December 15, 2010
SPACE CAMP: LOST IN SPACE
It's Space Camp week on Spy Vibe! As I busy myself with end-of-term grading and holiday plans, I thought it would be fun to look at quick and campy snapshots of some of the classic space-age moments in 1960s entertainment. Today we feature the original network sales presentation for Irwin Allen's Lost in Space (1965-1968). The series had a lot to offer, including sets filled with computer banks, a soundtrack by John Williams, robots and ray guns, and even a ship that strongly resembled the Chemosphere house (1960) by architect, John Lautner (photo below by Julius Shulman). The series started on a more serious tone than fans might remember. Even Dr. Smith began as a vicious saboteur who spent the first season trying to bump off the Robinson family and head back to Earth. This was a program that embraced the space age to the point of seeing the stars as the next logical step in human expansion. Keeping with the times, the show's silver space suits were fashioned in the style of the early Mercury and Gemini designs from NASA. There was the expected camp of space travel in Lost in Space, but the real fun was when monsters began popping up to cause trouble for our heroes. I seem to recall it began with a giant cyclops, and the early season closed with an actual zoo of space monsters on the loose in an episode starring Michael Rennie (Day the Earth Stood Still). As Lost in Space went color and more outrageous to compete with Batman, the show took camp to new heights- culminating in the Great Vegetable Rebellion. Check it out if you dare! Evolution of the space suit here.