Normally if I am switching shows, I’ll say so at the end of the previous post for that given weekday. The thing is, that was Vikings‘ mid-season break that went up in this time last Friday, and I have no idea when that show is coming back as I type this. Who knows? I may end up moving this to later.
In the meantime, let’s look at Netflix’s rebooted Lost in Space.
The original Lost in Space was a family-friendly sci-fi adventure show from the 1960s that featured the Robinson family, pilot Don West, the cowardly Dr. Smith, and a very capable robot as they shot through the stars onboard the Jupiter 2 in an attempt to find their way home. They were lost because of Smith sabotaging things, but he appears to have been more or less accepted by the rest of the crew for most of the episodes I saw, where he traded insults with the robot and bemoaned pain.
Now, that old show was campy, as befits the time period, The new Netflix version is ditching the camp and making for a more modern version, so how does that play out so far? Well, the Robinsons left Earth to move to some colonies in the stars after a meteor hit the planet and the Jupiter program was sending out families. For this first episode, the show flashes back and forth to life on Earth and the space collision that left the Robinsons trapped on an alien world that, fortunately, has breathable air. Who are they this time around?
- Maureen Robinson is the mission leader, a brilliant scientist played by actress Molly Parker, who I’ve since seen in both Deadwood and House of Cards. She gave away something digital to an unknown party to get Will onboard the ship, and it looks like she’s been married at least twice.
- John Robinson, her husband, is a military man. He appears to have come along because he and Maureen were having some marital difficulties and she was looking for full custody of the kids.
- Judy Robinson, the oldest child. She’s the ship’s doctor, a bit adventurous, and clearly not the biological child of Maureen and John (Wikipedia tells me she’s Maureen’s by a previous marriage).
- Penny Robinson, the middle daughter, about whom I can say little at this time.
- Will Robinson, the youngest. He’s a bit prone to panic and doesn’t handle stress well, but he’s really bright even if he doesn’t connect well with his dad.
So, where are the other members of the crew? Well, the Robot isn’t from Earth. Will gets separated from the others after he and John go looking for some magnesium to get Judy out of a frozen lake. He finds the Robot in two pieces, and after getting over his fear, helps the machine put itself back together. For that, the Robot assumes a more human shape and becomes a companion for the boy from the looks of things.
But what about Parker Posey’s Dr. Smith? Yeah, funny story…she isn’t really Dr. Smith. She was onboard a space station that was being used to launch the different Jupiter craft. The Robinsons left a bit early from the looks of things since something was tearing the station apart. What was it? It looked like the Robot…
Yeah, and the mystery woman found a guy with an ID reading “Dr. Z. Smith” (playing by original cast member Bill Mumy!), stole his ID, and left him for dead. She then finds Don West and another crewmember who don’t know what’s going on and takes off on a ship with them.
Huh. She might be more dangerous.
So, anyway, this is off to a good start, and it probably works for kids like the original, just without the camp. Let’s see where it goes.