Lost in Space (1965–1968)
3 user 2 critic

The Challenge 

John and Will fight a battle with an alien father and son that is to the death.


Don Richardson


Barney Slater, Irwin Allen (created by)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Guy Williams ... Prof. John Robinson
June Lockhart ... Maureen Robinson
Mark Goddard ... Maj. Don West
Marta Kristen ... Judy Robinson
Bill Mumy ... Will Robinson (as Billy Mumy)
Angela Cartwright ... Penny Robinson
Jonathan Harris ... Dr. Zachary Smith
Michael Ansara ... The Ruler
Kurt Russell ... Quano


The Robinson party meets Quano, a stoic twelve-year-old alien boy from a warrior race who's on the planet for a survival challenge. Since Will is near his age, a fight-challenge is offered. Will has no interest in fighting without reason, but Quano wants the challenge, in part to prove his superiority but also to prove his worthiness as heir apparent to his often-absent father, ruler of their male-dominated race. Quano finally goads Will into accepting, but Will doesn't know that, if he wins, Quano's family with have to destroy him and all witnesses. Dr. Smith surreptitiously learns of this and, threatened into silence, works to wear Will down with over-training before the contest, to save their lives. Written by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 March 1966 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Part of the costume for the creature in the cave that Quano challenges is obviously the head from 20th Century Fox's earlier The Fly (1958). See more »


During Professor Robinson's "Volta Blade" duel with the Leader, he splits a tree in half with his sword. One half of the large tree falls on the cord of his electronic sword, completely trapping it. In the next shot, the cord has come "untrapped" from the tree and is again swinging freely. See more »


Quano: I truly feel sorry for you, wasting your time in idle pursuits. It is unmanly.
Will Robinson: Now, let's not start THAT again.
Quano: But it is true! You are my age and still you act like a small boy.
Will Robinson: Well, whadda you expect me to do - go around stickin' my chest out, tellin' everyone what a tough guy I am?
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References The Fly (1958) See more »

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User Reviews

Kurt Russell
14 February 2015 | by StuOzSee all my reviews

John and Will must battle it out with a couple of aliens, played by Michael Ansara and Kurt Russell.

A few years ago Kurt Russell was shown footage of himself in The Challenge on a US talk show. Russell had to hold back laughter and made fun of his own "bad acting". Today, when I watch this episode I remember that interview.

At one point in The Challenge Ansara makes a very sexist comment about women's duties on earth to which Don responds "I can see the boys at the club (on his planet) laughing about it now". Funny stuff.

The Challenge was more fun when I was a child of the 1970s but it still has the odd moment I can enjoy as an adult. I read somewhere that Ansara was originally offered the role of the hunter alien in season three's - Hunter's Moon - but the role went to cheaper to pay actor, Vincent Beck.

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