In the latest installment of "What to Watch", IMDb's TV Editor Melanie McFarland chats with "Mad Men" stars Jon Hamm, January Jones, John Slattery, and series creator Matthew Weiner about the drama's extraordinary legacy, as AMC prepares to air its final seven episodes.
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. They are to go there on a ship christened the Jupiter 2. However, Doctor Zachary Smith, an agent for an enemy government, is sent to sabotage the mission. He is successful in reprogramming the ship's 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 and it now becomes a fight for survival as the crew tries to find their way back home. Written by
Brian Washington <Sargebri@att.net>
In the preview screening for the pilot Lost in Space: No Place to Hide (1965), Irwin Allen was horrified when CBS executives started laughing. Allen was ready to bolt from the screening when story editor Anthony Wilson told him to sit it out, as he believed that they really liked it. Wilson was right. The laughing was because the executives realized that they were on to a real winner. See more »
The Robot is mounted on tracks. Yet in close-ups when it moves with a normal walking action and it is possible to see the actors legs move in the lower parts of the suit. See more »
Supremely Silly and Fondly Remembered 1960s Sci-Fi
I think that anybody familiar with "Lost in Space" can divide the series into three distinct styles. It's pretty easy, because each season was very different from the others. The familiar characters included the Robinson family (John, Maureen, Judy, Penny, and precocious Will), the testy, short-tempered space pilot (Major Don West, played by Mark Goddard), the sinister, cowardly stowaway (Dr. Smith, played to perfection by Jonathan Harris), and of course the ship's robot, played by diminutive actor Bob May. The entire group took off in their ship Jupiter 2, and promptly got well, lost in space.
The first season (1965-66) was in B&W and was very dark and serious in tone. There were several very good guest stars (including Michael Rennie, Warren Oates, Kurt Russell, and others), decent special effects, and sober story lines. The first season also had a very subtle love affair between Judy (Marta Kristen) and Major West. Still, the first season, though well done, was pretty boring. How many times can Guy Williams fly around with that jet pack?
The second season (1966-67) was in color and was markedly lighter and sillier in tone. The infuriating thing about this season was that the Jupiter 2 seemed never to leave the ground! Many of the season's stories never really went anywhere, nor did they make much sense. There were lots of colorful characters and absurd situations, with a few standout episodes, including my all-time favorite "Trip Through the Robot".
The third season (1967-68) left all logic and coherence behind, emphasizing silly situations with Will (Billy Mumy) and Dr. Smith always in peril. This is my favorite season, since the stories are mostly so absurd that there's no way to take them seriously. The series' nadir was no doubt "The Great Vegetable Rebellion", in which a giant carrot terrorizes the giggling cast. However, this season also included "The Anti-Matter Man", which was imaginative, dark, and very disturbing at times.
With "Lost in Space", I suppose you either love it or hate it. I grew up with it, and I love it but I can certainly understand why some people would just despise it for its silliness. As a child of the 1960s, I guess it simply makes me feel young again.
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