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The Spindrift, a sub-oribital spaceship on a flight from Los Angeles to London, became lost when it passed through a strange cloud in the ship's orbit around Earth. It landed on an alternate Earth-type planet, where the inhabitants were roughly twelve times the size of the Spindrift's passengers. Our heroes include the ship's captain (Steve Burton), co-pilot (Dan) and stewardess (Betty); an arrogant engineer (Mark); a sexy jet-setter (Valerie); a young boy (Barry) and his dog Chipper; and a mysterious rogue known as Commander Fitzhugh. Together they battle the planet's totalitarian government, try to avoid capture, and attempt to repair the Spindrift so they can get back home. Written by
Marty McKee <email@example.com>
Irwin Allen did a lot of changing, mixing and editing before LOTG finally went to air in 1968. The opening episodes of a series are very important. The first seven episodes that went to air in 1968, and the first seven episodes that go to air when the series is replayed, are not the first seven episodes that were filmed. Irwin Allen or ABC should not of mixed up the order of the episodes as the production order was ten times better than the screening order.
In production order, this is how LOTG started (Ep 1) The Crash, (Ep 2) The Weird World, (Ep 3) The Trap, (Ep 4) The Bounty Hunter, (Ep 5) The Golden Cage, (Ep 6) The Lost Ones, (Ep 7) Manhunt. These seven episodes had some problems but were good solid hours of science fiction. But in screening order, average episodes such as Framed, Underground and Terror-Go-Round were included in the opening seven shows. In this review of LOTG I am going to view the series from the production order and not the screening order.
The Crash is one really great pilot. John Williams music runs almost non-stop for the 50 minutes and this is one of Irwin's best directing jobs. Irwin puts the camera in just the right position to make the inside & outside of "The Spindrift" look good. In no other episode does this craft look half as good. I also loved the red. There was a lot of red in LOTG. From the opening credits to the landing lights of "The Spindrift". There is not a lot of characterisation in the aired version of The Crash but Irwin directs the cast with his usual sense of showmanship and class.
In these opening seven episodes, Deanna Lund shines as Valerie ("Captain, nobody tells me what I can and can't do"), her character is sometimes up to no good and she is just simply sexy. After these seven episodes her character would be changed to something less interesting. In fact everything about the series became less interesting. At the start the giants did not talk but then all of a sudden they did talk. At the start seeing "little people" in a giant world was interesting but after seven episodes there is only so much you can do with a single storyline.
The bad news keeps coming. The budget for season two of LOTG was lesser than that of season one and you could see it on the screen with the special effects. Or lack of special effects.
But it is not all bad news. Irwin was very much the star of almost anything he made as each series had trademarks that would appear in all four sci-fic TV shows, or all five TV shows if you include Captain Nemo (1978). A rather mundane LOTG ep like The Deadly Dart would suddenly have a nothing-to-do-with-the-story bit where the "little people" get SUCKED into a space age giant trap, a meaningless cave of colourful Lost In Space hardware, made more exciting by strong winds blowing the "little people" around.
Mundane LOTG ep Seven Little Indians became more exciting at the end when someone in the editing room (probably Irwin) added often used John Williams Lost In Space music over the climax. And the LOTG guest stars were mostly known from past Irwin TV shows and LOTG writer William Welch did a lot for Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and The Time Tunnel.
LOTG ep A Place Called Earth was a semi-remake of a Time Tunnel ep about a criminal time traveller (Chase Through Time). LOTG ep Nightmare was an IMPROVED (!) remake of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea ep Sealed Orders.
But I am beginning to make LOTG sound better than it is. Frankly, many elements to this series (like the size of the jungle and much of the acting) was just simply stupid or crap. However, what many don't seem to understand is that Irwin TV shows created images and ideas that stay locked in the memory for a life time. And I don't know why that it. Nobody knows. Who knows why eps such as Graveyard Of Fools and Pay The Piper (last seen 12 years ago) are locked in my memory as I type this review?
All 51 episodes of LOTG are watchable, which is more than I can say for most science fiction TV being made today. But Irwin Allen's Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Lost In Space and The Time Tunnel are better!
Should LOTG been a seven episode mini-series instead of a 51 episode series? Yes. That would mean some quality eps such as A Place Called Earth and The Ghost Town would never of been produced, but my view of the series, as a whole, would be a lot better. Thank you.
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