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Charles Mento

John Robinson
The Robot
Season 2 Planet
Dr. Smith
Maureen Robinson


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Analysis by Charles Mento

The Robot

Was the Robinson's trusted Robot more than he appeared to be?  Perhaps even extraterrestrial in origin?

Here's what Charles Mento thinks!

On the Robot: I really feel that alien civilization and technology had gone into his making before THE RELUCTANT  STOWAWAY.  He was used as a hiding place by the alien nurse from PRINCESS OF SPACE and the tape of the princess was put into him.  As evidence I offer up the following: 

  • The Robot's parts are compatible with the Junkman's
  • The Robot knows Space Law (FUGITIVES IN SPACE)
  • Robot seems to know the illusions are not real in FLIGHT INTO THE FUTURE
  • The Robot knows the ratings of the mine field bombs - alien ones
  • The Robot knows quite a lot about the anti-matter universe
  • The Robot translates for the Princess in CASTLES IN SPACE
  • Robot seems to know what Farnum's alien flower trap will do
  • The Robot can make things vanish and reappear
  • The Robot knows a bit too much about Megazor and his culture and that Earthlings are not natural enemies of the Zon culture
  • Robot can communicate to the alien machine in KIDNAPPED IN SPACE
  • Robot can operate on the alien leader in KIDNAPPED IN SPACE
  • Robot "took" up medicine before he left Earth (?). How?
  • Robot communicates with the alien robot in CONDEMNED OF SPACE
  • Robot was used as hiding spot for alien baby princess by nurse before taking off from Earth in THE RELUCTANT STOWAWAY
  • THE MECHANICAL MEN - alien technology may have created these little alien robots as well as parts of the Robinson robot. More here than meets the eye - it cannot be just coincidence that the Robot and the tiny robots are exactly the same in so many ways.  Industro is the tiny robot's planet.
  • Robot can repair IDAK
  • Robot can translate for Athena in two episodes and Urso in one
  • Aliens know how to take the Robot apart without damaging him
  • Robot can beat Radion
  • Robot recognizes Morbus as an alien right away
  • THE GHOST PLANET - the alien machines are well aware of the Robot and he doesn't seem too surprised by them. They seem to know each                 other or at least of each other's existence. Robot also knows that the missile fired by the planet is hyper atomic
  • Robot seems to know right away that the possessed John in the mask is really Kanto possessing the father of Will and Penny and not the alien himself in the last half of FOLLOW THE LEADER.  He also knows this alien has a spirit
  • A CHANGE OF SPACE - Robot can communicate with the alien
  • TRIP THROUGH THE ROBOT - despite having had put the Robot together at least twice, Will, Smith, Don, and John do not recognize a lot                 of the areas and components  - alien or just different due to the enlargement?
  • THE CHALLENGE - the aliens don't seem too worried about the Robot
  • WAR OF THE ROBOTS - Robot knows the term Robotoid and seems to know they are dangerous right from the start - he even seems to be able to track them a bit at the beginning of the episode.  And he wins.
  • RETURN FROM OUTER SPACE - Robot can work the Matter Transfer Unit.

 If that's not enough, he just seems to know a bit too much about all the alien cultures encountered - enough to make one wonder and at times he seems to surprise the family - even Will and John with what he knows and even Smith is at times surprised to find out what Robot knows and can do.

The Robot, Will says in 1998, was built only two and a half years ago (TRIP THROUGH THE ROBOT). He develops more in WAR OF THE ROBOTS and later both he and John admit that the Robot is not quite a machine but something between a machine and a man - he certainly has developed human emotions of a sort (WRECK OF THE ROBOT) and also would miss Smith and Will if either left or if he left either (ROCKET TO EARTH, THE MECHANICAL MEN).

Robot tried to convince himself he was not jealous of Verda (which he was but he did vote to keep her with the Robinsons). Robot starts acting more like Dr. Smith in the second season, picking up some of his phrases ("hey wait for me" in TREASURE OF THE LOST PLANET) and some of his fear (THE TOYMAKER- "I feel sick").

The Robot, in TREASURE, also said, "The final indignity", another Smith phrase, when Smith used him as a gambling pointer. Robot also honed a sense of humor (WAR OF THE ROBOTS - "bad, very bad" and "Excuse me, I think I'm going to be sick" in PRISONERS OF SPACE in response to Smith's bragging that he has only a few minor faults.

In THE SPACE PRIMEVALS, Robot also admits to Will that Dr. Smith's "timidity can be infectious." This happened after Will noticed Robot sounded alot like Dr. Smith after warning Will that their trip may be

Fraught with dangers. Robot claims in KIDNAPPED IN SPACE, that he took two semesters of Medical training at the Institute of Cybernetics (Don says two years of training).  He graduated first in his class. This was all before he became interested in Space Exploration and switched his Major (?)! He also tells Will that if he can reactivate his programmers' tapes on Medical Knowledge he can do them proud by operating on the alien clock leader of the Xenian's.


Robot's relation with Will and Smith is more complex than it would seem.  He has this love-hate thing with Dr. Smith going in all the seasons (CONDEMNED OF SPACE) but also admits that Smith is a great, decent human being and a credit to their expedition. Robot also admits Smith is his mentor and that he

has a deep affection for Dr. Smith (FORBIDDEN WORLD) yet Smith continues to treat him as badly as he did in WAR OF THE ROBOTS (where he punishes himself by allowing himself to give two weeks to the Robot's rub down massages).

Smith continues to be cruel or unthinking in TRIP THROUGH THE ROBOT but manages to try to start the heart up for Will, seeing how much the boy cares. Smith admits the lovable old ninny (ROCKET TO EARTH) did have one or two good qualities about him (TRIP THROUGH THE ROBOT). In ROCKET TO EARTH, Robot says, "Oh Dr. Smith, don't go. We need you."

The Robot was staying with Smith in CAVE OF THE WIZARDS. He carries Smith on his treads in the same episode and sometimes asks to do the same in others.

The Robinsons, Don (who has a pretty good knowledge of the Robot when he is normal size), and Smith may have (probably have) taken parts from other computers and robots to salvage into the Robot. They may have also copied tapes from other robots and alien devices into their Robot. This could explain why the Robot knows so much more about alien law and such starting a bit in the first season, in the second season, and much more in the third season.  Such parts or sharing of info could have come from the Robotoid in WAR OF THE ROBOTS and the alien robots in THE GHOST PLANET may have shared their tapes with Robot. In addition, the Robot may have shared info with the robot guard and used spare parts from Vera Castle (both from CONDEMNED OF SPACE).

Don, Will, and John put the Robot back together in WRECK OF THE ROBOT.  Smith puts him back together in MY FRIEND MR. NOBODY. Maureen and Judy work on him in THE GOLDEN MAN. 



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