STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by ZapBrannigan, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Auld Lang Mod Moderator

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    Just for the record, I respected your request and haven't posted about the Abrams films in this thread for the last two days.... :p

    You can nitpick TOS all you want, that won't change my purely subjective opinion, to which I am entitled, that TOS has a much better Right : Wrong ratio than the Abrams films.

    I don't even hate the Abrams films...I'm on the fence about them. But god forbid I should post two sentences about them that aren't glowing with praise, lest I be chastised for being one of those unreasonable Abrams haters.

    And if the TOS's original broadcast ratings had any bearing whatsoever on its fandom, this board wouldn't exist and we'd all be dispersed between boards about Bonanza, The Andy Griffith Show, and Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    As I've said, I think that's not so much about the "Abrams" part as about the "films" part. I think you could make the same statement about televised Trek in general versus feature-film Trek in general. I acknowledge that there are things the Abrams films can legitimately be criticized for, but I think the previous 10 films have many of the same problems among them. So maybe it's unfair to compare the Abrams movies to the TOS television series. Maybe the comparison should be movies vs. movies.
     
  3. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Auld Lang Mod Moderator

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    ^You've got a point there. The TOS and TNG films increasingly felt like "dumbed down" Trek as the series went on. The Abrams films just take the trend further.

    And for the record, I enjoyed both Abrams films a lot more than a couple of the weaker installments amongst the previous 10 films. They are perfectly entertaining films in their own right.
     
  4. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    I agree that's a good point. I rarely rewatch a Trek film. I would kind of like to see III since people have been saying good things about it lately.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'll concede that the science and technology are even more implausible and inconsistent in the Abrams films, though the bar for that in the Trek films was set horrendously low as soon as the Genesis torpedo exploded. But I think the Abrams films are richer and bolder when it comes to character-based storytelling, and that's what really sells the films for me. I think they have a lot of emotional intelligence, and that side of them is very cleverly and deftly told. Maybe that's why they're so popular with general audiences who couldn't care less about the continuity or technical aspects -- because they're more emotionally engaging, with more intense character arcs.

    Anyway, does anyone have anything more to say about Lost in Space?
     
  6. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I'd easily watch first season LIS before JJtrek. :lol:
     
  7. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Auld Lang Mod Moderator

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    I've been holding back on that topic because so many people in this thread like the show. But as somebody who has no attachment to the show but has caught some of it on Me-TV in recent times....Wow...makes Abrams Trek look like Shakespeare.
     
  8. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I don't hate the show---the first season anyway---but I can see where it could have done things differently. It's not really fair to compare it with Star Trek because the shows were trying for different things. In the end it comes down to what you're looking for in science fiction on television.
     
  9. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Auld Lang Mod Moderator

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    FWIW, my opinion of the show isn't based on comparing it to Trek. It's just way too much cheese for my diet.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I just think it's unfair to speak about Lost in Space as a single uniform whole. The first season is a very different show from the other two, and though it gets sillier over time, some of its early episodes are fairly good. I'm particularly fond of "My Friend, Mr. Nobody," which had a solid Jackson Gillis script as well as the finest score in the series.
     
  11. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    You said it! Having John Williams' full "Mr. Nobody" score on CD is a very big deal. It's a unique creation full of lyrical beauty, melancholy, suspense, menace, and wonder.

    [​IMG]

    It might also be observed that Angela Cartwright could carry the show when she was given a chance, as she was in "Mr. Nobody" and "The Magic Mirror" (below), which was tracked with a lot of "Nobody" cues.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Auld Lang Mod Moderator

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    By that standard, one can't form an opinion about a TV show unless one has sat through every single episode...which would be a torturous exercise if one simply doesn't enjoy the show.
     
  13. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I was able to get through the first season. But when I starting watching the second season I could only get through the first couple of episodes. It really feels like a very different thing.

