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on August 31, 2014
I grew up with Lost In Space but it was never the one show that I always looked forward to. As with many I'm most familiar with the diabolical Dr. Smith and the Robot's calling "Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!" So as my wife and I worked our way through this thick as thieves Season 1 collection it was fairly fresh for us and we enjoyed it thoroughly.

If you are a person who can still stand watching B&W TV or movies (I know that some, unfortunately, won't) you can find the serialized LIS as a bit of a time capsule. Ahead of its time in the 1960s its look to the future and space travel is especially fun now. The series really started off seriously minded, taking the notion of space exploration and future settlement of other planets in our solar system. This surprised us given what we mainly remembered from the show, and it further surprised us to watch the Robinson family take about four episodes before crash landing on a planet only to remain on this extremely hostile planet for the rest of the season! Lastly, it was a surprise to see the treacherous Dr. Smith take quite a while to develop his yellow streak and the Robot, who develops a funny antagonistic persona toward Smith by season's end, hardly ever belt out his electronic catchphrase.

The series, always ending on a cliffhanger, started to wear a little thin with their formula by season's end with Smith always putting his earthen family at risk over his own instincts and base desires. Why in the world they never allowed Captain John Robinson or pilot Major Don West to deck the dude or lock him in the brig (which surely they could have made) is beyond me, other than the writer's using Smith as the cuckoo catalyst for most of the family's woes. But it reminded me of Gilligan from the "Gilligan's Island" television series. Watching it when I was young his goof antics that always screwed up the castaways' hopes of getting rescued never bothered me but as an adult...it bothered me. And the same principle goes along here, but the unwillingness of the Robinson clad to resort to base violence is part of the charm of this series that is family friendly and refreshing. I know that it was a product of the late 1960s but I was shocked when the family prayed to God (several times throughout the series) and firmly drew their morals from a divine notion. It was refreshing to see! I can't remember the last time I saw anything like that recently on TV.

Perhaps it would be worth it to get lost in space again if we could "progress back to the future."
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on September 2, 2016
This is the most serious part of the classic science fiction form the 60's. It is black and white but that is how most shows were at that time. It is a classic filled with some of the best stories. The first half is more science fiction and the second half is more fantasy. It is before the infamous "Will and Dr. Smith" routine :-) You actually get stories involving the whole family; Penny and even Will without so much Smith. It is not totally camp as the latter series got. You won't go wrong watching it and it is great for the whole family.
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on April 1, 2016
Bought this to watch with the grand kids ages 4-7 boys & girls. They absolutely love it and a great bargain with so many episodes. Nicer than taking time to watch an entire movie. Exciting but not too scary. They look forward to the next episode each time they come over and can't believe I had to wait a whole week on old tv as a kid. Good morals & clean language. The Dr. Smith stuff is kinda over their head. It's black & white but the kids don't seem to care or even notice as we watch it in the evening before bed.
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on October 8, 2016
The first 6 episodes started out good, non silly. After that Dr. Smith became a clown and the adventure/survival aspect of the show was lost. We all grew tired of his screaming useless nature, but Irwin gave us cool looking ship's the Seaview and the Jupiter 2, which was a big reason I watched the shows plus the robot. On a side note Voyage to the bottom of the sea had some really good episodes the first season, more serious less monsters.
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You can count the number of science fiction television shows that left a lasting impression on viewers on your fingers. As campy as "Lost in Space" sometimes was, it left an impression that is nearly as strong for many people as the impression that "Star Trek" left. Of course "Star Trek" was a much bolder show, and tried to present some of the infinite possibilities that exist in the universe. "Lost in Space" reached only a brief distance into the future and was the first non-animated television show that focused on a family of space pioneers. There are plot holes galore. Dr. Smith has to be one of the most obnoxious central characters in a television show ever. And yet, I retain my fondness for this show.

There are 29 black and white episodes from the first season in this collection. This collection also has the "unaired" pilot episode, which contains truth and fiction. The pilot episode was originally unaired, but I am sure that I have seen that episode, perhaps on the Science Fiction Channel. Many portions of the pilot episode also found their way into some of weekly episode. This collection also has a promotional film used to sell advertisers on the show.

The series began quite seriously, and remained relatively serious throughout much of the first season, though there were lapses into farce and camp. The series begins on earth with the auspicious purpose of sending the first of many families on a pioneer voyage into space. Dr. Smith, who began the series as a calcuating, cold-blooded individual, sabotages the mission. Unfortunately for bumbling Dr. Smith, he is caught on board the spaceship as it takes off. The ship is damaged by Dr. Smith's sabotage and goes off course, eventually settling on a planet, where it remains for the entire first season.

Some of the episodes held much promise for what the series could have been. "My Friend, Mr. Nobody," with guest William Bramley, explored the origins of possible galactic life and the meaning of intelligence. "The Sky Is Falling" with guests Don Matheson, Francois Ruggieri and Eddie Rosson explored how we might encounter families from other species and wondered whether we might react as intelligent beings or paranoid, prejudiced, suspicious beings.

