When Angela Cartwright, never to be forgot as “Penny Robinson,” comes to the San Jose Super Toy, Comic and Collectible Show this weekend, she carries with her the residual electricity of having been a passenger on perhaps the bravest of 1960s TV spaceships, the Jupiter 2. “What is so sadly lacking in recent sci-fi TV series is what Lost in Space always had: a wonder and a whimsy and an innocence,” says longtime fan Robert Emmett of the Norman Bates Memorial Soundtrack show on KFJC-FM (89.7).

A sci-fi watching friend adds, “Sometimes, it’s like: Star Trek is better than Lost in Space how?” Fighting words, maybe, but there was a spot of hard science in Lost in Space; the Robinsons survived thanks to hydroponics, still a technology in use as opposed to Trek‘s still-undiscovered dilithium crystals. For three seasons, as seen today on Hulu Plus, the Jupiter 2 survived whatever was thrown at it, from unicorn-chimp crossbreeds to alien werewolves to talking carrots. The Enterprise had a radio that worked and a Federation behind it to back it up. By contrast, the bewildered Robinsons had to make their own way.

The rival shows were hives of fragrant vaudeville acting, but nothing on Trek was as reliably entertaining as Jonathan Harris’ Dr. Zachary Smith—a well-spoken, devious shirker who, on a less merciful ship, would have been jettisoned into outer space. He was the middleman in a commedia del arte three-way with the good but never disgustingly good Will (Billy Mumy), and the renowned straight-man Robot B9. (It’s pronounced “benign,” though he could fry you with his claws.) The late Dick Tufeld, who had the best radio voice on TV, was the larynx of this metal watchdog, throbbing out a spine-chilling warning at five-minute intervals. Metal though he was, B9 was also a master of the pregnant silence, clicking and whirring significantly before delivering an anguished “It does not compute.” Recommended: “A Visit to Hades,” the episode where Smith goes to Hell, ruled by red satin-suited former Mercury Theater player Gerald Mohr. A big influence on Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice, this one.

Cartwright will be accompanied by her sister, Veronica (The Birds, etc.). Meanwhile, there’s the main draw, the mosh-pit in the aisles of vintage toys, guaranteed to shock the back of the mind. Better than a year of therapy for recovering memories.

San Jose Super Toy, Comic and Collectible Show
Saturday, 11am-4:30pm, Sunday, 10am-3pm;
March 8-9; $6
Santa Clara County Fairgrounds