Season 3 of Lost in Space had a very ambitious start. You could feel the excitement of the new direction the show tried early in this season. From the exciting and grand new theme to actually going into space more often, Season 3 did start out very well. However, the lazy writing to "comedic villain" of the week started to creep up by the middle of this volume.
Season 3, Volume 1 features some of the best episodes of the third season and a few approach the best or at least the most ambitious of the entire series. We start out with the action packed "Condemned of Space" where we see the Robinson's lift off, dodge a comet, loose the Robot in Space and come across a frozen prison. We move on to "A Visit to a Hostile Planet" where we feature one of the best of the series (though logic is out the window) where our crew returns to Earth of the Past. We take a trip to a comical yet original premise in "Kidnapped in Space" and then the traditional "crash" in Hunter's moon. And even when stuck on a planet for a while, they to attempt new fresh ideas, most notably some bonding between Don and Smith in "Space Primevals." And bad creature effects aside, "Space Creature" gave us one of the deepest Lost in Space episodes to date.
Near the end of this volume, it would seem that the writers milked all they could out of the return to action and adventure and had to settle back to farcical fantasy and the results not very good. We get three episodes in a row that pretty much sign the death certificate of the entire series. "A Day at the Zoo" puts the Robinsons in a traveling Zoo. "Two Weeks in Space" features the Jupiter 2 as a resort for fugitive aliens, complete with a cash register and badminton equipment. And "Castles in Space", while starting strong, falls on its face with a silver Mexican, Don making a mannequin in the likeness of a Mexican woman, and the robot getting drunk. If it weren't for the excellent "The Anti-Matter Man", this volume would have gone out on a horrible note.
Season 3, Volume 1 is presented in broadcast order I believe. This is a welcome change because prior video releases did not have them in this order and we often had illogical order to them being crashed and then back in space. The DVD transfers are good but again, a remaster would have been welcomed.
Season 3 rates way above season 2 in terms of quality but because of hitting rock bottom with some truly dreadful episodes, the show alas was doomed. Volume 1 of Season 3 features the strongest of the entire season.
on June 28, 2005
LOST IN SPACE was a silly series. Of that there can be no doubt. It was, however, quite fun. Jonathan Harris, playing Dr. Zachary Smith, stole the show as a cowardly, greedy, lazy and incompetent stow away. He was always causing problems and good for a few laughs.
The series changed over the course of 3 seasons. It started out as a fairly serious science fiction series. By the second season, it had become nothing more than a campy comedy. The third season saw a reversion back towards the serious end of the spectrum but only just barely. The plots were, by a large, a bit more believeable but there was no doubt that this was as much comedy as drama. The cast did not take themselves too seriously and that contributed to the fun.
The series was noted for laughable costumes and special effects which used a bang, flash of smoke and disappearance/reappearance to solve any effects situation. What the series lacked in seriousness, costume, plot, and effects, it made up for with good humor and some of the richest color to appear on television at that time. It comes through well on the DVDs.
The episodes in this collection include:
One of the things I like about this particular collection is the music. The theme was different each season had had nothing to commend it until the third. For some reason, this theme song struck a chord in me as a young boy and I still like it. It is not great but, to me, it is memorable. Like the series itself, it is not to be taken seriously it is to be simply enjoyed for fun.
Condemned of Space - The Robinsons and crew are finally back in space again. They had no choice since the planet they had been stranded on was targeted by a rogue comet. As to be expected, they barely made it. No sooner than they out into space, Smith manages to jettison the robot by pushing the wrong button. It seems that the robot is lost for good when the ship finds its way to a space station for convicts. Lo and behold, the robot is there waiting for them. While Prof. Robinson and Maj. West go looking for some spare parts, Smith and Will go exploring. Smith wandering around in a prison is NOT a good idea.
Visit to a Hostile Planet - They almost make it. An accident takes the Jupiter II to Earth. They land but are mystified when they cannot contact anyone. Slowly, the awful truth sets in. They are not in their own time of 1997 but are in 1947 instead. People think they are hostile aliens and the reception is decidedly cold. Things get even worse when Smith decides to stay on earth to become some sort of a leader. As a bonus, Judy has more lines in this one than she has had in any episode for almost a year.
