"Lost in Space" is probably best thought of as sci-fi with training wheels. About a family stranded by the actions of the villian (who later became comic relief instead of evil), this is more or less Robinson Crusoe in space. Surprisingly enough, it actually works.
Although it remained on the air, it was later overshadowed by the premier of the original Star Trek series which put lots more science into the mix.
This isn't a bad show, but I'm sure it looks pretty dated now.
Guy Williams will always be Zorro to me, not John Robinson. Bill Mumy has gone on to have a pretty good career both as a child and an adult.
I never was fan of the first season. I really got into Lost in Space where the series got color. The second season has a lot of memorable episodes but the third season is virtually perfect. If you are a true fan of the series, you will find every episode of the third season as a true classic. The series was campy, yes, but it's the best campy series of all. It's sad that they never did a decent ending with the original cast to the series. I'd love to read the plot that Billy Mumy had for that.
This show isprobably the best Sci-Fi in my opinion. The strory lines are super clever and the characters are all ver loveable. I think the movie sucked and captured the wrong side of Lost in Space. I suggest getting Lost in great tv and check this out
Best Episode:A Visit To Hades
I currently own Lost in Space Season 1, 2 and 3 on DVD my favorite episodes from season 3 are are The Great Vegitable Rebelian, Two Weeks in Space, space creature and the time mearchant. In season 2 i like Curse of cousin smith, Cave of the wizards, Wreck of the robot and The golden Man. From season 1 i like the raft, One of our dogs is missing, War of the robots and the space trader.
More about Lost in Space
My Favorite Character: Dr. Zachary Smith
My Favorite Weapon: Laser Guns
My Favorite Alien: Mr. Zumdish, Mr Keema
My Favorite Laser Gun: Season 2-3 Laser Pistol
My Favorite Robot: B9 Robot, The Robotoid
My Favorite Season 1 Episode: War of the Robots
My Favorite Season 2 Episode: Wreck of the Robot
My Favorite Season 3 Episode: Space Creature
My Least Favorite Episode: The Dream Monster
The lost family Robinson. Lost In Space was almost perfect in execution from the very start. The unaired pilot was decent enough, but the addition of the robot and Dr. Smith was a brilliant move. Unfortunately it was just too good to be true. The Dr. Smith of the first season was a cold blooded spy and enemy of the Robinsons. The changing of his character to a whining joke(the pain,the pain..) was something that most certainly led to the cancellation of the show at the end of it's 3rd season. As popular as Will, the robot, and Dr. Smith were; making them the focus of the show and ignoring the rest of the cast was a huge mistake. So many great story ideas must have been rejected and to add insult to injury there was no satisfying conclusion to the series. In other words, they never made it home.
Lost in Space, the television program which Trekkies and other sci-fi fans love to hate, was wrecked by the attempt to broaden its appeal and a lack of foresight. As with Star Trek, there were two pilot episodes produced. The first, sans Robot and Dr. Smith, has the Space Family Robinson battling a giant cyclops, discovering the ruins of an ancient civilization, boarding a huge derelict spaceship. Absolutely enthralling! The second pilot, a re-work of the first, introduces Col. Smith as 'an agent of a great foreign power' (i.e. the USSR) and the robot as a fearsome berserker. Not bad, but not as good as before.
Regrettably Lost in Space soon degenerated, as the writers simply didn't know what to do with the characters. The vicious Col. Smith painted them into a corner and would either have to be killed or exiled so he becomes cowardly, selfish Dr. Smith and plays Stan Laurel to Robot's Oliver Hardy. So a series of bad stories ensue, as when interstellar hillbillies come to call...
Strong Points: First five or so episodes. Good special effects, excellent incidental music.
Weak Points: Everything after episode 5. Poor scripts, total lact of imagination, production values declined. After Season 1, hard to believe it was produced by adults.
See the pilot episodes on DVD or VHS and be pleasantly surprised. Avoid the remainder of the series.
Lost in Space started out fine, with an all-star cast and lots of cool space hardware. But as he was wont to do Irwin Allen turned it into a
childrens program filled with monsters about as scary as the ones on Sesame Street. After the first season Batman hit the airwaves in the same time slot so nobody was watching Lost in Space anyway. Just as well since the 2nd season of LIS was not worth watching. It settled into a "guest star of the week" format with the storylines becoming increasingly unimportant. They relied heavily on Dr.Smith and the robot's newly developed comic chemistry, the only bright spot in an otherwise dismal season.
