Don’t be a Dr. Zachary Smith!

For those of you who do not know what Lost In Space is, it is an old weekly TV adventure that came out in the 1960’s about a futuristic first family to be sent into space to help colonize a planet in the Alpha Centauri system. The family members are Mr John and Mrs Maureen Robinson, and their three children, Judy, Penny and Will. Along for the trip is their pilot Major Don West and an unintentional stowaway named… you guest it, Dr Zachary Smith.

We don’t watch much TV in our house, but I’ve picked a couple of old popular TV shows for my son and I to watch. Last summer we went through the original Star Trek series and this summer the two of us are watching Lost in Space.

I wasn’t an avid watcher of Lost in Space reruns as a kid, so I thought it would be fun to see what I missed.

I discovered Jonathan Harris, the shakespearean actor who played Doctor Zachary Smith is such a great dramatic actor, playing his part so well, he literally drives us insane with his incessant underhandedness and scheming.

If that wasn’t enough, his character is as brilliant at speech as he is a complete coward. It’s enough to want to blow up your monitor.

After a couple of episodes, I realized that watching Lost in Space is rife with examples of behaviors and practices to avoid to either be a safer person (how many times can Penny fall into a … you name it, she’s fallen into it) or an evil conniving person like Dr. Smith.

On the other hand, there are plenty of good examples of forgiveness on a superhuman scale by the mom, Maureen, and leadership, mediation, and counsel offered by John Robinson, the father.

Then there’s Judy and Don West, the love interest, but also Don, the military guy, gives us hope that someday he could get really torqued off by Dr. Smith and maybe stick the doctor back into the deep freeze chamber.

Last but not least, and I am most glad about for my son’s sake, is Will Robinson, the dreamy-eyed, trusting, and brilliant young boy who is often the target of Dr. Smith’s deceptions and, oddly enough, friendship.

Oh, less I forget, the robot (“Danger! Danger!”) is really super cool and funny with its dry humor.

Tired of what’s out there now? Try watching Lost In Space for a breather.

As simplistic and innocent as it is, I think it is a fun and safe vehicle to exhibit salient traits to most kids and to offer points to discuss a variety of basic social and behavioral issues.

CY

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