Kidnapped In Space - The Dr. Smith hears an SOS from another ship while he is listening to the radio. He is inclined to ignore it until he hears that there is a reward. That caught his attention. When he shows up he is told that he will be forced to do brain surgery on their leader. Failure to effect a cure will result in a death sentence for Smith. It gets more complicated when the leader turns out to be a computer. This is where the robot steps up to the plate. His services are liked so well that they do not want to let him go.
Hunter's Moon - An emergency leads to a forced landing on a planet. The problem is that their presence interrupted a hunter during his hunt. The hunter is a crown prince and his suitability to the throne will be determined by how well he does in his hunting. He decides to make up his deficient score by hunting the Robinsons.
Space Primevals - Volcanoes are threatening the Jupiter II and Smith is sent with Maj. West to set of a charge to cap one of them. When they get near, they are captured by a tribe of cavemen who are ruled by a computer. Smith and West are sentenced to death. This one is kind of sick in that West and Smith hate each other but impending death draws them together. Seeing the robot do caveman dances does not make up for it.
Space Destructors - Smith stumbles into a cave with a machine that makes cyborgs. He decides to make his own personal army to conquer the galaxy. Needless to say, the others are not happy with this development.
The Haunted Lighthouse - This one features Penny who finds a castaway boy with strange powers to affect the minds of others. The Robinsons take him in just as they launch. While whizzing about, they come across a lighthouse from earth and its caretaker. They have an opportunity to get home but that means that the boy will not be able to get home. He is not pleased.
Flight Into the Future - Will and Smith accidentally land on a strange planet in the spacepod. A machine tries to convince them of a Rip Van Winkle event and that they are all far in the future. Meanwhile, the rest of the Jupiter II crew lands and tries to find them.
Collision of Planets - While the Jupiter II is grounded doing some repair work, the planet they are on is on a collision course with another planet. The inhabitants of that other planet dispatch a shiftless crew to destroy the Robinson's planet. They are a bunch of inconsiderate hippies who will not grant the Robinsons a few extra hours to complete their repairs. I didn't care for hippies in the 60s and they seem no better now.
Space Creature - The Jupiter II is captured by a living mist. If this is not bad enough the mist is evil and feeds on fear. It does all it can to frighten the travelers. Smith makes a likely target.
Deadliest of the Species - While flying through space, a foreign probe hitches a ride behind the Jupiter II. When they land, the probe crashes nearby. It turns out that it contains a very dangerous prison escapee and that escapee is a robot, a female robot. The Robinson's robot naturally falls in love and is willing to work against his own family. This one was pretty sappy.
A Day at the Zoo - In intergalactic zookeeper captures the Robinsons to put on exhibit in his zoo. Smith manages to ingratiate himself and even manages to take over, lured to this course of action by his own avarice. He again manages to hack off everyone. This episode is more like those of the previous season in tone. The first appearance of the alien is so ludicrous that it is a relief to learn he is only wearing a mask to frighten his prey.
Two Weeks in Space - While most of the family is away, Will, Smith and the Robot are left behind at the Jupiter II. They get a call from an incoming spaceship and Smith sets up as a resort hotel to cash in on the visitors. The problem is that the visitors are fleeing robbers and are looking to set up their hosts for the fall.
Castles is Space - While working on a remote communications relay, Wlll, Dr. Smith, Maj. West, Judy and the robot come across a frozen alien sarcophagus. The revived alien turns out to be a beautiful princess from an ice planet. Another spacefarer shows up looking for her. He has been searching for her so that he can hold her for ransom. When West refuses to give the princess up, the bandit kidnaps Will.
