Monday, May 15, 2006

Lost in Space...

Lost in Space. Ok, my favorite shows growing up as a kid included

  • Ultraman

  • Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot

  • Space 1999 (yes, I now own both seasons on DVD, season one was so much better than season two – they should never have had Victor disappear)

  • Star Trek (this needs no link! I am in the process of collecting them now, I was a big fan of Voyager, The Next Generation and recently “Enterprise” – never got into DS9 however)

  • Battlestar Galactica (haven’t started the “new” series, have heard it is really good – might pick it up)

You might be noticing a trend here… SciFi was the word of the day. Anything SciFi related – I would watch. It is what I read as well (lots of the Robot books by Asimov – well, all of them really. I just re-collected and re-read all of them).

Anyway, iTunes has started selling Fox shows and Fox owns the rights to one of my all time favorite “campy” SciFi shows – “Lost in Space”. It was great – I watched them all over and over whenever they came on TV.

I’ve downloaded both premieres – yes, it had two. The first one didn’t include either of Dr. Smith or the Robot! The two premieres tracked very well together – many of the same scenes. Minor changes to some things – for example the Jupiter II was originally called the Gemini. I liked seeing the state of mind in 1965 (my year of birth coincidentally) when the series was released. To introduce Dr. Smith – they spun him as a “spy” – pegging him as a spy from a country “that would go to any length of sabotage” (wonder who they might have been referring to in 1965?).

In 1997 (the year the Jupiter II/Gemini took off in the show ), we have a desperately crowded planet – yet there were ashtrays everywhere in mission control. Seems that would help with the overcrowding issue.

I love the computers in the show – who needs a graphical interface when you have lights and mechanical “click/click/click” processing (sounded like cards being processed). Everything is on TAPE.

Best of all – the lack of gravity in one scene. All you need to simulate the lack of gravity is some string on pony tails – if the pony tail is floating in air – you must be weightless. They did a little “whole body floating around” – but I really liked the pony tail effect.

Anyway, I now look forward to getting the rest of the series – something to watch in hotels when I’m on the road. Cannot wait for the color versions of the series to come into play – but black and white is interesting as well. I watched most of the series in black and white originally.


Anonymous Anonymous said....

Babylon 5

A rather difficult series to understand, unless you watch it from the first to the last episode. Then it's awesome. The fifth season didn't turn out as good as it could have, but overall, it's a great series.

I like Star Trek TNG, but the thing about it is the great "Star Trek Reset". No matter what happened to them, every episode starts off the same.

In B5, main characters die or otherwise get "reassigned". Makes for an interesting series.

Mon May 15, 09:21:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Roderick said....

Growing up I loved Sci-Fi so much I used to subscribe to Starlog Magazine when it first came out. Too bad I didn't know they might become collectors items.

Lost in Space would annoy the heck out of me but I kept watching the reruns anyway. Both incarnations of Battlestar Galactica have the same effect. My childhood favorites included Star Trek (never followed DS9 closely either) and The Six Million Dollar Man (and, no, I don't own an Oscar Goldman action figure). Captain Scarlet was cool too.

In my neighborhood I think Space: 1999 ran in syndication on Saturday afternoons and would be followed by "In Search Of" with Leonard Nimoy. Then I'd watch repeats of The Prisoner on PBS.

And my memory might be foggy but I vaguely recall Love Boat and Fantasy Island would be on Saturday nights as well. Then again I guess my memory is good. 1978 - One of the best Network TV seasons. Ever (minus some of the dreck on NBC). 1982 was a great year too. Yes, I've been addicted to TV my whole life.

Mon May 15, 10:30:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Daniel Fink said....

Thanks for the trip down TV memory lane. I fondly recall "Space 1999", "In Search Of" (anyone remember "I Am Not Spock"?).

The one show I never missed was "The World At War" on Sunday nights. My father would wake me up (it was broadcast around 11pm) and we would watch it together.

Mon May 15, 11:46:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous OracleDoc said....

I can't believe a Sci-Fi fan such as yourself hasn't picked up the new Battle Star. The series is intense and I highly recommend it.

Tue May 16, 02:08:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Borkur said....

I really must suggest that you take a look at Deep Space 9. It is by far my fav Star Trek series, mainly due because it happens in the same place so there has to be an underlying plot.