Guest stars ranged quite far. The iconic Michael Rennie of "The Day the Earth Stood Still" fame appeared in an episode where our possible relationship to others in the universe was explored. A very young Kurt Russell tried to prove his worth against Will Robinson, and John and Will Robinson managed to teach both Kurt and father Michael Ansara something about being a father and son. Character actor Albert Salmi appeared as a pirate in a fun episode. Robbie the Robot guest appeared in one episode. Michael J. Pollard, who would later appear on the television show "Star Trek" (episode titled "Miri"), appeared as a boy in a dimension behind mirrors. Sherry Jackson played a beautiful hick in an episode, and would also appear in "Star Trek" (episode titled "What Are Little Girls Made Of?"). Some of the other numerous guests include Werner Klemperer ("Hogan's Heroes"), Royal Dano, and Kym Karath ("The Sound of Music").

I think it is easy in this age of sophisticated digital effects and a chain of quality and classic science fiction television that extends back to at least the original "Outer Limits" to look down on "Lost in Space" as unworthy of appreciation. However, the series was influential and it was memorable. Had Irwin Allen been allowed to maintain the serious nature of the show, it is possible that "Lost in Space" would have been the landmark television show that "Star Trek" became. I know I watched both, and I know I enjoyed "Star Trek" when it came out the year following the debut of "Lost in Space." I considered myself lucky that two such wonderful shows were on at the same time.

I look back on "Lost in Space" with fondness, and I absolutely enjoyed watching every single episode in this collection. I know I will enjoy the episodes in season 2 and season 3. Perhaps my fondness is all nostalgia. If so, I will revel in my nostalgia and just maybe I will watch all the episodes one more time.

As a side note, after being a little boy and watching "Lost in Space," I admired Will Robinson a lot. I credit Will being a role model for my later years when I studied electronics and physics in college. This show may have been campy, but I am glad that I was encouraged by a show like this one. Perhaps we should all wish for more campy science fiction shows to encourage children to become scientists and engineers.
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VINE VOICEon July 22, 2005
I've always been a Lost in Space fan. From the days when I was very young when Mr. Keema scared me when he revealed himself, to rediscovering it in the late 80's to watching it now for "warm fuzzy" memories, the show has always entertained me. At my younger age, I loved Season 2. As a teen, I loved Season 3 and now, I find that Season 1 was simply the best.

Season 1 opens with 5 dramatic and suspenseful episodes that rival some of the best sci fi / adventure stories out there. While this isn't "good" science, it is fun. Lost in Space rarely, if at all, came close to the adventure and true danger shown in the first 5 episodes of season 1. They go from nearly being killed in an asteroid belt, to almost destroyed by the Robot and ultimately fighting the elements on a strange planet. I won't go in the "science" of the show because it wasn't good and logic and continuity (what happened to the dog they found?!?!) were not closely followed. This show was about a close family and their adventures in outer space. Period.

Lost in Space started out as a serious survival story and most of the first season deals with that. Despite a road bump with "Welcome, Stranger", the first half of Season 1 was very dramatic in its impact. The family had to find food, shelter, water at the same time as battling the unknown and sometimes hostile creatures. Then, the show takes a lurching turn with The Sky Pirate and rarely looks back. From that point on, the main focus of the show was "comedic villain" of the week and how Will, Smith and the Robot deal with the issue with Dad coming to the rescue most of the time.

Despite the format change, the remaining first season episodes still had a lot of charm and excitement to them. "All that Glitters" shows a remorseful side of Smith that we rarely see. "Follow the Leader" is one of the best "alien possession" episodes of the series. And the "Magic Mirror" has a very surreal mood that the series never approached again.

The cast was generally consistent in their performances. Guy Williams was solid, Angela Cartwright (when given a good story) could melt your heart, and June Lockheart was one of the best TV moms. Who know that Jonathan Harris' Dr. Smith would become one of the most memorable characters in television history?

Season 1 doesn't feature anything in the way of interesting extras. We do get the unaired pilot which is only interesting in the fact it has no Robot or Dr. Smith. The rest of that pilot was cut into most of the first 5 episodes. The back and white quality of the DVD's is crisp and excellent.