The Anti Matter Man - Don't expect antimatter to mean was physicists mean. In this case is means the "evil twin". Professor Robinson gets kidnapped by his evil double from an evil parallel universe. The plan is to replace the real Prof so that he can stay in our universe. When he comes through, however, everyone notices that he does not act like himself.
on December 11, 2004
As an avid fan of LIS from day one, I enjoyed all three seasons
of the show. I agree with another reviewer of season #2 that it
was fun and interesting, not stupid as some claimed. However, for
those with a negative impression of the show based on what they saw of season #2 or what they've heard, watch season #3. Irwin Allen decided on a more serious treatment for #3 which was more in the spirit of season #1. The result was at least three of the
best episodes of the series: "Visit to a Hostile Planet", in which the Robinsons were propelled through a time warp to Earth
of 1947, fifty years before their voyage started; "Condemned of Space" in which the Jupiter 2 lands on a prison ship, and "The Anti-Matter Man" featuring awesome performances by Mark Goddard and especially Guy Williams portraying their anti-matter selves.
True, this season did contain the infamous "The Great Vegetable
Rebellion" with a talking man-carrot, but stupid though it may seem, my advice is JUST HAVE FUN WITH IT!
Buy this season and enjoy!
on March 3, 2005
I've looked forward to having LIS on DVD for quite some time. I had hoped that Kevin Burns and 20th Century Fox would stop milking the franchise and perhaps make the effort to invest a little bit back into it after all these years. But, alas, I was wrong.
The transfer of the 3rd season episodes is weak, to say the least. The episodes are soft, fuzzy, and lacking detail. They are looking old and tired, much worse than the first season, which wasn't so good either. Only the 2nd season episodes come close to looking decent on DVD.
I was really looking forward to the 3rd season on DVD because many of the stories were quite good. But the weak transfers takes much of the joy out of it.
Normally I wouldn't recommend a purchase under these conditions, but since it is unlikely we'll ever see the money invested to do good, digitally remastered transfers from the original negatives of this series you might as well buy it now. But it pains me to reward Kevin Burns (the license holder for the LIS franchise, so he does have input into these releases) and 20th Century Fox for the cheap corner cutting of these DVD sets. The series deserved better.
Seeing another post here about this DVD set looking better played on DVD player and TV, I popped this set into my Denon DVD player and viewed the episodes on my 36" Sony XBR.
I haven't changed my opinion one bit. The transfer still looks weak and blurry, lacking resolution. They look as if they were mastered from 16mm instead of 35mm material. I'm not sure what they used as a source for the mastering of these episodes, but it is obvious that there was no quality control done.
The reason it looks somewhat better on a TV versus a PC is that a PC's higher resolution reveals more of the tranfer flaws than a DVD player/TV combination will.
I do note that different companies have been used to master the releases of Voyage, Time Tunnel, and Land of the Giants than the one that did LIS.
on February 26, 2005
What can you say about a DVD set in which the FBI, Copyright warning, and menu screens are the best looking things? All the episodes appear blurry, as if someone tried to digitally enhance, and failed. The coming attractions are the best looking part. I've seen VHS copies that look better. This show deserves better. Fox should recall and reissue correctly.A real disappointment!
on October 10, 2006
I purchased this set from amazon just a few days ago, when it was priced at $15.99. I had read a lot about the unacceptable image quality of these DVDs. Also, Disc 1's episodes were mistakenly placed in disc 3 and viceversa. When I opened my package, I saw that the back of the box had a small orange circle sticker with nothing printed on, nor it seemed to have any reason to be there, unless... FOX was quietly trying to tell customers in-the-know that this version was revised and corrected. Many DVD editions which originally came faulty and have been corrected have this sort of thing (i.e. Back to the Future Part II had a small sign "V.2" next to the copyright and Dario Argento's OPERA had a a sticker saying Version 2.0)... and in fact, this was the case.....sort of. The episodes belonging to disc 1 are now on disc 1, BUT the picture quality is still the same crappy transfer. Before the set arrived ,I was very eager to know just how screwed the image was... well, for casual viewers who don't mind watching VHS-quality content on DVD there should be no problem. However you don't have to be a technophile to notice that the image is lacking any detail, sharpness and contrast. I've read there is ghosting most noticeably on the long shots but I haven't seen it yet, however, I have only watched many parts of many episodes and judging from what i've already seen I'm sure there will be ghosting somewhere. There are also horizontal resolution lines visible through out every episode I've checked (however, ALL LIS season sets have them as they were apparently mastered from the same analog source as the Columbia house VHS tapes). Still, if you already bought the previous sets like I did you'll obviously want to have the whole series, so, the only thing I can say is that I hope you find it on a 60% off bargain like I did here at amazon, cause the quality is so substandard (at least, not DVD quality) that it doesn't deserve the $30+ price. At times, even the episode-name credit looks noticeably shabby.
