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Updated: April 05, 2022

Based loosely on the Swiss Family Robinson classic, Lost in Space, like Star Trek, only ran three seasons (1965-68), but like a fine wine, and through the magic of syndication, it gained in popularity only after being bottled. Creator Irwin Allen, known more for disaster flicks, also created the equally odd adventure TV shows featuring stressed-out hunks: Land of the Giants, Time Tunnel and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.

Lost in Space started in black and white (with a fictional launch date of October 1997!), and moved to color for the second and third seasons, and, to many critics, plot wise, into camp, like Batman, which was that season's competing hit. Actor Mark Goddard (temperamental Don West) has been most vocal about being reduced to a pop icon, and claimed he didn't know the show was campy until after they were well into production.

Perhaps if he's looked more closely at some of the ridiculous alien costumes, he'd have gotten a clue. Some episodes featured fey villians or absent minded aliens (Wally Cox, Lyle Waggoner, Hans Conreid, bodybuilder Tiger Smith) which only added to the fun.

Don's hatred of the often malicious Dr. Smith may be homophobic, but his rage seems more pent up desire for his partner, John Robinson, played by the equally studly Guy Williams, who also starred in the stylish TV version of Zorro. While the women in the cast (June Lockhart of Lassie fame, Marta Kristen and Angela Cartwright) maintained stunning '60's hairstyles and Jetsons eque outfits and sometimes a lovely garden they were mostly left to victim or household roles.

It is difficult to categorize Dr. Zachary Smith (Jonathan Harris) as a homophobic portrayal. A brilliant mind, with practical self-centered interests (he's a sabateur trapped by accident on ship during the accidentally early take-off), Smith was obviously humorous, and the number of pederastic jokes about his relationship with the guileless Will Robinson (Bill Mumy) abound. Equally comedic is his relationship with the simply named Robot. Sexuality is the great unspoken element in the show. In one of the final season's episodes, "Flight Into The Future," the cast lands in 2270 AD, finds a deserted wreck of the Jupiter-2, a monument to the Robot, and people who say they are the descendants of the Robinsons.

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