“Never fear, Smith is here!”
The cult sci-fi TV series Lost in Space, created by Irwin Allen for 20th Century Fox Television, aired on CBS from 1965 through 1968. Although it ran up against the original Star Trek, it was Lost in Space that was the first-run success.
Following the exploits of the intrepid Robinson family (Professor John Robinson, wife Maureen, daughters Judy and Penny, son Will, their pilot Major Don West, their Robot...called “Robot”) and a stock villain stowaway known as Dr. Smith originally sent to sabotage the ship, the series was a campy hit that mixed cheap special effects, excessive over-acting, and a wild sense of fun to produce a show enjoyed by both children and adults. The cast included Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Marta Kristen, Angela Cartwright, Bill Mumy, Mark Goddard and Jonathan Harris.
Originally sent from Earth to colonize the nearby star system of Alpha Centauri, the family found themselves encountering a bizarre collection of aliens thanks to the bumbling malevolence of Dr. Smith, who often attempted to exploit opportunities to return home at the expense of the family’s safety.
Lost in Space has now enjoyed a resurgence of popularity thanks to several anniversary celebrations, including a Sci-Fi Channel tribute aired on October 16, 1997 (the date on which the Robinson’s spacecraft, the Jupiter II, was supposedly launched) as well as the 1998 New Line feature film of the same name, starring William Hurt, Mimi Rogers, and Gary Oldman taking over for Jonathan Harris as Dr. Smith (“Oh the pain, the pain!”). Many of the surviving original cast members had cameos.