WHAT IT'S ABOUT:
Set 30 years in the future, colonisation in space is now a reality, and the Robinson family is among those tested and selected to make a new life for themselves in a better world. But when the new colonists find themselves abruptly torn off course en route to their new home they must forge new alliances and work together to survive in a dangerous alien environment, lightyears from their original destination.
WHAT WE THOUGHT:
I wasn’t around when the original Lost in Space aired in the 60s but I do remember the 1998 film starring William Hurt, Heather Graham and Matt Le Blanc. I vaguely remember the story of the space family Robinson travelling through space where the glorious Gary Oldman got up to his villainous shenanigans.
But honestly, Parker Posey as Dr Smith gives him such a run for his money but I’m getting ahead of myself.
The story is told both in the present and in near past flashbacks. These Netflix Robinson’s unlike their previous iterations are a fractured bunch. Dad John is an ex-Marine and has rather unwillingly joined his family on the 24th space expedition to the human colony on a new planet called Alpha Centuri. The Robinson parents’ marriage is not in a good place but the children as a unit are quite solid.
The series starts out with an attack on the main spaceship, the Resolute by an alien robot and all the families on board evacuating in their individual family assigned spaceships called Jupiters. Most of the main players are introduced in the first few episodes.
The Robinson kids are super smart – 18-year-old Judy is a medical doctor, and while younger siblings Penny and Will don’t have any actual qualifications they know how to fix spaceships and are well versed in all things science which leads me to believe that I will never be part of the first people to colonise space.
In both the 1960s TV show and the 1998 film Will Robinson’s robot is a friendly, human-made and started the journey from Earth with them. Netflix has a more interesting take; Will’s robot is of alien origin and is the reason for the slaughter on the Resolute and the subsequent evacuation.
Will wins his allegiance by putting the robot back together and has an unexpected guardian and bodyguard. And while his parents are wary of the robot, they fully appreciate that Robot has saved their children’s lives and their almost drowned Jupiter.
One of the best parts of this show, as I mentioned up top is Parker Posey as the antagonist, Dr Smith. Smith is a sociopath who killed, swindled and betrayed her way onto the expedition and also Robinson family. Posey plays this role so well that I got anxious whenever she was in a scene plotting and planning. I spent so much time just wanting them to figure out that she was a lying criminal so that I could stop being so anxious. But when they do all I ended up doing was worrying about the precious family Robinson’s life.
The character that’s changed a bit from the original is Don West, a mechanical engineer who just so happens to be a lovable smuggler. Don is easy to love because and despite his questionable actions is a good guy when it comes to the things that count. He also provides that much needed comedic relief the viewer needs after having watched Dr Smith.
The first season focuses on the families that crashed on to the seemingly viable planet and their need to get off it. But at the forefront of this sci-fi show is a human drama centred around a family who is trying to mend the cracks and just survive the harsh reality of space travel and getting lost in it.