Question: I was a big Lost in Space fan as a kid. Watching reruns, I realized there was a big difference between the evil Dr. Smith from the first episodes and the funny Dr. Smith who came along later. What was the deal with that?
Answer: Elementary, you lugubrious lump... you pusillanimous pinhead! (Sorry, my inner Smith got the best of me there, Kevin.)
The simple answer is the one behind so many developments on your favorite shows, both old and new: ratings. As the story goes, actor Jonathan Harris, who played the no-good doctor, and the powers-that-be behind the show, one of many from legendary producer Irwin Allen, realized early on that the truly evil Dr. Smith would wear thin in no time. So although the character was merely sinister when the series launched on CBS in September 1965 — it was his sabotage that got
Viewers never saw him, but Dick Tufeld created two of TV's most enduring pop-culture catchphrases: "Danger, Will Robinson, danger!" and "That does not compute." Yep, the longtime announcer was the voice of Robot on the '60s sci-fi series Lost in Space. Tufeld still does voice-overs today, though he once suffered from a paralyzed vocal chord that kept him from speaking above a whisper. That is, until a rare operation restored his fond, familiar voice. Here, he happily chats away with TV Guide Online about his metallic alter ego.
TV Guide Online: It's nice to talk to someone who gave so many generations so much pleasure.Dick Tufeld: You know there was a guy inside the tin can — Bob May. He had to be in there eight hours a day on the set. He moved the arms and legs and memorized all the lines and spoke them. They put me into post-production and I dubbed Robot's voice in.
TVGO: Did you know you were creating a legend?Tufeld: I