Season Three didn't follow the usual pattern of decline for such shows. Except for a couple of misfires like The Great Vegetable Rebellion it turned out to be far more entertaining than Season Two. The Robinsons finally blasted off from that dismal planet and headed off for new adventures in space. Penny(Angela Cartwright) was no longer a drab-looking adolescent running around in pants. She had become a beautiful young woman adding a little pizzaz to the show. And somewhere they came up with the "space pod" giving the Robinsons a way to go down and check out those planets before landing the Jupiter 2. In the final show the Jupiter 2 even had rockets to fire and defend itself with. All of this gave a new dimension to the show and revitalized it. But it was too little and too late. The series was not renewed and the cast didn't even find out until they were in the middle of a meeting with the press. Lost in Space showed promise but it never quite got its act together. They depended too much on "teleporting" and other cheap special effects, and left too many questions unanswered. Of course the most nagging question of all, whatever happened to the Robinsons, was never addressed and that irks fans to this day. More than anything the show's fate was sealed--(as Dr.Smith would say, "We're doomed.")--by the success in the ratings of Batman on ABC.
Now for the good news. Lost in Space is available on DVD. Most of the things Hollywood predicted for the future like flights to Alpha Centauri, laser guns, and hydroponic gardens in every home didn't happen, but in some ways the future turned out even neater than we imagined. Amazingly you can now pop a disc into a machine and see images of a show that aired 40 years ago and most of it looks like it was filmed yesterday. It's sad that Guy Williams and Jonathan Harris(Prof. Robinson and Dr.Smith) are gone now. But thanks to DVDs they'll always be with us. That's a much better use of laser technology than turning it into a death ray.
Lost in Space shows that you don't need a big budget, loads of special effects to be entertaining.
While I have to agree with cdrak0715 that the show looks dated, the storylines were good, the acting was pretty decent, and for a kids show - I like the fact that I can sit through it as an adult. I can't do that with some of the other shows from this era that I grew up watching the repeats of, which is rather disappointing.
So, if you're looking for a safe science fiction show for your kids, Lost in Space is it.
While it aired simultaneous to Star Trek, I guess it didn't get any of the production PhD's in graphics, writing, cinematography, special effects. It had decent editing, music, and lighting.. (Yes, I do work in television, so I notice these things)
I remember emulating this program as a small child, making our outdoor playhouse the "Jupiter 2." While it was fun then, I've watched reruns, and now the DVD compilation, and I just don't get it. To say that some of the shows were just so "off the hook" that it became painful to watch was an understatement. There was, in my little opinion, some very poor acting on the part of the male characters... although I love Jonathan Harris and his rapid-fire, precision delivery of the Queen's own english.
I have heard and seen internet debates on which sci-fi show was better; this or Star Trek, and I have to profess that Mr. Roddenberry and Star Trek just outclass Mr. Allen and Lost in Space at virtually every turn...
No slam intended at LOS fans, and I will admit to some episodes being guilty pleasures, just as some Star Trek episodes were painful to watch... I guess it all evens out in the end.. :)
Like a boring rollercoaster LIS starts with an above average episode and quickly roars downhill with a few bumps here and there. As the SFRs (Space Family Robinsons) attempt to get back to earth they encounter more and more ridiculous plots and characters, the whole shamefull mess culminating in arguably the worst episode ever aired on american television -- \'The Great Vegetable Rebellion\'.
Based loosley on a comic book series"Space Family Robinson", this cleaverly made sci fi series provides us with yet agian a fun filled adventure series.
It's all about a space journey that goes wrong due to a storaway who was there to kill the family.when the family manages to thwart the plains, the extra passenger will be the so called star of the series. The pain, the pain.
A truly great sci-fi adventure series. As is normal with good television shows, this one did not last long enough. This is a show that I would suggest watching if you get the chance. Check the bargain bins at Wal-Mart, the online movies sites (Amazon.com and such) and all of the cable channels that run old shows. Nick at Nite and TV Land are great for theses kind of shows. They will even do a week long spot for shows that only had 6 or so episodes. Then you have your super stations. They run a bunch of old shows too. All in all a pretty good show that did not get a good enough chance. Sometimes it is a simple as the show it is up against. Look at Law & Order. It is one of the longest running shows on TV. They moved it to go up against Lost. After about 2 weeks of getting pounded in the ratings it was moved back to it's original time slot. Shows like this should be given more of an opportunity.
Sure, this series ended with a talking carrot but it was "the" show to watch in it's time.
The original B+W shows were great before Dr. Smith turned totally gay and wimpy and the robot "got nice". This show had REAL models that looked cool and the wire work on the model was some of the best of it's time.
Who can forget the first crash landing of the Jupiter 2? With is screaming over the mountain tops...No friggin CG effects!!
Great cast. The show did have some cheesy monsters and some really dumb stories but it was a great show no matter how you look at it.
Very strange show, it went from serious to very stupid. It didn\'t matter, I still watched every week. I wonder what the show would be like if it had stayed a serious drama. I thought some of the serious episodes were excellent. The 2 part one were the alien wanted the kids for a zoo was great. I like the one were Judy is dupicated in the giant plant. The one were Will returns to earth was good too. Who made the decision for the silly episodes? Didn\'t they know that you don\'t fix what isn\'t broken!! I did, however, switch back and forth to Batman and Lost in Space.
