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 Posted:   Jun 25, 2009 - 2:09 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I remember watching brief segments of this show as it ran on Sky Channel or Super Channel back in the mid 80's, but it wasn't really my cup of tea, not even as a kid. I'm from a different age and time, after all, so I guess it felt too old and cheesy for me. However, I can understand how it might have had a bigger impact if you saw it while growing up in the 60's.

In any case, I just now got around to watching the pilot episode, "The Crash", for the first time.

The feeling I had as a kid is still there, of course, even MORE apparent now that I don't have that childlike "suspension of disbelief" anymore. The effects are cheap (except some fine-looking sets), the plot is contrived and it just feels....well, silly.

Still, there's a lot to be said about Williams' music, in particular, which was the real reason for watching this.

Although he has used elements of this sound throughout his career, this is really unlike anything else. It's more "50's monster/horror music" with ├╝ber-melodramatic brass outbursts aplenty and a general dissonance for the action/suspense scenes (crash landing, being chased by giant spiders and cats etc.). Outside some of his concert works and IMAGES, this is really Williams at his most avantgarde.

Except for the previously-mentioned "sturm-und-drang", I took particular notice of two scenes. One is where they're exploring the forest after the crash. Williams uses these ethereal percussive effects (with vibraphone?) that just feel very moody. The other is the scene where they are being chased by the professor. It really sounds like "The Hunt" from Goldsmith's PLANET OF THE APES, complete with mad piano rolls. Whether that was intentional or not, I don't know (perhaps this show even aired BEFORE PLANET?!).

And, of course, Williams' title theme is a very cool and "busy" affair based on a descending brass figure (to connote the difference in scale, perhaps?).

I believe Williams only scored this pilot episode, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2009 - 2:13 PM   
 By:   Steve Johnson   (Member)

"The feeling I had as a kid is still there, of course, even MORE apparent now that I don't have that childlike "suspension of disbelief" anymore. The effects are cheap (except some fine-looking sets), the plot is contrived and it just feels....well, silly."

Welcome to the wacky, goofy world of Irwin Allen! big grin

See my DR. SMITH- SNIVELLING COWARD OR NEFARIOUS VILLAIN thread on the non-film score discussion side for some real lu-lus about LOST IN SPACE. big grin

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2009 - 2:17 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

"The feeling I had as a kid is still there, of course, even MORE apparent now that I don't have that childlike "suspension of disbelief" anymore. The effects are cheap (except some fine-looking sets), the plot is contrived and it just feels....well, silly."

Welcome to the wacky, goofy world of Irwin Allen! big grin

See my DR. SMITH- SNIVELLING COWARD OR NEFARIOUS VILLAIN thread on the non-film score discussion side for some real lu-lus about LOST IN SPACE. big grin


I'll get to that show in an upcoming thread.

 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2009 - 2:22 PM   
 By:   Steve Johnson   (Member)

GIANTS did not insult my intelligence quite as much as LIS did, but that isn't saying much. It was pretty purile. Of course, the music in these shows was always a highlight. LOTG was no exception.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2009 - 2:24 PM   
 By:   LRobHubbard   (Member)

from a review I wrote last year:

"Also through Netflix is a big television series I've been waiting to see for sometime, especially since getting the complete series is a hefty $200 price tag. I grew up on Irwin Allen shows, and the one I remember seeing during its first broadcast (and in syndication several times since) is LAND OF THE GIANTS, which lasted 2 years on ABC in the late 60's.

The complete series (along with a bunch of nifty collectors items) is on 9 discs, all flippers, so that's 18 sides with six episodes per disc! A pretty hefty watching commitment, but I'm not really doing anything else at the moment...

LOTG is sort of a combination of LOST IN SPACE with GILLIGAN'S ISLAND played as serious drama. Set in the early 80's, a transorbital flight from the U.S. to London gets sucked into some sort of cosmic storm, and they emerge in a world which is a lot like the contemporary 1960's, only larger. Their ship is damaged, and the show plays out in their attempts to survive and avoid capture by the giants.

Being an Irwin Allen show, it delivers pretty well on the visual side - but as things progress, silliness will ensue, although there doesn't seem to be a lot of it as things start out. And, unlike most of the IA shows, this one has enough meat to it to be rather interesting - once you get over the whole thing of 'scientific accuracy' - but then, Jonathan Swift was able to accomplish that.

Discs 2 & 3 (Disc 1 with the pilot and 5 other eps is listed as being in 'very long wait' - having waited for these to queue up since late last year, I can attest that Netflix doesn't lie) get me pretty close to the halfway point of the first year of the show, and being an adventure fantasy of the 60's, it sticks to formula pretty consistently... most of the main plot is wrapped up by the end of the hour (50-52 minutes without commercials) - but there are intriguing nuggets dropped along the way and it'll be fun to see what gets developed and what gets forgotten.

