It?s the third and final season of the far-out tales of TV?s most lovable space crew! Complete your mission with these intergalactic adventures! Join in as the Jupiter 2 crew attempts to finally return home to Earth, wit... more »h more help from the wily Robot B-9, more antics from master meddler Dr. Zachary Smith, and of course, more "Danger, Will Robinson!" Along with out-of-this-world extras not available anywhere else, this collectable DVD installment of Irwin Allen?s LOST IN SPACE presents the final 9 episodes of America?s favorite space family.« less
Quite the grab bag, even if this is "Lost in Space"!
Twiddles42 | MN, USA | 08/05/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Well, the previous set was good enough so I decided to get this one too. After all, it's got "The Great Vegetable Rebellion".
I'll start with DVD quality:
Menu system: Uninspired but passable; what else is new?
Video: Given that the show is released for a niche audience these days, there are some scratches, blemishes, unrestored trailers, dust marks, film jumps, just like in the previous releases. It's overall acceptable and I've seen far worse for TV shows that were far more popular and beloved that cannot be blamed on the quality of the master analogue tapes. Still, more care into the restoration work would have been nice. I do hate film jumps and, quite frankly, this stuff - like all tv and media - should be preserved as a reflection of society at the time... it might be dated and somewhat sexist, but at least the Robinsons prove their moral superiority (and possibly stupidity) by rescuing Doctor Smith from himself every week... And you know Smith wouldn't be tolerated for one attosecond these days!
Audio: Great in mono, nothing to complain about here. Very passable!
As for the episodes themselves:
Target: Earth -- I loved the pre-credits teaser, even if the alien itself looks fairly disgusting (I wish I could cite a parallel, but I'm not keen on toilet humor...). While "Lost in Space" is typically pedestrian with its plotlines and a lot of its dialogue, I found this one to be surprisingly fun. Even Will (think "the original Wesley Crusher but isn't arrogant" ) is well handled. 7/10
Princess of Space -- a typical outing despite having a decent premise. It's not what I'd call innovative or adventurous, however. 5/10
Time Merchant - WOW!!!! While it still has a few "Lost in Space" logic/dialogue issues, and don't forget the show is made for children in the mid-1960s, this one is actually fairly intelligently written and well handled. (man, I wish more modern sci-fi would be as daring with its use of concepts...) Especially for 1967. Highly enjoyable and makes me grateful the series was allowed to run its final season to the end or else we wouldn't have gotten this one. Best of all is a worthy twist: Had Dr Smith not gone on board, the Robinsons would be in far worse trouble than anybody would have ever thought... The actual revelation alone makes this episode a winner, but I can't really knock it in any way, shape, or form. For LiS it's sublime and for general sci-fi for the time it's very ahead of its time. 10/10
The Promised Planet -- whew boy. Another planet where the Robinsons have to engage shallow antisocial hippies. This time it's not a gaggle of shiftless, selfish, bone-idle losers but kids who just want to dance all day in front of (or behind!) screens lit by a series of rotating colors. Oooh, psychedelic man! The excuse for this, folks? The inhabitants of this planet can't grow old. They need Will and Penny for a series of transfusions they think will allow them to grow old. (it's poorly explained but I got the impression they were going to drain the kids of their blood, which is actually quite frightening as a concept, even if it is somewhat silly. But those 2 minutes can't make up for 48 minutes of utter drivel.) In a certain mindset (try being very drunk or stoned, and forgive me if I don't partake...) it might be passable but this one is a true low point. And if you manage to sit through this one's ending unscathed, feel lucky. And that stupid, uninspired "acid trip" music gets stuck in your head too and I doubt the writer had that in mind... UGH! Never mind the one kid's voice who sounds like a total geek and un-hip. Worse, the one pudgy kid at the end who whines that he just wants to shave (!!!) tops it all as being the worst episode ever. 2/10 (why am I so generous? Because Dr Smith, as usual, is a hoot to watch!! And, of course, the 2 minutes' worth of fear at the end.)