I wasn't alive when the show was new but I caught the reruns on the Sci-Fi channel in the early 90's. I loved this show, I thought it was the best thing ever on tv, I also never would miss Land of the Giants. Now, I watch some of DVDs that I bought and I wonder what I was thinking. It is so corny and campy, when I was a child there was so many other modern shows I could've watched, but I preferred this show... however, there are some episodes that I still love to watch. I'm not saying the show isn't a classic I just wonder what I was thinking.
I think this was the best thing that Irwin Allen ever did. Although the show drifted far away from its original synopsis, the adventures of a family in space, it eventually became the story of a boy and his robot. Bill Mumy became a hot talent in Hollywood after the series and his role as Will as the likeable son is one of TV's most endearing roles. Johnathan Harris was the villain we loved to hate as he became of another of the screen's most versatile character actors. The man showed great talent arguing with an inanimate prop and making it the hero of the show. The unnamed robot, ironically, became more dimensional than anyone else in the show, and forget Mary Anne vs. Ginger, how many guys had crushes on Penny Robinson than on Judy? Penny was the adorable ingenue next to the obvious Hollywood presence of Marta Kristen, the first Marilyn Monroe of the galaxy. John and June Robinson, however, slowly became less the leaders and heroes of the series as they became closer to Ward and June Cleaver as they spilled out parental advice and punishments. Don West, however, remained mostly the same character without any developments in his character and past, but that can be directly blamed on the series focus between Will, the Robot and Dr. Smith while everyone else became just a little bit more than supporting roles. Despite these few faults, I still think its one of the best things to ever grace television.
When I watched reruns in the late 70s when my hormones were raging I always wanted to bend Judy over the piano, if you know what I mean. When she was in her spacesuit she was smoking hot.
I always wondered why Major West didnt do her? I mean was he gay? Was there a single time when Don kissed a woman or even showed interest? Was he a eunuch? Don seemed to be John Robinson toadie - similar to Robins role in Batman. I suppose maybe John Robinson told Don he would tear him in half if he deflowered Judy.
And what about poor Wil and Penny? Those two in the throes of full blown puberty with nothing but each other? Ok, thats downright creepy. Id better stop here.
And dont even get me started about Dr Smith who was always making eyes at Wil Robinson. I suspect that when Robot was waving his claws around wailing "Danger Wil Robinson!" he was talking about Dr. Smith. Whatever the case Dr. Smith was even gayer than Major West. In fact if the series was filmed today Im sure Smith and West would be in a domestic partnership seeking to adopt Wil. Dr. Smith is widely regarded as the first Gay character in space.
All in all its a childhood memory and its better left there.
This show was a "modern" adaptation of the popular novel "Swiss Family Robinson", right down to the family name. Most kids of the '60s watched this show - probably because of the action and adventure that included a younger kid, as well as a teen, and 2 young adults. I think that was one of the things that I remember about it the most - watching the trials and tribulations of the "teen" daughter Penny as she slowly "came of age". And interestingly, the "parents" weren't portrayed as "uptight" or "stuffy" as those on other "family-based" shows in any genre of the time (maybe the costumes helped in that respect, as this gave them a more "casual" appearance).
The one person who stands out the most - at least looking back from an adult perspective and recollections of the show's tone from childhood, was the Dr. Smith character. He was obviously a "dark" figure who very much impacted the mood of the show, becoming an overall menace and sometimes nemesis to the rest of the group. But he almost always garnered pity and forgiveness from the family and the viewing audience at the end of an episode, every time his inner coward kicked in and he blubbered his way back onto the ship. I expect whether you like him or hate him, any actor able to invoke an emotional response and make you frustrated at the character's nefarious behavior, means he obviously nailed it. I always cheered on Major West's continual admonishments of Dr. Smith in any case. I guess the other character that was and continues to be a fan favorite (and butt of jokes), was Robot. Some of his dialog survives in the popular culture today, from his now-laughable "Danger Will Robinson!" to his ubiquitous "WARNING WARNING WARNING!", making him a classic and illiciting a chuckle when using any of his phrases in a conversation. As the family watchdog, he performed his role well.
I think all in all, it was a show for its time that attempted to appeal to all audiences and not just the Madison Avenue 18 - 24 age group insisted upon today. And despite the film attempt to remake the show to fit more modern times, the original version still remains a cult favorite that tried to illustrate and underscore that when a family works together, they can stay together, through thick or thin.
Lost in space was a very interesting program for it\'s time. I think that it made way for other science fiction series for today. I gave it a fair rating. The family was really lost in space for. I wish it had better effects.
I hated Dr. Smith and his addiction for making trouble for the robinsons. I wish his character was more realizitic. He always involved the little boy or the robot to start trouble. The little boy, i forgot his name, was very smart for his age. knowing what to do when dr. smith involved him in his skims. Penny was very innocent. Not really much of a role. The parents didn\'t do much parenting. At least as i remembered. The pilot was interested in the older daughter. But the best character i liked was the boy and his robot. I think he was the main character of all the others.