    And that's something about a series. If it can't grab you sufficiently on some level within a couple of episodes then you're not really going to be inclined to slog through it in hopes of finding the occasional redeeming nugget. You'll just find something else to do that interests you more.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
  14. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Even on rerun I didn't like TNG until "Best of Both Worlds".
    Then when they had the theatrical release of two TNG episodes at the cinema to celebrate its release on Blu ray I saw the two Season 1 episodes and I kept thinking wow look at the fantastic sets and hey Geordi can be badass when he isn't in engineering. I liked it much better at the cinema than I did first or second runs.

    I really liked Lost In Space when I was a child but now I think overall it was quite silly. But it had some good aspects to it. It had cool spaceships, a robot, the chariot, the rocket back pack thing. John and Don were heroic and I like the kids in it even now. If you look past some of the dubious episodes there were some that were really good fun or serious especially when Harris was playing it straight. Unless of course I'm remembering it more fondly than it really deserves.
     
  15. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Very few TV series changed their focus and format as drastically as Lost in Space. The first five episodes are the most serious and therefore most highly regarded. However, things started to lighten up immediately after the fifth episode and things slowed down once the unaired pilot footage was exhausted. Smith became less evil, relying more on selfishness and sneaky schemes to generate plots. By the mid-first season, Smith was now just a fussy, scared "grandpa" of the kids. Long before the season ended, Smith's time as someone to be afraid of was long past. The stories leaned more heavily on his antics, but still, most of the cast - the leads at least - still had some place in the story. But Guy Williams was unhappy.

    The second season started out much like the end of the first, just in color. Even three episodes in, the series maintained a spooky atmosphere and the third episode "The Ghost Plant" stands out as one of the best in the revamped format. The next episode, though, was a true transition. "Forbidden World" is tens, dynamic and frightening for exactly the first half of the episode. Then, act 3 kicks in, introducing us to the Janos Prohaska chicken monster and Wally Cox, and the series has totally changed into a weird comedy fantasy. From that point on, Lost in Space goes down the garden path into children's theater. However, sprinkled in the madness are some truly great episodes like "Prisoners of Space" and "Wreck of the Robot." But those gems are few and far between as the season wears on.

    The third season changes formats yet again, as the Jupiter 2 lifts off and never settles down on any particular planet. Not only that, the series stressed action/adventure, downplayed the comedy and gave the cast more to do. The first few episodes were really excellent for this series. But, again near the mid point, the show slid back to idiocy and comedy. An oasis of sorts appeared with "The Anti-Matter Man," wildely regarded as one of the best episodes of the series. But honestly, its rep is so strong because the four or five episodes prior are so damned horrible. Plot it into the first season and it sucks pretty hard (weird comedy, all sorts of things that make no sense, etc.). After one last good turn with "Time Merchant," LiS slipped into toddler town until it's last second.

    For me, LiS was a great show when I was a kid. I grew to hate most of the second season, but really like the first and third, with those gems in between. It's a different beast than Star Trek but was as much fun for me as a kid.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It's a fallacy to equate a specific argument with a general one. I wasn't talking about every show. I was talking about Lost in Space. Every case is unique. There are some shows that are reasonably consistent throughout, but there are others that radically reinvent themselves so that they're practically different shows after a certain point. LiS is one such show.

    Besides, the best episodes of LiS come at the beginning anyway. So unless you're watching in reverse order, your statement wouldn't apply.


    Some have. There's War of the Worlds: The Series from 1988, which totally reinvented itself in its second season -- very much for the worse, although the first season was pretty bad in its own right. The one thing the show really had going for it was a strong cast with a great rapport, and the new showrunner killed off half the cast, including the most popular character (and I don't think it's a coincidence that the two he killed off were the nonwhite ones). Also, it had been set in a world not visibly different from ours, but the second season inexplicably retconned the world into a decaying post-apocalyptic wasteland. The nature of the alien invaders was also totally changed, with a new wave of invaders kicking out the previous one.

