Rating 4.5/5 – I am exactly the audience for Netflix Lost In Space. I was born at the end of the Baby Boomer and towards the beginning of Generation X, and when the original Lost in Space was new I was a toddler. As a toddler, I loved every inch of cheese in the show and watched in syndication for years before the invention of Cable TV and 2 billion channels. I’m the one who dragged my friends to see the 1998 movie because the trailer looked cool, and Gary Oldman played Dr. Smith. In my defense, those same friends dragged me to see Batman and Robin, so karma is, indeed, a bitch. When the Netflix Lost in Space series was announced, even the bad movie couldn’t stop my nostalgia goggles from kicking into action and I couldn’t wait. 13 episodes later and it was totally worth the wait. The characters were good, the robot ROCKED, and Parker Posey as a female Dr. Smith. .move the hell over Jonathan Harris. And the phony “controversy” about Taylor Russell playing a black Judy Robinson was as well founded as all the other bullshit racist the usual assholes bring up. Obviously, there are many reasons I like the show and forgave all its flaws, so let’s get into it.
Swiss Family Robinson, But In Space
Swiss Family Robinson is one of those books you bump into as a kid, often coming across the movies made about it first. Irwin Allen, king of both the B-TV show and disaster movies, probably pitched the 1960’s Lost in Space just that way. It was a fairly popular TV show but only lasted 3 seasons. If you have been living in cave, Lost in Space follows the family Robinson, chosen to be the first family to reach an Earth-like planet but thanks to the tampering of Dr. Smith the ship is thrown off course and the family spent most of the series trying to either find Earth or go back to the planet the ship was being sent to in the first place. It’s inspired comics, books, fan fiction, a big budget movie and finally a complete remake. Netflix Lost in Space decided to take a serious look at the entire Lost in Space premise.
Netflix Lost In Space: The Remake We Needed
With the original series it started out as a serious sci-fi action adventure but when the chemistry between Will Robinson, the Robot and Dr. Smith became a thing the show drifted into a comedic territory and mainly focused on those three characters. Netflix Lost in Space does away with all of that. Instead, we have a nuclear family facing an Earth damaged by some kind of meteor storm. Warp drive has been cracked and Earth government are falling over themselves to use the new technology to reach new Earth-like planets. All the ships – dubbed “The Jupiters” are docked in a huge space station getting ready to populate a new world. However, before the ships can launch as planned someone attacks the space station killing people and sending everyone running from the ships only to have a good number of them crash land on the wrong planet. This is our jumping off point for the Robinsons, the robot and especially Dr. Smith.
Dr. Smith – Oh The Pain
Jonathan Harris might be the Dr. Smith everyone knows but in Netflix Lost in Space Parker Posey makes this role her own. Dr. Smith is not a good guy. Those who remember the old show remember how silly and funny Dr. Smith was. This is because they remember the 2nd and 3rd season when the show went to color and all the dark shit was totally forgotten because the first season was DARK. Parker Posey brings back the Dr. Smith of the 1st season, a criminal at heart, no real proof she’s actually a doctor and a complete sociopath. The MPV of Netflix Lost in Space is Parker Posey as Dr. Smith. Parker Posse’s performance in Netflix Lost In Space was subtly scene chewing while having enough nuance to the Dr. Smith character to make her the kind of villian fans love to hate. If you pay close attention they did follow the original Dr. Smith arch only in an updated story for a new age to discover. Unfotunately because this show will follow the formula of the “main characters who will never die” there might not be a chance for the 2018 Dr. Smith to do that thing which will solidify her as a proper villain
Will, Penny and Judy
One of the mistakes every single Fantastic Four movie makes, IMO, is they forget the family part of the team. Lost in Space is about the family also, who they stick together, how they come together, how they do together. Maxwell Jenkins might not reach the level of popularity that Billy Mumy did as Will Smith, but he held his own against some series veterans and he wasn’t annoying. Penny has always been the middle child of the show and while they gave Mina Sundwall much more to do, she was still the middle child. I like Taylor Russell as Judy, but she looks so young. The big deal romance of Lost in Space was between Major West and Judy, but in this case, Major West looks like he’s about 35 and Judy looks like she 15. (Sorry Taylor Russell, but you do look really young.) Even though they went through pains to say she’s 18, it still looks creepy as shit. I realize that there’s a certain demographic of people who ship every couple (I’m sure there Will Robinson/Robot slash out there, somewhere) but they don’t have to make every single couple a relationship, or at least give Judy a love interest that doesn’t look so much like grown man’s porn hub fantasy. I found Penny the most interesting as she seems to be the glue that holds the rest of them together. She isn’t a huge science nerd and she’s grown out of her wonder lust pre-teen stage. Netflix Lost in Space gives Penny Robinson a nice story arc that actually helps move some of the sub-plots forward nicely.
Maureen and John
I did like Molly Parker as Maureen Robinson, who is the main POV character as most of the flashbacks are told mostly through her eyes. I was a little annoyed by the fact that Maureen and John were split up but it’s an arch for them both as well as their family and by the end, the family is the unit that made the show so well remembers. I expect Netflix Lost in Space will be remembered as well because the family works and it’s Molly Parker who helps make that believable.
Normally I’m don’t care about spoilers. Netflix Lost in Space decided to completely remake what the robot actually is and it’s AWESOME. So if you want to know, go watch this series as this section of the review will be vague as shit because the reveals about the robot are too cool as shit to spoil. Just looking at the image will give you an idea of where their going, but only in a slightly “been there, done that” not in how it works withing Netflix Lost in Space. That part is done well. It’s not only a logical change but how the robot fits into the entire plot of the show totally works and earns the cliffhanger ending we got. I’m not going to say anything else except, the robot alone makes this show worth the watch. The robot design brings up a lot of HR Giger and the it’s particular story isn’t something we have not seen before, but how it ties into everything going on and the eventual evolution to Robinson family friend and protector was some neat writing on all sides. Especially the huge reveals at the end.
The story is updated in every good way possible, the actors acquit themselves nicely and the villain is a proper fucking villain. Netflix Lost in Space is an excellent show with great characters. Sure it suffers from that disease that lets you know up front that the main characters are not going to die, but that’s one of those minor flaws I can live with. This was a great first season and I hope to hell there’s going to be a second.