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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Star Trek - Original Series

Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old April 3 2015, 02:34 PM   #1
Talos IV
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Did Star Trek's high quality help Lost in Space?

There's plenty of animosity toward Lost in Space from the Star Trek side, both from the production folks (Gene Roddenberry and others went on record as hating it) and from fans.

I actually love both shows and am looking forward to what's being released for Lost in Space's 50th anniversary this year (a complete Blu-ray set and a complete soundtrack CD collection).

Even to this day, what really hurt Lost in Space's reputation more than anything was its dreadful second season -- week after week of repetitive plots (all featuring Dr. Smith and the Robot), low production values, bad writing, no action. This was quite a comedown after the often-excellent first season.

While Lost in Space was broadcasting its lousy second season (1966-67), Star Trek had its superb first season. Is it possible Irwin Allen saw this and used it as inspiration for when Lost in Space returned for a third year?

That third season of Lost in Space was much better than the second -- a return to location shooting, better cinematography, better stories (at least for the first half of the season), plenty of new music, more action, more special effects. Coincidentally, both shows' beloved "alternate universe" episodes ("Mirror Mirror" for Star Trek and "The Anti-Matter Man" for Lost in Space) aired around the same time.

Star Trek is the superior show (obviously) but I can appreciate that Lost in Space was at least TRYING to improve during its third year.
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Old April 3 2015, 04:54 PM   #2
Melakon
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Re: Did Star Trek's high quality help Lost in Space?

I don't think so, and the idea is putting too much credit on Star Trek's influence. Lost in Space went off the deep end in its second season because of Batman, which was hotter than Star Trek ever was back then. But Batman ran for only 2 calendar years, burning out quickly in 1968. LiS was only trying to get back to its more serious first season tone. But for me, Space was off the rails midway in its first season, because that's when Smith's importance was ramped up.
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Old April 3 2015, 05:28 PM   #3
BillJ
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Re: Did Star Trek's high quality help Lost in Space?

Didn't we do this thread a few months ago?
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Old April 3 2015, 05:38 PM   #4
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Re: Did Star Trek's high quality help Lost in Space?

OP has only been around a few months, so maybe he didn't see it..

I was never able to get into Lost in Space myself.
So I can't speak to the quality of later episodes.

My favourite genre shows from that general era are The Outer Limits and Star Trek.

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Old April 3 2015, 05:42 PM   #5
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Re: Did Star Trek's high quality help Lost in Space?

"Complete series soundtrack collection"? This is the first I'm hearing of this. I Googled it, but can't find any other info on it. If it's true I'll start saving now.

Anybody know more about this?
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Old April 3 2015, 05:59 PM   #6
Hatshepsut
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Re: Did Star Trek's high quality help Lost in Space?

Melakon wrote: View Post
But for me, [Lost in] Space was off the rails midway in its first season, because that's when Smith's importance was ramped up...
...by allowing Jonathan Harris, the actor playing Zachary Smith, to begin writing lines for his character, thus converting the show into what amounted to a sitcom. In that case, the two series no longer belonged to the same TV genre and a direct comparison of relative merit becomes inappropriate. Gene Roddenberry seems to have held this opinion, stating that Irwin Allen meant to be a spinner of yarns rather than a philosopher.

I see both shows as highly variable in quality: Some Star Trek episodes reduce to horrid, one dimensional battles of Captain Kirk versus evil , or versus mindless technological device as in The Doomsday Machine. The latter featured seamless cooperation of a crew who have few conflicts with each other as they solve their problem, who never develop as characters during their hour. These "bad" episodes hardly impugn the best of Star Trek in my mind. I just see it as inevitable in the harried environment of TV production. Star Trek did better at keeping its cast on board, avoiding the goal displacement which hurt Lost in Space.

Relevant to the thread question is a question of fact: Did the production staff of either show communicate with their counterparts, or even spend much time following the other show? I don't know, though I suspect they didn't have much leisure to do so.
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Old April 3 2015, 06:32 PM   #7
Talos IV
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Re: Did Star Trek's high quality help Lost in Space?

RandyS wrote: View Post
"Complete series soundtrack collection"? This is the first I'm hearing of this. I Googled it, but can't find any other info on it. If it's true I'll start saving now.

Anybody know more about this?
Yes. See here:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10204745536452978
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Old April 3 2015, 07:22 PM   #8
TREK_GOD_1
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Re: Did Star Trek's high quality help Lost in Space?

Melakon wrote: View Post
I don't think so, and the idea is putting too much credit on Star Trek's influence. Lost in Space went off the deep end in its second season because of Batman, which was hotter than Star Trek ever was back then. But Batman ran for only 2 calendar years, burning out quickly in 1968.
Good recap of events. Allen was certainly aware of TOS, but he did not see it as direct competition or an influence. Allen was already guiding his shows to be explosive action fests with almost serial like, over the top tension--very similar to Batman.

