Lost in Space (film)

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Lost in Space
Theatrical release poster
Directed byStephen Hopkins
Written byAkiva Goldsman
Based onLost in Space
by Irwin Allen
The Swiss Family Robinson
by Johann David Wyss
Produced byMark W. Koch
Stephen Hopkins
Akiva Goldsman
Carla Fry
CinematographyPeter Levy
Edited byRay Lovejoy
Music byBruce Broughton
New Line Cinema
Prelude Pictures
Saltire Entertainment
Distributed byNew Line Cinema
Release date
  • April 3, 1998 (1998-04-03)
Running time
130 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
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, Gary Oldman, and Heather Graham. The plot is adapted from the 1965–1968 CBS television series of the same name (itself inspired by the 1812 novel The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss). Several actors from the TV show make cameo appearances.

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.

Lost in Space received negative reviews from critics, and grossed $136.2 million worldwide with an $80 million budget.


In 2058, Earth will soon be uninhabitable due to the irreversible effects of pollution and ozone depletion. In an effort to save humanity, the United Global Space Force sends Professor John Robinson, his wife Maureen, daughters Judy and Penny, and young prodigy son Will on the spaceship Jupiter II to complete construction of a hypergate over the planet Alpha Prime, which will allow the population of Earth to be instantly transported and populate the new planet. Penny rebels by breaking curfew, while Will's prize-winning science experiment involving time travel goes largely unnoticed by John. Global Sedition, a mutant terrorist group, assassinates the Jupiter II's pilot, who is replaced by hotshot fighter pilot Major Don West, to his chagrin.

The family's physician Dr. Zachary Smith, a Sedition spy, sabotages the ship's on-board robot before launch, but is betrayed by his cohorts and left unconscious as the ship launches and the family enters cryosleep. The robot activates and begins to destroy the navigation and guidance systems, en route to destroying the family. Smith awakens the Robinsons and West, who subdue the robot, but the ship is falling uncontrollably into the Sun. Forced to use the experimental hyperdrive with an unplotted course, the ship is transported through hyperspace to a remote planet in an uncharted part of the universe.

Passing through a strange distortion in space, the crew finds two abandoned ships in orbit: the Earth ship Proteus, and another ship clearly not of human origin. They board the Proteus, with Will controlling the now-modified robot. They find navigational data to reach Alpha Prime, and a camouflaging creature Penny calls "Blarp", along with evidence suggesting the ship is from the future. They are attacked by spider-like creatures; one scratches Smith, and the robot's body is irreparably damaged but Will saves its computerized intelligence.

West destroys the vessel to eradicate the spiders, causing the ship to crash-land on the nearby planet, where another distortion appears. Will theorizes they are distortions in time, as his experiment predicted, but John ignores his input. Exploring the time bubble, he and West encounter a future version of Will and a robot he rebuilt with the saved intelligence. The older Will explains that surviving spiders killed Maureen, Penny, and Judy. Constructing a time machine, the future Will intends to return to Earth to prevent Jupiter II from launching.

Young Will and Smith investigate the time bubble on their own. Smith tricks Will into handing over his weapon, but is foiled by a future version of himself, transformed by his spider injury into a spider-like creature, who has been protecting Will since the rest of the family was killed. The present Will and West return to the Jupiter II with an injured Smith and the robot in tow, while the future Smith reveals his true plan: He killed the Robinsons, but kept Will alive to build the time machine, so Smith could return to Earth and populate it with a race of spiders.

John, remembering that spiders eat their wounded, rips open Smith's egg sac with a trophy Will turned into a weapon. Smith's spider army devours him and he is thrown into the time portal, ripping him apart. The planet's increasing instability forces the Jupiter II to take off, but they are unable to reach escape velocity and are destroyed by the planet's debris. Realizing his father never actually abandoned them, Will sets the time machine to send John back to his family, but there is only enough power for one person. Saying goodbye to his family, the future Will is killed by falling debris, and John reunites with his living family.

Realizing they do not have enough power to escape the planet's gravitational pull, John suggests they drive the ship down through the planet, using the gravity well to slingshot them back into space. They are successful, but the planet turns into a black hole, and they activate the hyperdrive to escape. Using the Proteus’ navigational data to set a potential course for Alpha Prime, the ship blasts off into hyperspace.



