Monday, February 19, 2007

Apple #225: Danger, Will Robinson

Last night in passing, I said, "Danger, Will Robinson." Then today I heard someone on TV say it. Which made me realize, I don't know where this phrase originated. And who the heck is Will Robinson, anyway?

  • The phrase comes from the 1960s TV show, Lost in Space.
  • The series centered around the Robinson family, who were chosen to fly a spacecraft called the Jupiter 2 to investigate a planet orbiting around Alpha Centauri. However, Dr. Smith, an "intergalactic doctor" who was also a spy snuck on board to try to destroy the spacecraft. But he botched his plan and only knocked the Jupiter 2 off-course, also trapping himself on board in the process. So the family was doomed to be lost in space, wandering to strange planets and trying to avoid comets and various space criminals.

The Robinsons, that everyday, 1960s space-orbiting family, with their very own robot and evil doctor.
(Photo from the official Lost in Space site

  • Will Robinson was the youngest boy in the family. His job, at something like age 12, was to keep the on-board Robot maintained, using his exceptional abilities in electronics. Despite Will's extensive robot know-how, he wasn't very good at figuring out who was a good guy and who was a bad guy, so the Robot had to warn Will often. Despite the Robot's warnings, conflicts ensued.

The Robot and Will, exchanging crucial information
(Photo from the official Lost in Space site)

  • The Robot had no name, except "the Robot." Its job was to be a sort of space-age bodyguard and protect the family, and also warn family members of any imminent threats.
  • Dr. Smith hated the Robot and called him all sorts of insults throughout the series. Some of the doctor's more inventive invectives included:
    • Traitorous Transistorized Toad
    • Uncultured Clump
    • Primitive Pile of Pistons
    • Sorry Specimen of Computerhood
    • Medical School Dropout
  • To see an example of the Robot's less-than-graceful arm movements and his canned campiness, check out this brief clip on You Tube.
  • Sometimes the Robot said, "Danger, danger," and sometimes it said, "Warning, warning." But word has it that only once in the entire series did the Robot say, "Danger, Will Robinson." Supposedly, this occurred in the third of the show's three seasons, in an episode called "Deadliest of the Species."

  • You could download for free any of the episodes from the first two seasons of the show at However, none of the episodes are available from season 3, when the magic quote supposedly was uttered.
  • Amazon has this new thing where you can download video from them. They have the video of the episode "Deadliest of the Species," and if you wanted to pay the $1.99, it could be yours here:

Lost In Space season 3 download
Follow this link, then scroll down to choose the episode you want

  • If anybody does watch that episode, let me know if the Robot actually says, "Danger, Will Robinson" in it or not, please?

As you can see, the show had exceptional special effects
(Photo from the official Lost in Space site)

  • If you really like the Robot, you could buy a full-sized, licensed replica of your very own. I guess you'd keep it in your home and hope it notified you of impending danger. Or something.

Lost in Space classic TV website, Lost in Space episodes
Wikipedia, "Danger, Will Robinson"
Charles V. Pena, "Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!" Cato Institute, May 25, 2002


  1. My high school band director used to say "Danger Will Robinson" when we would mess up.

  2. Thanks for the blog, I was try to figure out what episode he actually said "Danger Will Robinson!" You can watch all the LoS episodes on, and I can report that in season 3, episode 10, "Deadliest of the Species, the Robot does say that line, at 5:35.

  3. Thanks for your precise notes, Anonymous! Someone out there will have exactly the same question you did, and they'll be glad you posted this!


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