    And there have been other shows where a supporting character has taken over as the de facto lead of the series -- e.g. Fonzie in Happy Days and Urkel in Family Matters. Which reminds me, Mork and Mindy was heavily retooled by network fiat in its second season to make it more kid-friendly -- which pretty much ruined it, and later attempts to recover the original format didn't really work.


    True, but there are still some good ones after that first five. "Welcome Stranger" and "My Friend, Mr. Nobody" are both solid. And then there's "The Challenge." Guy Williams and Michael Ansara fencing with electrified swords -- who can say no to that?


    I found season 2 ridiculous and painfully campy from the start. A miner named Nerim? A green girl floating in space?


    Here I pretty much agree. There was an attempt in the early third to refocus on the nominal leads, and "The Anti-Matter Man" is the best exemplar of that. But it didn't last.
     
  17. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Space:1999, SeaQuest and Buck Rogers did as well. LiS is one of the few that actually became an out and out comedy. I can only think of "Tattingers" which started as an hour drama, switching to half hour comedy when the ratings crapped out (payback for ending St. Elsewhere for it). They could have lost all but Will and the robot and still had many of the same episodes.

    Agreed, I didn't mean to imply the show sucked with episode 6, just that the change to a lighter tough began very early as they settled in. There were a good number of great episodes in that first season. "Invaders from the Fifth Dimension," "The Sky is Falling," 'Wish Upon a Star," " The Keeper," and those you mentioned.

    "Blast off Into Space" was only a little more over the top than some of the stuff at the end of the previous year, like "Space Croppers" or "His Majesty Smith." The saving grace of "Blast off" was just that: the amazing lift off sequence as the planet blew up around them. The back half of the episode was good fun, but yeah, leading up to that was pretty crappy. "Wild Adventure" only appealed to me because it was great to be off that damned planet set for a change.

    Also "Condemned of Space," "Visit to a Hostile Planet," "Hunter's Moon," "Flight into the Future," and "Target Earth" were all good, solid stabs at giving the leads more screen time whiling balancing out the comedy. Other episodes that stand out include "Space Creature," "Flaming Planet" (aside from the hideous plant monster) and the "not quite as good as it should be" episode "Time Merchant."

    Lost in Space's third season was a lot like Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea's fourth: an attempt to reel in the laziness and silly scripts and provide the actors and the audience with more honest adventure. And both shows would slide back to pattern in the last half of the season (although I find Voyage to be an overall better series).
     
  18. Bad Atom

    Bad Atom Commodore Commodore

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    I'm in the middle of the second season now and my attention is definitely starting to wander. Tone-wise, it's closer to Gilligan's Island than Star Trek at this point. Dr. Smith's antics have gone from entertaining to tiresome. And the rest of the cast is mostly wasted.
     
  19. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Auld Lang Mod Moderator

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    A show that I have no intention of sitting through every episode of, because I don't enjoy it. It doesn't matter whether or not a generalization applies to every example. In this case, my generalization was based on this specific example, and it applies.

    There's a fallacy. You're assuming that somebody is sitting down and watching from the beginning via DVD or whatever. I specifically said that I'd caught some episodes via syndicated broadcast, so they were whichever episodes were being shown.

    And it's all still subjective...what fans of the show consider its best episodes aren't necessarily going to be of interest to somebody who doesn't like and has no interest in the show.

    If you and others here enjoy what you consider to be the better installments and/or aspects of this series, fantastic... more power to you...I don't begrudge you your enjoyment or deny what you enjoy about the show. But I don't enjoy it, and don't intend to look further into it hoping to someday enjoy it. Life's too short to sit through hours and hours of bad television hoping to catch the odd episode that some consider to be the good ones.
     
  20. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Even the better episodes of the first season are really little more than just tolerable. I experienced a measure of frustration in seeing good ideas not being explored more fully and opportunities to tell engaging stories thrown away out of clumsiness or for the sake of an easy laugh.

    For anyone who might be curious this was my revisit thread: http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=164266

    My summation of the first season: