Since making his television debut in 1960 at the age of six, Bill Mumy has enjoyed a long and fruitful career in Hollywood in both live-action and voiceover roles. However, it’s Mumy’s earliest roles that have stood the test of time from terrorizing a small town as Anthony Fremont in the classic Twilight Zone episode “It’s A Good Life” to turns in Alfred Hitchcock Presents and, of course, his iconic role as Will Robinson in Lost in Space.
Few actors can impart the wisdom of life as a child in Hollywood’s spotlight quite like Mumy can. Luckily for 12-year-old Maxwell Jenkins, who stars as Will Robinson in Netflix’s reboot of Lost in Space, Mumy came to the set to shoot a surprise role in the new series and graciously spent his time with the young actor. They bonded over music and their mutual love for Bob Seger and the Will Robinsons traded war stories of their time in outer space.
“We talked about crazy stories about what’s going on on set; robots and space, lots of space, ” the enthusiastic Jenkins said. “It turns out their spacesuits were really heavy. They had to be wheeled around sometimes.”
For kids in the ‘60s and beyond, Mumy’s work as Will Robinson allowed kids to dream about a future where space travel would no longer be speculative fiction. Recalling watching the series as a kid, actress Parker Posey, who stars as the new Dr. Smith, praised Mumy’s portrayal of Robinson.
“There was something about the show that children loved too, that you saw other kids acting like Bill Mummy,” Posey said. “I loved him and I loved his relationship to the robot, which was a lot like my relationship to the television.”
When we met Jenkins on the set during a press day, he was sporting a stylish flat-brim hat with the words “Danger, Will Robinson” on it and was cruising around the facility on a skateboard. Jenkins embodies a new direction for Will Robinson both on and off camera. By all accounts, Mumy embraced it. After the shooting for Mumy’s guest role was completed, the two exchanged numbers and stayed in touch.
“He gave me a lot of advice,” Jenkins said. “He gave me advice on what to expect as Will Robinson and he couldn’t have been nicer to me. I have huge shoes to fill. I can’t wait to see him again.”