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The ROBINSONS Lost In Space (WB 2004)

 
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Robert (Butch) Day
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:10 pm    Post subject: The ROBINSONS Lost In Space (WB 2004) Reply with quote

The Robinsons: Lost in Space



In late 2003, a new television series, with a somewhat changed format, was in development in the U.S. It originally was intended to be closer to the original pilot with no Smith, but including a robot. The pilot was commissioned by The WB Television Network. It was directed by John Woo and produced by Synthesis Entertainment, Irwin Allen Productions, Twentieth Century Fox Television and Regency Television.

The Jupiter II interstellar flying-saucer spacecraft of the original series was changed to a non-saucer planet-landing craft, deployed from a larger inter-stellar mothership, the Jupiter Apogee.



Jupiter Apogee nameplate:



Jupiter Apogee elevation schematic on bridge:



Jupiter Apogee bridge diagram of the pod location. Note that there are ten of them. There is another diagram like this one only showing the opposite side. Therefor the Jupiter Apogee has twenty pods (Jupiter I to Jupiter XX) total.



The pilot featured the characters of John and Maureen, but an elder son, David, was added, as well as Judy, an 'infant' Penny, and ten-year-old Will. There was no Dr. Smith character, but the character of Don West was described as a "dangerous, lone wolf type".

Story

The year is 2097, and Colonel John Robinson is a highly decorated military leader. In 2082, the Earth was attacked by aliens — and John led the military forces that defeated the aliens in an attack known as "Robinson's Raid". In 2097, now a highly reveared and admired military Colonel, John has retired and plans to move he and his family to a colony planet called Nova. John Robinson's family includes: his doctor/wife, Maureen; his eldest son, teen-age David; his teen daughter, Judy; his second son and third child, ten-year-old Will; and his infant daughter, Penny.

The Earth Military has a big send-off going-away party for John, who is a military celebrity. At the party, Judy meets a young military pilot named Don West. Since it's her last night on Earth, Judy sneaks out of her home to a party and reunites with Don — and falls for him hard. Don, however has no idea that Judy is the daughter of the famous John Robinson. Judy sneaks back home in the morning in time to pack. John confronts David about his poor school/academy scores. David refuses to talk and it's a stalemate. Maureen senses that David feels inferior to his celebrity military father — and tries to convince John to confront David and tell David that he (John) loves and respects him. John stubbornly refuses saying that David 'knows' that he (John) loves him. Before the family leaves their Earth home, they discovers that Will (who is a genius) has built a robot in a building near the house. Will builds the robot to protect himself from his school bullies. The family packs and travel to a mother-ship called Jupiter Alpha orbiting the Earth.

The Jupiter Apogee has many pods which will house the space travelers and will separate from the Jupiter when they reach the planet Nova. The Robinson family are assigned the second pod named the Jupiter II. There is still a bit of turmoil between David and John, who can't seem to reconcile their father/son relationship. The family leaves the pod to explore the Jupiter Apogee and meet the other space fairing families. The commander of the Jupiter Mother-Ship asks for John to come to the command room immediately. John asks David to accompany him, but he refuses. John then asks Will who excitedly goes with him. Judy comes across Don who is also aboard the Jupiter Apogee. Don discovers that Judy is the daughter of John Robinson and almost craps his pants. Don is now afraid that his military career is in jeopardy (apparently Judy and Don had some type of sexual tryst after the party the previous night). Don tells Judy he can never see her again and walks away from her.

Meanwhile, John and Will are in the command room inside the Jupiter Apogee. The commander tells John that they are getting some strange signals and if John can help. John discovers the signals are from the aliens who had attacked them previously. Soon the entire space station Jupiter is surrounded by alien ships. John tells the commander to tell all families to rush to their pods immediately, and then to jettison all the pods and abandon the Jupiter Mother-Ship, which is now crawling with the strange reptilian-like aliens.

Alone in the Jupiter II pod, Maureen cradles her infant daughter Penny. As Maureen holds her daughter, she sees that the door to the pod is being opened. Suddenly an alien steps inside and fires a laser at Maureen and Penny. Maureen manages to sidestep the shot — then she hits a switch that causes the door to slam shut — instantly hitting and killing the alien.

On her way back to the Jupiter II pod, Judy is attacked by an alien. Don saves her, and takes her back to the Jupiter II pod. As John and Will make their way back to the pod they find David who joins them. As they near the pod, they are attacked by aliens but make it inside the Jupiter II pod. However, in all the confusion, Will was quickly taken by the aliens before the pod door shut.

Refusing to leave the Jupiter Apogee without Will, John leaves in search of his youngest son. John eventually locates Will and kills the alien. They both make it back safely to the Jupiter II pod and the pod door shuts. The Pod now has only seconds before it jettisons from the Jupiter Apogee. As the seconds tic down, Maureen asks John where David is. Bewildered, John asks his wife what she means. Maureen proceeds to tell John that David had subsequently left the pod in order to search for both John and Will.

