Updated: August 27, 2014|
The show initially experienced some legal challenges.
Ib Melchior, a notable science fiction writer, had
conceived what was essentially the same idea (but
with different characters) years before either the
television series or the comic book. He had called
his version "Space Family Robinson", which was also
the original production name for Lost in Space.
Although legal action went nowhere, Ib Melchior was
hired as a consultant on the "Lost in Space" movie
as a way of recognizing his original idea. Lost in
Space followed Allen's basic philosophy that TV was
supposed to be fun, as opposed to educational. His
series, including Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea,
The Time Tunnel and Land of the Giants, were all
very fast paced and exciting, often at the expense
The series ran for three seasons on CBS, from 1965
to 1968 and it was famously bought by the network
after they rejected a competing sci-fi series that
was offered to them — Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek.
The first season was filmed in black & white and was
more serious in tone when compared to the two seasons
that followed. It chronicled the adventures of the
Robinson family starting in the year 1997, a group
of Earth pioneers whose mission to colonize Alpha
Centauri almost ends in disaster after a saboteur
attempts to destroy their space ship.
The second and third seasons were produced in color,
and were more whimsical and fantastic in tone.
Characters and Cast:
* Professor John Robinson (Guy Williams) is the
commander of the Robinson family expedition. He is
an expert in astrophysics and applied planetary
geology as well as an ordained Minister.
* Doctor Maureen Robinson (June Lockhart) is John's
wife, and a trained biochemist. She is the mother
of their children, Judy, Penny and Will.
* Major Don West (Mark Goddard) is the pilot of
the expedition's spacecraft, the Jupiter-2. Don
is romantically interested in Judy, and inherently
distrustful of Dr Smith.
* Judy Robinson (Marta Kristen), Penny Robinson
(Angela Cartwright) and Will Robinson (Bill Mumy)
are the three children in the expedition. Of the
three, Will is the most noteworthy - he is the
youngest, brightest and a particular friend of
Dr. Smith and the Robot.
* Doctor Zachary Smith (Jonathan Harris), ostensibly
a specialist in environmental and intergalactic
psychology and a Space Corps colonel (but in fact an
enemy agent), is in charge of preparing the Robinson
party. His attempt to sabotage the mission saw him
stranded aboard as a "reluctant stowaway", from which
the pilot episode takes its title.
* The Robot, a Model B-9 Environmental-Control Robot,
which had no given name. However, in the third-season
episode entitled "The Time Merchant," it was shown in
its packing crate, and the crate was labeled ONE General
Utility Non-Theorizing Environmental ROBOT, with the G,
U, N, T, and E, and all letters in ROBOT in red capital
letters, while all the other letters were black; some
have suggested that this was supposed to convey the
acronym GUNTER; see these screen shots. The Robot was
designed by Robert Kinoshita, and performed by Bob May
in a suit built by Bob Stewart, with voice by Dick Tufeld,
who was also the series' narrator.