Season 1 of "Lost in Space" was presented as a single collection of eight DVDs. Season 2 was split into two volumes. Season 2 was originally shown in 1966-67, and though I no longer recall the contrast between "Star Trek," which I watched contemporaneously with "Lost in Space," and this show, the contrast had to be significant. Though some of the first sixteen episodes of season 2 attempted serious subjects, as the first sixteen episodes progressed the series became increasingly campy, with "The Girl from the Green Dimension" being the silliest of the bunch. I have to believe that Harry Raybould, who played Urso, looked back on his role in this episode and groans.
On the other hand there are the episodes such as "The Golden Man." This episode attempts to show that beauty is only skin deep. While the acting is more than a little over the top, with veteran actor Dennis Patrick barely visible behind his golden makeup, the show does an excellent job of making its point.
I found the episode "A Visit to Hades" to be very interesting. Veteran actor Gerald Mohr does a nice job of playing a character with more than a passing resemblance to Satan, though we learn he is not. Wally Cox takes a turn as a character with more bluff than bite in "The Forbidden World." Peter Brocco, a veteran of more than 200 film and television appearances, makes his mark in "The Deadly Games of Gamma 6."
You can count the number of science fiction television shows that left a lasting impression on viewers on your fingers. As campy as "Lost in Space" sometimes was, it left an impression that is nearly as strong for many people as the impression that "Star Trek" left. Of course "Star Trek" was a much bolder show, and tried to present some of the infinite possibilities that exist in the universe. "Lost in Space" reached only a brief distance into the future and was the first non-animated television show that focused on a family of space pioneers. There are plot holes galore. Dr. Smith has to be one of the most obnoxious central characters in a television show ever. And yet, I retain my fondness for this show.
I think it is easy in this age of sophisticated digital effects and a chain of quality and classic science fiction television that extends back to at least the original "Outer Limits" to look down on "Lost in Space" as unworthy of appreciation. However, the series was influential and it was memorable. Had Irwin Allen been allowed to maintain the serious nature of the show, it is possible that "Lost in Space" would have been the landmark television show that "Star Trek" became. I know I watched both, and I know I enjoyed "Star Trek" when it came out the year following the debut of "Lost in Space." I considered myself lucky that two such wonderful shows were on at the same time.
I look back on "Lost in Space" with fondness, and I absolutely enjoyed watching every single episode in this collection as well as those in season 1. I know I will enjoy the remaining episodes in season 2 and those of season 3. Perhaps my fondness is all nostalgia. If so, I will revel in my nostalgia and just maybe I will watch all the episodes one more time.
As a side note, after being a little boy and watching "Lost in Space," I admired Will Robinson a lot. I credit Will being a role model for my later years when I studied electronics and physics in college. This show may have been campy, but I am glad that I was encouraged by a show like this one. Perhaps we should all wish for more campy science fiction shows to encourage children to become scientists and engineers.