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Updated: September 15, 2022

The show initially experienced some legal challenges. Ib Melchior, a notable science fiction writer, had conceived what was essentially the same idea (but with different characters) years before either the television series or the comic book. He had called his version "Space Family Robinson", which was also the original production name for Lost in Space.

Although legal action went nowhere, Ib Melchior was hired as a consultant on the "Lost in Space" movie as a way of recognizing his original idea. Lost in Space followed Allen's basic philosophy that TV was supposed to be fun, as opposed to educational. His series, including Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Time Tunnel and Land of the Giants, were all very fast paced and exciting, often at the expense of logic.

The series ran for three seasons on CBS, from 1965 to 1968 and it was famously bought by the network after they rejected a competing sci-fi series that was offered to them Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek. The first season was filmed in black and white and was more serious in tone when compared to the two seasons that followed. It chronicled the adventures of the Robinson family starting in the year 1997, a group of Earth pioneers whose mission to colonize Alpha Centauri almost ends in disaster after a saboteur attempts to destroy their spaceship. The second and third seasons were produced in color, and were more whimsical and fantastic in tone.

Characters and Cast:

* Professor John Robinson (Guy Williams) is the commander of the Robinson family expedition. He is an expert in astrophysics and applied planetary geology as well as an ordained Minister.

* Doctor Maureen Robinson (June Lockhart) is John's wife, and a trained biochemist. She is the mother of their children, Judy, Penny and Will.

* Major Don West (Mark Goddard) is the pilot of the expedition's spacecraft, the Jupiter-2. Don is romantically interested in Judy, and inherently distrustful of Dr Smith.

* Judy Robinson (Marta Kristen), Penny Robinson (Angela Cartwright) and Will Robinson (Bill Mumy) are the three children in the expedition. Of the three, Will is the most noteworthy he is the youngest, brightest and a particular friend of Dr. Smith and the Robot.

* Doctor Zachary Smith (Jonathan Harris), ostensibly a specialist in environmental and intergalactic psychology and a Space Corps colonel (but in fact an enemy agent), is in charge of preparing the Robinson party. His attempt to sabotage the mission saw him stranded aboard as a "reluctant stowaway", from which the pilot episode takes its title.

* The Robot, a Model B-9 Environmental-Control Robot, which had no given name. However, in the third-season episode entitled "The Time Merchant," it was shown in its packing crate, and the crate was labeled one General Utility Non-Theorizing Environmental Robot, with the G, U, N, T, and E, and all letters in Robot in red capital letters, while all the other letters were black; some have suggested that this was supposed to convey the acronym gunter; see these screen shots. The Robot was designed by Robert Kinoshita, and performed by Bob May in a suit built by Bob Stewart, with voice by Dick Tufeld, who was also the series' narrator.

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