Fugitives in Space -- Surprisingly good, if a bit lax on details. 150 degrees would be a fatal temperature, to say the least... There's some great makeup work however and the idea of Smith's and West's fellow captive that he can regenerate when killed must've been taken from "Doctor Who". Nicely put into context for what it's worth, but it's still "Lost in Space". Smith himself is very diabolical here and you have to wonder why the Robinsons would bother to keep him when he pulls really vile stunts like this... definitely more akin to his early season 1 persona rather than his ultimate cowardly clumpish self. 6/10
Space Bounty -- Why look, CBS's answer to the venerable Harry Mudd (Farnum B) makes a return appearance! While NOBODY tops Harry Mudd (except for possibly a certain Q), Farnum's always fun to watch. If only there was a 4th season, how many more episodes would they contrive him into? Smith forging Judy's name is what causes the hapless Robinson family to get wound up into Smith's shameless scheming this time. 7/10
The Flaming Planet -- as said by a flaming reviewer, this is a mixed bag. There are some nice ideas present: A dying race killed off by their own weaponary, the fantasy element of having somebody else take over (though WHY seems to be left unanswered), and a mutated life form that thinks Dr Smith is its daddy. It's an oddball, but surprisingly enjoyable and the ending, by "Lost in Space" standards, is almost educational by its prompting kids to whip out the dictionaries to learn the big words presented. :-) 7/10
The Great Vegetable Rebellion -- WHY DO PEOPLE HATE THIS STORY?! No wonder Guy "tripod" Williams and June Lockhart were having troubles trying to conceal their giggling, this episode is one I'd actually introduce TO potential fans. It's so novel, yet so off the wall and outrageously funny and knows, unlike many episodes from the previous seasons, how to work within its limitations and not end up looking dated, kitschy, or pastiche. This one is genuine fun. Never mind some double entendres that should have had the CBS execs pulling it from the airwaves (note the scene where Willoughby starts nibbling at leafy bits from Dr Smith (who had just been transmogrified into a gigantic stick of celery). They really get away with a lot and I was unstoppably rolling once they started talking about seeds, good grief!!!) This episode is a total riot to watch, and despite the behind-the-scenes issues it actually feels coherently put together. 10/10 and I'd rate it higher if I could!
Junkyard of Space -- notice the lack of Ms Lockhart and the general absense of Guy Williams. They were written out of this one because of their behind-the-scenes antics in "Vegetable Rebellion". It's got the potential to really be a gritty story, but for some reason it just seems average. 6/10
Ultimately, completists will buy this on the spot. It's a fair release, epsecially for the price. But there is some fun to be had in this 2nd and final set, moreso than in set 1 I'd discovered. It's a 60s kids show, but in some ways it tries to transcend its limitations and be more)."
A Sad Finish to a Great Series
Brian A. Wolters | Cabot, Arkansas | 07/25/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Season 3 Volume 2 shows the end of a great series. In my opinion, some of the worst episodes were in the mid 2nd and mid 3rd season, though many believe "The Great Vegetable Rebellion" of this set to be the worst. It may be but it can still be a fun watch over say, "Space Vikings" of the 2nd season. The end of this series follows an interesting route.
The end of the Lost in Space series is definitely schizophrenic. This volume starts out with the excellent "Target: Earth" where a group of uniform creatures want to learn to be individuals. Then we lurch over to "Princess of Space" where Penny is mistaken for a look-alike princess and computers with toupees march in battle. "The Time Merchant" was a great balance of fantasy and a great sci-fi story. "The Flaming Planet" had a decent story but the subplot about the radioactive plant was enough to curdle lunch milk a million miles away. "Fugitives in Space" was a different episode that actually felt fresh, despite the weird court they had. Enough has been said about the "Talking Carrot", so we won't even go there. And because of "bad behavior" from the filming of that episode, we rarely see Guy Williams or June Lockheart in this volume. Heck, even Judy is given a swan song in "Space Beauty."
I do have to take time out to mention "The Promised Planet". It is far from the best ever but it is one of my favorites mainly due to the absurdity of it all. Here, we feature a possible arrival to Alpha Control, which is actually kind of exciting to hear. Then we see where we are going, into a "Space-a-Delic" trance. We have the scary and horrific "Penny Dance", to Smith in a wig and lighting incense cones to the weird eye shaped signs on the doors. And Keith Taylor, the boy from "Return from Outer Space" is easily recognizable in this episodes and makes you wonder why Will doesn't recognize him. This episode is very dated yet a ton of fun.
Despite the "schizophrenic" and cheap feel to this volume and half of season 3, it is still a lot of fun. Jonathan Harris never once stopped putting zeal and fun into Smith. The stories tried to break the "Smith, Will and Robot" trio and they did try different things. If I can say one thing about this season, they took what the series became and did the best they could with it.
Could the series have been renewed for a 4th season? Sure it could have. The ratings were good and the good episodes far outweighed the bad in Season 3 but alas, it was never meant to be. I feel that this season, albeit short, was much better that Season 2 and if Season 2 had been like Season 3, Lost in Space would have easily been a 5-6 season show. We bid adieu and farewell to a great series and we can only hope we have a decent revival of the series on TV one day."
Lost in Space - Forever
W. L. Anderson Jr. | Dacula, Georgia | 06/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For the uninitiated these are some of the most outlandish episodes in the series. A lot of people poke fun at the "Great Vegetable Rebellion (Isn't that the Tribble salesman from Star Trek?)" Just have fun with it. "Promised Planet" is my favorite episode of all time. I hope this DVD has some extras but it does appear doubtful. It's just too bad that this is the last batch, this was my favorite show of all time. They just don't make anything like this anymore. 5 stars!"
