When Angelino Jack Robinson gets a new job in Australia, he decides to take his wife Ann, sons Shane and Todd and daughter Elisabeth 'Lizzy' by sailing yacht from Hong Kong to Syndney. The ... See full summary »
Karl Robinson, his wife, two sons and an orphaned girl wash up on a volcanic island after a shipwreck. Also on the island is Jeremiah Worth, who was marooned there seven years earlier. Written by
Each episode began with, "IRWIN ALLEN'S PRODUCTION OF ... THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON". How many producers get the name before the title? And those titles and the series background scores were done with wonderful Richard LaSalle music playing. LaSalle had worked on Irwin TV in the 1960s and it was these 1960s connections that made this series okay and sometimes good.
Towards the end of the 20 episode season, a two part episode appeared called "Jean Lafitte", this was the only show to leave the island and go to sea and then to land. Several 1960s Irwin names appear - Whit Bissell (Time Tunnel), John Zaremba (Time Tunnel), Leonard Stone (Lost In Space guest star twice), John Crawford (he appeared in ALL Irwin TV shows), and Harry Harris (often used Irwin director) directed it.
William Welch returns from the bottom of the sea via the time tunnel to become the story editor of the whole series and he wrote just one episode about more people coming to the lost island.
Other quality guest stars for the series include John Vernon (in the opening two hour movie), Leslie Neilson, and ex-Phantom Alfred Ryder.
I think Irwin was playing a joke on viewers in the last episode - The Devils - screened on March 28, 1976. All 1960s Irwin TV shows began in a mildly realistic way and then went over the top with crazy story lines. Irwin seemed to be suggesting this with Swiss Family Robinson as well. In The Devils, something is seen moving through the dark, it appears to be a huge bat. Karl (the father) finds the garden destroyed and the livestock missing? Later, strange lights are seen in the sky. The Devil MAY have arrived on the island?
An okay series.
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