Saturday, December 14, 2013

Have Yourself a Billy Mumy Christmas!

Billy and Sam Billy Mumy was perhaps the best kid actor television ever saw, just the Twilight Zone episode alone where he's running around with a loaded gun should place him in the TV Hall of Fame. In 1964 and 1965 he starred in two memorable Christmas episodes with a sci-fi, fantasy flavor.

In 1964, Billy Mumy guest-starred in the Christmas episode for the first season of Bewitched, playing a troubled orphan that Darin and Samantha want to share the Holidays with. The cynical kid wants nothing to do with Christmas traditions until Samantha takes him (via broomstick) to the North Pole to visit the REAL Santa.

Ten year-old Billy Mumy was already a seasoned pro by 1964, able to wrench just the right amount of emotional punch from the contrived, sentimental ending tacked onto this 'Bewitched' episode.


At an age when many kids were playing space explorer in their backyards, Billy Mumy was playing space explorer on a multi-million dollar television production. During Lost In Space's excellent first season, producer Irwin Allen did something he'd never done before and would never do again on any of his other TV series - film a Christmas themed episode.

Debuting in 1965, Lost In Space was able to capture the imagination like no other sci-fi series before - superior special effects, coupled with an A-list cast and strong first episodes made LIS many a baby boomer's favorite show.

'Return From Outer Space' found the Robinson family in a predicament they would find all too common over the next 2 1/2 years - sinister stowaway Dr. Smith has depleted their resources for some momentary pleasure, endangering the entire party.

TVPartyWill and the Robot find an alien machine that transports the boy back to Earth so he can get another bottle of food preservative. But he's hampered in his efforts by the townfolk, who think he's just making up wild stories and trying to steal chemicals from the General Store.

The weird thing is, it's supposed to be Earth 1999 that Will returns to, but it looks more like Earth 1949, with old fashioned buses, general stores and wall mounted, hand-crank telephones.

Also - if Will Robinson was part of the first family blasted into and subsequently lost and considered dead in space, don't you think SOMEONE might remember what he looked like just two years later and cut him some slack?!?!