Filming began on March 3, 1997 in London's Shepperton Studios, with more than 700 special effects shots planned,[2] done by Jim Henson's Creature Shop, among other visual effects vendors. The $70 million Lost in Space film was New Line's hope to launch a multimedia franchise, followed by animated and live-action television series.[3] Licensing deals were made with Trendmasters for toys and Harper Prism and Scholastic for tie-in novels.[4]


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 electronic techno music (most of which is heard only over the film's end credits).[5] A European version of the soundtrack album was released that omits the tracks "Spider Attack", "Jupiter Crashes", and "Spider Smith", and instead includes three new songs unused in the film ("Aah-Yah" by O.P. Phoenix, "Asphalt Ostrich" by HeadCrash, and "Anarchy" by KMFDM).[6] 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 Records Soundtrack Album[edit]

Lost in Space: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedMarch 31, 1998 (1998-03-31)
GenreBig beat, film score
LabelTVT Records
Lost in Space: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
1."Lost in Space – Theme"Apollo 4403:27
2."I'm Here... Another Planet"Juno Reactor / The Creatures4:21
3."Busy Child"The Crystal Method7:27
4."Bang On"Propellerheads5:47
5."Everybody Needs a 303"Fatboy Slim5:49
6."Will & Penny's Theme"Apollo 4403:22
7."Song for Penny"Death in Vegas5:35
8."Lost in Space"Space3:30
9."Main Title"Bruce Broughton1:03
10."Reprogram the Robot"Bruce Broughton2:17
11."The Launch"Bruce Broughton4:14
12."The Robot Attack"Bruce Broughton2:54
13."The Proteus"Bruce Broughton2:26
14."Spiders Attack"Bruce Broughton2:26
15."Jupiter Crashes"Bruce Broughton1:17
16."Spider Smith"Bruce Broughton2:42
17."Kill the Monster"Bruce Broughton3:54
18."The Portal"Bruce Broughton2:46
19."Thru the Planet"Bruce Broughton2:42

Intrada score album[edit]

Lost in Space: Original Motion Picture Score
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedMarch 23, 1999 (1999-03-23) (original release); February 29, 2016 (2016-02-29) (expansion)
GenreFilm score
Length67:03 (original release); 122:49 (expansion)
LabelIntrada Records

All music is composed by Bruce Broughton

Lost in Space: Original Motion Picture Score
2."Preparing for Space"2:31
3."The Launch"6:22
4."Robot Attack"3:21
5."Into the Sun"6:21
7."A New World"1:25
8."Guiding Stars"1:37
9."The Time Bubbles"2:21
10."Smith's Plan"1:21
11."Will and Smith Explore"2:00
12."Will's Time Machine"4:24
13."Spider Smith"2:39
14."Facing the Monster"8:46
15."Attempted Escape"1:26
16."The Time Portal"2:42
17."Through the Planet"2:31
18."Back to Hyperspace"1:38
19."Fanfare for Will"0:27
20."Lost in Space"3:24

All music is composed by Bruce Broughton

Lost in Space: 2-Disc Edition - CD 1
2."Main Title/Major Mayhem"4:07
3."Hologram Gags/You'll Do (Alternate)"1:05
4."Meet Dr. Smith"1:40
5."Dog Tags, No. 1"0:38
6."Reprogram The Robot/The Launch"6:25
7."Bad Dream/The Robot Attack"3:22
8."Where's Judy?/Judy Is Dying (Remix)"6:23
9."Can't Kill The Man (Revised)"0:49
10."We're Lost"0:23
11."The Proteus (Alternate)"2:23
12."Boarding The Proteus, Pt. 1/Boarding The Proteus, Pt. 2"7:01
13."Spiders And Static/Spiders Attack (Revised)"7:54
14."Jupiter Crash"1:11
15."A Strange New Place/Spider Scratch"1:29
16."Matt And Judy"1:40
18."Energy Bubbles/Dog Tags, No. 2/John And West Set Out"2:23
19."Will's Walk/Smith Persuades Will"1:56
20."Will And Smith Set Out"1:59
21."Decades Old/I'm Your Son (Revised)/Time Machine"4:27