Things i love about this show: Special effects: even for the 60's this is a very good show, the sets are well done and they are very creative. I consider them much better than the Star Trek sets too. The ship itself is very real outside and inside. The creatures they encounter are always very well done and filled with details helping to create a nice feeling of being in other planet. the stories are sometimes very dumb but they never dissapoint thanks to the great details and something unique about this show: the photography, i love it, because it is like some kind of shadowy pastel coloring or atleast thats the way i get to see it and gives this show a very special aura.
A great show thanks to its innovations and its props.
One of the favorite TV shows,when I was a young boy.Funny and lovely!I saw it in black and white,because the color TV wasn´t aviable on Brazil,on those days.My favourite characters were the trick and coward Doctor Smith(That did the funniest scenes at serie)and the loyal and brave Robot.I was very sad with the piece of junk that was the theater´s version.Jonathan Harry was judicious and very smart by not had been participate from that!The theater´s version of his character was a bad joke!Someday,someone will make a good version of Lost in Space to the theater?Only God know!I hope see this serie aviable in DVD on Brazil,someday.
This intergalactic family saga is a one-of-a-kind sci-fi classic that earned an enormous following of devoted fans.
Created by legendary film producer Irwen Allen, and set in the space age future of 1997 this exciting adventure series followed a typical American family, their trusty Robot, and a stowaway villain named Dr. Zachary Smith.
In the year 1997, Earth is suffering from massive overpopulation.
Professor John Robinson, his wife Maureen, their children (Judy, Penny and Will) and Major Don West are selected to go to the third planet in the Alpha Centauri star system to establish a colony so that other earth people can settle there.
However, Doctor Zachary Smith, an agent for an enemy Government, is sent to sabotage the mission.
He is successful in reprogramming the ships robot, but in the process becomes trapped on the ship.
And because of his excess weight, the ship and all on board become hopelessly lost.
I loved this show, and remember vividly how my friends and I would play Lost in Space. We would turn their raised outdoor patio into the main deck of the space ship, and their built-in BBQ was the perfect cockpit. The platform entry way into the house was just big enough for us to fit three imaginary freezing tubes on it! Lucky there were only ever three of us on that ship, or someone would have had to die...!
We dressed their Scottish terrier up to be the chimp "Judy", and made their little brother, who was a huge pest, be the robot and get ordered around! We didn't have a "Dr. Smith" because everyone knew he was just a big poopyhead!
I finally got the DVD set, but am waiting for a weekend to myself so I can have my own LIS marathon; an escape meant to harken back to the good old days...
Lost In Space was one of the coolest shows on television. The Robinson family getting lost in space thanks to Doctor Smith and usually when they do get a chance to get home it gets messed up thanks to Doctor Smith.
A character like Dr. Smith is one of a kind. The funny things that he said and did on this show were priceless. He was so funny when he would get mad at the robot. The names he would call him were hilarious. As for the other characters, Will was a really smart kid. I always liked that character. Penny was a pretty interesting character also. John and Maureen were the parents and they were pretty nice but to be honest, the show could have been o.k. without them. Most episodes revolved around Dr. Smith, Will, the robot, and sometimes Penny. Don West was a pretty interesting character. He was a hot head sometimes and he really couldn't stand Dr. Smith. This was always funny to watch. The oldest daughter Judy was barely used and I really can't say much about her since she never did much on the show. But really, this show was a favorite of mine. I really loved it.
Well, a long time ago, my mom was facinated by this show. When I was very young and whenever my mom watched reruns, I had very little interest in it. Ever since my mom bought the entire collection on DVD, I've gained interest in it. A little bit, then the next year, a little bit more. I must admit many scenes were fun to watch. And the machines and robots and other creatures were facinating as well. I still watch some of the interesting episodes and gained some new favorites as well. The actors were really cool. And although Dr. Smith might be a nusince to the family, he's almost cool. I like Lost In Space now. And I will for a long time.
When Lost In Space originally aired I did not get to watch it. But when I caught it in syndication a few years later I couldn't get enough, never missing an episode. The show had everything a young sci-fi fan could ask for, even if you didn't know you were a sci-fi fan. There was cute Earth girls and sexy alien women, big spaceships like the Jupiter 2 and even bigger ships that could swallow the Jupiter 2. There was the Robot (or "robut" and bubble-headed-booby) and visits by other mechanized beings including the cult favorite Robby the Robot. Everyone looks up to their Dad, but who has a Dad that can fly a spaceship and shoot a lasergun. And who has a Mother that can grow vegetables on an alien planet and cook them for dinner. Virtually every episode had a guest star, at the time it didn't mean much to me, it was years later when I would be watching something else and I would see an actor and say "I know him from somewhere, oh yeah he was the space pirate". And there was always the hope that they would make it back to Earth. At the time I didn't know how the series ended, did the family and crew of the Jupiter 2 ever make it back to Earth? I like to think they did but catch the series and see for yourself.
