Netflix Now: Danger, Will Robinson - Lost In Space - Season One - Reviewed

Does the new Lost In Space live up to the marketing hype? Find out here.  

While traveling to Alpha Centauri for a new start, the Robinsons once again find themselves Lost In Space. Tagged with a TV-PG rating, the show is a callback to better times when families could actually sit down and enjoy an adventure together. 

Other than some scary moments and a new robot that's more malevolent than his predecessors, this series launch gives parents and kids a show that can be watched as a team. In our trying times, it's good to see something that mostly leaves the politics at the door as it modernizes and retells this space survivalist story. Touching on many of the original's story elements, the retelling changes a few key points that fans will immediately point out. 

This is sooooo Blade Runner right now. 

We live in a world where reboots, retreads, and remakes are now a mainstay. We absolutely cannot escape that fact. Now, with binge watching and the advent of services like Netflix latching on to classic franchises like Lost In Space, we're entering new territory that crosses the science based fiction of films like The Martian with an episodic familial story that feels like the ABC hit series Lost has found a new home on an uncharted planet. Replete with stories that feature mysterious monsters, hidden caves, human power struggles, and the fight to get off the planet, this new iteration is a mixed bag that will be frustrating to some but a breath of fresh air to others. This new Lost In Space takes the visual elements to a new level, but is bogged down by some inexcusable writing mistakes and plot holes you could drive a rover through. 

With a set up that kicks right in to high gear, The Robinson family is up for a new set of challenges that will ask them to put it all on the line to save themselves along with a group of other interplanetary colonists that are seeking solace from the ravaged Earth. When their transport vessel, the Resolute comes under attack, they suddenly find themselves in a new environment that continues to spark disaster and tragedy. Like so many films and shows that pit humans against their own fate, this is another show that almost never lets the characters revel in their successes. At each and every turn, something goes wrong, which might lend itself to frustration on the part of the viewer. 

Much like the original series, each episode poses new challenges for the Robinsons. While there is a continued story arc, this is not a show that must be binged. I watched the entire ten episode season in just two days. Now, I wish I hadn't. There's a lot to soak up here. From stunning environmental vistas to beautiful effects work to the brand new robot design, Lost in Space is layered with top notch eye candy. The first episode alone is a visual treat that shows us that nothing is safe in this reboot. In all honestly, this seems like it might be better if watched in small doses. Correlations to Lost can definitely be drawn. From an opening sequence that puts us in the center of their disastrous crash to the flashback storytelling, both the pacing and style will definitely spark comparisons. 

Where the show really succeeds is in its culturally diverse casting. The survivors represent all walks of life and different regions of Earth, balancing out a complaint that has been a constant thread in TV and movies the past few years. The wonderful Molly Parker leads the cast as the fearless Maureen Robinson. Unlike the 1965 version, Maureen plays a much more integral part here. She carries and supports the family dynamic, and is truthfully the hero of the day. Backed by Toby Stephens as John Robinson, the two have a great chemistry, even when they're at odds. Parker Posey attempts to steal the spotlight with a much more conniving (female) version of Doctor Smith. But she is challenged by the youthful Maxwell Jenkins as Will Robinson, who often times upends her carefully planned sociopathic Smith. Taylor Russell and Mina Sundwall round out the primary cast as Judy and Penny Robinson. Ignacio Serricchio is our new Don West, that's played like the Lost In Space version of Han Solo. He's smart mouthed, on the take, and even likes to call Judy 'princess.

No, kid. We're not Swiss. 

Sitting through the ten episode launch, the only real complaints that I have relate to the scripting. Lost In Space is a definite watch for those of us that crave old school planet exploring science fiction. But, some of the plotting is played too loose for a story that should be taut and exciting. At times, I found myself questioning why things were happening and where this new Doctor Smith is headed with her actions. She lacks the definition that made the first such a classic antagonist. Hopefully in time, the writers will figure out something better to do with her character than to have her just standing around making decisions based strictly on inherent evil. To make Doctor Smith work in the context of this updated series, she should be more fleshed out and given reason to exist. Here, although I love Posey in this role, she needs something to base her maligned ambitions on other than only wanting to find comfort off Earth. 

If you're looking for something cool to watch and you were a fan of the rebooted Battlestar Galactica, you'll most likely dig this show. Don't go in expecting greatness and you'll come out satisfied.