All music is composed by Bruce Broughton

Lost in Space: 2-Disc Edition - CD 2
1."Never Trust Anyone/Smith Interrupts/Spider Smith"3:01
2."Friendship/We Have A Plan/Kill The Monster (Revised)"8:46
3."Let's Go Major (Original)"1:26
4."The Portal (Revised Alternate)"2:44
5."Through The Planet (Revised Alternate)"2:28
6."Nice Work Fly Boy (Revised)"1:36
7."Fanfare For Will"0:27
8."Lost In Space"3:26
9."Hologram Gags/You'll Do (Original)"1:04
10."Can't Kill The Man (Original)"0:49
11."The Proteus (Original)"2:24
12."Spiders And Static/Spiders Attack (Original)"7:54
13."Decades Old/I'm Your Son (Original)/Time Machine"4:32
14."Friendship/We Have A Plan/Kill The Monster (Original)"8:50
15."Let's Go Major (Alternate)"1:24
16."The Portal (Original)"2:42
17."The Portal (Revised)"2:43
18."Through The Planet (Original)"3:13
19."Through The Planet (Revised)"2:41
20."Nice Work Fly Boy (Original)"1:48


Box office[edit]

On its opening weekend, Lost in Space grossed $20,154,919 and debuted at number one at the US box office, ending Titanic's 15-week-long hold on the first-place position.[7] It opened in a record 3,306 theaters[8] and grossed an average of $6,096 per screening. Lost in Space grossed $69,117,629 in the United States and Canada, and $67,041,794 internationally, bringing its worldwide total to $136,159,423.[9]

Critical response[edit]

Lost in Space received negative reviews from critics upon release.[10][11] Roger Ebert gave the film a rating of one and a half out of four, calling it a "dim-witted shoot-'em-up".[12] Wade Major of BoxOffice 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."[13] 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."[14]

Online aggregators have tracked both contemporary and recent reviews of Lost in Space. At Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 27% based on 84 appraisals, with an average score of 4.9/10. 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."[15] The film holds a score of 42 out of 100 on Metacritic, based on the opinions of 19 journalists, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[16] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B−" on an A+ to F scale.[17]


Lost in Space received six Saturn Award nominations, including Best Supporting Actor for Oldman. The film also received a Golden Raspberry Award nomination for Worst Remake or Sequel, but lost to the tied Godzilla, The Avengers and Psycho.

At the 1998 Stinkers Bad Movie Awards, the film won Worst Supporting Actress for Chabert and was nominated for four other awards: Worst Song in a Movie for "Lost in Space" (lost to "Come with Me"), Worst Resurrection of a TV Show (lost to The Avengers), Worst Director for Hopkins (lost to Jeremiah Chechik for The Avengers), and Worst Picture (lost to Spice World).

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.[18]


  1. ^ "LOST IN SPACE (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. May 12, 1998. Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  2. ^ Fleming, Michael (February 5, 1997). "New Line finds Rogers for 'Lost in Space' role". Variety.
  3. ^ Dempsey, John (February 12, 1997). "MINING 'LOST' GOLD". Variety.
  4. ^ Levin, Gary (April 29, 1997). "New Line book, toy deals to bolster 'Lost in Space'". Variety.
  5. ^ "Filmtracks: Lost in Space (Bruce Broughton)". Filmtracks. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  6. ^ "Various - Lost In Space (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". Discogs. 1998. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  7. ^ "'Titanic' had lost its space". The Philadelphia Inquirer. April 8, 1998. p. 44. Archived from the original on August 19, 2022. Retrieved August 19, 2022 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  8. ^ Klady, Leonard (May 13, 1999). "'Phantom' flock to lock in record start". Variety. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  9. ^ "Lost in Space". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 4, 2010.
  10. ^ Carmody, Broede (March 7, 2018). "Danger, Will Robinson! Netflix drops epic Lost in Space reboot trailer". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  11. ^ Harp, Justin (June 30, 2016). "Lost in Space reboot has been ordered to series at Netflix". Digital Spy. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  12. ^ Ebert, Roger (April 3, 2018). "Lost in Space Movie Review & Film Summary (1998)". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on June 5, 2011. Retrieved February 4, 2010 – via RogerEbert.com.
  13. ^ Major, Wade (August 1, 2008). "Lost in Space". Boxoffice magazine. Archived from the original on July 7, 2012. Retrieved February 4, 2010.
  14. ^ Berardinelli, James. "Lost In Space (1998)". Reelviews. Retrieved February 4, 2010.
  15. ^ "Lost in Space". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 1, 2022.
  16. ^ "Lost in Space". Metacritic. Retrieved August 3, 2009.
  17. ^ "Home - Cinemascore". Cinemascore. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
  18. ^ Birch, Gaye (October 11, 2010). "Lost In Space Blu-ray review". Den of Geek. Retrieved May 12, 2018.

External links[edit]