LOST IN SPACE was a silly series. Of that there can be no doubt. It was, however, quite fun. Jonathan Harris, playing Dr. Zachary Smith, stole the show as a cowardly, greedy, lazy and incompetent stow away. He was always causing problems and good for a few laughs.
The series changed over the course of 3 seasons. It started out as a fairly serious science fiction series. By the second season, it had become nothing more than a campy comedy. The third season saw a reversion back towards the serious end of the spectrum but only just barely. The plots were, by a large, a bit more believeable but there was no doubt that this was as much comedy as drama. The cast did not take themselves too seriously and that contributed to the fun.
The series was noted for laughable costumes and special effects which used a bang, flash of smoke and disappearance/reappearance to solve any effects situation. What the series lacked in seriousness, costume, plot, and effects, it made up for with good humor and some of the richest color to appear on television at that time. It comes through well on the DVDs.
The episodes in this collection include:
One of the things I like about this particular collection is the music. The theme was different each season had had nothing to commend it until the third. For some reason, this theme song struck a chord in me as a young boy and I still like it. It is not great but, to me, it is memorable. Like the series itself, it is not to be taken seriously it is to be simply enjoyed for fun.
Condemned of Space - The Robinsons and crew are finally back in space again. They had no choice since the planet they had been stranded on was targeted by a rogue comet. As to be expected, they barely made it. No sooner than they out into space, Smith manages to jettison the robot by pushing the wrong button. It seems that the robot is lost for good when the ship finds its way to a space station for convicts. Lo and behold, the robot is there waiting for them. While Prof. Robinson and Maj. West go looking for some spare parts, Smith and Will go exploring. Smith wandering around in a prison is NOT a good idea.
Visit to a Hostile Planet - They almost make it. An accident takes the Jupiter II to Earth. They land but are mystified when they cannot contact anyone. Slowly, the awful truth sets in. They are not in their own time of 1997 but are in 1947 instead. People think they are hostile aliens and the reception is decidedly cold. Things get even worse when Smith decides to stay on earth to become some sort of a leader. As a bonus, Judy has more lines in this one than she has had in any episode for almost a year.
Kidnapped In Space - The Dr. Smith hears an SOS from another ship while he is listening to the radio. He is inclined to ignore it until he hears that there is a reward. That caught his attention. When he shows up he is told that he will be forced to do brain surgery on their leader. Failure to effect a cure will result in a death sentence for Smith. It gets more complicated when the leader turns out to be a computer. This is where the robot steps up to the plate. His services are liked so well that they do not want to let him go.
Hunter's Moon - An emergency leads to a forced landing on a planet. The problem is that their presence interrupted a hunter during his hunt. The hunter is a crown prince and his suitability to the throne will be determined by how well he does in his hunting. He decides to make up his deficient score by hunting the Robinsons.
Space Primevals - Volcanoes are threatening the Jupiter II and Smith is sent with Maj. West to set of a charge to cap one of them. When they get near, they are captured by a tribe of cavemen who are ruled by a computer. Smith and West are sentenced to death. This one is kind of sick in that West and Smith hate each other but impending death draws them together. Seeing the robot do caveman dances does not make up for it.
Space Destructors - Smith stumbles into a cave with a machine that makes cyborgs. He decides to make his own personal army to conquer the galaxy. Needless to say, the others are not happy with this development.
The Haunted Lighthouse - This one features Penny who finds a castaway boy with strange powers to affect the minds of others. The Robinsons take him in just as they launch. While whizzing about, they come across a lighthouse from earth and its caretaker. They have an opportunity to get home but that means that the boy will not be able to get home. He is not pleased.
Flight Into the Future - Will and Smith accidentally land on a strange planet in the spacepod. A machine tries to convince them of a Rip Van Winkle event and that they are all far in the future. Meanwhile, the rest of the Jupiter II crew lands and tries to find them.
Collision of Planets - While the Jupiter II is grounded doing some repair work, the planet they are on is on a collision course with another planet. The inhabitants of that other planet dispatch a shiftless crew to destroy the Robinson's planet. They are a bunch of inconsiderate hippies who will not grant the Robinsons a few extra hours to complete their repairs. I didn't care for hippies in the 60s and they seem no better now.
Space Creature - The Jupiter II is captured by a living mist. If this is not bad enough the mist is evil and feeds on fear. It does all it can to frighten the travelers. Smith makes a likely target.
Deadliest of the Species - While flying through space, a foreign probe hitches a ride behind the Jupiter II. When they land, the probe crashes nearby. It turns out that it contains a very dangerous prison escapee and that escapee is a robot, a female robot. The Robinson's robot naturally falls in love and is willing to work against his own family. This one was pretty sappy.
A Day at the Zoo - In intergalactic zookeeper captures the Robinsons to put on exhibit in his zoo. Smith manages to ingratiate himself and even manages to take over, lured to this course of action by his own avarice. He again manages to hack off everyone. This episode is more like those of the previous season in tone. The first appearance of the alien is so ludicrous that it is a relief to learn he is only wearing a mask to frighten his prey.
Two Weeks in Space - While most of the family is away, Will, Smith and the Robot are left behind at the Jupiter II. They get a call from an incoming spaceship and Smith sets up as a resort hotel to cash in on the visitors. The problem is that the visitors are fleeing robbers and are looking to set up their hosts for the fall.
Castles is Space - While working on a remote communications relay, Wlll, Dr. Smith, Maj. West, Judy and the robot come across a frozen alien sarcophagus. The revived alien turns out to be a beautiful princess from an ice planet. Another spacefarer shows up looking for her. He has been searching for her so that he can hold her for ransom. When West refuses to give the princess up, the bandit kidnaps Will.
The Anti Matter Man - Don't expect antimatter to mean was physicists mean. In this case is means the "evil twin". Professor Robinson gets kidnapped by his evil double from an evil parallel universe. The plan is to replace the real Prof so that he can stay in our universe. When he comes through, however, everyone notices that he does not act like himself.