Lost in Spacescience fiction TV series from the 1960s, produced by Irwin Allen. Allen based his space adventure series on a Gold Key comic book, Space Family Robinson, making a few alterations along the way. The first pilot, for instance, did not include the character of Doctor Zachary Smith, portrayed by Jonathan Harris.
Lost in Space followed Allen's basic philosophy that TV was supposed to be fun, as opposed to educational. His series were all very fast paced, usually at the expense of intelligence.
The series ran for three seasons on CBS, from 1965 to 1968. The first season was filmed in black & white and was somewhat more serious and dramatic in comparison to the following color seasons, which featured a more prominent fantasy note.
The regular characters included the Robinsons John (Guy Williams), Maureen (June Lockhart), Judy (Marta Kristen), Penny (Angela Cartwright), and Will (Bill Mumy), as well as pilot Don West (Mark Goddard).
The general public now most recognizes Lost In Space via the memorable, oft-repeated warning lines of the Robot. i.e. "Warning, warning... Danger, Will Robinson!" The Robot (aka Model B9) was performed by Bob May in a special stunt costume, with voiceover by Dick Tufeld. In more recent years, hobbyists have built over 15 detailed replicas of the Robot, although the original outfit still exists in deteriorated condition.
Some viewers found the show quite beautiful, with full colour special effects and spacescapes courtesy of the astronomical community. Many also found the show quite juvenile, with stories about space cowboys, space hippies, space pirates, space beauty pageants, and, of course, the infamous Great Vegetable Rebellion, featuring one of the few intelligent space carrots in cinematic history. (Several of the show's stars did not appear in the following episode, as punishment for being unable to keep from laughing during the filming of what they saw as a travesty.) People also complained that it is illogical that the Robinsons and their pilot would tolerate the presence of an unrepentant backstabber such as Doctor Smith as he repeatedly attempted to betray them for his benefit.
The science fiction community often points to this show as the perfect example of TV's bad record at producing science fiction, comparing it unfavorably to its contemporary, Star Trek.
The theme music for the opening credits during the show's first two seasons was written by John Williams. (Movie trivia fans say that echoes of this musical score can be heard in Williams' score to the movie Jurassic Park.) The musical theme was changed to a less "serious" Williams score with the third season of the show (in turn, similar to the score to Star Wars).
In 1998, New Line Cinema produced a feature movie adaptation, starring William Hurt, Mimi Rogers, Heather Graham, Matt LeBlanc, Gary Olds and Lacey Chabert. Lavish special effects were incorporated, and the story was similar to the more dramatic first episodes of the TV series. While marginally successful, audience reaction was mixed and box office results were insufficient to justify a planned sequel.
In late 2003, a new syndicated TV series, with a somewhat changed format, was in development in the USA.