Which brings me to Babylon 5. The most complete and complex SciFi series ever made, IMHO.

The new BattleStar Gallactica is quite gripping, but alas I never so the original to compare.

Tue May 16, 04:20:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Mr. Ed said....

Thunderbirds, anyone?

Tue May 16, 05:38:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

How could I forget to mention Captain Scarlet, loved those big puppet people.

Tue May 16, 06:30:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Bill S. said....

Starlost. Man from Uncle. I Spy. The Avengers (HAD to watch that. Dianna Rigg in a leather catsuit - 'nuff said). The Time Tunnel. I'm sure I'm missing a few here, there were too many to mention.

Captain Scarlet - yeah, some show. I remember it well, along with The Thunderbirds.

Tue May 16, 08:08:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Patty C. said....

I am also a "Lost in Space" fan and would love to have it for my Ipod. Unfortunately this is not an option in Canada yet - they are working on it and hopefully soon I will be able to download and watch all of these things that you get from!

Tue May 16, 08:30:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous joao said....

Wow, that posting brought back childhood memories I have long forgotten! Johnny Sokko was my favorite...I wanted that wrist-watch controlled robot.

Any of you ever watch Starblazers?


Tue May 16, 08:31:00 AM EDT  

Blogger belliott said....

Starblazers was another one that I absolutely loved. Thanks for the link to that.

How about Marine Boy?? Another great anime from the same era.

Tue May 16, 09:11:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Noons said....

Hmmm, to those of us stuck in less tv-oriented countries, the options were much reduced.

Space 1999 definitely brings back a lot of memories. But the others were not as successful. Sorry Trekkies, but that's how it goes! ;-)

Thunderbirds - the bouncy, string operated old ones - also trigger a few memories.

More recently though it'd have to be Babylon 5: simply the best sci-fi series in a loooooong time.

Tue May 16, 09:15:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Danger Will Robinson !!!!!

I am coming up on the big 50 this year and I watched the same shows and read the same books that you mentioned.

Another great show was the old Doctor Who. My 12 year old son is watching the new version on Sci-Fi now and is a real fan. A second generation sci-fi geek in the making !

Tue May 16, 12:00:00 PM EDT  

Blogger jimk said....

Wow, you guys bring back memories.

I started off with Astro Boy, Giagantor and another one where the main character was called Tobor (robot backwards). Of course, Felix the cat was okay at 3 years old, but a little too formulaic. (how exciting is a bag of tricks that solves every problem?)

The Avengers, great show! Boy, did I have a crush on Dianna Rigg! I think I was 5 or 6 and I didn't know why but I liked seeing her in the show.

I remember when they canceled Time Tunnel and people were calling the statiuon to put it back on the air.

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. Subs and oceans etc. Glad I finally learned how to scuba dive. Now I can see the ocean up close. (I can't afford a sub.)

And of course, Lost in Space and the original Star Trek.

Tue May 16, 12:27:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Astro Boy - I remember watching that after school at Grandma's.

The Robotech series, robotech, macross, invasion and sentinels series are all amazing japanimation. From the 80's

The original Battlestar Galactica was an awesome series. I have all the episodes on tape, got them off ebay, including BG 1984.

New series is amazing. Story is good, special effects are good. The zoom/unzoom and weird pan angle type effects they use on the
show are very well done.

The robotic Cylons... the old ones were better.

Never got into the original lost in space though (not old enough I guess).

The canceled firefly series and the serenity movie are all worth watching.

Tue May 16, 12:42:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous John Hurley said....

Well how old are you exactly or "how long" did you consider that period to be "growing up as a kid"?

Lost in space ... Yes I watched all the original episodes when they came out.

But the dates for the other series aren't close to when "lost in space" was on tv ( well except for some of the original Star Trek I guess ).

Space 1999? Whazzat?

Ultraman? Huh?

Space Ghost now I know who that is.

Tue May 16, 01:46:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous RobH said....

My nic growing up was astro boy (I had his hair, much to my constant battle).

Oh robotech, how do I miss thee

How about Voltron, Thundercats, tranzor Z?

Tue May 16, 01:57:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Pigs in Space!

