The 1960s is considered by many to be the pinnacle age for American culture, not the least of which was television. With color TVs making their way into homes across the country, TV shows seemingly exploded with vividly imaginative stories, and perhaps no better example of this was Lost In Space, the science fiction saga of a family marooned among the stars. Created by legendary producer Irwin Allen, LIS remains a thoroughly enjoyable excursion that fired up the imagination within young minds like no other show did, starting with its memorable theme, created by a young John (credited then as Johnny) Williams, who would go on to do the music for Star Wars, among many other films.
Jacobs Brown Press has released a fascinating new book that peeks behind the curtain at the creative process behind Lost In Space. Lost In Space: The Authorized Biography of a Classic Sci-Fi Series, Volume One, is an exhaustive look by author Marc Cushman at the creation of the series, as well as its entire first season (which was shot in black and white). Focusing on Irwin Allen, we follow his career while he’s making Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, which was when he initially got the idea for doing an adventure show that was set in space. Originally darker and more somber in tone, the network forced the LIS producers to lighten things up for its kid-friendly time-slot).
Cushman does an extraordinary job at covering not just the creation of the overall series of LIS, showing how the actors were cast, but he also dives into the back story on each and every single episode of the first season as well. Each episode has a synopsis of the story line, as well as a lengthy behind the scenes story of the making of that particular segment.
This attention to detail makes this book a great reference for the first season of Lost In Space (Volume Two will cover the latter two seasons). But even casual fans of Lost In Space will be captivated by the extensive information that’s on display in this hefty volume, which is also loaded with plenty of great rare photos from the series. Whether you’re a rabid Lost In Space fan or enjoy reading about classic TV productions in general, this volume is highly recommended. Bring on volume two. –SF