The world's very 1st space action-adventure series launched onto TV in 1965
1st starting out as a serious show LIS became a colorfully schizophrenic series that didn't seem to know what it was itself, but even when comedy or pure farce, it was FUN!
This was the VERY FIRST space-dedicated action-adventure show ever done in television history.
The format was simple, America's First Space Family was on its way to set up a colony on a planet orbiting Alpha Centauri when sabotage by an agent of a foreign power spirals the Jupiter 2 & her crew into unknown & uncharted territories of the galaxy.
Each week's show would end with a cliffhanger to the next episode & highlighted by the onscreen legend 'To be Continued Next Week... Same Time... Same Channel!'
The show was conceived as 'Swiss family Robinson in Outer Space' which was reflected in the 3rd episode's title 'Island in the Sky'
Soon to be famous soundtracker John Williams was asked to perform scoring duties and he went way outside the limits of regular TV series scoring to provide a superior set of scores which would become the signature of the series through regular tracking at suspenseful moments. John's approach was provide superior quality to show what he could do even on a TV Budget & his track record since speaks for itself.
The hardware of Lost in Space was also above average in appearance. The Jupiter 2 looked the part, spacey but functional. It's smooth treks across alien landscapes (in reality the Trona Pinnacles) prior to crash landing look impressive even by todays standards. Maybe as an homage to Bill Mumy who played the Minbari, Lennier, the sleen blue saucer-spacecraft designed for the Minbari seemed to be very similar to the Jupiter 2.
The Space Chariot is an awesome all terrain amphibeous vehicle that took the Robinsons for treks around their planet (Trona Pinnacles again) in sadly too few episodes. A ground trekking craft similar to the Space Chariot appeared in the original Battlestar Galactica complete with more trips through the Tronas (and also Jonathan Harris as Lucifer).
The Space Pod made it's first appearance in Season 3 & was a nifty mini-spacecraft for short scouting missions that had more than a passing resemblance to the Apollo program's 'Eagle' landing Module.
Lets not forget Robot B-9, the huge Robotic Servant of the Robinsons whose memory banks were sophistated enough to allow enough sensory learning for the ability to become an intelligent & aware entity to develop. The Robot's personality development was mimicked on many later shows, Star Trek TNG's Data, Star Trek Voyager's Holo-Doctor to name two.
The Rocket Belt used in the series was an actual flying belt, although in reality it only flew for a very short time before running out of fuel.
The Gadgets of LIS were impressive. Maureen's washer presented cleaned garments in vacuum-sealed plastic wrap, The Robinson's 'Potato Chipulator' provided instant snacks and the Hair Do machine dialled up impressive styles for the ladies, all by numbers, of course.
The Water Collection unit was an impressive beast as was the Force Field generator and the show's war-worthy laser arsenal.
Many other impressive gizmos came and went throughtout the series. The hardware was awesome & gave the show credibility in it's campest moments.
The characters of the Robinsons themselves had great potential and the last minute added Dr Smith character was a snarling villin to behold & be wary of.
The first half season of Lost in Space started out with a 5 episode story arc that launched the show onto an environmentally hostile planet that experiences close together freeze & heat ranges due to an unviably erratic orbit.
Despite an obvious lack of actual space knowledge in the scripts the stories stood well. Although solar systems were often referred to as galaxies and other questionable logic problems appeared to escape detection by the script editors, the show was a hit.
The first half season of stories concentrated on the Robinsons survival 'out yonder' with realistic issues such as climate hassles & water shortages, not to mention the self-serving Dr Smith's chicanery.
It could be argued that the show 'jumped the shark' in episode 6 with a storyline that involved a lost space cowboy, Jimmy Hapgood, in a cramped rocket ship that would have been claustrophobic at the best of times. Jimmy hapgood's reason for getting lost was lamer than Tybo the Sun-Burned Space-Carrot but the episode was fun, otherwise & had a great fight sequence. 'Welcome Stranger' also offered the first of LIS's many satirical scenes with a hospital operation sendup as Dr Smith removed the Robot's internal guidance system as a gift for good ole' Jimmy.
The Robinsons later named their planet Priplanus, no doubt after the planet's goofy orbital tendencies as established in episode 5.
'The Sky is Falling' is a great LIS story where the Robinsons meet their alien counterparts as in another family of non-speaking colonists who were testing Priplanus as a potential home. The story focuses on how mistrust and misunderstanding can easily cloud the real truth as scared parties on both sides fear the worst.
However, after the two part 'The keeper' episode in mid season Lost in Space changed it's approach & from then on the formula was 'alien of the week' and the show almost unnoticably slipped into comical farce episodes complete with a 'sleeping beauty' spoof near season end.
