The classic TV series Lost in Space is set to be rebooted by Netflix. Photo: Silver Screen Collection/Getty ImagesLost at lunch with Jonathan Harris, Lost in Space’s Doctor Smith
Warning, warning … a reboot of the iconic science fiction series Lost in Space is coming to TV.
Plans for a new version of the 1960s series have been in the works for more than a year, according to media reports in the US.
The original series launched in 1965 and lasted only three seasons; it was created by Irwin Allen, the producer behind other TV hits such as Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Land of the Giants.
Like Star Trek, which was also cancelled after three seasons, Lost in Space took a little time to blossom fully, and ultimately flourished in the 1970s in reruns, eventually becoming one of the most loved science fiction series of all time.
It told the story of the “Space Family Robinson”, a pioneering family of astronauts – Professor John Robinson, his wife Dr Maureen Robinson, their children Judy, Penny and Will, and pilot Don West – who were part of a space colonisation program on a futuristic, overpopulated earth.
But in the opening episode their mission to colonise Alpha Centauri is disrupted by a stowaway, the saboteur Dr Zachary Smith, played memorably by Jonathan Harris, and the entire party becomes hopelessly “lost in space”.
The series was met with mixed creative and commercial success at the time, though many of its episodes, and its technological equipment – including the Jupiter 2 spaceship, the Chariot and the Space Pod – were much loved by fans.
The planned reboot has been commissioned by the streaming platform Netflix.
Despite the success of Lost in Space in pop culture terms, it has struggled to reinvent itself, particularly when compared to its 1960s-era contemporary, Star Trek, which has launched a succession of hit reboots.
In 1988 a feature film version was produced, starring William Hurt, Mimi Rogers, Gary Oldman and Matt LeBlanc. It earned just US$136 million at the box office, off an US$80 million budget.
In 2003, a new television series was in the planning stages at 20th Century Fox, starring Brad Johnson, Jayne Brook and Adrianne Palicki, but did not proceed past a pilot.
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