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Old January 19 2009, 08:53 AM   #16
WillsBabe
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Re: IRWIN ALLEN: what are YOUR opinion(s) of his sci-fi TV series?

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I actually dislike Lost in Space because I can't stand the character of Zachary Smith.

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Old January 19 2009, 03:29 PM   #17
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Re: IRWIN ALLEN: what are YOUR opinion(s) of his sci-fi TV series?

WillsBabe wrote: View Post
Zachary Smith wrote: View Post
WillsBabe wrote: View Post
I actually dislike Lost in Space because I can't stand the character of Zachary Smith.

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Old January 19 2009, 08:52 PM   #18
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Re: IRWIN ALLEN: what are YOUR opinion(s) of his sci-fi TV series?

I wonder if I'm in the minority because I actually liked Land of the Giants better in it's second season - both the redone opening theme music; and the storyline changes where we found that the Giant's world (or at least the area where they landed) was a fascist state; and that they were interested in the 'little people' because of their higher technology, etc.

I also liked the first few episodes of The Time Tunnel; and overall, I still think it's one season was better than ANYTHING Lost In Space did in it's second and third seasons.

And I agree with the assesment that Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was more of a spy/adventure series, until it went into color peoduction, at which point the Seaview looked even more like a plactic toy in a fish tank; and they went to their 'monster of the week' format.
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Old January 19 2009, 09:12 PM   #19
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Re: IRWIN ALLEN: what are YOUR opinion(s) of his sci-fi TV series?

Noname Given wrote: View Post
I wonder if I'm in the minority because I actually liked Land of the Giants better in it's second season - both the redone opening theme music; and the storyline changes where we found that the Giant's world (or at least the area where they landed) was a fascist state; and that they were interested in the 'little people' because of their higher technology, etc.
I liked the second season better, too. I know in my post I said I preferred the first season, but it's the facist storyline I prefer. I got conf'sed.
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Old January 20 2009, 02:41 AM   #20
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Re: IRWIN ALLEN: what are YOUR opinion(s) of his sci-fi TV series?

Noname Given wrote: View Post
I wonder if I'm in the minority because I actually liked Land of the Giants better in it's second season - both the redone opening theme music; and the storyline changes where we found that the Giant's world (or at least the area where they landed) was a fascist state; and that they were interested in the 'little people' because of their higher technology, etc.

I also liked the first few episodes of The Time Tunnel; and overall, I still think it's one season was better than ANYTHING Lost In Space did in it's second and third seasons.

And I agree with the assesment that Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was more of a spy/adventure series, until it went into color peoduction, at which point the Seaview looked even more like a plactic toy in a fish tank; and they went to their 'monster of the week' format.

Land of the Giants is the odd man out among Allen's series. Its the only one that got better in its second season.

With regard to Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, the first season did have spies, but it was definately science fiction. It was just more believeably done. Amongst the first few episodes a flying saucer crashes in the ocean. They also found a dinosaur filled lost world in Antartica. They still encountered lots of undersea monsters and abuses of science. The first season was just more serious and had a better mix of stories.
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Old January 20 2009, 03:18 PM   #21
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Re: IRWIN ALLEN: what are YOUR opinion(s) of his sci-fi TV series?

I enjoy all of Allen's shows with the exception of The Time Tunnel, which is unarguably his cheapest show. The main set might have cost a lot, and is somewhat iconic, but he more than made up with it by the excessive number of episodes effectively made by nicking footage from other films and using that and stock footage. I find it really boring, and brings out the worst of his worst tendencies.

My favourite is Lost in Space. It's the one of the four which actually has characters as opposed to archetypal chisel-jawed heroes and simpering heroines who it would be generous to describe as one-dimensional. That Dr Smith and the Robot were accidents, neither of which were in Allen's original pilot, is quite revealing - it was entirely down to the talents of Jonathan Harris, Bob May and Dick Tufeld that elevated what is otherwise, especially once it goes to colour, often a terrible series into something amusingly watchable. I always feel sorry for Guy Williams though - he was cast as that chisel-jawed hero and was unlucky enough to be in the one series of Allen's in which that wasn't enough. There are some moments in the series when you can sense that he's genuinely annoyed.

Voyage is the next best. It has a decent first season and a half when, as others have noted, there was a mixture of cold war hijinks mixed in with monster of the week shows. It then rapidly descended into something terrible - you can take one or two of the schlocky Season Three Monster episodes as a bit of kitsch fun, but when that's all the season is made up with you very quickly lose the will to live. Sad to say, Allen did often treat his audience with contempt and it's never clearer than here - two episodes even have the same climax. It's arguable that Voy's S3 is the worst season of TV Allen ever produced, and that's saying something. The show also suffers from two unexciting leads. Richard Basehart tries his best, but he and David Hedison just can't overcome the lack of material they were given to work with.

Finally Land of the Giants, which starts off as a Lost in Space clone, complete with cute kid and Dr Smith clone, but, as others said, developed a little in its second, stronger year. A lot of episodes are little more than characters being captured and then escaping, but the sets are often impressive, and there's the obligatory appearance every episode of the infamous Giant Hand, which Allen loved to include, even though it doesn't look very good.

I have to agree with Mistral that Allen did TV sci-fi no good at all. Before him we had Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits, Star Trek ran at the same time as Lost in Space... and then nothing of any quality. Allen was often his own show's worst enemy - out of the four, three descend from vaguely promising beginnings - especially so in Voyage's case - to increasingly awful rubbish with few redeeming features. He believed that as long as you had constant action you could get away with anything, and as such he could never qualify as a TV great. Nevertheless, I can't help enjoying much of his output, although I've never quite understood why, apart from the fact it's fun to spot a monster or prop which had already turned up in another show, which happens about every other show!
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Old January 20 2009, 04:15 PM   #22
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Re: IRWIN ALLEN: what are YOUR opinion(s) of his sci-fi TV series?

First season Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was closest to quality he ever got. Lost in Space had the Dr. Smith/Will/Robot to appeal. But Lost in Space is one of the reasons I can't buy the thesis that character-driven drama is somehow superior.

Appealing actors, constant action can in fact keep people watching through the show. The fact that Irwin Allen series didn't all get immediately canceled shows that! A lot of TV scifi since has imitated that, as well as his contempt for science (which is to say, reality.) Nowadays the notion that drab (but cheap) is acceptable is merely trendiness. It still has the Allen spirit.
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