Lost in Space: The New Journeys Book 6
Written by Nancy Krulik
(Page numbers come from the 1st printing, March
The Jupiter 2 lands on an
uninhabited planet that is suspiciously like an unpolluted
Read the brief story summary at Lost In Space Movie Timeline
Lost in Space: The New Journeys was a series of six
books for young readers, published by Scholastic.
This book is easily the worst of the
Lost in Space: The New Journeys
novels. See the study below for the many ridiculous aspects
that almost bring the LIS movie universe to the level of the
campiest episodes of the original TV series.
In Chapter 1, Will has apparently perfected a computer program he
calls a molecular alternator, which allows him to change the
molecular structures of liquids. We see an example of this when he
seemingly changes water to oil. This seems highly implausible given
the complex molecular makeup of common crude oil compared to water.
If he was able to accomplish this miracle, he could make himself
rich if the Jupiter 2 ever makes it back to Earth.
Furthermore, late in the novel, Will uses the molecular alternator
to turn his brain to metal so he can download the Robot's
information on how to stop the virus infecting Jupiter 2's
main computer; not only would that simply kill him, there is not the
slightest reason to believe it would allow him to download data from
a computer system.
On pages 2 and 15, Dr. Smith lists some of the ignominies he's been
subjected to during the Jupiter 2's voyages, saying that in
the past month he's been turned into a spider (Lost
in Space)...threatened by metal-eating aliens (The
Passengers)...subjected to a battery of practical jokes by
an insane robot (Journey to the Planet of
the Blawps)...attacked by an entire population of
color-changing lizards (Journey
to the Planet of the Blawps)...practically been
turned into a robot (Robotworld)...and finding himself trapped in a completely different dimension (The
Perils of Quadrant X, sort of). But the other books
referenced suggest that it has certainly been more than just a month
since the crew's journey began, and on page 34, Dr. Smith states that
he has been trying to get away from Will for months (seems like an
editor's mix-up, there). Of course, Smith's list also neglects
events in the "mature" mass-market novels,
Promised Land and
The Vault and the events of
"What is it Good For?".
Page 3 refers to the Global Sedition as a group of businessmen on
Earth who had their own plans for Alpha Prime. In
Lost in Space, they are
referred to simply as a terrorist organization.
Page 12 states that Judy found Blawp during one of the crew's early
explorations of a planet. But it was really Don who found the
creature and it was aboard the derelict Proteus in
Lost in Space, not on a
Page 12 also states that Will built Robot himself, but not that's
not exactly true; Will repaired and modified the existing
Rambler-Krey series robot that was already aboard the Jupiter 2
at the start of the Jupiter Project after it was damaged in
Lost in Space.
In Chapter 2, the ship is buffeted through space
by what the crew refers to as a tornado caused by a collision of
warm air into the empty atmosphere of a black hole! Not a
very scientifically accurate description considering they are in the
airless void of space!
Page 14 reveals that Judy has a life-size model of the human body in
sickbay. It is referred to as Joe.
Also on page 14, Penny seems to state that the Robinsons are
searching for Alpha Prime rather than Earth particularly. But on
page 55, Will's thoughts suggest the opposite! Most of the
other stories in the series imply Earth, though I'm sure the crew
would be happy to find either planet.
On page 20, Will reminds his mother that the ship's computer once
failed to register nearby animal life forms on the planet with the
Blawps on it. This is, of course, a reference to the events of
Journey to the Planet of the Blawps.
The Robinsons, particularly Maureen as the life science officer,
should have been tipped off to the artificially-created nature of
the planet on which they've landed by the existence of Earth-based
flowers found there, such as the Queen Anne's lace and daisies
picked by Penny on page 21!
Page 22 describes the sensation of touching a morph as feeling like
Page 28 states that Penny created the universal translator now used
aboard the ship. In The Vault,
it is stated that the Jupiter crew acquired translator
"a couple planets back". I guess they "acquired" it by Penny's
invention of it rather than from some alien civilization. However,
Penny has not previously been depicted as such a scientific whiz
that she would be able to accomplish the invention of such a device.
Page 31 states that the current planetary stopover is the first time
the crew has been able to relax since the Jupiter mission
On page 36, Will is shocked to hear his father say that he expects
the entire family to be together for the bonfire by the lake that
night, due to his tendency to neglect the family in favor of work.
This seems to disregard John's order that all crewmembers eat meals
together since their journey started, as revealed in
Perils of Quadrant X. Of course, on page 38, the characters are
depicted eating alone at different times, again defying John's
On page 37, John has begun referring to the planet as Earth II. This
may be a nod to the 1994-1995 TV series
Earth 2, which has a
premise similar to that of the Jupiter Project's initial goal in
Lost in Space, to leave
the polluted Earth to set up a colony on the only Earthlike planet
discovered at the time (Alpha Prime in LIS and G889 in
On page 43, Will comments to Judy on how some viruses die when
exposed to oxygen. It is true that anaerobic viruses die in the
presence of oxygen.
On page 50, Don states that he is the all-time expert in curing
computer viruses and the other crewmembers seem to agree that he has
rid the ship's computers of viruses many times. However,
The Vault suggests that
Will is the primary virus fighter when it comes to the ship's
computers; indeed, that would seem to be more in his vein than pilot
Page 55 states that the Robot is wheeling close behind Will,
suggesting the Robot is not locomoting via legs, but possibly on the
treads he has in
Lost in Space and other
early stories in this series. However,
The Vault states that Will has replaced the treads with
gyrostabilized legs, and Robotworld,
which seems to take place before our current story, also implies so.
On page 59, Judy quotes part of an oath she took when she first
became a doctor, saying, "First do no harm, remember, Dr. Smith?"
This is part of the Hippocratic oath taken by western doctors to
obey a certain code of ethics. The original version is believed to
have been written by Hippocrates in ancient Greece. In
The Vault, Judy reflects on the
fact that, while Smith may be a doctor, he does not place any value
on the Hippocratic oath.
Page 64 reveals that Penny is considered the communications officer
of the Jupiter 2.
Page 72 reveals that there is an escape hatch on the bottom of the
Jupiter 2, beneath the lower cargo bay.
Page 73 states that Penny loves the Robot almost as much as Will
The author seems to have a strange idea of how to cure computer
viruses, having first Don and then Will attempting to "cure" the
morphs' computer virus in the Jupiter 2 by rewiring the
main computer console. But viruses are software, the code has to be
cleaned digitally, not by performing a physical rewiring of the
On page 85, the Robot states that a storm must have winds of 74 mph
or higher to qualify as a hurricane. This is true.
Page 100 describes Will and Penny now realizing that Dr. Smith was
capable of just about anything after his kidnapping of the morph in
this story. They should have known this long before from his actions
in earlier stories, not the least of which was his attempt to murder
the Robinsons and Major West at the start of the Jupiter mission in
Lost in Space!
On page 101, Will uses his molecular alternator to change water into
ice cream for himself and Penny, stating he feels like King Midas.
King Midas was a figure in Greek mythology who could turn anything
he touched into gold.