The countdown has terminated and the Jupiter II has jettisoned from the Jupiter Apogee. Outer space is full of explosions as the space station and other capsules ignite. John sees Don at the controls of the pod and demands for Don to take them back to the exploding Jupiter Apogee so that he can save David. For a moment, we see David running inside the Mother-Ship. It is exploding all around him and he has no place to go — on either side of him are aliens carrying laser guns. Knowing his fate, David stops running and closes his eyes as the aliens descend upon him. The entire Jupiter Apogee explodes. The Robinson family views this with wide-open eyes full of shock. Maureen weeps as she holds her infant Penny in her arms and whispers "David" as the Jupiter Apogee disintegrates.

Now the alien ships are after the Jupiter II. They are having a power shortage and are being outrun. Will gets up and opens a huge box aboard the Jupiter II. The robot he created is inside. Will turns the robot on and connects it with cables to the power grid of the Jupiter II. With the extra power from the robot, the Jupiter II goes into hyper-drive and escapes the aliens. However when the hyperdrive shuts down, they have no idea where they are. John, who is seated beside Don at the control console, introduces himself to Don. An embarrassed Don shakes hands with his idol and hero, John Robinson.

The Robinson family are heart-stricken at David's loss — especially John Robinson. John regrets that he and David were at odds with each other when David was killed. With David's death, John no longer has the chance to confront David about his (John's) love and respect that he has for David. The reconciliation between father and son is now impossible.

Don announces that there is little power, food, and water. Judy asks aloud if they are going to just die stranded where they are in outer space. John looks at his grieving wife as she cradles Penny. John then takes both Judy and Will into his arms and promises them that he will find a way for them to get home. John also promises his mournful family that he will find a way to get David back. The scene then moves to the battered and broken Jupiter II. It has been heavily damaged and fuses and broken wires and cables are lying everywhere. Then the scene moves outside where we see the Jupiter II hovering in suspended space — broken and all alone. This is how the pilot ends.

Cast

Left-to-right: Judy, Don, maureen, John, Robot, Will and David.



Brad Johnson as Colonel John Robinson, USMC (43-years-old)
Jayne Brook as Maureen Robinson, MD (38-years-old)
Adrianne Palicki as Judy Robinson (19-years-old)
Gil McKinney as David Robinson (17-years-old)
Ryan Malgarini as Will Robinson (10-years-old)
Mike Erwin as Captain Don West, USMC (27-years-old)
Tom McBeath as Captain of Jupiter Alpha



Carmen Moore as First Officer of Jupiter Alpha



Mike Ching as Alien Leader stunt performer



Monte Thompson as John Robinson stunt performer
Corbin Fox as Don West stunt performer
Rhys Williams as Will Robinson stunt performer
Duane Dickinson as Alien # 1 stunt performer
Connor Dunn as Alien # 2 stunt performer —

It is not known who played Penny Robinson,



— who did the voice of the Robot and who played the Admiral at the banquet —



— and who were the extras who played the crew of the Jupiter Alpha or Captain West's squadron.

It was not among the network's series pick-ups confirmed later that year.

The producers of the new Battlestar Galactica show bought the show's sets. They were redesigned the next year and used for scenes on the Battlestar Pegasus.

Pictures of the Jupiter II











IMDb Review

Will I live long enough to see somebody do this show right?

28 April 2013

by Thomas_Veil

The wait continues for those who love those early episodes of Lost in Space from 1965 and want more.

First we watched the original series slowly degenerate into camp. Then we got the 1998 theatrical film which started promisingly and then, like the series, got silly. And now this pilot, in which the first half consists of whining characters we never really learn to care about, and the second half is a formulaic alien invasion story.

Where is the sense of wonder here that permeated the original series? Douglas Petrie's script, in attempt to add character depth to what many people consider a ridiculous show, just falls flat. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't send a family who can't get their you-know-what together on a major space mission. And John Woo's direction, especially in the action-packed second half of the show, proceeds at breakneck speed with no sense of pacing. Like too many films these days, it's fast-fast-fast and never pauses to take a breath.

The antagonists in this pilot were a particularly poor choice. Unlike Dr. Smith, who was interesting because you always wanted to know what was going on in that scheming mind of his, these villains have absolutely no sense of subtlety. When the show demands a crafty J. R. Ewing-type, we get instead marauding critters out of a 1950s horror film.

And did you notice — so much of the focus in this pilot is on the kids! Gee, what went wrong with the original series? Oh yeah, that's right!

Kevin Burns, whose The Time Tunnel pilot was much better but still resembled the original in little besides nomenclature, really needs to turn over the duties of reviving Irwin Allen TV series to someone who understands them better. Lost in Space could be a great show again, and it deserves better than this.


