If you were told that Lost in Space would be completely revamped for a new audience, you’d probably be both startled and confused. By itself, the original Lost in Space from the mid-60s was a classic campy series about the Robinson family trying to survive while constantly being thrown into danger caused by the hilariously incompetent Dr. Smith. Then in 1998, the movie version was released and, even though the campiness was ejected out, the charm was vacant, resulting in a boring, dull 90s movie. Now, we have the new rebooted TV iteration brought to us by Netflix with a much bigger budget yet somewhat follows the basic formula of the original series. The question is: Does it all hold up? Well, yes and no.
Lost in Space is an entertaining show that taps into some really cool concepts and dramatic devices that help bolster the show’s quality, but it never really becomes more than just being good. It barely scratches the surface of its overall potential, which can make for some pacing issues over the course of its 10-episode run as we get a lightweight narrative with a too much repetition. The cast is a strong point and make the show very watchable, especially the Robinson clan. Having made an impact in both Deadwood and House of Cards, Molly Parker once again excels as the protective scientist mother. Toby Stephens is perfectly serviceable as the stern father, but however, it’s the kids that truly shine the most. Maxwell Jenkins nails the sweet innocence of the young lad that’s teamed up with the rescued robot. Taylor Russell is simply amazing as the young doctor suffering from PTSD, yet it’s Mina Sundwall who’s the standout. She gets the best one-liners in the show, having a brilliant snarky quality yet having a genuine authenticity to her as well, plus her romantic subplot was actually handled solidly.
The robot was also a major standout and its journey from having been rescued by the son of the Robinsons to being his protector in return forms a nice bond between the two, leAding to some genuine sweet moments. However, a double-edged sword in this show is Dr. Smith; on the plus side, Parker Posey does an amazing job by giving a brilliant performance as always, but the fact that nobody catches on the fact that she’s the main villain until the final few episodes despite obvious warning signs that she was trying to sabotage their mission felt too repetitive and ridiculous after a while, and her motivations make zero sense in the grand scheme of things.
Overall, Lost in Space is a fun show that boasts a terrific cast, a well-developed character dynamic with the Robinsons, and the robot has some solid production design and having some neat ideas at the heart of it all, yet it suffers from a dragged out narrative that doesn’t reach its full potential and having a thinly-sketched central villain that drags things down. If you want to have a good time and immerse yourself in some light, fun, sci-fi adventure, then this will provide you that, just don’t expect anything more.
Dir: Neil Marshall, Tim Southam, Alice Troughton, Deborah Chow, Vincenzo Natali, Stephen Surjik, David Nutter
Scr: Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless, Zack Estrin, Katherine Collins, Kari Drake, Ed McCardie, Vivian Lee, Daniel McLellan
Starring: Molly Parker, Toby Stephens, Maxwell Jenkins, Taylor Russell, Mina Sundwall, Ignacio Serricchio, Parker Posey
Music: Christopher Lennertz
Number of Episodes: 10
Episode Run time: 47-65 mins
Lost in Space: Season One is out now on DVD & Blu-Ray