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Lost in Space (film)

Lost in Space is a 1998 feature-length motion picture produced by New Line Cinema, starring William Hurt, Mimi Rogers, Heather Graham, Matt LeBlanc, Gary Oldman, Jack Johnson, and Lacey Chabert, and is an adaptation of the 1965–1968 CBS television series Lost In Space.

The film opened at #1; the first new film of the year to do so due to the success of Titanic. Audience reaction was mixed and box office results were insufficient to justify a planned sequel. It was shot in London and Shepperton.

Several of the actors from the TV show appeared in the film. June Lockhart (Maureen Robinson) appeared as Will's teacher in a hologram. Mark Goddard (Major West) appeared as Major West's commanding officer. Angela Cartwright (Penny Robinson) and Marta Kristen (Judy Robinson) appeared as news reporters. Dick Tufeld returned to his role as the voice of The Robot, having played The Robot in the original program, as well as narrating the series. However, Jonathan Harris, who played Dr. Smith in the series, refused to make a cameo appearance in the motion picture version as the Global Sedition businessman who deals with Dr. Smith.

Plot

In the year 2058, Earth will soon be uninhabitable after the irreversible effects of pollution. The United Global Space Force serves as the planetary government. Professor John Robinson, lead scientist of the Jupiter Mission, will lead his family to the habitable planet Alpha Prime to prepare it for colonization by building a hypergate in orbit. The Jupiter 2 is equipped with a hyperdrive that allows faster-than-light travel, which will eventually be employed to evacuate the citizens of Earth. However hypergates must be constructed on Earth and Alpha Prime to provide stable points of departure and arrival. The project is accelerated after Global Sedition terrorist forces send two armed fighters to destroy the hypergate under construction. Major Don West, a fighter pilot from the hypergate defense force, manages to destroy the enemy fighters and is unwillingly drafted as the new pilot of the Jupiter Mission, as the previous pilot has been assassinated.

Dr. Zachary Smith is bribed by the Global Sedition to sabotage the mission and is betrayed by his employers, left an unwilling stowaway as the ship blasts off. The sabotage causes the ship to veer towards the sun. Realizing that it would be impossible to escape the sun's pull at such close range, Major West and Professor Robinson decide to fly through the sun, using the ship's hyperdrive. Unfortunately, without a hypergate to warp to, the ship and its crew end up in a random (and apparently uncharted) part of the galaxy. They then go through a "hole in space" and presumably go to the future. Soon afterwards, they encounter the Proteus, an Earth ship from the future which has been infested with carnivorous and cannibalistic silicon-based spider-like lifeforms, one of which scratches Dr. Smith. Major West self-destructs the Proteus, destroying the spiders. However, the shock wave from the explosion damages the Jupiter 2, and they crash-land on a nearby planet.

On the mysterious planet, they locate a fuel source with which to refuel the damaged engines of the Jupiter 2. However, it lies in the center of a strange, growing bubble of mysterious origin. Professor Robinson and Major West explore the bubble and discover it is actually an area of time distortion where alternate future versions of Dr. Smith and Will have constructed a time machine, powered by their Jupiter 2's power core, and are planning on returning to Earth at an earlier time to prevent the family from getting lost in the first place. They are all betrayed by the future Smith, who is revealed to have transformed into a giant space spider/human hybrid as a result of the spider scratch he received on the Proteus. He then reveals his plan to go back in time to Earth before the Jupiter 2 lifts off, destroy the ship, and conquer the planet to spread his spider race across the Earth. Robinson battles Spider Smith, while Major West returns to the other Jupiter 2, without the power source, to try to evacuate the other Robinsons. John successfully stops Spider Smith by sticking a dagger into the eggsac on his back (causing some cannibalistic baby spiders to come out and start eating Spider Smith) and kicking Spider Smith into the time machine's field while it is too small for his massive form, killing him.

