Nov 22, 2018
CALLING ALPHA CONTROL: DR. SMITH (MICHAEL PANZAROTTO)
SMITH: Welcome back for a Special episode of Alpha Control: a Lost in Space Podcast. Today I’m flying the Jupiter 2 solo without my trusty co-host Kurt, but that’s because we have a very special guest to interview, Dr. Zachary Smith. Dr. SMITH is a renowned Physician, Psychologist, Cybernetics Expert & retired Colonel in the USAF. In retirement, Zachary has established a second career as a best-selling author of several fascinating books across wide-ranging topics. His latest non-fiction release (which is just hitting the book shelves) is titled ‘The Social Psychology of Galactic Castaways’. This long-awaited volume is the result of over 20 years of research he conducted using the case study of an anonymous group of subjects, he refers to only as the ‘Family R’. Written in Zachary’s usual informative but highly readable style, this book will be appreciated by academics & the general public alike for its brilliant use of language, as well as its ground-breaking conclusions.
Dr. Smith was born in New York, but grew up in Marietta Georgia, being raised by a dear Aunt & Uncle after losing both his parents in a tragic boating accident. His formal academic career began as a Marshall Scholar at Oxford University, (where he reigned as the Grand Master of the Oxford Chess Society for three years in a row) and culminated several years later when he graduated cum laude from Harvard University with degrees in both Medicine & Science. Next came a distinguished career as an Air Force Flight Surgeon. His pioneering work in the fields of Environmental Psychology and Robotic Artificial Intelligence landed him at Alpha Control where until late 1997 he ran the Human Factors-Flight Medicine divisions for the Jupiter Missions. He joins us today to talk about his New Book, ground breaking research, as well as his fascinating life filled with unique experiences and varied interests. I hope you will enjoy this captivating interview with acclaimed author & renaissance man, Dr. Zachary Smith.
MICHAEL: Well, that was a real treat getting to speak with “Dr. Smith”, but of course this homage to the character is only possible, because of the talents the man behind this uncanny Jonathan Harris impression, Mr. Michael Panzarotto. Mr. Panzarotto was born & raised in the city of Baltimore & still resides in Maryland today. A Lost in Space fan from the age of 5, Michael was drawn to the gifted performance of Jonathan Harris & his portrayal of Dr. Smith. In fact, Michael admits that he started imitating the iconic Smith character all thru Junior High School; even though it didn’t help him getting dates. In addition to Harris, Michael was drawn to several other classically trained actors who played significant roles in sci-fi & horror films; such as Vincent Price & Peter Cushing. Impressions of those performers soon followed. The acting bug caught Michael in High School & he’s been following that passion ever since; appearing in numerous local & regional theatre productions. Mr. Panzarotto is also famous among the online LIS fan community for his spectacular video impressions of Dr. Smith that he frequently posts. I want to speak with him TODAY about his love for LIS, Jonathan Harris & acting.
PODCAST INFO: This interview was conducted on 4 OCT 2018.
LINKS: Never Fear Smith is Here-Sydney 1994: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4OXzN9qGts
Bill Dana Show: https://youtu.be/SRjJMcT3RYA
Price & Harris, The Kind Mr. Smith: https://youtu.be/enIB4m6Kx5k
Lights Out: https://youtu.be/rtSqAyAAw9c