Year two took the show to color and changed its adventure style to an approach of high-camp. The stories became comical & childish, survival issues gave way to space pirates, flying winged horses, norse gods, wooden dragons and even Dr smith's cousin chasing him to claim an inheritance. The 'serious' approach to the show had almost gone. Why??
All this had come about by Jonathan Harris deciding the evil Smith Character he was playing was 'too much' in the sense of too hardcore evil & was worried he'd be killed off or written out. With his Smith-like instincts for self-preservation and, as a character actor, he decided to play Smith as a 'Comedic Villian' which he felt would enforce his ongoing job prospects. Jonathan 'slipped in' the comedy 'bits' and when the ratings came in Irwin apprached Jonathan and said "Do More!"
Subsequently, the almighty Neilson ratings had shown that the characters of Smith, Will and the Robot were the most popular. Not realizing that while this may have been true their popularity still relied on their involvement within their part of the overall group. The 60's were fickle, however, & the popularity assessment suggested the show would become even more popular by 'giving the audience more of what they want' & Irwin Allen, the shows producer instructed writers to concentrate stories around 'the Kid, the Tin Man & the Old Coot'
So, from the beginning of season 2, the Robinsons & Don West continued to be straight and serious as they always were but the aliens & situations they encountered became so unbelievable & whacked-out they may have felt they were on a psychedelic acid trip for the remainder of the show. They also had to deal with the now-effeminate over the top Dr Smith who had become nothing short of insane & totally detached from reality as he almust sung his words rather than spoke them.
However, despite becoming the 'First Gay of Space' personality wise Dr Smith always seemed to 'get the girl'. He scored himself a 'Space Hillbilly' in season one & almost got married to her, In season 2 he scored himself the same Space Loreli twice, as well as an android servant & an Amazon Queen. In year 3 he woo'd alien human girls in his Space Hotel' as well as a pretty Zaybo girl. Camp or not, Dr Smith did OK with the ladies.
However, watching the straight-as Robinson Clan & Major West try to act completely normal against the 'insane pirate of the week' or 'huge talking carrots with human faces in them' was pure fun in itself.
Year 3 brought about further changes as the core cast, unhappy with being relegated to being 'window dressing' for Will, Smith & Robot, had shown their annoyance at being downrated and Irwin started to centre the stories around different cast members. Each character got a chance to be in the spotlight.
Gone were the cliffhanger endings & Dick Tufeld's 'Last week, as you recall' narrative.
The opening teasers now built up to a Freeze Frame of the action over which a 7-1 countdown hammered out before launching into new title imagery with actual clips of the cast to replace the original animation styles used in years 1 & 2.
John Williams created a dynamic new theme tune to replace the original one that Bill Mumy once commented 'sounded like a circuit-board' The new style & direction breathed new life into the series, which had been hard hit by the dreary blandness & obvious comedy of the year 2 episodes.
Replacing the cliffhangers were compilations of the next weeks show complete with Dick Tufeld's dramatic narratives.
The Jupiter Two got more space time and visited a number of alien worlds, even with the same rocks around the ship. Maybe the J2 was simply dimension-jumping to the same planet & landing spot each time with just a few rocks moved around. 'Hunter's Moon' however added a cool 'Space Critter Skull' to the planet set.
The Space Pod added a new element with all the male cast members taking off in it on various occasions. The women of the show weren't game to enter the Space Pod on air, it seemed, as not one of them appeared in it.
A by-play by one of Irwin's newest writers even resulted in Irwin begrudgingly creating a 'Judy' episode to keep Marta Kristen happy and Penny's 'Princess of Space' was hastily reworked & squeezed into the schedule to become Judy's 'Space Beauty' episode.
The show did improve and started to get back to the first season's action adventure style although campy aliens did return in force. The aliens must have all been related though as they tended to look alike, just different color jobs from time to time.
It was a great source of fun to spot which prop was from which episode as Irwin tended to portray alien hangouts with 'a spread of gizmos', in either a black room or a cave, to show their 'alien presence. In any alien encounter the LIS castmember(s) would walk past these arrays and pretend not to notice their familiarity or plain silliness & non functionality. They looked cool, though.
On no other show was an entire insane 'over the top' universe represented totally from what must have been a small collection of interlocking space props & costumes.
The NGS scanner from ep one, for example, became an evil alien robot in Year 2 and even that got a paint job to become an evil alien robot again in year three while being a stand for other things along the way. It didn't seem to appear in later episodes of Season 3 though. Could that have been due to becoming an exhibit in writer Elliot Klass's office while the last part of Year 3 was being produced?
The fun came to an end in 1968 when Irwin refused to cut LIS's budget further than it was. Fearing he may not now be able to afford even to re-spraypaint the small selection of alien suits they had Irwin decided to let it go & get on with the NEW Lost in Space that had actully begun production during the last part of LIS's 3rd season.
