsequential title than this week’s installment, “The Girl in the Green Dimension.” It’s sub-Gilligan’s Island fare.
The absurdities pile up pretty past, but I’ll enumerate some of them here to give you a taste. The first involves the fact that Athena is apparently in love with Smith and considers him a brave warrior. He is hardly suitable courtship material. She is gorgeous and exotic…he’s a middle-aged pear. So why the attraction?
Secondly, Will gets turned green – and then back to normal – by means that can only be termed magic. Apparently, only Urso, not Athena, can change the molecular structure of people by touch. Does this mean all green men of the Green dimension have this power?
Thirdly, we are asked to believe that the Robinsons would hold a funeral for a piece of Jupiter 2’s equipment. The family members literally bury the equipment, gather around the mound, and then say kind words about it; they eulogize it. This occurs, naturally, so Smith can see a vision of the “future” and think that it is his funeral the family has witnessed. After witnessing this vision of his death, he walks around the planet surface carrying his own half-carved tombstone.
“Wild Adventure” is one of the absolute worst episodes of the second season, so it’s a baffling choice to pick up that story line in “The Girl from the Green Dimension.” Worse, nothing about this story makes the slightest bit of sense, from the telescope that can show the future to Athena’s affection for Smith as a brave, handsome warrior. It all seems to take place in some bizarre universe where up is down, black is white, and green is, well, green.
Some folks have seen “The Girl from the Green Dimension” as a commentary on racial differences and belonging, because of Will’s tribulations as a green boy. He is afraid to show his face to his family, after turning green, fearful that his siblings will reject him because he is “different.”
Indeed, that could have been the point of the episode, but it isn’t. Instead, it’s the only bearable subplot the episode has to offer. A better episode would have featured Will’s change as the main point, and challenged his family’s thinking on what is ‘normal,’ and the importance of skin color. “The Girl from the Green Dimension” barely touches on those notions, and certainly not enough to merit a positive review.
In two weeks: "The Questing Beast."
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