LOST IN SPACE:
I’m a cybernetic hero… After the rather silly second season, year three of LOST IN SPACE seemed to get the show back on track by moving towards more adventure oriented storylines and away from the campier escapades of the sophomore season. Of course this isn’t to say that the third season of LOST IN SPACE wasn’t without its silly moments, just that the general direction of the show had moved somewhat closer to that of the first season. With that said, perpetual Special Guest Star Jonathan Harris continued to shine in comedic role of Dr. Smith, who traded barbs with show’s other highly recognizable icon- the Robot (voiced by Dick Tufeld and performed by Bob May). I also have to comment that I really like action/adventure styled theme music that was composed by "Johnny" Williams for the series third season.
For those unfamiliar with TV classic LOST IN SPACE, the show’s basic premise follows an American family named Robinson that had been selected for a mission to colonize a habitable planet orbiting Alpha Centauri. However, the Robinson’s find themselves and their spacecraft, the Jupiter 2, hopelessly lost in space, after a reluctant stowaway tries to sabotage their mission. The cast of LOST IN SPACE also features Guy Williams as Professor John Robinson, the mission leader and head of the clan, June Lockhart is John’s wife Maureen and matriarch of the space family Robinson, Mark Goddard is the Jupiter 2’s pilot Major Don West, Marta Kristen is the eldest Robinson daughter Judy, Bill Mumy is Robinson’s only son Will and Angela Cartwright is youngest daughter Penny.
LOST IN SPACE: SEASON THREE, VOLUME ONE ($40) comes to DVD in a four-disc set that features the following fifteen episodes that were aired in the first half of show’s third year: Condemned Of Space, Visit To A Hostile Planet, Kidnapped In Space, Hunter's Moon, The Space Primevals, The Space Destructors, The Haunted Lighthouse, Flight Into The Future, Collision Of The Planets, The Space Creature, Deadliest Of The Species, A Day At The Zoo, Two Weeks In Space, Castles In Space and The Anti-Matter Man. Personal favorites from this collection include: Visit To A Hostile Planet, which finds the Robinsons transported back to Earth circa 1947; The Space Destructors, in which Dr. Smith plans to take over the universe after discovering an alien apparatus that creates cyborgs in his image; Flight Into The Future find Will, The Robot and Dr. Smith somehow transported hundreds of years into the future; The Space Creature invades the Jupiter 2 and Will has to battle his own personal demons to get his family back; The Anti-Matter Man finds Professor Robinson trading places with his evil counterpart from another dimension.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has made all fourteen episodes that comprise LOST IN SPACE: SEASON THREE, VOLUME ONE available on DVD in their proper full screen aspect ratios. Again, I must comment that the visual quality for the episodes is pretty respectable, but it is far from as good as it could have been. The overall release of LOST IN SPACE on DVD would have been markedly better had the shows had been given new high definition transfers. For the most part, sharpness and detail are perfectly adequate, however, some sequences are better defined than others. Colors are also a bit inconsistent, from episode to episode, and sometimes within the same episode. Generally, the hues appear fairly vibrant, but sometimes they come across subdued, or in need of some more color correction. Blacks are reasonably accurate, and the whites appear stable. For a television production, contrast is fine, but it too could be improved. The film elements from which the episodes were mastered don’t show excessive signs of age, with blemishes and scratches remaining fairly minimal. Even with four episodes per side of a DVD, digital compression artifacts are well concealed.
All of the episodes contained in the collection feature perfectly acceptable Dolby Digital monaural soundtracks. Considering that LOST IN SPACE is a vintage, mid-sixties television series, sonic fidelity is somewhat limited, but fortunately, the musical component of each episode never sounds harsh or brittle, even with a bit of amplification. Heck, even that cool season three theme music manages to sound pretty darn good. The dialogue is always clean and remains completely understandable. A Spanish language track has also provided, as have English, French and Spanish subtitles.
The basic interactive menus allow one access to the standard episode/scene selection and set up features, as well as a couple of extras. Lost In Space Memories offers about ten minutes of brief clips featuring LOST IN SPACE cast members talking about some of their favorite moments from the series. Third Season Network Bumpers & Tags close out the extras.
For me, the third season of LOST IN SPACE is a lot more satisfying than season two. The episodes look and sound respectable, although they could be better. If you are a longtime fan LOST IN SPACE: SEASON THREE, VOLUME ONE is well worth checking out.
reviews are Copyright © 2005 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied
or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.