LiS was only trying to get back to its more serious first season tone. But for me, Space was off the rails midway in its first season, because that's when Smith's importance was ramped up.
Even in season 3, with better episodes such as "The Anti-Matter Man" or "Time Merchant" Smith continued his screaming, bug-eyed prancing. Frankly, 2/3 of the series was ruined by that.
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Old April 3 2015, 08:00 PM   #9
Melakon
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Re: Did Star Trek's high quality help Lost in Space?

Even the worst Star Trek was better than the best Lost in Space. Though I guess we all already know that. Props to Bill Mumy though. It was his decision to do the show, not his parents'. He liked sci-fi, already an old hand at it due to his work on The Twilight Zone. And props to his parents for seeing that he had a relatively normal life without any embarrassing headlines.
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Old April 3 2015, 08:44 PM   #10
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Re: Did Star Trek's high quality help Lost in Space?

Talos IV wrote: View Post
RandyS wrote: View Post
"Complete series soundtrack collection"? This is the first I'm hearing of this. I Googled it, but can't find any other info on it. If it's true I'll start saving now.

Anybody know more about this?
Yes. See here:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10204745536452978
Thanks.
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Old April 3 2015, 11:23 PM   #11
MGagen
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Re: Did Star Trek's high quality help Lost in Space?

Hatshepsut wrote: View Post
Some Star Trek episodes reduce to horrid, one dimensional battles of Captain Kirk versus evil , or versus mindless technological device as in The Doomsday Machine.
Did I just hear Doomsday Machine called a horrid episode?

'Dems fightin' words...!
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Old April 3 2015, 11:32 PM   #12
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Re: Did Star Trek's high quality help Lost in Space?

MGagen wrote: View Post
Hatshepsut wrote: View Post
Some Star Trek episodes reduce to horrid, one dimensional battles of Captain Kirk versus evil , or versus mindless technological device as in The Doomsday Machine.
Did I just hear Doomsday Machine called a horrid episode?

'Dems fightin' words...!
While "The Doomsday Machine" is almost on every top 5 TOS (or even franchise) list, it is interesting to read someone with the polar opposite opinion. That member (Hatshepsut) should start a thread detailing all of the alleged problems with the episode.
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Old April 3 2015, 11:59 PM   #13
ZapBrannigan
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Re: Did Star Trek's high quality help Lost in Space?

As a kid I thought Jonathan Harris wrecked Lost in Space, but as an adult I think he saved it. He injected a level of charisma, stage presence, and comic timing that engaged grown-up viewers who didn't care about science fiction and space hardware.

I would argue that William Shatner did largely the same thing for Star Trek, minus the comedy. Both he and Harris came into their space shows after the pilot had been filmed, and they both brought in star power that greatly elevated the show.

True, Nimoy got a lot of fan mail, but without Shatner to play against, Spock might never have had a chance to be noticed and catch on.
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Old April 4 2015, 02:35 AM   #14
Ssosmcin
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Re: Did Star Trek's high quality help Lost in Space?

Nah, it was just that "camp" was out. What a lot of fans forget was that, Lost in Space's was directly up against Batman's Wednesday night episode. They shared the same young audience and Batman was an instant audience smash. It's funny, Lost in Space went lighter right about the time Batman premiered. Too soon to be impacted by Bat-mania, but enough where Irwin Allen knew that, of all his shows, LiS would be the one that could make the shift to comedy most naturally. They just ramped it up for the second season.

By the time the season drew to a close, Batman's popularity was pretty much gone, camp sputtered out and LiS was in need of another facelift. So, they went back to more action/adventure oriented stories, but it was really too late and far along to turn Dr. Smith back into a sinister villain. Jonathan Harris was reined in, but not much and not for long. So, LiS got "better" simply because Irwin Allen was moving with the audience moods. That's what he always did. That's why his shows kept changing formats and styles. He followed the trends and the ratings.

Two opinions in this thread I completely disagree with:

1) The Doomsday Machine was horrid. Yeah, no. And that it had no depth and was meaningless. Again...yeah, no.

2) That the worst of Star Trek was better than the best of Lost in Space...and that we all knew it. Definitely disagree there. There are a lot of very good and effective episodes of Lost in Space. It just never aimed for the same intellectual level or social commentary. But, the first five episodes of LIS alone are better than The Way to Eden, And the Children Shall Lead, Spock's Brain, and so on. In my opinion, of course.
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Old April 4 2015, 03:38 AM   #15
Hatshepsut
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Re: Did Star Trek's high quality help Lost in Space?

MGagen wrote: View Post
Did I just hear Doomsday Machine called a horrid episode? 'Dems fightin' words...!
TREK_GOD_1 wrote: View Post
While "The Doomsday Machine" is almost on every top 5 TOS (or even franchise) list, it is interesting to read someone with the polar opposite opinion. That member should start a thread detailing all of the alleged problems with the episode.
Done:

Hatshepsut wrote: View Post
[Discussion on new thread ...]
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