?arning! Warning! Alien approaching!?p>
Business as usual for the Robinson clan as we reach the third and mercifully last season of the 1960s Irwin Allen romp LOST IN SPACE, twenty-four episodes yawning (and I do mean yawning) over seven DVDs.
For its third year the series enjoyed a bit of a visual makeover. Now fully embracing the marvels of colour television the series has a pacey new title sequence and a rousing new theme tune (the one most fondly remembered and even adopted by the flop feature film a few years back) and in the first of episode the Robinsons and their Jupiter 2 spacecraft are forced to hurriedly leave the planet they?e been stranded on for most of season two as it prepares to tear itself apart. There? a little bit of promise in the early instalments as the Robinsons start to space-travel again. Their first adventure, ?he Condemned of Space?sees them drifting aboard a prison spaceship. Here convicted criminals are kept in suspended animation – and they? have stayed that way if it wasn? for that meddling Dr Smith (Harris). It? not long before any tension in the episode is, as usual, ruined by Harris? infantile howling and gurning, reducing the whole thing to the level of a badly-funded pantomime. Gaudy lighting and poor performances torpedo a promising episode. It? a story repeated again and again throughout the season. The very best episode, perhaps of the entire series, is up next. In ?isit to a Hostile Planet?the Jupiter 2 plunges through a time warp and, to the crew? joy, finds itself back on Earth. But they?e fifty years ahead of their own time and, stranded in a Hicksville town in the middle of nowhere, they?e soon under attack by comedy yokels with pitchforks. By episode three they?e back on solid ground again, ending up on another soundstage planet covered with cardboard boulders and polystyrene plants. The song remains the same throughout the series as the ship lands on a succession of identikit planets inhabited by any number of outlandish, garish aliens and monsters. The inventiveness is fading fast by now and ?light into the Future?not only raids the series own cupboard of stock footage but, in best TIME TUNNEL tradition, uses outrageously out-of-context feature film footage to pad out its length. There are one or two passable episodes – ?he Ant-Matter Man?is quite effective – but most of them are noisy and repetitive, any attempt at drama sabotaged by the dreary buffoonery of Dr Smith, the hopelessly na? Will (Mumy) and the increasingly-anthropomorphic Robot By the time we stagger, exhausted, to the finish line and the infamous ?reat Vegetable Rebellion?the series has run out of steam and I, in all honesty, have run out of patience.
Lots of classic 1960s TV shows are endlessly rewatchable now out of sheer nostalgia value alone. LOST IN SPACE can? manage this because it? so irritating, so childish and so ineptly-staged. We?e moved on in the last thirty years and the genre has left this sort of stuff far behind. LOST IN SPACE is for idiots and very small children only. Ghastly.
THE DISCS: Seven discs, too many episodes. Good quality transfers but not much in the way of extras. ?ext on LOST IN SPACE?trailers after every episode will serve only to put you off watching any more of this guff, there are a couple of archive interviews with Mumy and Harris and some ?rogramme interstitials?(whatever they are – I wasn? inclined to waste any more of my time by finding out). Entirely dispensible.
LOST IN SPACE Season Three is released in the UK on April 25th 2005.