Friday, October 25, 2013

A NYCC 2013 Moment # 10. Lost in Space Meets The Walking Dead!

In what were literally the final moments of New York Comic Con 2013, I made a “fun” impulse purchase, which was both “uncharacteristic” and, paradoxically, quite “characteristic” of me. 

As those last 3 or 4 minutes ticked-down to FIVE PM, on Sunday October 13th, and the Con’s official closing time (in a far corner of the room, where I tend to be at every show’s end, so the final walk out of the Con lasts all the longer), I spied something hanging on a peg board that called out to me. 

It was this…

Such cute toys have been a phenomenon among comic book superhero characters for a long while.  I’ve liked them from afar, but have been successfully able to resist them. 

But this was LOST IN SPACE!!!  And, it was LOST IN SPACE merchandise produced in 2013!   48 years after its debut!  Incredible how this wonderfully imaginative show manages to hang on to a pop-culture presence, now well into the 21st Century!  And, it was under ten bucks for my very own cute, articulated, interchangeably faced, mini-toys of Doctor Smith and The Robot!  

Of COURSE, I bought it! 

Before I got too far with my purchase, I spotted another, similar set for THE WALKING DEAD!  Imagine both LOST IN SPACE and THE WALKING DEAD linked in ANY way, much less by new, active merchandise! 

Two Zombies on top.  (One of 'em Shane?) Rick and Herschel on the bottom!
I suspect the only common type of merchandise shared by LOST IN SPACE and THE WALKING DEAD would have been DVD box sets.  But, even there, the last LOST IN SPACE set was released in 2005, and the first WALKING DEAD set was 2011… so there’s not much concurrency there.  

LOST IN SPACE Season 3, Volume 2 (2005)
THE WALKING DEAD Season 1 (2011)

Any comic books or graphic novels would have been too far apart in time for any such consideration.  

But these toys were out of the same product line… and in 2013!  So, as the clock struck five, I bought THE WALKING DEAD set too! 

Whoever designed the packaging really knew what they were doing, as each package actually “stands up” on its own, without leaning or being hung from a hook!  So, both now proudly stand atop a cabinet I use for holding comic book short boxes! 

Together they... "Stand"!
Tempting as it may be, I’ll probably never open ‘em.  But, if I did – and, if I actually was of a mind to “play with toys”, I’d probably figure a way to combine them like this…

Admit it!  They're great fun, aren't they? 
Doctor Smith, as most of you should know, was trapped aboard the spaceship Jupiter II in 1997, and spent virtually every day since scheming to somehow return to Earth. 

Let’s say that, after 13 years (in the year 2010), and purely by chance, one of Smith’s inept yet devious plans finally succeeded, and some unlikely set of circumstances deposited him back on Earth… just in time for THE WALKING DEAD’s “Zombie Apocalypse” of 2010!  …Just his luck, eh?   

Smith!  Give me a hand!

Imagine Doctor Smith’s first encounter with a “Walker”!  Could even The Robot save his bacon?  And, as if our band of WALKING DEAD survivors didn’t have it hard enough, imagine having cowardly, lazy, and scheming Doctor Smith in their midst. 

Let me assure you, Sheriff Grimes, I will be a MODEL CITIZEN... A singular asset to your little community... A veritable paragon of virtue and a staunch proponent of honest toil...  
Pre-Season 3/non-hard-ass Rick would have assumed the tolerant “John Robinson role”, of ignoring Smith, or somehow putting up with his antics.  Pre-Season 3/ non-hard-ass-Carl would have (very briefly) become Smith’s new “Will Robinson”.   Can’t you just see Smith holding young Carl in front of him during a walker attack? 

Hopefully, Smith would have missed meeting Shane – who, unlike the more restrained Major Don West, would have probably put a bullet through his brain – innocently claiming to Rick he thought he was killing a walker. 

Careful with that gun, Shane!
Careful with that crossbow, Daryl!
Not to mention the things Daryl could do to the overly annoying Smith with his crossbow!  Smith could have tried to cut a surreptitious deal with The Governor to betray Rick’s band, only to be betrayed himself and thrown into “The Walker Combat Ring” for comedic value.  Methinks, he would have been better off remaining “lost in space”. 

...Just how VALUABLE is your LIFE?!
Good heavens!  On Earth, these days, it appears you cannot even trust an eye-patched stranger, calling himself "The Governor"!   Perhaps I WAS better off with the Robinsons!  Oh, the pain!  The pain!

Doctor Smith is probably ENJOYING HIMSELF, back on Earth right now! 
…Ah, the fun places our imaginations go!  And thanks to two cute little toy sets! 

One more NYCC 2013 Moment post to go!  


Pete Fernbaugh said...


This is brilliant in a way that most fan-fic crossovers could only hope to be.

Or as Dr. Smith himself might say: "Like this? Oh, you underestimate me, my dear boy. I LOVE this!"

The idea of Dr. Smith being thrown into "The Walking Dead" universe is fraught with possibilities for which only the great Jonathan Harris could adequately concoct verbiage to describe.

And think of the beauty of "The Walking Dead" characters being thrown into Irwin Allen's universe...

...or more specifically, a universe of talking vegetables with human faces!

This makes me wish that TV characters and their actors possessed some sort of immortality so this kind of generational crossover could happen. I love any chance to see my favorite classic shows brought together with my favorite contemporary shows.

