Anyone remember Space Family Robinson? I do…


Over the weekend, I denied being a “geek,” at least according to the parameters that Amazon set out.

However, I admitted that I may be such a geek that normal geek-dar doesn’t pick me up on the screen, in that my enthusiasms are slightly more esoteric.Goldkeycomics

For instance, I denied being a Trekkie, and that was true. But I was into the even lower-quality “Lost in Space.” I thought it great that TV had turned a comic book I was into — “Space Family Robinson” — into a prime-time show.

Anybody remember that? It was published by Gold Key Comics. For that matter, anyone remember Gold Key comics?

I was originally attracted to the comics by the obvious play on “Swiss Family Robinson,” a movie I had enjoyed (I never read the book). I haven’t touched a copy in nearly 50 years (I wasn’t foresighted enough to keep them until they grew in market value), but I still remember one edition causing me to think about how immense space was. There was a story in which the Robinsons received a signal from about 20,000 miles away, and one of the kids said, “That’s practically right next door!” Which is really trite, except to a kid.

Of course, no one has ever evoked the vastness of space as well as Douglas Adams:

Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space…

As someone at the BBC wrote, that should be in every science textbook.

11 thoughts on “Anyone remember Space Family Robinson? I do…

  1. Silence

    Danger Brad Warthen!
    I never knew that Lost in Space was based on a comic, but my young Nick at Nite watching self immediately understood the “Space Family Robinson” word play.

    1. Doug Ross

      I dunno, Silence… I may be reading him wrong but I would be more inclined to suspect Dr. Smith of offing the “chicks” and keeping the “dudes”. What do you think Robot was warning Will about?

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Yeah… that’s probably true. Although I don’t think kids of my age in that time picked up on that.

        The thing I remember about Dr. Smith was that he was a nuanced villain, for that day and time in a kid’s show. The bad things he did often arose from his own weaknesses — such as cowardice — rather than malice.

      2. Silence

        Doug, you may be right about that, in retrospect. Like Brad I also didn’t pick up on that as a kid. Anyways, I can assure you that I’d have been all over Maureen, Judy and Penny.

        1. Doug Ross

          Wikipedia calls Jonathan Harris who played Dr. Smith a “fey villian”. But in real life, he was married to his wife for 64 years.

  2. robert ariail

    We got our first color TV in 1965 and the first show we saw when we turned it on was Lost In Space. The color was jarring to me at first- they had purple outfits as I remember!

    1. Dave Crockett

      The best part of the TV show was 1.) Watching Veronica Cartright blossom (literally) in the second season and 2.) Knowing that Billy Mumy was better than the role (having previously been on Twilight Zone and, considerably later, in a major role in Babylon 5.

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