Saturday, September 25, 2010

Screen Gem Saturdays: Lost in Space—still my fave

Picture this: the cheesiest of props…ham acting…juvenile (sometimes) scripts, and the most heart-warming sentimental drivel this side of whatever planet you care to name. And yet, it still remains one of my favorite shows. Irwin Allen sure knew how to stretch a dollar, and often enough it shows on “Lost in Space.” With a fantastic ensemble cast and just about every kind of alien imagineable, LIS has achieved a legendary cult status that continues to grow. The initial pilot was very serious in tone, and any laughs were strictly unintended. Dr. Smith, played by eternal guest star status Jonathan Harris, began on the show as 100% evil, with very few (if any) redeeming qualities. Realizing this could mean a short shelf-life for his character, Harris injected a bit of camp into his character and it paid off in spades. Unfortunately, by the 3rd season, the entire show degenerated into a campfest and lost any grounding that it originally had. Even so, it was a lot of fun. And I still love to watch it!

Didn’t every kid wish they could have their own Jupiter 2?

And I’m sure that most kids wished their parents were as cool as Maureen & John Robinson. The things she could whip up with a few alien ingredients! She put Betty Crocker to shame—and knew how to use a laser to boot!

Who could forget the dashing Major West (played by Mark Goddard), who had the extremely watered-down "relationship" with Judy Robinson:

This photo shows Bill Mumy, who portrayed Will Robinson, with his stand-in. Yup...a female stood in for the young Mumy who eventually did a comic-book version of the classic 1960’s Irwin Allen TV show. Stand-ins do a lot of the grunt work; dressed in similar costumes, they make sure all of the lighting is correct before the star steps on the set.

See more “Lost in Space” photos at my main website.


Thufer said...

Lost In Space was an important part of my adolescence. That first year was truly wonderful and filled the desires of a young science fiction starved heart and mind.
It was a wonderful experience from my 'golden age' of TV.

Major Pepperidge said...

All of those Irwin Allen shows were great! I loved Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Land of the Giants, though Lost in Space was definitely a favorite. The aliens they encountered were often completely ridiculous!!

G said...

Dick Tufeld's, voice of Robot, daughter lived next door to me for eight years. We saw him and his wife often. His SUV license plate reads, DNGRWIL. I didn't get to know his daughter very well but would see her mom at the market every week and we would chat. I used to say I live next door to the daughter of Robot.

Connie Moreno said...

Whoooo talk about a blast to the past. I love all of the shows mentioned above!

JG said...

Definitely part of the common culture. I have sought these out for my kids to watch so they would understand why I am the way I am, for good or ill, seeing Dr. Smith as a carrot can mark you for life.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the trip down memory land with the Robinsons and the Jupiter 2