Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Classic TV: Lost in Space (1965)

Flush with the success generated by Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea a year earlier, Irwin Allen had sold another series, this time to CBS. Lost In Space was set in the far future, where it was believed entire families would be exploring space, searching for new worlds.

One such family was the Robinsons. Husband & wife scientists John & Maureen Robinson (Guy Williams, ex-Zorro, & June Lockhart, ex-Lassie) and their three children, son Will (Bill Mumy), and daughters Judy (Marta Kristen) & Penny (Angela Cartwright, ex-Make Room For Daddy), accompanied by Major Don West (Mark Goddard), set off in the Jupiter 2. Dr. Zachary Smith (Jonathan Harris) was a stowaway, bent on sabotaging the mission on behalf of a foreign power, but by the time the series ended, Smith was reduced to comic relief, his evil origins long forgotten.

Suffice it to say, the Robinsons and company would explore worlds that were actually stranger than what Star Trek would uncover a year later. Unfortunately, by year three, Lost In Space had succumbed to the growing popularity of camp adventure, as the monsters became even more bizarre. Allen's initial vision had been tossed aside, and the series was cancelled after 3 seasons.

More than 2 decades later, Bill Mumy co-wrote a Lost In Space comic book series for Innovation that posited the prospect of Judy falling in love with Major West. Bear in mind that the comic book was meant to be a followup to the series, set sometime after season 3. In between, 20th Century Fox contracted with Hanna-Barbera to produce an animated version that aired on the ABC Saturday Superstar Movie, with only Harris, who did some voice work for H-B during this period, returning. The 1998 feature film version isn't worth talking about, it seems.

Oziricus uploaded this promo video CBS produced to introduce viewers and advertisers to Lost In Space in 1965.

Rating: B.

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