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View Full Version : "Lost in Space" backstory: Who was Dr. Smith working for?


BrainGlutton
01-23-2005, 07:05 PM
In Lost in Space, both the 1965-1968 TV series and the 1998 movie, Dr. Smith was never meant to be part of the crew of the Jupiter II; he sneaked onto the ship meaning to sabotoge it and somehow couldn't get out before the launch. But for whom was he going to sabotage it? Who was he working for? In 1965 that would have been a no-brainer, the Russians would sabotage any American project. But the movie was made after the Cold War ended. There's a scene at the beginning where Major Don West has a space battle with some kind of enemy, but who it is, is never made clear. Rather an important detail to leave out.

Eve
01-23-2005, 07:11 PM
He was working for the gay Commies.

Biffy the Elephant Shrew
01-23-2005, 10:01 PM
He was working for the gay Commies.
Oh, the pain! The pain!

BrainGlutton
01-23-2005, 10:54 PM
Oh, the pain! The pain!

Yeah, that crappy Iron Curtain personal lubricant! Might as well be Super Glue! ;)

Little Nemo
01-23-2005, 11:04 PM
Mutant terrorists. Seriously.

astro
01-23-2005, 11:50 PM
Mutant terrorists. Seriously.

God... you're reminding me all over again what an elephant sized load of poo that movie was.

Zabali_Clawbane
01-24-2005, 12:49 AM
I couldn't remember the details, so I did a search, and found the answer.

Smith was an agent for an unnamed foreign country who is busy sabotaging the Robinsons’ spaceship prior to launch when he gets trapped on board. His dastardly handiwork causes the ship to spiral off course and crash-land on a desert planet.

Found on this page (http://www.lostinspacetv.com/news/history1.html), of this (http://www.lostinspacetv.com/) site.

BrainGlutton
01-24-2005, 07:06 AM
Another thing that always bothered me about LIS (TV) version: In later episodes it's made clear Dr. Smith is not an M.D. but a doctor of "environmental psychology" -- but in the first episode he's the doctor who gives the Robinsons their final medical checkup before putting them in suspended animation.

don't ask
01-24-2005, 07:14 AM
Another thing that always bothered me about LIS (TV) version: In later episodes it's made clear Dr. Smith is not an M.D. but a doctor of "environmental psychology" -- but in the first episode he's the doctor who gives the Robinsons their final medical checkup before putting them in suspended animation.

Probably because they expected them to end up as vegetables.

Eve
01-24-2005, 10:34 AM
I saw an interview with Jonathan Harris shortly before he died, and he was a delight. "People keep asking me if I'm British," he said, "and I tell them, 'no I'm just affected.'" He said the producers gave him free rein to camp it up to the hilt midway through Season One, and he ran with it.

Always thought they should have cast Paul Reubens as Dr. Smith in the film version.

Mr. Blue Sky
01-24-2005, 04:58 PM
He said the producers gave him free rein to camp it up to the hilt midway through Season One, and he ran with it.


All the Boy Scouts who ever lived couldn't have camped it up any more.

Odinoneeye
01-24-2005, 07:31 PM
In the movie, he worked for a group called The Sedition.

Don't know much abou it, just the name.

Polycarp
01-24-2005, 07:40 PM
I saw an interview with Jonathan Harris shortly before he died, and he was a delight. "People keep asking me if I'm British," he said, "and I tell them, 'no I'm just affected.'" He said the producers gave him free rein to camp it up to the hilt midway through Season One, and he ran with it.

Always thought they should have cast Paul Reubens as Dr. Smith in the film version.

Harris was a wonderful person who vastly enjoyed creating the Dr. Smith character. The adult Bill Mumy (http://www.billmumy.com/BMWillandSmith98.jpg) continued to be fairly close to him and delivered moving eulogy (http://www.billmumy.com/november_2002.htm) at his funeral.

squeegee
01-24-2005, 10:52 PM
I saw an interview with Jonathan Harris shortly before he died, and he was a delight. "People keep asking me if I'm British," he said, "and I tell them, 'no I'm just affected.'"He does indeed have a very unique voice. I was amused to instantly recognize him when watching both Bug's Life and Toy Story 2.

Ranchoth
01-25-2005, 02:00 AM
In the movie, he worked for a group called The Sedition.

Don't know much abou it, just the name.

The full name was the "Global Sedition." And I think (but I'm not sure) that they were supposed to be mutants, or genetically engineered, or something. Matt LeBlanc calls them something that sounds like "Gen Techs" during the dogfight. (A search on google seems to back this up.) So, maybe there's some kind of "Exo Squad" genetic war going on in the backstory.

You know, all kidding aside, Lost in Space really wasn't half bad.


Ranchoth
("Gen Tech," eh? Almost as good as "Bioroid")

Ranchoth
01-25-2005, 02:04 AM
You know, all kidding aside, Lost in Space really wasn't half bad.

Er, the movie, that is. I can't speak for the series. (The only episode I've ever seen had a silver space Mexican in it. Yikes.)

Little Nemo
01-25-2005, 02:41 AM
You know, all kidding aside, Lost in Space really wasn't half bad.
Yes, I'd say it was hovering up around 75 to 80% bad.