on January 23, 2005
Season 3 of "Lost in Space (LIS)" was the final. After the camped up Season 2 with ridiculous storylines, Season 3 returned to more interesting and engaging episodes .
When Season 1 was released on DVD, Fox decided to release the entire season in one box set. However, due to its high price tag, sales were not as pleasing as expected (despite it being the best of the three seasons). Fox then released Season 2 in two sets to make it more affordable. The same applies to the soon to be released Season 3.
Season 3 includes one of LIS most outstanding episodes "The Anti-matter man", where both Don and Professor Williams come face-to-face with their doubles. Worth seeing.
Season 3 can be purchased as one box set from Europe in late March 2005, for those not wanting to buy it in two parts.
Overall, LIS is a great sci-fi favourite. I would recommend people purchasing Season 1 and 3, and skipping Season 2 completely.
on March 5, 2005
I never thought Fox did a stellar job of putting LIS on DVD, however this volume is by far the worse I've seen. The transfer is bad enough to ruin your viewing experience. SAVE YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY!
This is a great series. It's just a very bad transfer for this specific volume.
on March 7, 2005
I purchased this Tuesday on the first day of its release, looking forward to watching the third season of Lost in Space.
I had previosly purchased Season one and the complete Season 2 set from Europe (not split into 2 volumes)
I first started viewing the Third Season on a Dell laptop with Power Dvd 5 and Windvd4 and noticed the soft video, Blury images and what I think are MPEG compression artifacts.
Thinking that it was the Laptop LCD and or software I then viewed the same disc in a Progressive scan DVD player on a 30 inch HDTV in 480P.
The picture on the 30 inch screen is just BAD. Washed out color blurry video, and muted details.
I then tried using a portable 5 inch DVD player and the picture looks much much better but watching on a 5 inch screen is not something I want to do for the entire season
Comparing this to the Season 2 set which should have been mastered from older stock film at Twentieth Century Fox thes Season 2 Discs do not appear at all as poor DVD Quality.
I will most likely not but the second volume unless I can clearly see an improved video quality on the new DVDs that are slated to be released in June.
on June 24, 2005
...that a professional mastering facility would turn out a DVD set of this caliber...and I'm not referring to the campy nature of "Lost in Space," though it did reach an all-time high during season three. I'm referring to what others have complained about--a disappointing lack of crispness in the episodes I've previewed, a result of painfully noticeable ghosting of the image...which I'm guessing may have been brought on by something even as simple as a cabling fault during mastering of the set.
A genuine shame, because image quality otherwise is perfectly fine, as is the audio quality. I've noticed none of the color issues that some have mentioned on my own equipment, but the ghosting is totally unacceptable...as is the segregation of the "next week" teasers, which should have been integrated into each episode before the closing credits, as they were originally presented. Ironically, in the episode that I watched in full this evening ("Flight Into the Future," one of my favorite third season episodes), the teaser suffered from no visible ghosting...but it was painfully evident in the main program.
Viewed from a distance on a 27" standard set, this anomaly does becomes much less noticeable, but sharpness still suffers as a result...Fox, is it asking too much to release these episodes on home video properly? Sigh, at least it's superior to the 16mm prints that used to air weekly on TBS many years ago, and the episodes are intact...and as a bonus, network "brought to you by" and "continue after station identification" bumpers can be seen as extras on disc #4, perhaps for the first time since the original CBS airings.
A "must have" collection for fans of the series, albeit a disappointing one.