[Classic News]

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Launch Date: October 16, 1997: How We Celebrated

(October 16, 1997) The Jupiter 2 launch date of October 16, 1997 was celebrated across the US and the rest of the world with both private fan parties and official sponsored events by New Line Cinema and the Museum of Radio and Television in Los Angeles.

The SCI FI channel paid a special tribute to Lost in Space on October 16 by broadcasting a marathon of favorite episodes chosen by fans. Interviews with the original cast and clips from the Lost in Space movie were also shown.

In Australia celebrations centered in Sydney where the Australian Fan Club held a special function to mark the day. Pay TV operator, Foxtel also ran a marathon of Lost in Space episodes on it's FX channel. Planet Hollywood in Sydney and Melbourne each held special screenings and contests to promote the launch. The Lost in Space Robot even featured on the covers of Australian TV Guides.

In the weeks leading up to October 16 fans on the Lost in Space Listserv discussed at length the personal significance of the launch date.

5-10 years ago only the most obsessed fans knew the actual date of the original launch. Now that the date has passed perhaps a turning point in Lost in Space fandom has been reached. Not only is every fan aware of the significance of October 16 but publicity about the event and the associated marketing of New Line Cinema's block-buster film remake of the show has brought the focus squarely on Lost in Space.

With the launch over, fans world-wide will continue to observe October 16 as an annual event.

LOS ANGELES Launch Celebrations

(October 16, 1997) The Museum of Radio and Television held a closed door function to celebrate the launch of the Jupiter 2. Invited guests included all the surviving cast members as well as members of the late Guy Williams family. Additionally, AOL users were able to participate in the event via a 45 minute live IRC chat from the museum with cast members.

NEW YORK Launch Celebrations

(October 14, 1997) Jonathan Harris made a public appearance with the Robot in New York City on October 14 as part of a media tour promoting the Sci-Fi Channel marathon and the Jupiter 2 launch. The event was held at the Television City theme restaurant.

Jonathan signed photos and there were many Lost in Space giveaways. A special treat for collectors was a preview of the Trendmasters' Robot toy specially shipped in off the assembly line in Hong Kong. This was the first time the robot was officially shown to the public.

Mark Goddard: Downunder Blast Off Tour

(October 10, 1997) In the week leading up to October 16, 1997 Mark Goddard completed a very successful tour of Australia. Sponsored by the Australian Lost in Space Club, the tour took in both Sydney and Melbourne and included appearances by Mark on numerous television and radio shows as well as a Lost in Space convention and a collectibles show.

The Lost in Space movie trailer was shown during each television segment. Mark also brought with him exclusive clips of scenes of himself performing the role of a general alongside Professor John Robinson (William Hurt) in the new movie.

While in Sydney, Mark accompanied by his wife and six year old son, took time out to visit a zoo and one of Sydney's fine beaches.

Mark became the 2nd on-screen original cast member to officially visit Australia. Jonathan Harris had previously visited in 1994.

Australian Lost in Space Videos

(October, 1996) A spokeman for 20th Century Fox Entertainment, Ken Taylor, revealed that first season Australian Lost in Space videos would no longer be sold over the counter in Australian stores. Current sales of these tapes were very poor in comparison to the the latest batch of tapes from the second season. It will still be possible to order these early volumes directly from Fox.

The spokesman also said there were no immediate plans for the release of the third season tapes. However, the projected release is likely to be around the time of New Line Cinema's Lost in Space movie due to be released in April 1998. A second batch of first season tapes may also be released at that time.

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