Jonathan Harris (Dr. Smith from Lost in Space) performed before a live audience at the Seymour Theatre in Sydney Australia on March 14th 1994. Appearing alongside him was his lifelong nemesis – The Robot. qHere’s some video directed and produced by Glenn Ware. It’s actually quite enteratining. The show proper starts at 21:30
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A journalist joins a team of astronauts on an expedition to the farthest point in space humans have ever traveled. The mystery that awaits is more dangerous than trying to reach it alone.
PROS: Fascinating story; empathetic and beautiful struggle of an explorer separated from his family; epic, outer space anomaly leaves the reader burning for more
CONS: The mystery is not completely resolved.
BOTTOM LINE: The Explorer earns a “can’t miss” recommendation for its mind-bending, heart-wrenching, avalanche of a reading experience.
For those too young to remember, Banacek was an NBC series starring George Peppard as a suave Polish investigator assigned to uncover the mystery of objects and people that went missing under seemingly impossible circumstances. It struck me that you could not pitch a character like Banacek today; He was a womanizer (the first episode features the ever-yummy Anitra Ford serving him champagne while he watches TV), smoked cigars, and his job was to help insurance companies avoid paying claims. You might pitch it as a period piece, a la Mad Men, as a window to a less-enlightened time, but never as a modern show, at least not without significant modifications. It got me thinking about what SF/F TV characters would fail as new creations today.
To be clear, I do not mean reboots or reimaginings. I mean characters existing as they did when they were originally portrayed on TV, with their personality traits and behaviors intact, and pitching them in today’s social and political climate. We’ve come quite a distance from couples sleeping in separate beds, but there are things considered taboo today that were rampant on TV past.
Here are few that came to mind…
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With the voice of the original Dr. Smith (Jonathan Harris), corny dailog (“But Dina, if we can’t penertrate those steam clouds around Jupiter, we’ll never know if there’s life there!) and recycled music from Super Friends…what’s not to love?