They gave the Jupiter 2 a red spray job, renamed it 'Spindrift', scored another 7 actors to be castaways even with a Dr Smith type of their own (without the comedy) and crashed them on another unknown planet but this time the planet was inhabited with giant human beings. As the guest stars were so tall they decided it would be a very good idea to change the name of the show from 'Lost in Space' to 'Land of the Giants'
And the rest was, as they say, history.
Lost in Space was redone as a poor quality cartoon in the 70's with only Jonathan Harris reprising his role as Dr Smith. Angela Cartwright appeared in the 'Logans Run' ep 2 'The Collectors'
Marta Kristen appeared in 'Battle Beyond the Stars' with 'John-Boy Walton'. Guy Williams sadly died alone in his home.
Bill Mumy (Will) tried to resurrect Lost in Space for a wrap up in the 80's but Irwin decided HE'D be the one to bring LIS back when he felt he was ready to do it. So that went nowhere.
The early 90's saw Innovation Comics creating a Lost in Space comic with Bill Mumy as 'Alpha Control' which picked up on the Robinsons three years after the series ended & developed the characters much further, even to go as far as set up a love triangle between Judy, Penny & Don. It also introduced us to the 'Aeolis 14 Umbra', Smith's alien spy-bosses, in 'reality, huge slithering Space-Slugs with a really bad attitude.
I, myself, submitted a 2 part script for this comic in 1992 which had the Robinsons taking refugees to a planet which ultimately turned out to be prehistoric Earth & the Jupiter 2 thus becoming the 'Ark' bringing humanity to Earth. It wasn't produced, though.
The comic ended in the middle of year two and halfway through Bill Mumy's year long 'Voyage to the Bottom of the Soul' adventure when Innovation bankrupted.
Irwin Allen finally had plans to reunite the remaining Robinsons once again when he sadly died, co-incidentally within a few moths of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's passing.
I, personally, loved the Lost in Space Music and during the 80's had managed to track down the location of the master tapes of this music in a major phone-around. In early 1992 I passed on the location of these tapes to Neil Norman of Crescendo records who was keen to produce albums of the music.
Crescendo produced 3 albums of Lost in Space scores, including 'The Derelict' & 'My Friend Mr Nobody' in their entirety.
The show became a multi-timeline movie in the 90's with an all new cast with most of the originals in guest star roles but with Dick Tufeld reprising the voice of the Robot again to utter the warning "Danger Will Robinson" for the 2nd time since the original series year 3 episode "Deadliest of the Species". Blawps anyone?. A great opportunity was lost, sadly, amongst the 4 timelines of the movie, by not casting Bill Mumy as 'Older Will' which would have been a great merge of the two versions of LIS. A movie sequel never materialized, sadly.
The 90's show 'Earth 2' had more than a passing resemblance to Lost in Space, clearly taking on a number of elements from the original show, right down to a spiky version of the bloop, as in Space-Critter-Pet. The Chariot had multiplied & become a selection of huge 'Space-Hummers'. The Dr Smith character was split up into 2 'E2' characters, one a spy and another a self-serving coward.
The original J2 exterior was rebuilt for the Irwin Allen retrospective 'The Fantasy worlds of Irwin Allen' which was LIS intensive in style, props & music & ended with an LIS cliffhanger as the now aged Dr Smith instructs the robot to destroy the Jupiter 2 & "get it right this time" after Bill Mumy & June Lockhart enter the ship.
Bill Mumy wrote a Star Trek comic 3 parter called 'the Return of the Worthy', the 'Worthy' obviously being a nod to the LIS Robinsons with whom Bill still has a very strong connection to.
"Lost in Space Forever" showcased the series, rebuilt the J2 interior upper deck set, and ended with a short story & cliffhanger where the 'Older Kid, The Tin Man & the VERY OLD Coot' got lost in Space again FOREVER.
Bill and 'LIS Mom' June Lockhart both appeared in an ep of 'Babylon 5' both despite Bill's hopes he and June never appeared together, sadly.
The early 2000's saw a plan to wrap up the original series in a TV Movie but this sadly died along with actor Jonathan Harris.
In 2003 a pilot was remade, again with a different cast, no original cast member cameos but Dick Tufeld got to be the Robots' voice & again utter that famous warning "Danger Will Robinson" for the 3rd time in an excellently produced pilot. Sadly, the new show, which added the older brother 'David Robinson' and had Penny as a baby & no Dr Smith, didn't get picked up despite it being an excellent production.
In 2005 LaLaLand Records produced an LIS double soundtrack album which contained selections from a number of LIS scores including unreleased cues of previously released scores and also the 'Welcome Stranger' score in it's entirety.
Billy Mumy finally managed to complete the story he started with innovation in the early 90's by presenting the complete story in a graphic novel format.
The spirit of Lost in Space just keeps on keeping on and will no doubt continue to do so.
