Lost In Space: The Complete Classic Series
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Lost In Space: The Complete Classic Series
In the year 1997, Earth is suffering from massive overpopulation. Professor John Robinson, his wife Maureen, their children (Judy, Penny and Will) and Major Don West are selected to go to the third planet in the Alpha Centauri star system to establish a colony so that other Earth people can settle there. They are to go there on a ship christened the Jupiter 2. However, Doctor Zachary Smith, an agent for an enemy government, is sent to sabotage the mission. He is successful in reprogramming the ship's robot, but in the process becomes trapped on the ship, and because of his excess weight, the ship and all on board become hopelessly lost and it now becomes a fight for survival as the crew tries to find their way back home.
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For starters: To Amazon, please remove the older reviews listed under this title (from many years ago) that are intended to review very old, previously released VHS tapes. Those reviews have nothing to do with this newly released DVD set.
Let me state up front. I am a HUGE LIS fan and was 100% in support of a widescreen release (in fact, I still am). Many LIS purists, and devout fans of classic television from the 50's and 60's, are often militant about keeping the original aspect ratios of such era TV shows they remember from pre-widescreen television days.
As several other knowledgeable reviewers have mentioned (and I thank them for their well composed and informative reviews) - please see reviews from D. Ice and Serious Critic. Reading their reviews will help some understand that NOT a lot of image is lost in converting to a Widescreen format in the case of LIS. It's clearly a matter of preference, I realize. Some only want to see this show (and other TV shows of this era) in the original aspect ratio. Others are keen on viewing it in Widescreen.
Undoubtedly, loyal LIS fans are of a certain age demographic, but perhaps fail to realize how a Widescreen release opens up a renewed longevity for this classic Lost in Space series. Much younger fans of the new Netflix reboot just might take an interest in our beloved LIS, simply by viewing it without pillar boxing on both the left and right sides. Who knows? Maybe MeTV or perhaps SYFY may start showing the classic LIS more regularly in Widescreen. But again, I understand we all have our preferences. Like so many things in this world. One last comment to anyone who is defiantly against a Widescreen presentation of the series. Have you purchased the Blu-ray set, Lost in Space - The Complete Adventures from 2015? Have you viewed the Widescreen presentation of Condemned of Space from Season 3 which is one of the extras? That bonus extra gives you a great idea of how the Widescreen formatting looks. There is also an audio commentary on that Blu-ray set by Kevin Burns and Mike Clark for the episode, The Reluctant Stowaway, where Mr. Burns explains, in great detail, how Lost in Space was shot and how a Widescreen formatting does not lose much image - and in fact, gains image on the sides.
So I think it's fairly safe to say, the price for this set seems reasonable. So if you happen to embrace the idea of a Widescreen presentation, we're off to a good start.
Now.....some NOT so great things to mention about this DVD set. Some may not agree with me but if you order the set, I suspect many will, in fact, agree.
1) It's a budget priced set. Packaging is a super flimsy plastic clamshell that clasps on the side providing access to all 17 DVDs. The discs do seem to hold well on the hubs - although they do not necessarily release very easily. There are no inserts, booklets or episode descriptions. Just a list of episodes by name, on the inside of the slipcase artwork. There are 5 LIS episodes per disc - that's some fairly tight compression. And that's somewhat of a bummer.
2) So you get 6 discs for Season One. 6 discs for Season Two and 5 discs for Season Three. The short version of the Unaired Pilot - No Place to Hide is on the 6th disc of Season One. All the other extras, including Lost in Space Forever are on Disc 5 of Season Three. Another downside - the discs for ALL three seasons are ALL the same color and look alike. It would have been nice if a different color/artwork was used for each of the seasons' discs. Luckily they are NOT two sided discs!
3) There is a play-all selection for each disc unlike the first DVD release in the early 2000s.
4) I have done a random sampling of discs/episodes and they all seem to play well in both my Blu-ray players. But even upconverted to 1080p via HDMI, the quality is NOT even close to the Blu-ray discs (and I certainly was not expecting them to be) but I'm afraid to say, I feel the image quality might be below par even for standard DVD. The sound seems fine. A mono Dolby. English is the only audio and subtitles.
My two cents. I wish there were a Widescreen Blu-ray release. However, this DVD set is certainly a huge step up from the previously released DVD sets in the 2000's.
Lost in Space fans really wanting a Widescreen presentation might want to hold off for a potential Widescreen Blu-ray release. Or is that going to the well, one too many times?
P.S. Amazon!!!! Please ship these in something other than the blue and white bubble padded envelopes. They need to be shipped in a box with air cushions. Thanks!
Also, as this product was released on February 05, 2019… PLEASE DISREGARD ANY REVIEWS WITH A POSTING DATE BEFORE February 05, 2019! Those cannot apply to this specific product!
Now, it IS only a STANDARD DVD release (not a Blu-ray), but if you ever had any interest in owning LOST IN SPACE on DVD, but do not… Or, if you do, but are a “completest-who-loves-his-widescreen-TV” like me… THIS IS A MUST BUY – especially at the low price!
I have the 50th Anniversary Blu-ray set (a truly amazing product in itself) and the eralier original “season-volume” sets but, in addition to seeing LIS in widescreen, there are even a few bonus features that are not part of the 50th Anniversary Blu-ray set!
My enthusiasm is based upon watching FIVE random episodes (across all three seasons) and ALL of the bonus features, on the day it was delivered! But, I can’t imagine that this set will let me down with additional future viewings!
If you are a fan of LOST IN SPACE and appreciate good widescreen presentation, don’t let this surprisingly unheralded release pass you by!
Now, if only 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment would give a similar treatment to VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA! I’d be there for that one, too!
I love watching the series in Blu-Ray, but this is a close second to the Blu-Ray, and I think I even prefer it due to the widescreen presentation. The packaging is okay with me. It's not first-rate, but very easy to manage. All of the discs are clearly labeled with the season and disc number, and there are no pesky cardboard sleeves to wrestle with like the Blu-Ray set has.
I highly recommend this set for the price and especially the quality. And I think you'll love the widescreen presentation, too!
Top international reviews
So if you are buying for your children I would miss series one and skip straight to this series two, giving a two minute intro. But if you want a bit more bite then go for series one as well. Be warned though there are around thirty episodes in this 8-disk DVD collection - over twenty hours of prime time TV from 1966/1967 (Series One is the same length but from 1965/1966 and in B&W). So very good value at least, and the picture quality and production values of these series 2 (and 1) DVD's is top notch. The set has English language and English subtitles only. No extra's, although in both the very nice packaging includes a cute little pull-out booklet of the episodes and characters. In 2008, when we get through all 50+ episodes from series 1 & 2, we may risk series three despite the very poor DVD picture quality warnings from other reviewers. The expected fourth season of Lost in Space was ironically cancelled despite high ratings, due to Fox's financial disaster with Cleopatra reducing the available budget of Lost in Space to a point where creator, Irwin Allen, refused to continue.