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LOST IN SPACE

The Television Years
"Lost In Space," the television series, aired between 1965 and 1968

"Lost In Space," the television series, aired between 1965 and 1968. It was the dream child of legendary sci-fi producer Irwin Allen who, after the success of "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea", was looking for a popular follow-up.

Set in the year 1997, it centered on a family chosen from millions of volunteers to be space pioneers. The family was played by Guy Williams (John Robinson), June Lockhart (Maureen Robinson), Marta Kristen (Judy Robinson), Angela Cartwright (Penny Robinson) and Billy Mumy (Will Robinson). Mark Goddard was cast as space pilot Don West, Jonathan Harris as the villainous Dr. Zachary Smith and Bob May as the Robot, with Dick Tufeld supplying the Robot's voice.

The Robot -- along with Dr. Smith -- stole the show. Created by Bob Kinoshita, who designed Robby the Robot for the classic sci-fi film Forbidden Planet, the Robot was no hi-tech wonder. It was left to actor Bob May to hit keys and work the lights on his chest as he was pulled along on wheeled blocks by hidden wires.

The television show was the first soap opera of the space age and a good fun show in its first season. Later, it fell victim to the ratings war when ABC aired "Batman" in the same time slot, which triumphed in the ratings. Guest stars in the "Lost In Space" series included Kurt Russell and Daniel J. Travanti.

The immortal 1960's cult television series lives on as the producers of Lost In Space created special cameo roles for the original stars of the series. "It was something that we really wanted to do," said Akiva Goldsman. "It is appropriate to pay tribute to those who came before you, because if not for them, we wouldn't be here. The movie is filled with moments, like when Dr. Smith says, Oh, the pain, the pain,' that are a whisper or a wink to those who watched the show as children."

Appearing in the role of the school principal, June Lockhart shared scenes with Mimi Rogers, who plays Maureen Robinson, the role Lockhart created. Lockhart believes it's the perfect time for a Lost In Space movie. "With all the digital and computer effects now, there are no limits," she said. When the call came asking her to participate in the movie, Lockhart was ready. "Years ago, the cast joked that someday they would make a movie of Lost In Space, so we had better keep in shape -- well, we kept in shape for 30 years, and here we are!"

Mark Goddard, who originated the Don West role, appears in the film as the General. "Lost In Space" was a show with heart; that's why families loved it. Over the years there was talk about doing a movie or a reunion,' but I didn't think it would happen. I am delighted to be part of it. I don't act anymore, so this is my last film role, and it's a thrill to be doing scenes with William Hurt," said Goddard.

Goddard shares the screen with the new Don West, Matt LeBlanc. Said Goddard, "I always played Don West as a hothead, and I played him straight even when the series went for comedy. Fans always ask why I didn't get even with Dr. Smith and slug him or throw him off the spacecraft."

Completing the line-up of cameo roles from the original stars of the television series is Marta Kristen and Angela Cartwright. In Lost In Space, they play reporters at the Mission Control press conference. Remembering the success of the television series, Marta Kristen, the original Judy, said, "Lost In Space' was a show that came at the right time. It was a show about a family, and the cast bec

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