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10 Things you didn't know about "Lost in Space"

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The iconic television show "Lost in Space" reached its 50 year milestone on September 15, 2015. That was also the day Angela Cartwright and Bill Mumy launched their pictorial memoir "Lost (and found) in Space" with never before seen photos and their memories of what it was like to be part of a series that is still seen around the world today. We at TV Classics Press, a division of MPM were very proud to publish this beautiful collectors book and we are also happy that we now have it available in paperback. 

For those of you who are fans who have not yet purchased your copy of this one-of-a-kind treasure here are some things that you may not know about the show and the things that happened behind the scenes, Feel free to comment below and tell us some other factoids that you think people in the know want to know about their favorite space family. 

1. Did you know that even the robot sometimes had to use a stunt double? 

In the Season three episode "Condemned of Space," the props and scene people created a lightweight stunt robot out of fiberglass, Styrofoam and wood. No one was inside of the robot for the scene and it was manipulated like a large puppet. There was also a stuntman doubling for Guy Williams whose close-ups were added later. 

2. Do you know why Penny's pet Debbie "the Bloop" only made some cameo appearances in Season three?

Debbie "the Bloop" was a real chimpanzee who wore costume headgear to create her huge ears. She did not actually come from outer space. Although well-trained and a veteran actress with such credits as Daktari, she decided one day to take a bite out of Angela Cartwright's little brother's finger. We have it from a good source that she was eventually de-toothed, although we never did hear her side of the story. 

3. Did you know that Jonathan Harris aka Dr. Smith also had an alias "the candy man"?

We don't know if he actually attained that moniker. What we do know is that when the cast and crew had low energy at around 4:00 pm and there was still work to do he would come to everyone's rescue with Tootsie Roll pops. He would buy them by the case. 

4. Did you know that in the early part of the series  Robinson patriarch and matriarch showed signs of affection but by the latter part of the series barely held hands? Was there trouble in space? 

According to June Lockhart quoted in an article in the LA Times, "... as time went on, word came down that we were not even to touch each other. They said It embarrassed the children. We were told even climbing down from stairs or getting out of the space ship, he was not allowed to turn around and take my hand to help me down the steps. They would yell, 'Cut. Don't touch her.' It was nonsense. We did it anyway."

Whether or not the censors thought their on air chemistry was too hot for the mid 1960s, they were for many the picture of a happy and healthy marriage. Click to read the full article

5. Did you know that Mark Goddard was originally not interested in playing Major Don West? 

Mark told the LA Times that he wanted to be Paul Newman and not Flash Gordon. 

"But it turned out to be a good thing. It was meaningful to a lot of kids. It's remarkable that so many people when they grew up became engineers, computer experts and even astrophysicists because of this little show they grew up on." Read more

We think the real reason is he got to meet his co-star Marta Kristen who is as beautiful today as she was as a young starlet. 

Rumor has it that if you purchase the Blu Ray of the series you might be treated to a "table read" of a script that was written by Bill Mumy. It has the ending we all suspected with Don and Judy happily married. Or are they? 

6. Did you know Archie Bunker (actor Carroll O'Connor" was considered for the role of Dr. Smith? 

That might have made Dr. Smith's lament "Oh, Jeeeezzzzz," instead of "Oh the pain, the Pain." According to an obituary of Jonathan Harris in the LA Times on November 05, 2002:

"Harris' plummy villain did not appear in the series pilot, which was not telecast. But when CBS decided that the show needed a bad guy, Allen, who would go on to create disaster films like "The Towering Inferno," considered such actors as Carroll O'Connor and Eddie Albert before settling on Harris. Harris had worked with the star, Guy Williams, in Williams' earlier television series, "Zorro." "

Jonathan, not wanting to be out of a job any time soon, made sure to help create his character with his comic villainy for which he was most known. The result was a cult icon that has lasted far beyond the three years the series was actually on the air. 

7. Did you know that Jonathan Harris/Dr Smith is still an active  part of the Lost in Space family?

No, he is not a ghost. Although many would not put that past him. He was known to be a prankster. Dr Smith is still part of the lives of the five remaining cast members who, when possible, still meet every year on or around November 5 to have dinner to celebrate the birthday of Jonathan Harris, the late actor who played the diabolical and very funny Dr. Zachary Smith.

All the cast members remain close and in touch. It was Angela and Bill's close and lifelong friendship that led to the creation of "Lost (and found) in Space." 

From Bill Mumy's facebook page: A great day in the Shirley Temple Room at the Fox commissary celebrating Jonathan's 101st birthday. Me, Kevin and Mark are wearing Jonathan's ascots! Happy Birthday "Himself"! Thanks, Kevbo! — withMarta Kristen-kane, Kevin Burns and Mark Goddard

8. Did you know that contrary to common belief it was not only Jonathan Harris' choice to move the show in the direction of a more comedic Dr. Smith? 

Actually according to some of the lesser known facts you will find in Angela and Bill's book "Lost (and found) in Space,"  it was actually the network who was responsible for the shift in tone. At the time the show ran on CBS on Wednesday nights at 7:30 pm. This was considered family time when small children would be watching. The network determined that the more dark and realistic shows were too frightening for children. That may explain why some of us baby boomers who watched from the very beginning still sleep with the lights on at night. 

They may have taken things too far with such episodes as The Great Vegetable Rebellion. 

Here is a clip of Jonathan Harris discussing the show. 

9. Did you know that Angela Cartwright and Bill Mumy dated in real life? 

Okay. That is probably not a big surprise to many of you. According to many sources Bill had a huge crush on Angela who was two years older than the 12-year-old Bill when the series started. Eventually they dated but in their book Bill only mentions about two years of dating. Other sources say five to six years and one source says they were engaged at one point. 

You will have to read the book to find out what happened. But don't expect much. Bill is not one to kiss and tell. The important thing is they resumed their friendship may years ago and see each other quite often. In fact, both their families share in each others special occasions with Angela, now a prolific photographer, even taking Bill's family's Christmas Card photo. 

10. Did you know that the photos in Angela and Bill's book "Lost (and Found) in Space" were kept in an archive for fifty years until they selected those used in the book? 

The photos in the book were hand-picked by Bill and Angela to tell their behind-the-scenes story of what it was like to be a child on the set of this favorite show. What child wouldn't want to be them? Most of these photos were never seen before and brought back all kinds of nostalgic memories they are now sharing with fans and the new generation of those first being introduced to this show. 

The book is available in paperback and hardcover collectible

Don't forget to look around our store. We are adding more kitsch, collectibles and items every day. Take a look under our products page and you will see our offerings. 

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