End of the Line
John A Lee III | San Antonio, TX | 11/18/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is the last of the series. Over the course of its three seasons it degenerated from a semi-serious science fiction show into a comic farce. It worked. The show was so silly that it could not be taken seriously but it could be taken with lots of fun. The main reason for this is Jonathan Harris playing Zachary Smith. The comic evil villain was always good for a few laughs.
Synopses for the episodes appear below:
Target Earth - This one is less campy and more in the vein of regular science fiction than most, but that's not saying much. As usual, Smith sets the trouble in motion when he accidentally jettisons the pod with part of the robot aboard. The pod lands on a planet and the crew of the Jupiter II head down to retrieve their belongings. That, of course, causes more trouble. The aliens on this particular planet are all identical and are intrigued by the differences between the humans. They are an old race failing because of their lack of diversity. That is the given reason but I think it has more to do with looking like a heap of mud. The aliens come up with a plan to "replicate" the Jupiter II crew and conquer earth.
Princess of Space - It's been a while since I have viewed the previous set but I think this episode sets a new standard for silliness. It's basically the Anastasia story without the Russians, pomp or grandeur. In its place, we get spaceships decked out with a model of the Cutty Sark, air funnels from early steam ships, navigating lanterns (on the inside) and an army of advanced computers which resemble filing cabinets with arms. The cutlass in the hands of the captain is a nice touch also. Basically, the aliens are looking for a lost princess hidden on Earth. They grab Penny instead and try to pass her off to the royal auntie. In short, Penny is mistaken for Princess Alpha from the planet Beta and must fool Aunt Gamma with her knowledge of cousins Iota, Kappa and Sylvia. Complete silliness!
Time Merchant - this time it is Will who unwittingly starts the trouble but, as always, Smith manages to make it worse. While running an experiment, Will accidentally captures a "time merchant". Said merchant is a bit peeved and takes Will as a slave to make up for his troubles. Naturally, Dr. Robinson, Dr. Smith and the Robot follow to get him back. From there, things get more complicated. It seems that Chronos, the time merchant, has a function something like the Greek fates. When a person's "time tape" runs out, Chronos snips it. While all of this is being explained, Smith manages to actually get himself back to Earth with Chronos's equipment but the catch is he is there just before the original Jupiter II takes off. He is not about the get on again but his failure to do so will mean that the ship gets destroyed by an uncharted asteroid. To fix things, the robot is sent back to Shanghai Smith and set things right. The big surprise and what makes this possibly the least believable episode is that Smith has an altruistic moment. It doesn't last but even having it is beyond belief.
The Promised Planet - The Robinson family finally makes it to Alpha Centauri. We don't really know how; there is just an announcement from the robot that they are coming into the Alpha Centauri system. Everyone seems surprised but pleased. They are greeted like heroes by a bunch of teenagers wearing West Point style uniforms and then told that they must be indoctrinated. The older folk are to be processed separately from Will and Penny. From there, things get weirder. The clean cut cadet types become hippies and seem to want to do nothing but turn Will and Penny into hippies as well, get them to deny their family and get the family to leave. Penny falls for it and becomes a go-go dancer but will resists. Dr. Smith falls for it as well and becomes the worst of the delinquents. It turns out they are not on Alpha Centauri at all and their hosts are aliens who cannot age. They want to extract something from the kids to let them grow up. It is all enough to make me shudder with my own memories of being a teenager and, even worse, the 60s.
Fugitives in Space - When a prisoner escapes from the Prison Planet Destructon (that's really the name), said prisoner runs into Smith and trades jackets with him. That leads the guards to suspect Smith and, by association, Maj. West. After a quick and dirty trial, both are condemned to Destructon for life sentences. No sooner are they incarcerated than Smith starts scheming with the prisoner who caused his problems in the first place in an escape attempt. West tries to be a restraining influence but Smith's greed is, as always, the ultimate determiner. This one is not as funny as some episodes nor is it as silly.
Space Beauty - Judy finally takes center stage...kind of. Mr. Farnum, the celestial zookeeper from some episodes back makes another appearance. This time he is the producer for the Miss Galaxy Beauty Contest. He has a mysterious backer who is very particular about who is in the contest. The backer takes a liking for Judy, can't fault his tastes there, but Judy doesn't want to play. It's a good thing she doesn't because the fine print of the contract calls for her soul. Smith, however, is more interested in the big payoff for the winner and he doesn't play fair. After being caught out trying to forge her name, he relies on getting her mad at MAJ West by implying that he has forbidden her to take part. Naturally, that means that Judy must sign up. Like so many episodes, this one can seem very silly...unless you have actually seen the workings of a beauty contest, then all too much is familiar. It should be noted that although Judy nominally takes center stage, it is mostly for display purposes. Her role is minimal and the usual suspects have most of the lines.
