Season 3 of Lost in Space had a very ambitious start. You could feel the excitement of the new direction the show tried early in this season. From the exciting and grand new theme to actually going into space more often, Season 3 did start out very well. However, the lazy writing to “comedic villain” of the week started to creep up by the middle of this volume.
Season 3, Volume 1 features some of the best episodes of the third season and a few approach the best or at least the most ambitious of the entire series. We start out with the action packed “Condemned of Space” where we see the Robinson’s lift off, dodge a comet, loose the Robot in Space and come across a frozen prison. We move on to “A Visit to a Hostile Planet” where we feature one of the best of the series (though logic is out the window) where our crew returns to Earth of the Past. We take a trip to a comical yet original premise in “Kidnapped in Space” and then the traditional “crash” in Hunter’s moon. And even when stuck on a planet for a while, they to attempt new fresh ideas, most notably some bonding between Don and Smith in “Space Primevals.” And bad creature effects aside, “Space Creature” gave us one of the deepest Lost in Space episodes to date.
Near the end of this volume, it would seem that the writers milked all they could out of the return to action and adventure and had to settle back to farcical fantasy and the results not very good. We get three episodes in a row that pretty much sign the death certificate of the entire series. “A Day at the Zoo” puts the Robinsons in a traveling Zoo. “Two Weeks in Space” features the Jupiter 2 as a resort for fugitive aliens, complete with a cash register and badminton equipment. And “Castles in Space”, while starting strong, falls on its face with a silver Mexican, Don making a mannequin in the likeness of a Mexican woman, and the robot getting drunk. If it weren’t for the excellent “The Anti-Matter Man”, this volume would have gone out on a horrible note.
Season 3, Volume 1 is presented in broadcast order I believe. This is a welcome change because prior video releases did not have them in this order and we often had illogical order to them being crashed and then back in space. The DVD transfers are good but again, a remaster would have been welcomed.
Season 3 rates way above season 2 in terms of quality but because of hitting rock bottom with some truly dreadful episodes, the show alas was doomed. Volume 1 of Season 3 features the strongest of the entire season.
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As an avid fan of LIS from day one, I enjoyed all three seasons
of the show. I agree with another reviewer of season #2 that it
was fun and interesting, not stupid as some claimed. However, for
those with a negative impression of the show based on what they saw of season #2 or what they’ve heard, watch season #3. Irwin Allen decided on a more serious treatment for #3 which was more in the spirit of season #1. The result was at least three of the
best episodes of the series: “Visit to a Hostile Planet”, in which the Robinsons were propelled through a time warp to Earth
of 1947, fifty years before their voyage started; “Condemned of Space” in which the Jupiter 2 lands on a prison ship, and “The Anti-Matter Man” featuring awesome performances by Mark Goddard and especially Guy Williams portraying their anti-matter selves.
True, this season did contain the infamous “The Great Vegetable
Rebellion” with a talking man-carrot, but stupid though it may seem, my advice is JUST HAVE FUN WITH IT!
Buy this season and enjoy!
LOST IN SPACE was a silly series. Of that there can be no doubt. It was, however, quite fun. Jonathan Harris, playing Dr. Zachary Smith, stole the show as a cowardly, greedy, lazy and incompetent stow away. He was always causing problems and good for a few laughs.
The series changed over the course of 3 seasons. It started out as a fairly serious science fiction series. By the second season, it had become nothing more than a campy comedy. The third season saw a reversion back towards the serious end of the spectrum but only just barely. The plots were, by a large, a bit more believeable but there was no doubt that this was as much comedy as drama. The cast did not take themselves too seriously and that contributed to the fun.
The series was noted for laughable costumes and special effects which used a bang, flash of smoke and disappearance/reappearance to solve any effects situation. What the series lacked in seriousness, costume, plot, and effects, it made up for with good humor and some of the richest color to appear on television at that time. It comes through well on the DVDs.
The episodes in this collection include:
One of the things I like about this particular collection is the music. The theme was different each season had had nothing to commend it until the third. For some reason, this theme song struck a chord in me as a young boy and I still like it. It is not great but, to me, it is memorable. Like the series itself, it is not to be taken seriously it is to be simply enjoyed for fun.
Condemned of Space – The Robinsons and crew are finally back in space again. They had no choice since the planet they had been stranded on was targeted by a rogue comet. As to be expected, they barely made it. No sooner than they out into space, Smith manages to jettison the robot by pushing the wrong button. It seems that the robot is lost for good when the ship finds its way to a space station for convicts. Lo and behold, the robot is there waiting for them. While Prof. Robinson and Maj. West go looking for some spare parts, Smith and Will go exploring. Smith wandering around in a prison is NOT a good idea.
Visit to a Hostile Planet – They almost make it. An accident takes the Jupiter II to Earth. They land but are mystified when they cannot contact anyone. Slowly, the awful truth sets in. They are not in their own time of 1997 but are in 1947 instead. People think they are hostile aliens and the reception is decidedly cold. Things get even worse when Smith decides to stay on earth to become some sort of a leader. As a bonus, Judy has more lines in this one than she has had in any episode for almost a year.
Kidnapped In Space – The Dr. Smith hears an SOS from another ship while he is listening to the radio. He is inclined to ignore it until he hears that there is a reward. That caught his attention. When he shows up he is told that he will be forced to do brain surgery on their leader. Failure to effect a cure will result in a death sentence for Smith. It gets more complicated when the leader turns out to be a computer. This is where the robot steps up to the plate. His services are liked so well that they do not want to let him go.
Hunter’s Moon – An emergency leads to a forced landing on a planet. The problem is that their presence interrupted a hunter during his hunt. The hunter is a crown prince and his suitability to the throne will be determined by how well he does in his hunting. He decides to make up his deficient score by hunting the Robinsons.
Space Primevals – Volcanoes are threatening the Jupiter II and Smith is sent with Maj. West to set of a charge to cap one of them. When they get near, they are captured by a tribe of cavemen who are ruled by a computer. Smith and West are sentenced to death. This one is kind of sick in that West and Smith hate each other but impending death draws them together. Seeing the robot do caveman dances does not make up for it.
Space Destructors – Smith stumbles into a cave with a machine that makes cyborgs. He decides to make his own personal army to conquer the galaxy. Needless to say, the others are not happy with this development.
The Haunted Lighthouse – This one features Penny who finds a castaway boy with strange powers to affect the minds of others. The Robinsons take him in just as they launch. While whizzing about, they come across a lighthouse from earth and its caretaker. They have an opportunity to get home but that means that the boy will not be able to get home. He is not pleased.
Flight Into the Future – Will and Smith accidentally land on a strange planet in the spacepod. A machine tries to convince them of a Rip Van Winkle event and that they are all far in the future. Meanwhile, the rest of the Jupiter II crew lands and tries to find them.
Collision of Planets – While the Jupiter II…