Bob Shepard

Verification keyword: odzyxz

A porcine odyssey?

Tue May 16, 02:24:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I haven't thought about Ultraman in 30 years! Geez - I'm old. I used to watch it every afternoon when I got home from school.

Tue May 16, 04:22:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Joel Garry said....

Talk about the dream job. I used to work with this guy. His brother was the fellow who created the talking software used at the original Mac introduction (before that I was quite amazed that Apple would give someone a preproduction Lisa so he could write LisaTalk). Science fiction really can have a positive lifelong influence on people.

Tue May 16, 04:51:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Lance Hoover said....

Finally, somebody else that remembers Marine Boy! That was my absolute favorite! Man, I wish I had some of that gum he used.

A big thank you to PBS for a number of my favorites. Dr. Who anyone? The new one is also worth watching. A couple of other British Sci-Fi shows, Red Dwarf, absolutely hilarious and Blakes 7. I was mad about that one for quite sometime because the PBS station I was watching it on stopped showing it after the first season and there was a great cliff hanger. I didn't find out for a few years what happened in the second season.

I must agree with the comments about Babylon 5. Most complete and complex.

Tue May 16, 04:54:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Nelson said....

How about The Space Giants?

Tue May 16, 11:21:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Kriss said....

Loved Johnny Sokko, the Gargoyle Gang was the best...aliens disguised Japanese beatniks.


Wed May 17, 11:58:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Michael Norbert said....

I can't find the web page that has a listing of Zachary Smith quotes. Anyone know it? Friends of mine, last name Smith had a son. Guess what they named him? Boy, do they get annoyed when I yell "Silence Robot" at him. I'm amazed that no one has caught on to the name. I guess many Canadians didn't have access to U.S television like I did growing up in a border town.

Wed May 17, 02:33:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous MikeH said....

I cannot believe you guys haven't mentioned Doctor Who! ><

UK TV series about a Timelord (The Doctor) with multiple lives travelling many and various times and places in the Universe with his companions.

This show was just fantastic, in many ways it was like a cross between the feel of Star Trek and the feel of Lost in Space. The great and original stories of a Star Trek combined with the awful kitzch of Lost in Space.

And since we're talking Sci-fi, two of my favourite movies were:

- Forbidden Planet. If you haven't seen this you are missing out BIG TIME! Leslie Nielsen, Oscar Goldman, Robbie the Robot ... it doesn't get better! :-)

- "name forgotten". A spaceship crew investigates an SOS on Mars. Whilst on the planet they pick up an alien intruder on their ship. On the way back to earth they battle desperately against the monster as it picks them off one by one. Sounds familiar no!? This was the late 50's movie that Alien just had to be based on.

Wed May 17, 10:11:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous John Ridgway said....

If you are a fan of the original Star Trek then check out .
This picks up on season 4 when the original series got canceled.

Thu May 18, 12:28:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Anyone remember this show?

I used to love it, even though I probably only understood about half of it.
I'll watch anything sci fi. Currently it's really on BG, although I'm a huge Justice League fan as well.
Not a downstroke, fistpicker

Sat May 20, 05:29:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Anyone remember this show?

That's another show from Gerry Anderson (i.e., Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, ... etc.). It was his first venture into using live actors instead of puppets.

Did you know they made a "New Captain Scarlet" series last year? It's all cgi (computer generated).

I also grew up watching Irwin Allen's "Lost in Space, "Land of the Giants" & "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea".

Fri Jun 16, 12:47:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I loved Lost In Space when I was a kid! My list (no particular order):

Lost In Space
Battlestar Galactica
Star Trek
Star Trek Next Gen
Babylon 5
New Battlestar Galactica

...never got into Space 1999. Babylon 5 is awesome-- you have to watch them in sequence, it's *really* great.

The new BattleStar Galactica is awesome too-- watch in sequence, start with mini-series.

Sat Mar 03, 05:00:00 PM EST  

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Mon Jun 23, 03:31:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Frederick said....

I too have fond memories of LIS from when I was a kid. It was my main show for years before I discovered Star Trek and grew into that.

I've posted some LIS memoriabilia on one of my blogs, hope you enjoy it!

Wed Jul 08, 12:59:00 PM EDT  


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