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Back to the future with the Robinsons, a Robot, and a coward.
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."