The Flaming Planet - Smith smuggles what he believes to be an orange tree aboard the Jupiter II. It is not an orange tree, of course, but is instead a plant with limited locomotion and intelligence. It thinks Smith is its "mother". When the plant is disposed of, it causes some damage to the ship and it is forced to orbit a planet while it makes repairs. As it turns out, the planet belonged to a warrior race with one member left. His price for not destroying the ship is to have a member of the crew fight one last war game with him; at the end, the entire planet will be destroyed. The robot gets selected and Smith's baby plant monster is enlisted to save the day.
The Great Vegetable Rebellion - This one is quite possibly the silliest episode of them all. The crew of the Jupiter II wishes to throw a birthday party for the robot. Smith decides to go down to a nearby planet to find a gift. While picking some flowers, he gets arrested by a giant carrot. Don't worry, the carrot speaks English. He doesn't like animal life. Eventually, he tries to turn everyone into vegetables. I don't think I can go on... Jungle Warfare was never so bad.
Junkyard in Space - Just as the Jupiter II has some mechanical problems, they happen by an intergalactic junkyard. When the robot goes to investigate in the pod, he gets captured by the junkman. The main ship heads off to retrieve him. The junkman likes what he sees and wants to purchase the ship for salvage. Needless to say, the crew doesn't want to sell. In order to pressure them, the junkman contaminates all their food. He offers Smith food for various parts, beginning with the some from the robot, and eventually trick Smith into letting him steal the Jupiter II. In the end, however, love conquers all.
Special Features: most of the special features are minimal, as are the menus but there are 2 that are especially worth while. These are the interviews with Billy Mummy and Jonathan Harris. These two actors, playing Will Robinson and Dr. Smith were the two central characters and helped make the show a success. They are worth watching.
Farewell to the Jupiter II
Lonnie E. Holder | Columbus, Indiana, United States | 09/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It has been nostalgic and sad to watch the final episodes of season 3 of "Lost in Space." The 60s were winding down. The final episodes aired at the end of 1967 and the beginning of 1968, which saw the second season of "Star Trek" and the release of the phenomenal and ground-breaking movie "2001: A Space Odyssey." The United States was growing up in so many ways, and "Lost in Space" had failed to keep track with our expectations.
Looking back, these final nine episodes had some excellent moments, and hint at what this series could have been. Among the best episodes is "Target: Earth," where a group of aliens that are similar to each other attempt to duplicate the individualism of earthlings. "The Time Merchant" was one of the best episodes of the entire series. Chronos the Time Merchant plans to take the remainder of the Robinsons' lives because they inadvertently interfered with his travel plans. "Fugitives in Space" provided a bit of deception to keep me guessing how the episode was going to end.
Unfortunately, the series also keep the corny hokum that made season 2 weak. "The Promised Planet" had a great idea at its core, but the music and mod light betray its 1960's heritage. "Space Beauty" may have highlighted Judy's beauty, but Judy was too easily manipulated into entering a beauty contest that she was too smart to enter. This episode was one of the lower points of this volume. "The Great Vegetable Rebellion" is an episode that gets a lot of criticism. This episode was not as bad as some people make it out, but it was a low point for the series.
You can count the number of science fiction television shows that left a lasting impression on viewers on your fingers. As campy as "Lost in Space" sometimes was, it left an impression that is nearly as strong for many people as the impression that "Star Trek" left. "Star Trek" was a much bolder show and tried to present some of the infinite possibilities that exist in the universe. "Lost in Space" reached only a brief distance into the future and was the first non-animated television show that focused on a family of space pioneers. Plot holes abound in "Lost in Space." Dr. Smith has to be one of the most obnoxious central characters in a television show ever. And yet, I retain my fondness for this show.
I think it is easy in this age of sophisticated digital effects and a chain of quality and classic science fiction television that extends back to at least the original "Outer Limits" to look down on "Lost in Space" as unworthy of appreciation. However, the series was influential and it was memorable. Had Irwin Allen maintained the serious nature of the show, it is possible that "Lost in Space" would have been the landmark television show that "Star Trek" became. I know I watched both, and I know I enjoyed "Star Trek" when it came out the year following the debut of "Lost in Space." I considered myself lucky that two such wonderful shows were on at the same time.
I look back on "Lost in Space" with fondness. I enjoyed watching all three seasons. Perhaps my fondness is just nostalgia. If so, I will revel in my nostalgia and just maybe I will watch all the episodes again.
As a side note, after being a little boy and watching "Lost in Space," I admired Will Robinson a lot. I credit Will being a role model for my later years when I studied electronics and physics in college. This show may have been campy, but I am glad that I was encouraged by a show like this one. Perhaps we should all wish for more campy science fiction shows to encourage children to become scientists and engineers. "