The family attempts to escape, but the time bubble has made the planet unstable, and it is violently breaking apart. As well, the ship still does not have enough power to reach escape velocity. The stranded John Robinson watches as the Jupiter 2 is hit by debris and explodes in the sky. Future Will realizes his father does indeed love his family, and lets John use the time portal and travel back in time to the Jupiter 2 just before it launched from his planet. Rather than attempt to escape into the atmosphere, John commands West to pilot the ship through the planet's core as it is breaking up, enabling them to use the planet's gravity to propel the ship through the other side. They escape, but the collapsed planet forms a small black hole that begins to suck in the Jupiter 2. Once again the Robinsons must activate the hyperdrive; however, this time they are able to target Alpha Prime using data downloaded from the Proteus' more detailed star charts. They are presumably transported to Alpha Prime but this is uncertain, as the film ends right as the Robinsons and West activate the hyperdrive. The last lines in the movie are West's "Targeting Alpha Prime, I hope" then Will replies: "Cool!".

Characters

  • William Hurt as Professor John Robinson – A brilliant scientist placed in charge of the Jupiter Mission. He accepted the post on the condition that his family accompany him; however, his work on the mission resulted in him neglecting his family despite his deep love for them. His father was a famous general who died during his service.
  • Mimi Rogers as Professor Maureen Robinson – The wife of John Robinson, she is also a scientist.
  • Heather Graham as Dr. Judy Robinson – The eldest daughter of the family, who followed in her father's footsteps in fulfilling the Jupiter Mission. She is in charge of the cryo-sleep system. She spent three years of her life working on the project, which resulted her in becoming a "ghost" like her father before the mission's launch.
  • Lacey Chabert as Penny Robinson – The middle child. She was the most reluctant to go on the mission, as she would leave her life behind. She was arrested several times by the police and returned home. She tended to record a video diary on her watch and spoke about how years of training prevented her from getting a life, and missed her friends. When stranded in space, she formed a friendship with an alien monkey-like creature that the crew found, named Blarp.
  • Jack Johnson as Will Robinson – The youngest child and a genius who won many science fairs. His father's preoccupation with the Jupiter Mission meant that Will was somewhat neglected and underestimated, much to his frustration. He formulated a rudimentary theory of time travel and hacked his school's main power grid in order to conduct his experiments. He eventually, in the alternate future, is successful in constructing a working time machine from the hyperdrive of the wrecked Jupiter 2. He became somewhat dependent on Dr. Smith, a relationship the Doctor manipulated for his own gains. Will's closest friend was the Robot.
  • Matt LeBlanc as Major Don West – A military pilot in the United Global Space Command, he studied General Robinson's battle strategies and favored more militant actions which sometimes brought him into conflict with John Robinson. Despite this, he was known to risk his life for a friend and his record made him a candidate for pilot of the Jupiter Mission. He is attracted to Judy Robinson.
  • Gary Oldman as Dr. Zachary Smith – The base physician for the Jupiter Mission, Dr. Smith was bribed by the Global Sedition to sabotage the Mission. He was betrayed by his employers and left on the Jupiter 2 to die. He tends to be philosophical, recognizing his evil acts as evil, and uses duplicity to survive. He is very intellectual, quoting various works, and tends to the dark, sarcastic side.
  • Dick Tufeld as the voice of Robot – The Jupiter 2's mechanical robot, built to maintain the Jupiter 2 in flight and to protect the Robinson family and the mission. It was reprogrammed by Dr. Smith to kill the family and destroy the ship in-flight but was overridden by Will Robinson's electronic genius. Robot's original body was destroyed by Space Spiders on the Proteus, but his mind was downloaded by Will, eventually placed into a newer form. When Will used his own mental patterns to fill in the missing gaps of Robot's programming, he developed a personality and became Will's friend to the extent that he was able to override the programming Doctor Smith used in the future. He possessed pulse blasters and numerous weapons.
  • Gary A. Hecker as the voice of Blarp – While exploring the spaceship from the future, the explorers find a non-hostile alien creature that looks and behaves like a monkey with chameleon-like attributes. Later it accompanies the explorers and is taken care of by Penny Robinson for the rest of the film. Scenes excluded from the theatrical release - yet present in the novelisation and other tie-in material - featured Penny encountering an adult version of Blarp, resembling a large orangutan-esque lizard. These scenes were omitted from the film; though photographs in books released around the time of the film prove that they were at least filmed.
  • Jared Harris as Older Will Robinson – Future Will use the time portal & travel back in time to the Jupiter 2.

References

External links

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