Sci-fi 50: Dr. Zachary Smith

July 31, 2012 | 5:47 p.m.

Dr. Zachary Smith, "Lost in Space" (1965): At the start, Dr. Smith was a true villain. An enemy agent, he sabotaged the Jupiter 2's systems and then (trapped aboard) he was a victim of the navigational misadventure he caused. But as episodes passed a new Smith took shape -- haughty, insincere, bumbling and shrill, he was unlikable but no longer evil. Actor Jonathan Harris was tilting the character; he knew a true menace couldn't last but an irritant was invaluable for a writing team. A mad genius. (Syfy)

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