The Monsters of Lost In Space (Season 1)

A full season’s worth of space monsters, spaceships, space plants, space cowboys, space lizards, space princesses, space werewolves, space hillbillies….

Just in time for Halloween (as if we planned it that way), we bring you… MONSTERS!

But not just any old monsters. Nooooo. We bring you science fiction monsters. Special science fiction monsters. And not just a few. Every single last monster and monster-metaphor from the show’s first season. Fifty of them – depending on your definitions.

Lost In Space aired on television before we really cared about the fact that sound does not propagate in a vacuum. When it comes to these monsters, everyone, everywhere can hear you scream. (Though considering the show’s reputation, they may very well be screams of frustration and incredulity.)

Lost In Space was Irwin Allen’s second venture into science fiction television. His previous effort was Voyage To the Bottom Of the Sea, a spin-off of his successful film of the same name. Voyage ran from 1964 to 1968 and I was an avid fan.

Lost In Space followed from 1965 to 1968 and I was a fan of that show too.

Irwin Allen’s presentation of the Swiss Family Robinson in Space was, at least initially, a serious attempt at television science fiction. The studio budget for the show was relatively high for the era (and for SF fare) and it was well-received by television audiences – far out-pacing the contemporary Star Trek in the ratings. Following its first season the show changed direction, attempting to match the popular campiness of the new Batman show and it eventually devolved into a farce centering on Dr. Smith, Will Robinson and the Robot. An sfnal  Larry, Curly and Mo.

I didn’t know all of those things when I was watching it in its initial run though. Back then I was a wee, impressionable lad, eager to soak up anything that had to do with outer space, space ships, ray guns and Bug Eyed Monsters.

And in that regard, boy does Lost In Space deliver! LIS was the go-to monster-attack-of-the-week show.

Watching it now I’m almost mortified to admit that the show really scared me some times. I know that one particular episode (pictured here, below. see if you can guess) gave me an absolute dread of the closet door in my bedroom. It had to be closed – all the way! – before I could begin to think about falling asleep. Now I can see that a lot of their monsters were men in monkey suits (and that they frequently re-used their props and costumes) and I no longer have to watch through my fingers.

They did have some pretty nifty spaceships and ray guns too.

It’s been quite a while since I revisited this show. It’s often painful to watch, but on the other hand there’s a certain charm to it, an appealing naivete, more for the era perhaps than the show itself. Certainly there is nostalgia value. So many memories of my childhood centered around making sure I’d be in front of the TV set on time.

So many fond memories of scary space monsters.  (You can play the nostalgia game or see what you’ve missed. Watch Lost In Space for free on Hulu.)

(Ed. Note: There are some 120 images in this slideshow – plus opening and ending titles.  A serious time-waster if ever there was one. You can pause by rolling your cursor over the image.)

ETA 2/1/18:  Slideshow changed to gallery so no one has to rely on java.  Click on an image for a larger view)

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  1. I remember being scared to death by that alien mummy, I also remember it being a lot more scarier through the lens of time….oh well.

  2. An amazing collection of monsters… Hadn’t realized what a menagerie they had. I haven’t seen any of these since they were aired and forgot most of these — except for Robbie the Robot (who made appearances a lot of places including the Twilight Zone and some TV mysteries — oddly enough). Sets were always a little cheesy and acting over the top, but Dr. Smith and his, “Oh, the pain” generally made it all worthwhile.

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