Danger, Will Robinson!

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    In the fall of 1965, the "family space adventure" Lost in Space debuted on CBS television.

    The storyline concerned the launch of the Jupiter 2 on October 16, 1997. Professor John Robinson, his wife Maureen and their children, Judy, Penny and Will, along with Major Don West (the spaceship's pilot) compromised the world's first "space family," selected to colonize a planet in the Alpha Centauri star system. They would all be frozen in suspended animation for a 98-year journey. Dr. Zachary Smith became trapped on board while sabotaging the Robinsons’ spaceship prior to launch. His dastardly handiwork causes the ship to spiral off course and crash-land on a desert planet.

    Another member of the crew was the wonderfully impressive Environmental Control Robot known simply as "Robot". Art Director Robert Kinoshita (the talent behind Robby the Robot from the movie, Forbidden Planet) designed the automaton, finishing the suit to accomodate diminutive character actor Bob May. May spoke the robot's lines on stage, pressing a small telegraph switch inside the left claw in sync with the syllables to activate the neon in the chest plate. He would see out through the slatted collar with the upper half of his face blackened to avoid showing up on camera.

    The television voice of Robot was provided by Dick Tufeld, already employed as the show's announcer. During the interview/sound test, producer Irwin Allen explained he wanted a cultured, laid back voice for his robot. After twenty minutes, Allen decided that Tufeld just wasn't what he was looking for. As he turned to leave, Tufeld asked him if could try one more thing. He delivered a series of robotian mechanical lines as he had originally intended, including the now famous "Warning, that does not compute." Allen looked stunned and said, "That's it! What took you so long?"

    Dick Tufeld was never on the set for filming of the episodes. During post-production, he would come into the studio and loop the robots voice, using recordings of Bob May's lines delivered on the set played through headphones to synchronize with the original soundtrack. The sound engineers would then work to mix Tufeld's voice into the show. Depending on the number of lines to be recorded (the Robot often having more lines than the principal actors), it could take one and a half to two hours to lay down 60 to 70 lines of dialogue for one episode.

    Tufeld reprised his role some 30 years later in 1998 for the motion picture version of Lost In Space.

    - from various internet sources

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    Stitch, mju.tabor, Douglas Roesch, and 73 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 20 more comments

    1. robotgirl 116 months ago | reply

      Great macro of the old boy!

    2. Roberto Delduque [deleted] 116 months ago | reply



    3. Crfullmoon 116 months ago | reply

      "Oh, the pain! The pain!"

      This show was a major impression on my early childhood. Wierd show.

      Seeing that "Metallic Mon-stro-si-ty"
      really is giving me flashbacks.

    4. Adrasteia9 116 months ago | reply

      this robot rocks! :-)

    5. Atsuo 116 months ago | reply

      good shot! I love this robot and have got two bodies too.

    6. neuskool 115 months ago | reply

      aye there! just noticed the link - thanks for the shout out, duane!

    7. fab4chiky 106 months ago | reply

      awesome! I know someone who also did a robot model called carmodeldaddy, please check it out!

    8. Buglugs 104 months ago | reply

      Warning Warning... Alien approaching... Everyone return to the ship!
      Boy does that ever take one back... LOL... Thanks!

    9. dawholagn 102 months ago | reply

      Mr. Smith is a coward! Great pic!

    10. scott_waterman 93 months ago | reply

      You write the Robot often having more lines than the principal actors which is ironic. The robot was a principle character and the voice is acting. It the similar with 2001: A Space Odyssey where Hal is not thought of as an acting part. Few people know the actor's name who brilliantly played that part.

    11. Richard Hensley Photographer 93 months ago | reply

      Douglas Rain The voice of Hal.

    12. scott_waterman 93 months ago | reply

      Thank you richard.hensley1 !

      And thanks to Douglas Rain for one of the most memorable performances recorded on film.

    13. Dead Air 91 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Science Fiction Unleashed, and we'd love to have your photo added to the group.

      Totally cool, and nicely shot!

    14. laura's worlds 89 months ago | reply

      WOW amazing SCI-FI mood!!
      You are invited to post it to The Asimov Club pooland meet other Asimov fans

    15. mortgagestar1 87 months ago | reply

      I had this very toy back in the mid 60's.!

    16. DavidDMuir 82 months ago | reply

      Thank you for making this photograph available under a creative commons licence. I was looking for an image to illustrate a blog post and this was just what I needed.

      http://edcompblog.blogspot.com/ (?)

    17. *STARKIT* 57 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Robots, Automatons, Mainframes and the Silicon Revolution, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    18. LooknFeel 56 months ago | reply

      He is my role model. My rolling role model.

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