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Beacon Senior News

Lost (and Found) in Space

Apr 01, 2022 12:39PM ● By Nick Thomas

If you were a sci-fi fan growing up during the 1960s, the nostalgic value of shows like “Lost in Space” can’t be overstated. Cast members Bill Mumy and Angela Cartwright recognize the connection many seniors may have to the series and have updated and expanded their 2015 “Lost (and Found) in Space” book into a new volume, released September 14, 2021.

The new book is 350 pages and contains over 900 photographs. Mumy and Cartwright give much of the credit for the expanded book to the late producer, director and screenwriter Kevin Burns.

Cartwright, who plays the show’s genial and imaginative space teen Penny Robinson, said Burns called her after acquiring the CBS photo archives of the show, and together, they began writing down all the personal memories the photos brought back.

“We were planning to update the book with maybe 50 additional pages, but it ended up so much more with all these never-before-seen photos,” she said.  

Mumy, who played plucky junior astronaut Will Robinson in the series, said the new volume contains a lot more stories about the show as well as the intertwining lives of him and Cartwright, who have remained friends for over 50 years. 

“I was 10 when the show began,” said Mumy. “Angela and I were at school together for four years, we went through puberty together, we became each other’s first loves, traveled the world together, and went on to have our own families. So it’s both a book on ‘Lost in Space’ and our long friendship.”

Why the show and science fiction in general remains so popular with audiences is no mystery to Mumy. 

“Sci-fi is just a canvas for the imagination. And because our show had children, kids watching could relate to those characters and go along on the space adventures with us each week,” he said.

After the three-season show ended in 1968, Mumy and Cartwright continued to act including cameos in the new Netflix “Lost in Space” series. But both have enjoyed successful careers beyond the screen. Mumy is a respected musician and singer-songwriter while Cartwright is a noted photographer and painter.

However, the pair never distanced themselves from the iconic sci-fi series.

“The props, the cast, the stories—I loved every minute working on the show,” Mumy recalled. “We’ve been living through a hard time on this planet lately, so a little nostalgia can take you back to a happy time. ‘Lost in Space’ even inspired people to go into the space program.”

And as the stars have aged, so have their fans. 

“That’s a special connection we have with them,” Cartwright noted. “They’ve even been very forgiving about my white hair!”

“Now, people in their 50s and 60s have introduced it to their children and grandchildren,” Mumy added. “In 30 or 40 years, when we’re all no longer around, there will probably be new generations still watching it with fond memories. So we’re grateful for the fans and hope the book brings back a snippet of their childhood.”