I got changed quickly - thankfully I had no make-up to remove because my face was always hidden under that huge helmet - and headed to the canteen. I was starving and the inside of that suit was boiling hot and although the set was only meant to be starlit and pretty dark, it was still extremely hot! I needed to get back those lost calories... I headed for the buns.
"The plant version had no emotions, which can be harder because you can’t react to conversations. Of course, scenes were not shot in sequence, so remembering which Judy I was playing any particular scene could have been a problem, but that’s what the director is for!"
Have you seen the Robinsons computer pop up in other TV shows and movies?
"The studio reused everything it could. The working robot (the one Bobby May operated) ended up on a Saturday morning show, spray-painted white with a new bubble and no treads. The stunt robot survived and can be seen in the new DVD set coming out for the 50th anniversary. "
There have been many parodies of the show, do you have a favourite?
"Mad Magazine did a parody of the show, “Loused in Space.” We thought that one was hilarious. In fact, June had us take a photo mugging for the camera that we sent to the magazine with a thank you note. It ran in a later edition."
And what did you think of your costumes? Did you have any say?
"We all hated the space suits during first season. They were fireproof suits, stiff, hot, heavy, and inflexible. I think there are photos that show us resting between scenes on angled boards they erected because we couldn’t sit in the suits. We were elated when they gave us Mylar suits instead. AS to my other costumes, I hated the colors of the first season costume, but it looked great in black & white, and that’s all that mattered. I liked both the two later costumes much better. Bright, more futuristic, all thanks to Paul Zastupnevich, Irwin’s right hand man. A patient and kind soul and a brilliant designer."
And what was it like interacting with it?
One of my regrets about the show was that the writers really didn't use Judy very often. So I didn't really get the chance to work with Bobby May the way Billy and Jonathan did. On the other hand, Judy was originally designed to be the older, sensible sibling, so I'm not sure she would acknowledge that the robot was anything other than a piece of equipment. To her, it would be like talking to a washing machine."
How did it feel when the 3rd series changed to colour?
"We changed to color in the second season...
...And it was appropriate. The first season was strictly a science fiction version of Swiss Family Robinson. The color reflected the change in the show’s direction and tone. Once we started “planet of the week” type shows in season 2, we were more of an outer space fantasy show."
And do you have a favourite memory of the show?
"I went to Irwin Allen one week and complained that Judy was getting no lines. The previous week, I told him, my entire appearance in the episode was to step out of the Jupiter 2, gaze around with a concerned look and then call “Will?” Irwin nodded and said he’s talk to the writers. Sure enough the next week, I had more lines. I stepped out of the Jupiter 2, gazed around with a concerned look and then called “Will? … Penny?” — He doubled my lines!""
Ha! Well at least she had a line, in this movie, or what ever it was that I was working on I just had to jump around with a massive helmet on... There is talk that they're going to dub a voice over, but it wouldn't be mine... Probably someone really famous!
And so what is your funniest memory of filming?
"Mark and Billy locked Bobby inside the robot right before we broke for lunch one day and apparently “forgot” to let him out. The crew came back an hour later and the robot was sitting there on the stage with smoke pouring out of it! They rushed over with fire extinguishers, popped the top and there was Bobby, just relaxing, He had sat there waiting so long that he decided to have a cigar, which filled the interior with smoke."
And now time to dispel a rumour, I had heard that June Lockhart drove a fire truck into work everyday... Surely not?
"I do an occasional show, but I don’t do as many as I used to. Perhaps with the 50th anniversary of the show, I’ll start agreeing to more."
And are you amazed that it still has such a cult following?
And Heather Graham played Judy...
I did meet Heather and she’s a lovely girl.
Ha! Very true!
I can only dream of that... My clothes came out more crumpled than ever... I was beginning to think that I really did need a new washing machine...
Hedison was the guest star and Bob Kinoshita designed the UFO, which had design elements from Lost in Space and Time Tunnel. The only thing missing was a rubber suit monster or two."
And I bet you get great fanmail?!
"My buddy Dave handles most of the mail, and the really odd stuff never makes it past him. The funniest questions I get are usually questions about very specific plot points, such as “why did Judy turn left in scene 42 when the path obliviously led to the right” or technical question about the Jupiter 2’s engines. My
answer is always “I don’t know. Ask the writers.” "
I checked the clock again... Damn, I was meant to be back on set in 2 minutes, I quickly downed my tea, grabbed my bun and stood up... But before I left I had the perfect last question...
"Between Major West’s navigation and Dr. Smith’s shenanigans, I think we’d be “Even More Lost in Space!” "
I said my goodbyes and speedily made my way back to the studio, stuffing down the sticky bun as I jogged,
trying desperately not to get too much round my mouth, a mucky face is not very professional now, is it?!
The director was at the door shouting at me?
"Where have you been?! We've been waiting! It's the big scene!"
The big scene?! Waiting? What there were others with me this time? I looked in and there they were! Two robots, one tall and gold, the other looking a little like a walking dustbin... Excellent!
"Sorry Mr Lucas" I said grabbing my black helmet and cape... Maybe this film might be exciting after all?