Friday, August 20, 2010

There's a starman waiting in the sky (Bowie)

I know you're keen to find out how the Lost In Space-a-thon is going. On to the third and final season now and it's ace! I love the fact that they are reusing spaceship images from the first season pilot. Class!

The third season (from 1967) was never shown in NZ so the different opening and new Robinson family uniforms took me by surprise. The more I think about it the more I think we only ever got the first season here for some bizarre reason. The third season returns us to space (much of one and all of two were set on a single planet) and adventure rather than camp comedy and it's all the better for it. It's definitely the best season which makes the lack of a fourth season quite perplexing.

The robot still has all the best lines and Dr Smith is still causing mindless angst and Judy (Marta Kristen) is still gorgeous. Well, she is! I watched the movie version again recently (it's actually really good apart from the really annoying Matt LiBlanc as Don West) and one of the extra bits is interviews with Judy, Penny and Maureen. It's fun to hear them reminisce about the series and they clearly loved the experience. Fun also seeing them 40 years later - they've aged well (especially Marta).

It's a bit sad the producers/writers never made much of Judy - she never had any meaty story lines and didn't develop as a character. Even Penny had more to do. Puzzling because Marta is a good actor, in my humble opinion. Certainly she is much better that Guy Williams.

Why do I love the show so much? Partly it's the nostalgic urge. It reminds me of simple times - Sunday nights, age 10, in front of our black and white TV at 18 Korma Ave, Royal Oak, Auckland. I don't recall my brother, or parents, ever watching it with me. Not really their taste. Comic book heroic Americans conquering space was certainly mine though.

Partly it's the innate period charm - the reusing of film stock, the flimsy monsters, the lurid and imaginative use of colour. Partly it's the great dialogue between Smith, the robot and Will. Partly it's the terribly wooden acting from Guy Williams (the father).

I'm not alone either, I hasten to add. There are huge fan conventions for not only L.I.S. but the other 60s and 70s TV shows we grew up with. Some of mine were Hogan's Heroes, Get Smart, Mission Impossible, C'Mon, Happen Inn, The Beverly Hillbillies, Time Tunnel, Hawaii Five-O, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and, of course, Lost in Space. All American (Pete Sinclair counts as he was trying so hard to sound hip and American) and pretty much the same show really - humorous, imaginative, at times quite camp, cool and exotic. Great material to escape 1960s NZ boredom.

Till next time, inshallah -

Love and peace - Wozza

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