"Star Trek was a show that aimed at your head. Lost in Space was a show that aimed at your heart."
- Mark Goddard
This was one view expressed explaining the longevity of "Lost in Space" an Irwin Allen produced TV show about a family which was literally lost in space, which had its premiere on the CBS television network on the evening of today's date, September 15, in 1965. I freely admit that this event was certainly not a great historical moment. But it was an important part of popular culture when I was a kid. So if you, my "Today in History" readers will indulge me for a few minutes, I would like to reminisce about one of my favorite TV shows of all time. I call it a favorite not because its production values, which were pretty poor by today's standards. But the character of Dr. Zachary Smith played with pompous delight by the actor Jonathan Harris made the show frankly hilarious fun to watch. An "iconic" character in TV history? Maybe not, but he certainly was iconic for me!
The Original Story of "Lost in Space"
The original story was set in the year 1997. Earth at this time is vastly overpopulated, so a family - the Robinsons are selected for a mission which sends them to the third planet in the Alpha Centauri
The Dr. Smith, the Robot and the Robinsons
The show's original concept focused on the Robinson family. But the character of Dr. Smith (below) wound up as the primary foil and the source of most of the troubles. Initially conceived as a completely evil, saboteur, the character became a self-centered, scheming, and eternally
"Lost in Space".... Lost in the TV Ratings
The show ran for three seasons, between September 15, 1965, and March 6, 1968, putting out a total of 83 episodes. The first season was in black and white, and the second and third seasons were in color. "Lost in Space" was Irwin Allen's most successful television program. While the ratings were lackluster at the start, they improved by the second month. By January of 1966, "Lost in Space" was a top ten show, soundly topping its competition on the other networks. When "Star
"Never Fear... SMITH is here!!"
The main reason why I've made this TV show the subject of a Blog is that I had soooo many enjoyable moments watching it. The over-the-top performances by Jonathan Harris as the scoundrel Dr. Smith made it one of the happiest parts of my childhood. Now tell me, any of you who watched this show: can you recall with the same hilarious reaction I always had these signature Dr. Smith lines: "Oh my back! My delicate back!!", or "WHAT DO YOU WANT WITH MEEEE?!" , or the slimy greed exuded by this one: "Did you say... diamonds??" The
"Never fear.... SMITH is here!!"