Growing up, one of my favorite tv shows after school was Lost in Space. There was something about it that captured my imagination and hoped that the Robinsons would find their way home someday. Now, as an adult I realise they were never going to get home – that would mean the end of the series. The same could be said for the castaways on Gilligan’s Island, which kept me equally occupied.
We all know that every show needs a bad apple, and Dr. Smith was the guy we loved to hate. It seemed that in every episode he showed his selfishness, even if it meant putting young Will Robinson in danger. But somehow, Will always prevailed and Dr. Smith would revert to his snivelling ways to gain sympathy and continue to be accepted by the Robinsons.
A number of years back (in the 90s), there was also a Lost in Space movie. Oh it had such promise to build on the foundation of childhood memories and take the story to the next level. To be honest I can’t even remember if I saw it, but I think I did.
The fact that it wasn’t that memorable says a lot about how good it must have been. I remember it starred ‘Joey’ (aka Matt LeBlanc) as Major Don West in what must have been one of his early attempts to cross into movies. I don’t think I’ve seen him in movies since that.
So now we’re in 2019 and eight months since the launch of the new Lost in Space (Series 1) on Netflix. When I saw the trailers months ago I was curious and put it on my tbw list, in the hope that it was going to be the one that built on my childhood memories in a good way. Finally, I’ve taken the plunge and started to watch it.
After seeing episode 1, I will admit that I’m impressed. I was pleased that the theme music was the same (but obviously updated), as I feel it gave a subtle salute to the original series. The characters are all ‘named’ the same, but from what I’ve seen so far they’re vastly different. Rather than an ‘average’ family as in the past, the Robinsons are now all highly intelligent, articulate, and well-trained.
It was good to see Maureen Robinson (Molly Parker) become a more intellectual and strong mother figure, rather than relegated to the background role of housewife who cooked, cleaned, and flinched in the original series.
This series has all the amazing possibilities that time can bring. CG effects, realistic sets, and visually stunning locations. It’s come a long way since the days when styrofoam painted brown could be alien rocks, and fog could make the air look like an alien planet.
I have a feeling that this series will (as did the original) focus on young Will. He will probably continue to wander off, not listen to his parents, and get caught up in dangerous situations.
There are a couple of huge differences, on which the jury is still out. I’m talking about the robot – the old one looked like it had been built with leftovers from a kitchen cupboard, but it was likeable, somehow relatable, and could easily roll over any terrain with little tracks like a tank. Who could forget its catchphrase – Danger! Danger, Will Robinson.
The new robot is nothing like the original (except it did utter the catchphrase). It seemed a lot darker and more like a mechanical creature that could crush you in a second. Time will tell what its real intentions are and if it becomes as trusted and popular as the original.
The other main difference I have to raise is Dr. Smith. The doctor is now female. I’m not saying that’s wrong, it’s just that all of my memories of the character are of a snivelling excuse for a man. I hope the new doctor becomes just as memorable. It would be a difficult role to take on following such a big change.
Next up for me is to sit down and watch more episodes, which will hopefully live up to the first. Maybe I’ll post an update some time in the future with my thoughts.
Have you seen this series? What are your thoughts? Have you also seen the original?
My verdict: Give the new Lost in Space a go. It looks like it’s going to be a wild ride.
Just for fun, I’ve included the trailer below for the new series, as well as the one from the original series from the 1960s. See if you can spot the similarities and differences for yourself 🙂