The old Lost in Space series was a part of my childhood. I didn’t watch the original run as it was cancelled the year I was born. It was not my favourite science fiction show but it was okay. Although I saw the remake Lost in Space movie, I can’t say as it made a big impression on me. I can’t remember if I liked or disliked it.
Lost in Space has recently been remade again as a Netflix series. To be honest, I wasn’t overly impressed with the first episode. It gave me some doubts as to whether I wanted to continue to watch it.
I kept with it and I ended up really enjoying the ten episode first season. I thought they hit a nice balance between the innocence and charm of the original series and the complexity and action of modern science fiction.
The basic plot is that earth is in trouble and a plan has been created to establish a colony in Alpha Centauri, consisting of the best of the best. The main ship is called the Resolute, on which are attached Jupiters, much smaller ships in which families dwell. An attack on the Resolute has caused a number of the Jupiters to crash land on a planet that is in neither the Sol or Alpha Centauri systems. The Robinsons encounter other survivors from the Resolute, as well as an alien robot. Their goal is to get back to the Resolute and continue their journey to their new home.
The Robinson family has been updated to reflect modern concepts of family. One daughter is adopted and the parents are estranged. But they still are loyal to the original concept. The actors were able to portray the individual personalities of each family members.
One of my favourite characters is the robot, who as in the original series, has no name. He is radically redesigned for this new series. He reminded me of the redesigned Cylons from the latest Battlestar Galactica series. Much of the season could have been titled, “A boy and his robot.”
Like the robot, another character from the original series brought back is Dr. Smith. This time Dr. Smith is a woman. Sort of. The real Dr. Smith is a man (played by the actor who played Will Robinson in the original series), but a woman steals his identity to get on board one of the Jupiters. There is a real darkness to this Dr. Smith, far more than the original series. Another Battlestar Galactica echo is that this Dr. Smith reminded me of the reimagined Baltar of the recent series. The actress who plays her does a great job of capturing her devious personality.
There were a few plot holes of course, but over all I really enjoyed the new Lost in Space. I liked the acting, the writing, the special effects and the humour. Interestingly, there are only three gun shots in the whole season and yet they were able to keep the action going.
For those concerned, there were a few bits of swearing but nothing bad. I had no problems or concerns watching it with my family.
I sincerely hope that it gets picked up for a second season as Lost in Space was good old fashioned science fiction entertainment.