Lost in Space (film)

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Lost in Space
Lost in space movie poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Stephen Hopkins
Produced by Mark W. Koch
Stephen Hopkins
Akiva Goldsman
Carla Fry
Written by Akiva Goldsman
Based on Lost in Space
by Irwin Allen
Starring
Music by Bruce Broughton
Cinematography Peter Levy
Edited by Ray Lovejoy
Production
company
New Line Cinema
Saltire Entertainment
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release date
  • April 3, 1998 (1998-04-03)
Running time
130 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $80 million
Box office $136.2 million

Lost in Space is a 1998 American science-fiction adventure film directed by Stephen Hopkins, and starring William Hurt, Matt LeBlanc, and Gary Oldman. The film was shot in London and Shepperton, and produced by New Line Cinema. The plot is adapted from the 1965–1968 CBS television series Lost in Space. The film focuses on the Robinson family, who undertake a voyage to a nearby star system to begin large-scale emigration from a soon-to-be uninhabitable Earth, but are thrown off course by a saboteur and must try to find their way home.

Several actors from the original TV series made cameo appearances in the film.

Plot[edit]

In 2058, Earth will be uninhabitable within twenty years due to the irreversible effects of pollution and ozone depletion. In an effort to save humanity, the United Global Space Force (UGSF) elects to send Professor John Robinson and his family—wife Maureen, daughters Judy and Penny, and young prodigy son Will—on a mission on the spaceship Jupiter II to complete the construction of a hypergate over the planet Alpha Prime, allowing for the population of Earth to be instantly transported to and populate it as a new home. Penny is resistant to leaving, rebelling by breaking curfew, while Will's prize-winning science experiment involving time travel goes largely unnoticed by John. Global Sedition, a terrorist group against the mission, assassinates the Jupiter II's pilot, and hotshot fighter pilot Major Don West is instead recruited to fly their ship—much to his chagrin.

Dr. Zachary Smith, the family's physician, turns out to be a spy for the Sedition, who sabotages the ship's on-board robot before launch, but he is betrayed by his cohorts, and left unconscious as the ship launches and the family enters cryosleep. The robot activates soon after and begins to destroy the navigation and guidance systems, en route to destroying the family itself. Smith awakens the Robinsons and West, who manage to subdue the robot, but the ship is falling uncontrollably into the sun. Forced to use the experimental hyperdrive, which has an unpredictable trajectory, the ship is transported through hyperspace to a remote and uncharted part of the universe, where their known star charts are useless. Going through a strange distortion in space, the crew finds two abandoned ships in orbit, the Proteus, an Earth ship, and another ship that is clearly not of human origin. They board the Proteus, with Will controlling the now-modified robot by remote control to aid them. They find navigational data that can be used to get to Alpha Prime along with a camouflaging creature whom Penny calls "Blarp", and evidence suggesting the ship is from the future. They are attacked by spider-like creatures; in their escape, Smith is scratched by one, and the robot's body is damaged beyond repair, but Will saves its computerized intelligence. West destroys the vessel to eradicate the spiders, and, as a result, the ship crash-lands on the nearby planet, where the distortions from before continue. Will theorizes that they are distortions in time; in fact, they are his science experiment's predicted results. John, however, frustrates Will by ignoring his input. He and West head off to explore one of these time bubbles, and encounter a future version of Will, who explains that some spiders had survived and attacked after his father and West had left them, and that Maureen, Penny, and Judy were all killed. Constructing a time machine, Will intends to go back to Earth to prevent Jupiter II from launching.

Meanwhile, young Will and Smith head out on their own to investigate the time bubble. Smith tricks Will into handing over his weapon, but he is foiled by a future version of Smith, who had been protecting Will ever since the rest of the family was killed, and was transformed by an infection from the spider injury into a kind of anthropomorphic spider creature. Will and West return to their time with an injured Smith in tow, while the future Smith reveals his true actions: He had killed the Robinsons, but kept Will alive to build the time machine, so he could go back in time to populate Earth with a race of space spiders. John remembers that the spiders eat their wounded, rips open Smith's egg sac with a trophy Will had turned into a weapon, and while Smith's own army devours him, he is thrown into the time portal, which rips him apart. The increasing instability of the planet caused by the portal forces the Jupiter II to take off, but they are unable to reach escape velocity, and are destroyed by the planet's debris. Will realizes that his father never actually abandoned them, and that he really does love him after all. Setting the time machine's controls to send John back to his family, he himself is unable to go along, with only enough power available for one person. Saying goodbye to his family, the future Will is killed by falling debris, and John reunites with his living family. Realizing that they do not have enough power to escape the planet's gravitational pull, John suggests that drive the ship down through the planet, and use the gravity well to slingshot them back into space. They are successful, but the planet turns into a black hole, and they once again activate the hyperdrive to escape. Using the navigational data from the Proteus to set a potential course for Alpha Prime, the ship blasts off into hyperspace.