I think this was the best thing that Irwin Allen ever did. Although the show drifted far away from its original synopsis,the adventures of a family in space, it eventually became the story of a boy and his robot. Bill Mumy became a hot talent in Hollywood after the series and his role as Will as the likeable son is one of TV's most endearing roles. Johnathan Harris was the villain we loved to hate as he became of another of the screen's most versatile character actors. The man showed great talent arguing with an inanimate prop and making it the hero of the show. The unnamed robot, ironically, became more dimensionally than anyone else in the show, and forget Mary Anne vs. Ginger, how many guys had crushes on Penny Robinson than on Judy ? Penny was the adorable ingenue next to the obvious Hollywood presence of Marta Kristen, the first Marilyn Monroe of the galaxy. John and June Robinson, however, slowly became less the leaders and heros of the series as they became closer to Ward and June Cleaver as they spilled out parental advice and punishments. Don West, however, remained mostly the same character without any developments in his character and past, but that can be directly blamed on the series focus between Will, the Robot and Dr. Smith while everyone else became just a little bit more than supporting roles. Despite these few faults, I still think its one of the best things to ever grace television.
It's hard to believe people still watch this show. It was difficult enough to believe that people wasted their time on it when it first aired, back in the 1960s. But at least back then people had the excuse that they didn't know anybody. What did they have to compare it to? Rocky Jones, Space Ranger? Sorry about that, Rocky Jones fans, because you're right, Rocky Jones was King Lear, compared to Lost in Space.
To be fair, there were a couple of OK episodes, barely, at the beginning. But as soon as the producers decided to turn everything into Dr. Smith's Kiddie Hour, what little hope the series ever had vanished into thin air.
But, hey, John Robinson exploring the first planet with a jetpack was pretty good!
When I saw the first episode on DVD, I was intrigued. I continued watching, an quickly fell in love with it, and I saw soon addicted to it. When it came to the 6th episode, "Welcome Stranger", I was extremely disappointed. I still can't watch it - a space cowboy, awful acting, annoying over-the-top accents, and an awful fight scene which almost looks like the early stages of a gay sex scene instead. After that, I as cautious, but the series continued excellently. The season finished on the amazing "Follow The Leader".
I had the complete 1st Season only, and soon bought Seasons 2 & 3. I was hoping that Irwin Allen would change direction becuase, despite the 1st Season's excellence, it was getting repetetive. Dr. Smith gets family in trouble, Will disobeyes his parents' orders and becomes a young hero, the Robot making funny lines. All of this is was good, but was getting repetitive, and the other characters were somewhat getting more & more minor with each episode. I was also hoping that in the 2nd Season, the females would be able 2 take care of themselves a bit more.
Well, I began the 2nd Season and was happy 2 see colour. But it looked stupid, it was TOO colourful. I then quickly noticed how things hadn't changed at all, and now the characters other than Dr. Smith, the Robot, and Will were almost completely forgotton. The dialogue was ridiculous, everything was re-used (such as machines, costumes), and the plots were plain stupid. No wonder the show was overshadowed by Star Trek. Thankfully, there was a good episode here and there (these were "Wreck of the Robot", "The Colonists", "The Phanton Family" and "The Android Machine"). I watched less and less frequently, before FINALLY it was over! YAY!
After a month, I began watching the third season. Instantly, I noticed the colourfulness was significantly toned down. And in only the first episode, I noticed how it was more serious. As it progressed, I noticed how other characters were getting a bit more of a chance, but Dr. Smith was still involved in EVERYTHING. I was annoyed when I watched "The Time Merchant" because it makes Dr. Smith's hijacking of the ship a good thing! In other words, all of Dr. Smith's 'badness' was wiped out. As I kepy initial relief was smuttered a bit, because most of the episodes were OK but very forgettable, some were awful, and the only ones up to the standerd of Season 1 were "The Anti-Matter Man", "Condemned of Space", "A Day At The Zoo", "The Space Primvals", and "A Visit To A Hostile Planet". Then came te infamous "The Great Vegetable Rebellion". I was so horrified by its awfulness that I looked it up. Turns out Irwin Allen had no other idea on his mind. WTF? Why didn't he write something without Dr. Smith in it? Something focusing on Don or Maureen, who had no episodes at all? Then it finished on a medicore note, "Junkyard in Space". It doesn't suprise me that the series was cancelled.
And there were a few problems that ran through the entire series apart from overuse of those 3 characters. For example, when an alien attacked and injured one of the family, why did it almost always have to be Don? And in a fight with an alien, Don always got pwned. Maybe it was because only Don and John were "eligable" to get into an alien fight, and John couldn't be the one pwnd, because he was the "cool father" of the family. So it was always Don. Irwin Allen unfortunately never tried anything new or different with the series, and it just seemed stupid and repetetive.
So, in conclusion, Season 1 is great (except for "Welcome Stranger"), Season 2 is awful apart from 4 episodes, Season 3 is OK but forgettable apart from 5 episodes.
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