It's established that the government in the Giant world is a fascistic one; and that humans ("little people" as they're referred to in the show) have been a consistent presence that the government attempts to control. It's also well established that the Giants are technologically about 50 years behind humans, which also feeds into the government's desire to capture them. The government, represented by police, and in some episodes (1 in the batch that I've watched) by the head of an organization called the S.I.D., Inspector Kobick (played by Kevin Hagen, who may be more familiar as the friendly doctor on LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE -- he ain't friendly in this show.) And with so many 'little people' they're encountering, why doesn't it occur to any of them to band together and network?

The show had a big following in Eastern Europe - gee, wonder why?

There's rich material, moreso than for the usual fantasy adventure show... if the writers were more savvier, one could imagine a show that would walk that tightrope of political commentary/satire, and of giving the kids their monster fix, all under the noses of The Powers That Be...

But, one realizes that NO ONE has EVER done a faithful adaptation of Swift's GULLIVER'S TRAVELS, and Irwin Allen is NOTHING like Patrick McGoohan, no matter how much I can twist my mind into what could have been... although I'm not a fan of remakes, LOTG has enough material to mine where someone could re-imagine it as that type of a show.

Ah well... despite all of that, I'm having a fun time with the show, so far --"

 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2009 - 2:31 PM   
 By:   Charles Thaxton   (Member)

I liked the fact that all of Irwin's shows seemed to take place in the same "universe". The Spindrift design in GIANTS is very close to the Flying Sub in VOYAGE, and all the vehicles have the front viewports (Jupiter 2, space pod,Seaview,Spindrift).
I always felt an easy explanation for the science flaws of GIANTS (that no such creatures could exist or support their own weight) was that the planet was in a parallel universe with it's own physical laws. And why didn't they ever ask a giant what the NAME of the damned planet was?
Love that JW score. I wish I could afford to buy the DVD set, which is still a bit pricey for me.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2009 - 2:32 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

The show had a big following in Eastern Europe - gee, wonder why?

That's an interesting observation.

I love how these sci fi shows (or films, for that matter) are often meta-comments (gee, there's that word again!) on various political or sociological issues, you know like INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS and the "Red Scare" and all that.

Isn't "little people" also a derogatory remark that has been made about short people (or whatever the politically correct term is these days?). Could this show also be a comment about that?

 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2009 - 2:34 PM   
 By:   mark ford   (Member)

As a kid I loved all of Irwin Allen's stuff and yes as a grown up it's pretty cheesy, although Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea still holds up pretty well for me since it was in a generally more serious vein. LOTG was my least favorite Allen show. Even as a kid I noticed the show trying to clone the Dr. Smith/Will dynamic with the Fitzhugh/Barry pairing...didn't work.

Always loved William's music from these shows as a kid even though I probably wasn't aware of who he was at the time. I'm pretty sure it played a big part of my later love of film music.

Good news for me, even at 51 my childlike ability to suspend disbelief is still alive and kicking, just a bit less so. I try my best to cultivate it. So my returns to these old childhood favorites is still fun, although in a somewhat different way. Yep, I'm the kid that won't grow up! smile

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2009 - 2:48 PM   
 By:   LRobHubbard   (Member)

The show had a big following in Eastern Europe - gee, wonder why?

That's an interesting observation.

I love how these sci fi shows (or films, for that matter) are often meta-comments (gee, there's that word again!) on various political or sociological issues, you know like INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS and the "Red Scare" and all that.

Isn't "little people" also a derogatory remark that has been made about short people (or whatever the politically correct term is these days?). Could this show also be a comment about that?


"Little people" has been used that way, but not in LOTG...

Interestingly, the term has been used to signify those with little or no power - read what you like into that. And yes, there is the inevitable episode where folklore of 'the little people' is used - I think it's the episode with Allan Hale playing an Irish Giant.

It seems that towards the end of the second year, the producers may have been somewhat aware of the following in Europe. There's an episode where the Spindrift Crew are lured into a balloon and they travel to some distant country of giants who seem to be in competition with the Giant Society depicted for the bulk of the show.
And there is another episode about an 'underground' society living in parallel, but unknown to the Giants.

It was a frustrating experience in watching the show... so many interesting things are just tossed off the cuff, and you're wishing that they spent some time fleshing out those elements instead of just sticking to the formula plot.

