1 9 7 5 – 1 9 7 6 (USA)
24 x 60 minute episodes
Irwin Allen’s adaptation of the 1812 novel by Johann David Wyss follows the adventures of Karl Robinson (Martin Milner), his wife Lotte (Pat Delaney), sons Fred (Willie Aames) and Ernie (Eric Olson), and Helga, the teenage daughter of the drowned ship’s captain (Helen Hunt, who would become famous in the 90s as Jamie Buchman in the sitcom Mad About You), who wash up on a volcanic island in the South Pacific after a shipwreck.
Already on the island is sailor and reprobate harpooner Jeremiah Worth (Cameron Mitchell), who was marooned there seven years earlier.
This character was not in the original novel but was created by Allen as a Dr Smith (Lost In Space)/Fitzhugh (Land of The Giants) style character. Mitchell was superb in his role as the weaselly Jeremiah who was always looking to increase his wealth and save his own hide.
Although Irwin Allen was famed for his disaster movies, he claimed this was not going to be a “disaster of the week” series. Nevertheless, there did seem to be a tidal wave, typhoon, earthquake, volcanic eruption, wild animal, or other natural calamity besetting the poor Robinsons in every episode.
Quite a few visitors passed through the Robinsons’ “lost” island too, including pirate Jean Lafitte, who stopped off to pick up some buried treasure on his way to help General Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans.