Add a Review

  • "The Fantasy Worlds of Irwin Allen" (1995 - 100 minutes), is a definitive documentary in DVD about the career of the unforgettable producer and director the new yorker Irwin Allen, deceased on November 2 ,1991. Directed by Kevin Burns, the documentary make a tribute to the creator of the cult TV series "Lost in the Space", " Voyage to the Botton of the Sea", "The Time Tunnel", "Land of Giants" and classic movies as "The Poseidon Adventure" and "The Towering Inferno". Allen was known in Hollywood as the "Master of Disaster". Introduced by the actors June Lockhart and Bill Mumy and with the delicious participation of the Robot and Johnathan Harris, the histrionics doctor Smith, the documentary shows behind the scenes and enlightening interviews with the main actors of the TV series and movies. An indispensable document for all the Science Fiction fans.
  • "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea"... "The Time Tunnel"... "Lost in Space"... "Land of the Giants"... "The Towering Inferno"... "The Night the Bridge Fell Down"... okay, we'll skip that last one.

    This documentary look at the career of master showman/producer Irwin Allen, hosted by Will Robinson and his mum (er, I mean Billy Mumy and June Lockhart) and the robot from "Lost in Space," like "The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson," is that rare thing - a tribute that really IS a tribute, a celebration rather than an epitaph.

    Whatever you might think of Allen's shows, you can't deny that he had a gift for giving big, splashy productions that had big goals (even if the results were sometimes not so big - cough "City Beneath The Sea" cough). This covers his career from his early days through his TV hits of the '60s to his '70s tenure as the Master of Disaster... it's all here.

    "The Fantasy Worlds Of Irwin Allen" is a must for fans, with many of the stars of his shows featured and clips (and outtakes) galore; both informative and entertaining, it's ironic that Allen's best ever TV show doesn't actually contain the words "Created and Produced by Irwin Allen." But he does deserve this movie; his stuff may not have been of Rod Serling standards, but a lot of it holds up as good entertainment (which was how it was designed in the first place), and even today "The Poseidon Adventure" and "The Towering Inferno" can grip - I certainly think the latter's a lot more thrilling than "Backdraft," for all the latter's many virtues.

    Would that the "Lost in Space" movie had been as good.
  • For those young people wishing to get a good introduction to the works of Irwin Allen, this is the show for you. However, those wishing to get an introduction to Irwin's first and longest running series - Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea - you will only get David Hedison and a small bit of footage from the series. They could have tried harder to get more Voyage/Sea cast members, who are still living and going to conventions to this day.

    However, there is enough Voyage/Sea material here to make this show very good viewing. For decades David Hedison has put down Voyage/Sea because he got less and less work when the series went off the air and because he got too little characterisation in the series. But it seems in this 1995 show, Hedison has had a change of heart about the whole situation. His remarks will make this whole show worthwhile to some.

    We also get to see a scene from a first season Voyage/Sea when Hedison was with Basehart and Hedison forgets a line and starts laughing with Basehart! Great stuff! There is behind the scenes footage of the pilots to Voyage/Sea, The Time Tunnel and Land Of The Giants. The Irwin pilots were all just so good and behind the scenes stuff is very welcome. There is even footage of the Dick Tufeld 1967 Land Of The Giants pre-pilot presentation!

    Fans of Time Tunnel co-star Whit Bissell (General Kirk) might not like seeing this guy in 1995 (one year before his death) as he does not look or sound anything like the man we all saw in The Time Tunnel. However, James Darren and Robert Colbert will provide enough thrills for Tunnel fans.

    Another guy died not long after this was filmed, Irwin's pal of 30 years, "Paul Z". This 1995 show was my introduction to Paul and I was very sad to hear of his death in 1997 as he looked and sounded so strong and healthy here. Paul had a lot to do with making these Irwin productions so good. But he got little credit.

    There is too little attention to Irwin's feature films. More behind the scenes stuff on Five Weeks In A Balloon, The Big Circus, The Story Of Mankind, Beyond The Poseidon Adventure, etc, would have been welcome. But we do get unused material from City Beneath The Sea.

    Note: The TFWOIA DVD has outstanding bonus features!