Lost In Space Season 2

The '60s were the golden age of campy sitcoms and Lost In Space ranks right up there (or down there) with Gilligan's Island and Green Acres. Sitcoms rely on likable characters and usually that's a family. Series creator Irwin Allen invented the all-American, white bread Robinson family and shot them into space in a fictitious 1997. Joining the Robinsons aboard the Jupiter 2 (the most sophisticated American spacecraft of its time) are the villainous and annoying Dr. Zachary Smith (a superb Jonathan Harris), and their pet, Robot B-9. The Robinsons, et al., wander the cosmos where they encounter aliens, some friendly, some not. Though Lost In Space is often accused of ripping off Star Trek, the show hit the airwaves a full season ahead of Captain Kirk's crew. Season Two was the first time the show ran in colour and the leap away from black-and-white spans light years. Colour modernised the show, giving it a pop culture glow, but colour also revealed the limitations of the kitschy sets and clichéd aliens (i.e., green-skinned). This box set packages the first 16 episodes, with the other 14 due this winter. I don't know why this is, considering that British fans got all 30 at once. Nonetheless, those who picked up Season One will snap up Season Two. A lot of these fans are boomers weaned on Lost In Space. Others enjoy the carefree mix of comedy and sci-fi. Still others, particularly kids accustomed to CGI special effects, may not latch onto the series. Special effects aside, the show is dated in its portrayal of the squeaky clean Robinson family and the subservient role of mother Robinson and ditzy daughter Judy. Despite the smart packaging (four ultra-slim DVD cases nicely tucked into a cardboard box), Lost In Space is chintzy in the special features department. There are none. Not even a "Where are they now?" featurette or a TV commercial. (Fox)