Eve
01-25-2005, 08:34 AM
What the people who made the movie didn't understand was that the TV show was so great because it never took itself seriously for a minute—it was almost a parody of Star Trek, which was sooooo pompous. Lost in Space (the TV show) was cheesy, good-natured camp: aliens with zippers down their backs, June Lockhart cooking chocolate cake in the backyard on an asteroid, Dr. Smith and the Robot doing their Laurel & Hardy routines; each villain more ridiculous than the last (hillbillies! teen hippies! evil carrots!).

Loved that show.

Kaspar Hauser
01-25-2005, 10:40 AM
I've never seen an episode. I wish TV Land would dump their crappy eighties sitcom motif and show some more vintage fare.

CaveMike
01-25-2005, 11:04 AM
He said the producers gave him free rein to camp it up to the hilt midway through Season One, and he ran with it.I always wondered about his transition from the evil Dr. Smith in the black-and-white shows to the ridiculous Dr. Smith in the color shows. Thanks!

Mr. Blue Sky
01-25-2005, 05:19 PM
There's a great interview with Harris in ehich he talks about "The Great Vegetable Rebellion" (the one with the 6' carrot man).

The show's writer, Peter Packer (great name, byw) had gone to Harris' dressing room with a draft of the script. He didn't want to show it to Harris at first. Harris asked him why. Packer said that he had just plain run out of ideas. Harris read the script and pretty much agreed. That didn't stop him from turning in a classic performance of Dr. Smith turning into a plant.

As the story goes, John Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, and Marta Kristen could barely contain themselves. They kept blowing takes by laughing. Irwin Allen was furious and wrote them out of the show (except for the obligatory "We're to explore the other side of the planet, try not to get into trouble while we're gone" and "Well, we're back, did anything happen?" scenes) for the next 2 or 3 episodes - at full pay!

Supposedly the WB was working on a remake of the show (not based on the movie), but it appears to have stalled.

BrainGlutton
01-25-2005, 05:39 PM
Supposedly the WB was working on a remake of the show (not based on the movie), but it appears to have stalled.

If it happens, I hope they make a point of making it even campier than the original! :) Maybe they could get Joss Whedon!

Eve
01-25-2005, 05:55 PM
If it happens, I hope they make a point of making it even campier than the original! :)

Campier? The only possible cast:

John Robinson: Harvey Fierstein
Maureen Robinson: Lypsinka
Don: this week's hot gay porn star
Dr. Smith: Paul Reubens
Will Robinson: one of the Olsen twins in drag
Judy: The Lady Bunny
Penny: Liza Minnelli in pigtails
Voice of the Robot: any good Tallulah Bankhead impersonator

BrainGlutton
01-25-2005, 05:57 PM
I've never seen an episode. I wish TV Land would dump their crappy eighties sitcom motif and show some more vintage fare.

Better still, the Sci-Fi Channel could show LIS in the time slots now being misused by Knight Rider and/or Ghost Hunters.

Mr. Blue Sky
01-25-2005, 06:00 PM
Better still, the Sci-Fi Channel could show LIS in the time slots now being misused by Knight Rider and/or Ghost Hunters.


The USA Network carried it in the late 80's and early 90's. Then the Sci-Fi Channel aired it throughout the 90's.

Thanks goodness for the DVD box sets. I can't wait for the 3rd season and its "7-6-5-4-3-2-1" countdown and much better theme song.

Little Nemo
01-26-2005, 05:14 AM
What the people who made the movie didn't understand was that the TV show was so great because it never took itself seriously for a minute—it was almost a parody of Star Trek, which was sooooo pompous. Lost in Space (the TV show) was cheesy, good-natured camp: aliens with zippers down their backs, June Lockhart cooking chocolate cake in the backyard on an asteroid, Dr. Smith and the Robot doing their Laurel & Hardy routines; each villain more ridiculous than the last (hillbillies! teen hippies! evil carrots!).
The actors and writers might have been in on the joke, but I've heard that people who knew Irwin Allen say he never thought of any of his shows or movies as camp or satire. He really thought he was making serious action-adventures and dramas and was consistently surprised when audiences laughed at them.

Crandolph
01-26-2005, 07:09 AM
Another thing that always bothered me about LIS (TV) version: In later episodes it's made clear Dr. Smith is not an M.D. but a doctor of "environmental psychology" -- but in the first episode he's the doctor who gives the Robinsons their final medical checkup before putting them in suspended animation.

The writers may well have confused psychologists with psychiatrists, who do go to med school. Most of the audience probably never noticed; most people conflate the two.

FriarTed
01-26-2005, 09:03 AM
I saw an interview with Jonathan Harris shortly before he died, and he was a delight. "People keep asking me if I'm British," he said, "and I tell them, 'no I'm just affected.'" He said the producers gave him free rein to camp it up to the hilt midway through Season One, and he ran with it.

Always thought they should have cast Paul Reubens as Dr. Smith in the film version.


When the movie plans were announced before it was clear that it would be done as a real drama, I hoped for Lithgow.

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