Updated: February 27, 2016|
Danger! Danger Will Robinson!
What originally set out to be a five-year voyage of the Alpha Centauri star
system took a frightful turn, thanks to a biffed-up ship's guidance system. With
everything going haywire and navigational aids offering no help, one unlucky
family found themselves Lost in Space. Never ones to give up, this Space Family
Robinson decided to complete their mission, and their long voyage formed the
basis for a sci-fi cult classic.
It wasn't actually a technical malfunction that threw the Jupiter-2 craft
off-course. No, friends, it was sabotage! The villain responsible for this
dreadful conspiracy was the amoral Dr. Zachary Smith, a dastardly rogue hired by
an opposing foreign country to ruin the mission. Unfortunately for Smith, his
mission-botching mission was botched from the start, and he found himself stuck
on the craft as a stowaway. Everybody was thus lost together, but that didn't
stop Dr. Smith from hatching even more devilish plots.
The official passengers on Jupiter-2 were Professor John Robinson, his wife
Maureen, and their three kids. Judy, the eldest daughter, was more on the
artistic side. She didn't share in the intellectual stimulation of her family,
but she found a friend in the hunky pilot Major Don West. Penny was the family
tomboy and a bit of a brain. But tops in the brainiac department was youngest
child Will, who with his robot companion had a unique talent for undermining Dr.
Smith's nasty schemes.
Chaos followed the Jupiter-2 crowd as they traveled from planet to planet. In
addition to Smith's chicanery, Major West and the Robinsons were forever
encountering various species of alien life forms and several life-threatening
crises along the way. In one episode, Jupiter-2 mysteriously ran out of food,
and a dubious merchant came to offer a trade for more. His price: the body of
In another memorable episode, the scheming Dr. Smith tried to program the robot
to destroy all ""non-essential"" life forms, beginning with young Will, while
the rest of the Robinsons raced to find a way to escape the planet's dangerously
cooling atmosphere. Such were the day-to-day affairs of this band of
interstellar castaways, and a generation of young sci-fi addicts ate it up like
so much astronaut ice cream.
Debuting in 1965, Lost in Space was the second sci-fi TV series from future 70's
disaster flick maven Irwin Allen, arriving one season after the underwater wows
of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. Over the remainder of the 60's, the Irwin
Allen name became an official seal of approval for those aforementioned sci-fi
addicts, as series like The Time Tunnel and Land of the Giants kept the
out-of-this-world spectacle coming.
Lost in Space finished its run after three seasons, but the show became a cult
favorite in syndication. Three decades later (and one year after the original
show's 1997 launch date of Jupiter-2), the series was made into a full-length
feature film, also entitled Lost In Space. You can sabotage their craft, you can
hatch plots against them, but you can't keep a good family and their giant-size
robotic pal down.