Gary Conway is Captain Steve Burton and Don Marshall is his co-pilot Dan Erickson. They fly the Spindrift, a spaceship that does commercial flights. On a trip from New York to London they pass through a cloud and end up on a Earth type planet where the natives are seventy-two feet tall. To save on special effects the inhabitants look just like humans.
Opening episode: September 22,1968 – “The Crash” – June 12,1983. The Spindrift runs into a storm. They try for reentry but get pulled into a cloud. Once they get through and have control of the ship again there’s a city below. Sure doesn’t look like London. Steve goes out to take a look and almost gets run over by a giant car. Footsteps. Back inside he tries to take off. A giant has a hold on the ship. Steve and Dan manage to get the ship out of there only to put down again in a jungle.
Heading outside is Alexander Fitzhugh (Kurt Kasznar) and the annoying kid passenger Barry Lockridge (Stefan Arngrim) and his dog Chipper. Barry thinks Fitzhugh is some kind of secret agent since he’s wearing a uniform. He’s really a thief who stole a million dollars. No wonder he won’t let his briefcase out of his sight. Neither one sees the plastic dinosaur.
Steve heads out and he notices giant spiders. They could care less about him. The next monster on stage is a giant cat. Chipper doesn’t even bark. The cat has fun with the ship for a while but the hot engines don’t agree with him. Everybody back inside.
Steve goes out again. He told her not to but heiress Valerie Scott (Deanna Lund) has a mind of her own and joins him anyway. Time for a rescue mission since Steve’s radio conked out. Fitzhugh has a pistol. Barry drops a dime on him and now everyone knows. He threatens to shoot Dan unless he flies them out of there. He’s mad because he swung his briefcase at the cat and some money spilled out. Dan reminds him no one else can fly the ship except him. Now he gets it.
Steve tells Valerie not to go into that structure. Once again she doesn’t listen. It’s a trap. A giant scientist carries them back to his lab. This gives a chance for more giant props to be used as he probes Valerie with a pencil and Steve with a scalpel. They tried escaping using a giant spool of thread and a needle but clumsy Valerie knocked over a beaker.
In the jungle the rescue party, which includes passenger Mark Wilson (Don Matheson) who is an engineer and stewardess Betty Hamilton (Heather Young) hear Valerie screaming. Chipper still doesn’t bark.
They come across the lab and Dan tells Mark to cause a distraction. He creates a gas explosion which allows Dan to cut Steve and Valerie loose. The coughing scientist grabs a butterfly net. He gets Dan. Fitzhugh puts a bullet in his knee and Dan escapes. They all head into a pipe. The scientist reaches in. Fitzhugh gives him two bullets in the hand.
The pipe leads to a garbage dump. No one thanks Fitzhugh for getting them out of trouble. The girls and Barry climb into an empty egg carton as a giant dog approaches. He barks. Chipper….nothing phases this mutt. Steve manages to get the guard dog to take off. He makes Fitzhugh realize they’re trapped in this world.
The episode is not a bad opener. The problem with it and the rest of the show is the Will Robinson-Dr.Smith riff from the characters Barry and Fitzhugh. Without that this would have been much better.
Gary Conway was Detective Tim Tilson on “Burke’s Law” (1963-65).