Cast[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Music[edit]

TVT Records released a soundtrack album on March 31, 1998, featuring 11 tracks of Bruce Broughton's original score (which makes no reference to either of the TV themes composed by John Williams) and eight tracks of techno music (most of which is heard only over the film's end credits).[2] A European version of the soundtrack album was released that omits the tracks "Spider Attack", "Jupiter Crashes", and "Spider Smith" in favor of three new songs unused in the film by Aah-Yah, Asphalt Ostrich, and Anarchy.[3] Intrada Records released a score album for the film the following year, and the complete score in 2016. The track "Thru the Planet" on the TVT album is not the same as "Through the Planet" on the Intrada release, but is a shortened version of Broughton's unused end-title music heard on the score album as "Lost in Space."[citation needed]

TVT soundtrack album[edit]

Lost in Space: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Various
Released March 31, 1998 (1998-03-31)
Genre Big beat, film score
Length 67:59
Label TVT Records

Intrada score album[edit]

Lost in Space: Original Motion Picture Score
Soundtrack album by Bruce Broughton
Released March 23, 1999 (1999-03-23) (original release); February 29, 2016 (2016-02-29) (expansion)
Genre Film score
Length 67:03 (original release); 122:49 (expansion)
Label Intrada Records

All music composed by Bruce Broughton.

All music composed by Bruce Broughton.

All music composed by Bruce Broughton.

Reception[edit]

On its opening weekend, Lost in Space grossed $20,154,919 and debuted at number one at the box office, ending Titanic's 15-week-long hold on the first-place position. It opened in 3,306 theaters and grossed an average of $6,096 per screening. Lost in Space grossed $69,117,629 in the United States, and $67,041,794 outside of America, bringing its worldwide total to $136,159,423,[4] making it a moderate box-office success. Those results were deemed insufficient, however, to justify a planned sequel.

Reviews were generally negative for Lost in Space, drawing criticism for its darker tone. Rotten Tomatoes has reported that 27% of critics gave the film a positive review. The site's consensus reads: "Clumsily directed and missing most of the TV series' campy charm, Lost in Space sadly lives down to its title."[5] It also holds a score of 42 out of 100 on Metacritic from 19 critics.[6]

Roger Ebert gave the film a rating of one and a half out of four, calling it a "dim-witted shoot-'em-up".[7] Wade Major from Boxoffice magazine rated the film at 1 and a half out of 5, calling it "the dumbest and least imaginative adaptation of a television series yet translated to the screen."[8] James Berardinelli was slightly more favorable, giving the film a rating of 2 and a half out of 4. While praising the film's set design, he criticized its "meandering storyline and lifeless protagonists," saying that "Lost in Space features a few action sequences that generate adrenaline jolts, but this is not an edge-of-the-seat motion picture."[9]

The film was given a Golden Raspberry Award nomination for Worst Remake or Sequel, but lost against the tied The Avengers, Godzilla, and Psycho.[citation needed]

Home media[edit]

VHS, DVD, and later a Blu-ray have been released for the film. Both the DVD and Blu-ray releases contain deleted scenes.[10]

Homages to the original TV-series[edit]

The 1998 New Line Cinema film includes numerous homages, cameos and story details related to the original TV-series, including:

  • Dick Tufeld as the Robot's voice.
  • The 2nd version of the Robot (re-built by Will Robinson) has a very similarly doughnut-shaped "head" as the TV-series robot.
  • Mark Goddard briefly appears as the military general who gives Major Don West his orders for the mission.
  • June Lockhart briefly appears with Will Robinson, as the principal of his school.
  • Angela Cartwright and Marta Kristen briefly appear early in the film as news reporters.
  • A small (CG-animated) alien animal is adopted by Penny Robinson, an animal character in homage to "Debbie" (a chimpanzee fitted with furry prosthetic alien "ears") in the TV-series.
  • The film's Jupiter 1 is a larger protective exterior shell, which breaks off in pieces after the launch, freeing the interior Jupiter 2 spacecraft to thrust onward into space.
  • The Jupiter 1 (the larger protective exterior shell) is very similar in shape to the much smaller TV-series spacecraft, and includes similar underside rotating lights.
  • Due to budget limitations, new versions of the Chariot or the Space Pod were not built for the film, and so do not appear in it, with Don briefly mentioning to the Robinsons that those units had been irreparably wrecked by their crash landing on the planet.


Additional cameo appearances of actors from the original TV-series were considered, but not included in the film:

  • Jonathan Harris was offered a cameo appearance, not as Smith (performed by actor Gary Oldman in the film), but as the Global Sedition leader who hires, then betrays, Smith. Harris turned down the role, reportedly saying "I play Smith or I don't play." and "I've never played a bit part in my life and I'm not going to start now!". The role of the Sedition leader was eventually performed by actor Edward Fox. Many years later, Harris appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, mentioning the role offered to him: "Yes, they offered me a part in the new movie;— six lines!".
  • Bill Mumy was likewise offered a cameo, but turned it down after being told he would not be considered for the part he wanted — the role of the older Will Robinson — because, he was told, that would "confuse the audience."

References[edit]

  1. ^ "LOST IN SPACE (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. May 12, 1998. Retrieved October 12, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Filmtracks: Lost in Space (Bruce Broughton)". Filmtracks. Retrieved May 12, 2018. 
  3. ^ "Various - Lost In Space (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". Discogs. Retrieved May 12, 2018. 
  4. ^ "Lost in Space". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 4, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Lost in Space". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 3, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Lost in Space". Metacritic. Retrieved August 3, 2009. 
  7. ^ Ebert, Roger (April 3, 2018). "Lost in Space Movie Review & Film Summary (1998)". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved February 4, 2010. 
  8. ^ Major, Wade (August 1, 2008). "Lost in Space". Boxoffice magazine. Archived from the original on July 7, 2012. Retrieved February 4, 2010. 
  9. ^ James Berardinelli. "Lost In Space (1998)". Reelviews. Retrieved February 4, 2010. 
  10. ^ Gaye Birch (October 11, 2010). "Lost In Space Blu-ray review". Den of Geek. Retrieved May 12, 2018. 

External links[edit]