Unfortunately there’s no podcast this week as we’ve just been too busy to record one, so instead let us present the first in an occasional series dedicated to remembering legends from the silver screen. The inaugural feature in this series is in praise of Blawp, the undisputed star of the classic 1998 sci-fi film Lost in Space, which was a veritable tour de force of acting talent and special effects wizardry that slammed into audiences worldwide like a fireball of awesomeness. Not since The Avengers, starring Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman in perhaps their career-best performances, had so much money been spent on reimagining a classic TV series and making it better in every conceivable way for the big screen. Both films were united in casting away old-fashioned ideas such as plot and sense, and were uncompromising in their dedication to reimagine the subject matter in the language of the New Hollywood Blockbuster, i.e. massive explosions and utterly convincing CGI effects, interspersed by occasional acting.
Blawp’s acting debut was a highlight of the Lost in Space reboot, perhaps second only to the acting powerhouse that is Matt LeBlanc, who used this film as a springboard to launch his stratospheric Hollywood acting career. (Who can forget his performance alongside Eddie Izzard in the cross-dressing wartime romp All The Queen’s Men?) For me though, Blawp is the undisputed star of the show, his blurry edges melding seemlessly with the other actors, who all but melt into the background whenever Blawp is on screen, such is the acting power of this cuddly chimpanzee-like extraterrestrial. Indeed, when I saw Lost in Space in the cinema for the first time, I clearly remember the groans of delight that arose from the audience when this lovable creature first appeared. For me, Blawp single-handedly lifted the film from the level of merely amazing to the heights of utterly astounding, and I’m sure you’ll agree that his appearance in Lost in Space was a cinematic moment that you will never, ever, ever forget.
Blawp later went on to star in two under-rated Woody Allen comedies and a sitcom starring Ted Danson before retiring to live comfortably with his extended family under a bridge in LA.