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
- 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
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.