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Lost in Space: Mark Goddard Interview

Mark Goddard, who played pilot Don West on Lost in Space (1965-1968) is interviewed in 1997 on Australian television about his experience on the series.

Lost in Space is one of my all time fave TV shows, it excited the hell out of this 9-year old back in 1965. The Man From UNCLE, Batman, Bewitched, Voyage To the Bottom of the Sea, Star Trek, The Invaders, Time Tunnel… the mid-1960s was a great time to be a kid watching TV.

The sci-fi series started out as a serious drama, morphing into a comedy-drama (and, at time, pure silliness) as the years progressed. The first 6 episodes especially rank among the best sci-fi television ever.

No doubt about it, Lost in Space had two of the greatest theme songs of all, both composed by John Williams (Star Wars). Portions of the first episodes were filmed at Red Rock Canyon State Park in Cantil, California.

Also appearing in this interview is a replica of the robot. “I’m just taken by this guy,” Goddard remarks about his mechanical former co-star. “You know what? You’ve been hanging out with William Shatner too long, you’re getting a little heavy there, Robot.”

About the special effects, “Thirty-two years ago, it was like a lot of firecrackers going off all over the place,” Goddard says. “And you had to go left and right and the camera would tilt as you went. Irwin Allen, who was the producer, would hit this tin can and he’d go to the left, and then tin can would go to the right. That’s the spaceship going all over the place and that’s how we did it.”

In a later interview Goddard confessed, "I didn't want to do it," he said in 1990. "Now, the reason I didn't want do the series at first is because I had never done science fiction, and had no idea what it was going to be like."

Mark Goddard also discusses the $77 million movie Lost in Space released in 1998 to so-so box office. He had a small but important role in that film.

In fact, the entire cast of the TV version of Lost in Space had roles except Jonathan Harris, who refused to appear in the movie unless hecould reprise his role as Dr. Smith. Gary Oldman portrayed Dr. Smith in the film.

Roger Ebert wrote about the Lost in Space motion picture, "Lost in Space is a dim-witted shoot-'em-up based on the old (I hesitate to say “classic”) TV series. It's got cheesy special effects, a muddy visual look, and characters who say obvious things in obvious ways. If it outgrosses the brilliant Dark City, the previous sci-fi film from the same studio, then audiences must have lost their will to be entertained." Ouch!

 

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Lost in Space: A space colony family struggles to survive when a spy/accidental stowaway throws their ship hopelessly off course.

The Most Prolific Lost in Space Directors: 
Don Richardson
(26 episodes, 1966-1968)

Sobey Martin
(14 episodes, 1965-1967)

Nathan Juran
(13 episodes, 1965-1968)

Ezra Stone
(8 episodes, 1967-1968)

 

 

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