If you want to watch the unaired pilot, the only way to view it, is to watch it in youtube. Since it was never aired, the pilot can be a bit grainy and not all the special effects were put in. Here are the five links if you are interested in seeing the 2004 pilot:

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAT4tjjzOCk

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTrUejIXYiM

Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnJGk_UZ6Q

Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kN-FI4f0wc

Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AksT1IgNz0

The Chariot and the Space Pod that were designed, but never used, were bought to be used if XX was picked-up as a series.





Sadly these pictures are all that remains. There are two different DVDs available. The poor quality fan produced (from which the YouTube post were made):



And the professional DVD which is of a much better quality:



But all-in-all, I feel like the artist 'Ridge'; I'd rather go back to the original Lost In Space (CBS 1965 - 1968) as a reboot with better scripts.



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Brent Gair
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ONE thing I liked about this modern day LIS pilot was the casting of John and Maureen Robinson. They really nailed it with Brad Johnson and Jayne Brook.

I was really bugged by William Hurt in the movie. John Robinson had to be a swashbuckler...as Guy Williams had been Zorro. He had to be a tall, athletic man with chiseled features and a stoic, no-nonsense bearing. William Hurt looked like a bearded, effete, balding librarian from the Brigham Young School of Dentistry.

I always though Jane Brook was an under-utilized talent. She's got the girl-next-door hotness that appeals to me. Young and athletic enough to be believable as a space explorer but with just enough years to be convincing as a young mother.

Ultimately, for me, there is no need for LOST IN SPACE to http://www.allsci-fi.com/posting.php?mode=editpost&p=4082be reborn. LIS is a 1965, space race period piece. I know that some fans believe that their old sci-fi favorites must live forever. I've never felt that way. STAR TREK ceased to be once the Enterprise sailed off NBC some 45+ years ago.

Lost in Space is from the age of silver space suits, flying saucers, the X-15, mini-skirts and chain-smoking. It could never survive a modern trip through the filter of politically correct trendiness and short attention spans. I'm content to believe that the survivors of the Robinson party are living out their remaining years on Priplanus.
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Pye-Rate
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Butch glued my butt to the chair to get me to watch it. Good sets, good casting, good story, bad part was the obligatory fight scenes. This effort shows that it can be done right, network suits not required.
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larryfoster
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is the first I've seen of the proposed new Chariot and Spacepod. Sorry to say that I don't like their style change any more than that of the (rocket-thrust triangle) Jupiter 2, or the Robot.

The only changes I like in this version, is: the Jupiter 2 is one of several Jupiter 'lander ships' issued from a large mothership; and that it has no Dr. Smith antagonist character.

They should have kept the teenage Penny Robinson - not change her to an infant.

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Pow
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I felt that the LIS pilot movie was a mixed bag.

Decent enough cast,some nicely designed sets & FX. Liked the Jupiter2 design.Liked the pix of the Chariot,sorry iy was not utilized.

Making Penny a baby was supposed to melt our hearts by having an infant on this adventure & being exposed to dangers.I give them a thumbs up for trying to create intriguing alterations to the premise.However,leave Penny as a teen.

The robot design was abysmal.The original design for the 60s show robot was superb.How can they blow 40+years later given all our FX technological advances? But they managed to do just that.

The Time Tunnel pilot movie was superior. They created an interesting concept,well thought out & intelligent.
Ya know,the stuff Irwin Allen avoided on his shows.
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Krel
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the time of the 2004 pilot, people commented on there being no Doctor Smith, and the poor design of the Robot. The article said that he was suppose to come in later in the series. Considering the small size of the ship, if they are suppose to get a Chariot, and Space Pod, they must have been getting a larger ship at some point. Maybe that is where they were to find Dr. Smith.

David.
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Robert (Butch) Day
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David you got it! It was supposed to happen in the 5th episode. The Chariot was to have been salvaged by Smith from a crashed colony cargo lander. Smith escaped from Jupiter Alpha by the Space Pod.

There were 13 episodes outlined with only 3 written as full scripts.

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larryfoster
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember that rumor about Smith joining the crew later. I had hoped it was false. But, as Butch shows, he was to join later... that demonstrates that the LIS franchise will never part with that character. They will never return to the original concept: a "Swiss Family Robinson" in space. The franchise will never return to accepting the many possible adventures of a simple 'family -vs- alien-nature' of a mysterious, unknown, alien planet. They insist that the main antagonist must remain another human.

Even after demonstrating willingness to change the original character/cast (like Penny now an infant, and adding a brother David)... they still (narrow-mindedly) insist on keeping antagonist: Smith.

One would think that separation of Smith from LIS is like separating the Captain Nemo character, from his Nautilus submarine creation.

As far as the LIS franchise... I shall limit my fandomship to that 1964-65 mysterious space between the original un-aired pilot: "No Place To Hide" (which had no Dr. Smith), and the 1st-season episodes (which had a 2-deck saucer-ship, and added a robot crew member).

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Brent Gair
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that even referring to a Lost in Space "franchise" may be a significant overstatement.

Following the end of the TV series, the only Lost in space properties to see public exhibition were a brief 1973 cartoon and the 1998 movie.

Even FATHER KNOWS BEST managed to spawn a couple of full-fledged reunion movies Smile.
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Brent Gair
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTW...do you all want to hear my idea for a new Lost in Space series? Good, I knew you'd be interested Smile.

My idea would have to be either 'net based or perhaps on a specialty channel or streaming service because no network would touch it with a 3.1 meter pole.

I would propose NOT updating the show at all. I'd go with a full retro period piece. It's idea so simple that it's actually radical.

Imagine the Robinsons marooned on a far off planet. The Jupiter 2 is the same flying saucer with picture windows. The Robinsons wearing the same silver suits or those futuristic pastel tunics. The special effects would be practical...no CGI. It's a vision of the future seen through the sensibilities of the swingin' 60's.

Basically, this idea is so UNORIGINAL that it would be the most original concept ever attempted in a remake.
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larryfoster
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brent Gair... your idea sounds good to me - if the 1st episode opens with John standing over Smith's grave on Priplanus. And saying: "That's the last time you endanger my family and mission, Dr. Smith!"

Then the real crew board the Jupiter 2... and it (with difficulty) flies to a new base-camp location, in the jungled regions of Priplanus. There, to encounter many forms of threatening monstrous wild life.

After finding a huge, crashed, space ship there (covered with dirt, dust, and vining plants)... their explorations within it provide them with modern hardware to slowly upgrade (over many episodes) the old (laughable outdated) J2 equipment. But no repair to the FTL hyperdrive! They remain 'on planet', and out of Star Trek'n.

But I'm sure that CGI would be needed for non-humorous monsters of the alien planet.

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Brent Gair
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

larryfoster wrote:
Brent Gair... your idea sounds good to me - if the 1st episode opens with John standing over Smith's grave on Priplanus. And saying: "That's the last time you endanger my family and mission, Dr. Smith!"

OK...not a fan of Dr. Smith. Understood Smile

I will say that Dr. Smith did become more palatable after I watched an episode which I call "The Redemption of Dr.Smith". Now, it's been so long since I watched the show, I don't recall the real name of the episode. But the gist is that the Dr. somehow manages to travel back to the day of the original launching of the Jupiter 2. This, of course, allows him to avoid being trapped on the ship and to attain his dream of life back on earth.

However, just before the launch of the Jupiter 2, Smith becomes aware that, even without his sabotage, the Jupiter 2 will still encounter that same meteor storm from episode one. But this time, the ship and her crew will be destroyed. Apparently, his absense causes the ship to be mortally wounded. I don't recall the exact reason for this...again, it's been awhile since I saw that episode...but think of it as "the butterfly effect" where a small change can have big consequences.

When he becomes aware that his absence will condemn the Robinsons to certain death, Smith makes a valiant and succesful move to get back on the Jupiter 2! So he does, in fact, give up his chance to resume life on earth in order to save the Robinson family.

Having said that, there's no question that the character's role was grossly inflated on the show and it should have been dialed back. I came to accept him but, like many things, a little Smith goes a long way and we got too much of him.
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Robert (Butch) Day
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lost In Space
3rd season 18th episode
Time Merchant
Directed by Ezra Stone
Written by Bob and Wanda Duncan
Aired on January 17, 1968

While conducting an experiment to capture cosmic energy, Will inadvertently traps Chronos, an alien who controls time. Furious at Will for interfering in his business, Chronos forces the boy to return with him to his factory. When Professor Robinson learns what happened, he and the Robot pursue the alien, followed by Dr. Smith.

When Smith learns Chronos' machine can transport him through space as well as time, he "steals" a ride back to Earth in 1997, hours before the launch of the Jupiter 2.

Chronos warns Robinson that unless Dr. Smith is on board the Jupiter 2 at lift off, the ship will eventually be destroyed by an uncharted asteroid and the Robinsons and Major West will all cease to exist.

Guest stars

John Crawford as Dr. Chronos
Byron Morrow as the General
Hoke Howell as Sgt. Rogers)

Regular stars June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen and Angela Cartwright only appear in flashback sequences in this episode.

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Pow
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John Crawford was a wonderful actor. He did a number of Irwun Allen TV shows,including the test pilot of Man From The 25th Century.

He was one of the Argonauts in the Ray Harryhausen classic Jason & the Argonauts.

And he was the sheriff on The Waltons.

Fans also remember him as Commissioner Farris from the Star Trek episode The Galileo Seven.
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