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JUPITER-2 DIORAMA #25 (BILL HEDGES)

Updated: March 23, 2008

Here's a diorama I just finished that shows to the best of my knowledge what 20th Centurey Fox Stage 11 looked like on October 29, 1965. That was when they filmed scene 141 of the Lost in Space episode "Wish Upon A Star'. In this scene Dr. Smith is about to use the alien wishing machine to create another complete Jupiter-2. The miniature Jupiter-2 that he creates instead is of course already sitting on the rock waiting for the camera to crane down to reveal it. Creatively directed by Sutton Roley it is one of my favorite episodes.

Billy, Angela, Jonathan, and Mark are at the center of scene while Marta, Guy, and June are sitting, waiting by the big stage door for their scene. The robot wranglers are tinkering with the robot torso while Bob May is standing in the robot tread section already with his racoon-like face makeup on. The chariot was used at the beginning of this episode when Smith causes the fuel pack to explode. The chariot was then driven out through the 22 foot high "elephant" doors when it wasn't needed anymore.

I tried to make it as accurate as possible by using studio blueprints to determine the orienation and location of the Jupiter-2, the sky cyclorama, the hill cutouts and the sand ramp. I used the few backstage photos that exist to determine the elevations of the features, and many screen grabs to paint the clouds like the original cyclorama and to place the rocks canopy, table, etc.

The real stage is 125 by 130 feet square so I made my diorama 1/87th scale, making it about 18 inches square. That also made it easy to use HO train scale people for it after being suitably modified. I also used a Lunar Models Jupiter-2 since it fit exactly on my blueprint as well as the Johnny Lightning chariot. I did modify the chariot using Lunar Models parts so it had the correct number of wheels. The diorama is a scale 40 feet high which is the usable height at the real stage 11. I also used original blueprints to build the hill cutouts that were in front of the sky cyclorama so they are the correct height. The Jupiter-2 outer hull was never built in back because it wasn't meant to be seen, and since there were never any pictures taken of it, this is my conjecture of what it looked like.

Bill Hedges


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