Lost in Space will always have a place in my heart. Each season of the show had its own unique personality. Season 1 was about survival and adjustment to their situation and it is the very best of the three season series.
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on September 30, 2003
I was 13 when "Lost In Space" premiered on CBS-TV in September 1965. The premise of the show was one that appealed to me, especially as a devoted watcher of NASA and the '60's space race to the moon. Although I had outgrown the show a bit by the end of its third season because of what the show had morphed into, I was a faithful watcher until the end.
The first season of the three has always been my favorite. A bit of humor (which became over-balanced a bit in seasons #2 & #3), but not too much, with stories that didn't insult the intelligence of its viewers and gave us a lot of "life lessons" in the story lines about family, loyalty, honesty, and consequences for actions- good and bad. The cast? Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Angela Cartwright, Billy Mumy, Jonathan Harris- and the robot! Perfect, perfect, perfect for their respective roles and a chemistry as an ensemble that is matched in few other television shows.
LIS produced a few trends in television that continue today. Most notably, I believe, this was prime-time's first "soap opera" as the story lines in seasons #1 and #2 continued through the episodes with "cliff-hanger" endings each week. They were not "closed-ended" stories as became the case in season #3. Season #1 stayed truer to classic science-fiction of the time instead of science-fantasy, which what season #2 was. The two music themes (especially for season #3) and background music in the episodes (Can you get better than John Williams??) was vastly far ahead of its time and given a great deal of fore-thought in its quality- not "jingle" music for sure! The sets and special effects were ground-breaking (I always liked watching the Jupiter 2 in flight, take-off, and landing), high-end, and costly, but added to the viewers' satisifaction and enjoyment of LIS and do not seem to be that dated. It has also helped the show endure the quality of time despite the remarkable advances in special effects seen in television and movies today.
LIS was the "water-cooler" show of the season when it first aired. The unfortunate turn of events for the show came when "Batman" premiered in February 1966, later that season, and the producers, for what ever reason, decided they needed to compete with the "camp" of "Batman" and I feel "dummy-downed" the program for season #2. Season #3 tried to strike a balance between science-fiction and fantasy, which bounced the quality of the episodes back a little better though the show did end with a fizzle its last two episodes in season #3.
I will anticipate seeing the quality the picture and sound on DVD as I own the complete set of 84 episodes on VHS. Obviously, this set will be easier to store and I hope that seasons #2 and #3 are also ultimately released on DVD set. The show is a "keeper" for anyone interested in classic television of the '60's and good quality programming in general, especially season #1.
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on January 19, 2004
There was a day when any discussion of Lost In Space always brought an inevitable comparison to televisions Star Trek from the same period. And for fans of Lost In Space, the comparison was always unwelcome: nearly everyone used to say Star Trek was high-minded and serious, closer to real scifi, while Lost In Space was viewed nearly universally as patently silly space opera.
Two things have happened in the inetervening years to redeem the series rep to an unforeseeable degree. For one, Star Wars has undoubtedly lent a kind of legitimacy to the entire space opera branch of scifi (or scifi entertainment and film at any rate). I know this development upsets diehard scifi purists, but it can't really be denied. Ask most people what scifi is, and they'll candidly offer "Star Wars, of course." Secondly, the Star Trek episodes, so long held as the Holy Grail and template of all serious scifi television, have attained an edge of camp that makes them at least borderline unwatchable for a lot of people. For these people --and I will confess to being one of them-- the presumed "seriousness" or "high-mindedness" of the series actually works against it, heightening the camp feeling of the old show.
Lost In Space does have some funny/incongruous scenes, as in the unaired pilot when Maureen is seen taking laundry out of an atomic washing machine and carrying it to the atomic dryer in a metallic clothes basket. But the series was about a family trying to maintain a normal domestic picture, in the depths of space. Are such scenes really any funnier or more improbable than those of the Enterprise's sleek-haired captain romancing a scantily clad babe in every port in the Galaxy, and dumping her once she doesn't fit in with his plan, week after week?
I leave that to you. But for me, Lost In Space feels better and better, like more of an achievement, given the reqirements of commercial television of the time. Perhaps the fact that it has been an underdog (however fondly remembered) for such a long time makes us willing to look at it a little more generously than ever before. Reappraisal time is at hand.
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on November 22, 2003
This is the Beginning...
Almost 6 years after the Jupiter 2's 1997 launch date, and two years short of it's 40th aniversary, Lost In Space is coming to DVD.
Oh joy! Oh, rapture!
I was all of 9 years old when this show premired, and for three years, every Wensday night at 6:30 on WMT, in Cedar Rapids Iowa, I would gobble up every episode.
Fast foreward to the present. WMT is now KGAN, and during the passage of time, Seasons 2 and 3 have lost thier appeal to me, except for one or 2 of the episodes, such as "Visit To A Hostile Planet". However, Year one has always held it's magic, when Doctor Smith was a truly nasty and evil villan, the show was in glorious Black and White, and it was presented in a wonderful SERIALIZED format.
(God, I hope Fox keeps those "Teasers" intact.)
Lost In Space Season One has always been a "Holy Grail" to me, ever since I started video collecting. And to hear that the unaired pilot "No Place To Hide" will be included makes this even more of a joy. Anyone who has seen it will know what I mean. Irwin's ORIGINAL vision for Lost In Space was far diffrent than what CBS and Fox wound up giving us. Too bad it didn't work out that way, but by far, Year One was truly the best, and the one I want to own.
UPDATE: January 13th, 2004
Just got my set. despite it's lack of extra goodies, this will be the most treasured DVD set in my collection. Well worth every Penny (I know... Bad pun) I paid for it. Thank you Fox Video, and a special blast of the thrusters to Amazon.com for making this set so affordable.
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on January 13, 2018
The first season in Black&White was the heart of the series. Great science fiction which inspired a generation. I just wish they would have booted Dr. Smith out of the nearest airlock!!
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