Lost in Space: 2004 Pilot

After the release of the Lost in Space movie, producers Jon Jashni and Kevin Burns initiated an effort to create a two-hour reunion pilot in the hopes of spawning a new continuation series. They successfully contracted all of the original actors who would continue their encounters with unusual space cultures in a more serious manner. The new approach was intended to provide more drama, showing a more sophisticated Robinson family. The effort fell apart in 2002 after the death of cast member Jonathan Harris. To the producers, without the famed Dr. Smith, the reunion film stood little chance of success.

Yet, the momentum wasn’t lost. Jashni and Burns revived their approach and began remarketing the idea as a remake series rather than a continuation. After gauging the support the reunion movie demonstrated, CBS, ABC, and WB fought for the rights to make a new Lost in Space series. Warner Brothers won out and scheduled the new series for the WB Network’s 2004 fall season. Their success was based mainly on their willingness to pay a hefty $1.2 million dollar per episode licensing fee.

John Woo was hired to direct the new series with Doug Petrie authoring the script. Six executive producers including Douglas Petrie (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), Jon Jashni, and Kevin Burns were to closely oversee the pilot to ensure it laid a solid foundation for a long-running series and conformed to the requirements of Irwin Allen’s estate. Initially, this told fans that the new series would be given a lot of care and would deliver a solid product. That impression was blown when images of the design of the new series robot was leaked.

Fans were outraged by the robot design, hoping it to be a twisted internet joke. Whether the design is actual or fabricated, or remain for the actual series still remains to be seen. Concurrently, when they learned of the descriptions of the characters, they were a bit concerned about the intended portrayal of some of the characters. Like the 1998 film, the 2004 series intended to show a very different Robinson family. Most maddening of all, this series cast didn’t include the Dr. Smith character. Since Smith was at the core of the original series, this oversight confounded many fans. Some were unhappy with the description for Major Don West as well (see below).

In early 2004, the fans protests were heeded.  Coupled with production problems, the studio put a hold on the production with instructions to rework the project to a result more acceptable to the millions of potential fans, many of which had already expressed disappointment at the direction the new series seemed to be taking in practically every element of the intended series.

Regrettably, as 2007 becomes 2008, there has been no substantive word that the series is any closer to production than it was when the project was put on hold in 2004.

  • John Robinson – (Brad Johnson  imdb) – father, retired military man
  • Maureen Robinson (Jayne Brook  imdb) – mother
  • David Robinson – eldest son
  • Judy Robinson (Adrianne Palicki) – teenage daughter
  • Will Robinson  (Ryan Malgarini  imdb) – young genius son
  • Penny Robinson – infant daughter
  • Don West – (Mike Erwin  imdb) – lone wolf pilot with a reputation as dangerous
  • Terence Chang – Executive Producer
  • Suzanne Zizzi – Executive Producer
  • Jon Jashni – Executive Producer
  • Kevin Burns – Executive Producer
  • Douglas Petrie – Executive Producer
  • John Woo – Executive Producer
  • Irwin Allen – Creator (Original Series)
    Douglas Petrie – Developer

– written by Russell Sanders and John Pickard