Danger, Will Robinson! - Lost in Space Review
For the third time since premiering amidst the space race, Lost In Space has been reincarnated with a whole new portrayal of their deep space equivalent of taking the wrong exit.Netflix has come out with a fresh new look at the Robinsons that makes for a fun ride if you are a scifi geek, but like any of it’s predecessors it has a few kinks to iron out. The story opens with the Robinsons playing a game of Go Fish as the Jupiter 2 hurtles through space toward an uncharted planet where things start going wrong almost immediately. Our beloved Robinsons will have to work through plenty of their own struggles if they are going to survive.
The family dynamic is not what it once was. No longer the happy wholesome American family from the original series, nor even the broody bunch of super scientists from the 1998 feature film. Our characters this time around feel much more real. John Robinson was a Navy SEAL, and to our knowledge he does not hold a single PHD in this incarnation. He serves more as a practical solution to problems that his astrophysicist wife, Maureen, cannot always solve on her own. Judy, Penny and Will, while well educated, are not the seemingly genetically engineered super computers they were in the movie, but rather have been well educated in fields chosen based on their own aptitudes. They are still a super group compared to any family I know, but this time around they are presented as much more relatable in a lot of good ways. I think that Netflix really did a great job putting together the character profiles for their new take on our explorers, who we learn very quickly are not alone.
In this version of Lost In Space, Jupiter 2 was one of about two dozen ships piggy backing on a much larger vessel. When the Resolute, our parent ship, is damaged partway through its journey from Earth to Alpha Centauri, the Jupiters are immediately launched. While a good deal of them don’t survive the trip, those fortunate enough to land on the planet (that they never named... Seriously?!) will have to overcome their new environment and work together to escape. John and Maureen will learn to work together again as they rebuild their relationship and slowly take a leadership roll among the other stranded colonists. Meanwhile, Judy, Penny, and Will each begin to come into their own when the responsibilities of being a near future pioneer pile higher, and higher. Complicated even further by Will’s mysterious synthetic companion.
While the character development impressed me more than I thought it would going in, the show is not without flaws. There were certainly situations that felt drawn out, or unnecessary. Particularly our new Dr. Smith. As her own mystery unfolds, she becomes less interesting, and more of a nuisance. I would like to see her character improved in the inevitable second season. Parker Posey is certainly good at making me hate Dr. Smith, but so many of her actions felt ridiculously unnecessary. The master manipulator, while claiming to be looking out for herself, doesn’t exactly seem to have any idea how to look out for herself as she continues to foil the efforts of others while stranded alongside them on an alien world. Why? I couldn’t begin to guess. I could go on about this one for a while. I felt like she really held the series back in it’s opening season. Her character just didn’t seem well suited to the show and I would love to see improvements next year.
While very character driven, Lost In Space has plenty of action as the colonists explore the new world around them and begin to learn the dangers it poses to their community. While this show doesn’t seem to have been doing great ratings wise, so far I think it was a great way to kill a lazy weekend for both fans of the original series and newcomers alike. I know I’m looking forward to seeing what Netflix brings next year. Let us know what you thought about Lost in Space in the comments below!