 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2009 - 2:58 PM   
 By:   Steve Johnson   (Member)

I liked the fact that all of Irwin's shows seemed to take place in the same "universe". The Spindrift design in GIANTS is very close to the Flying Sub in VOYAGE, and all the vehicles have the front viewports (Jupiter 2, space pod,Seaview,Spindrift).
I always felt an easy explanation for the science flaws of GIANTS (that no such creatures could exist or support their own weight) was that the planet was in a parallel universe with it's own physical laws. And why didn't they ever ask a giant what the NAME of the damned planet was?
Love that JW score. I wish I could afford to buy the DVD set, which is still a bit pricey for me.


You might find it used on Amazon way cheap.

 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2009 - 3:27 PM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

I would never dispute the cheapness of the FX, but truthfully my imagination can suspend disbelief a lot more for the FX of that era than it ever will for CGI fakery of today.

I liked Williams S1 theme for LOTG more than S2 (actually the S1 theme carried over the first five or six produced episods of S2) just as I prefer the first LIS theme to the second.

 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2009 - 5:57 PM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

I liked Williams S1 theme for LOTG more than S2 (actually the S1 theme carried over the first five or six produced episods of S2) just as I prefer the first LIS theme to the second.

I think the Season 2 theme is hugely enjoyable. It seems so musically brilliant to me that I feel frustration over it's humble TV lineage and resulting obscurity. I wonder if JW ever included it in his concert programs.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2009 - 7:55 PM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

Who knew there more than 2 seasons of this show?

I remember it as a kid, and I had the LOTG colorforms set with the giant cat and spool of thread. I now have the lunchbox.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2009 - 12:03 AM   
 By:   pp312   (Member)

I liked Williams S1 theme for LOTG more than S2 (actually the S1 theme carried over the first five or six produced episods of S2) just as I prefer the first LIS theme to the second.

I think the Season 2 theme is hugely enjoyable. It seems so musically brilliant to me that I feel frustration over it's humble TV lineage and resulting obscurity. I wonder if JW ever included it in his concert programs.


Totally agree. I thought the S2 theme left the S1 sounding rather dinky and certainly exceeded its context. The City Of Prague Symphony re-recording is very good, and doesn't have a cat screeching over the top of it.

 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2009 - 2:55 AM   
 By:   Jehannum   (Member)

The Series 2 theme is my favourite Williams theme.

There were a few really good episodes in the series but Fitzhugh was no Doctor Smith!

There was an episode where the little people were duplicated by a giant and the duplicates didn't realise they weren't the originals - but they exploded after a while!! Despite the hilarious premise the episode contained touching moments when the originals and duplicates bade their goodbyes.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2009 - 3:12 AM   
 By:   zooba   (Member)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kcCPzmjAUk

Williams SUSPENSE THEATRE Main Theme

This always reminded me of LOTG. For sure the graphics.

Awesome Johnny Williams Theme:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2s8vo4MKkrk&feature=related

 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2009 - 7:44 AM   
 By:   mark ford   (Member)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kcCPzmjAUk

Williams SUSPENSE THEATRE Main Theme

This always reminded me of LOTG. For sure the graphics.

Awesome Johnny Williams Theme:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2s8vo4MKkrk&feature=related


I remember thinking the music and opening animation for Suspense Theater was cool and in a way creepy when I was a kid. I don't remember anything about the show otherwise. I seem to remember a different theme though. Was there more than one? Could be wrong about that or been thinking about another series.

Funny thing, I didn't know the show was in color until I watched the youtube opening posted here. We didn't get a color TV for several more years.

 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2009 - 7:56 AM   
 By:   Charles Thaxton   (Member)

Since we've been discussing Russ Garcia's FANTASTICA in another thread, I thought I'd point out that in several episodes of LOTG, some snippets of Russ' "Monsters Of Jupiter" appear as cues, re-recorded of course. I can't tell you which episodes use the cues but sharp eared Garcia fans who patiently watch the series from the beginning will hear them. And he got no credits I recall...I first noticed it when they ran LOTG on USA Netowrk back in the early 90s. I waited for end credits but no Garcia mention. I cannot recall who did the scoring which used it...(La Salle?)

 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2009 - 8:52 AM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

No one's stock music from other films used on LIS ever got credit as I recall, other than Bernard Herrmann on the unaired pilot.

Williams LOTG S2 may sound more dynamic but I as a general rule do not like it when theme music on a TV show changes because it disrupts the comfort level you've become accustomed to after getting used to the series. As a result, I was more comfortable with S1 defining the show as I got into it.

 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2009 - 8:59 AM   
 By:   Scott M (Oldsmith)   (Member)

Who knew there more than 2 seasons of this show?

There weren't. The show ran two seasons.

 
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