(Well, any chance that isn't a...grrrrrr...remake; case in point: the new "Ironside"; most of America didn't make it through the first episode and neither did I; I pity the excellent actor who was saddled with an uninspired remake of the character.)

Anyway, I, too, tend to avoid toys, not because I don't want them, but because I want them ALL!

Which, come to think of it, is a very Dr. Smithian lust to have...

Pete (...TWD rocked its first two Season 4 eps; but, oh, those poor piggies).

P.S. It should be pointed out...SPOILER ALERT...TWD Season 4 has revealed that comic books survived the Zombie Apocalypse...

Joe Torcivia said...


Somehow, of all the people lurking in the nether-reaches of the Blogosphere, I knew you’d like this one! The notion of Doctor Smith as a part of THE WALKING DEAD survivor group is one that tickled me in some deep place in my imagination, and seeing the two packs of toys together just brought it out.

For all the bizarre things we tend to jump to when we hear the name of Irwin Allen (…oh, say… “talking vegetables with human faces”, for instance), there’s an Irwin Allen vibe (if you will) at the core of such great contemporary series like LOST and THE WALKING DEAD. Probably because he was the first producer of television product to assemble groups of characters and drop them into ongoing sci-fi / fantasy types of perilous situations that formed the basis of weekly series.

In my first WALKING DEAD post (, I go as far as to say that THE WALKING DEAD is pretty much the way LAND OF THE GIANTS could be reimagined for a contemporary audience, taking the parallel between Allen and his television descendants the other way, as well.

And, on the subject of “reimagining a classic series for a contemporary audience”, I watched, and enjoyed, the (three episodes, thus far, of) new IRONSIDE but, honestly, will not feel the loss of cancelation after a week or so. No one beats Burr!

It was never surprising that COMIC BOOKS would survive even a Zombie Apocalypse, only I feared the ones that did would be those horrid, speculator-driven CGC “slabbed” (encased in plastic) books that no one could ever read and enjoy! That normal, ordinary reading copies did as well, warms my heart, because that’s what they ALL should be!

Finally (…and a huge “Joe Prize”, in the spirit of Stan Lee’s “No Prize”, for anyone who noticed), in the illustrated section of the post where Doctor Smith interacts with The Governor, the caption for The Governor, where he says: "Just how valuable is your life!", are the exact words that are spoken (in LOST IN SPACE’S "Kidnapped in Space") when the image of Smith with twin guns pointed at him (directly below it in the post) occurred.

Joe Torcivia said...

And, as a “PS” to my comment to Pete, above…

Don’t those Irwin Allen LOST IN SPACE images (in some unexplainable way) GO WELL with the images from THE WALKING DEAD, with which they are paired?

I can’t explain it in any way I’m able to adequately articulate… but they just DO!

Pete Fernbaugh said...

Hey Joe:

When I first scanned the post, I saw the "Lost in Space" figures, and because of their appearance, I thought, "Did someone reimagine 'Lost in Space' in 'The Walking Dead' universe?! That's brilliant!"

I think you may have stumbled onto a clever marketing campaign: classic TV shows reimagined as TWD characters. Think of the possibilities: all of the Irwin Allen shows, "Star Trek," "I Love Lucy," "Donna Reed," "Gunsmoke"...

Regarding Irwin Allen's influence on modern TV, I couldn't agree more. He and Rod Serling were the pioneers of the kind of television embodied by "Lost," "The Walking Dead," "Sleepy Hollow," "Once Upon a Time," and so many other fantasy-driven/alternative-reality shows.

I hope the creators of these modern gems realize who their Daddies really are...

Some weeks when I'm watching TWD, I keep expecting to hear Rod Serling's Voice of God intone a pithy and insightful monologue at the end of each ep.

Pete (...loved Blair Underwood as Ironside; wish he had been given better scripts).

P.S. Have you tried "Sleepy Hollow," Joe? I'm a few episodes behind, but it's really good.

Joe Torcivia said...


That would put a whole new spin on “Luuucy, I’m home!”

Of all of them, I’d love to see GUNSMOKE the most! And, if you remember the beginnings of all those early GUNSMOKE episodes, where Matt Dillon waxes philosophically, atop Boot Hill… just imagine if ALL THOSE GRAVES disgorged Western Walkers!

Besides, here’s a perfect opportunity for a crossover with Marshal Dillon and Paladin of HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL vs. “The Western Dead”!

Irwin Allen is a great, and unappreciated, master of the medium! His influences are many! Yet, if you recall my “Tarantula” post ( ), he took from other sources just as much as he gave. Alas, the more time passes, the less appreciated he becomes! So, I’ll just keep doing my best to stem that tide!

Blair Underwood was great. Around here, we’ve enjoyed him in both SEX AND THE CITY and HBO’s IN TREATMENT. (…Yeah, I watch certain things with the wife, too! What of it?) I do wish new IRONSIDE had been given enough time to find its bearing. But, as you all know, that’s my general beef with contemporary TV series – and why I rarely get into any of them, until there are two or three seasons already out on DVD, and I play catch-up.

"SLEEPY HOLLOW" (and, perhaps UNDER THE DOME) will have to be one of those shows to which this rule applies.

At the end of THE WALKING DEAD, if it’s not Rod Serling, it should be The Control Voice form THE OUTER LIMITS!