Lost In Space – found on Netflix – The Complete Series – The DVDfever Review

Lost In Space

Lost In Space – We all know how this works: The Space Family Robinson head out to look for ways to solve the Earth’s problems, but once out in space, they get… er… lost.

We had the camp ’60s series and the rather good, but heavily criticised, 1998 movie with William Hurt and Mimi Rogers, but with a sequel for that forever lost in… development hell, Netflix have done the decent thing and put the much-loved favourite back where it belongs – on the telly… although since this is 2018, you can also watch it on your PC, laptop, phone, etc.

As the first episode begins, the Robinsons are playing Go Fish, the rules of which I don’t understand but I doubt that’s an issue. What is of more interest is that the first change you notice is that Dr Jonathan Smith has gone from being an old, white man to a middle-aged, white woman, played by the brilliant Parker Posey, who played an absolute blinder in her occasional episodes of Louie, opposite Louis CK.

A situation leads to their Jupiter spaceship going off-course and crashing on a distant planet. Well, they wanted to get out and see the interstellar sights and they’re managing that on day one! Luckily, it’s a habitable planet, by chance, but unluckily, if they don’t get a shift on, they could be stuck there forever… or until they run out of power and all die, but if that happened, then it’d be a very quiet remaining nine episodes with little chance of being recommissioned, so you know things have got to come good.

The first episode was very much a slow-burner as the family were introduced while they dealt with their first calamity, with father and son heading off to bond over finding some magnesium, although given how many hours in which this first episode was set, how come no-one needed the toilet in that time?



Naturally, I don’t want to give any spoilers, so I’ll just say that in the first episode there was one scene where I was grimacing as it played out – and it can’t be coincidence that I had a twinge in my leg at the same time…

Robbie The Robot looks quite different compared to what you’re used to, but I have to say he has far better acting ability than those five playing the family who are rather on the wooden side. I’d rather have the Lockheads from Eldorado taking control of this Jupiter craft! Hence, it’s a good job they’re letting the special effects do the talking. Thankfully, there’s better cast members in Ms Posey and Ignacio Serricchio as the smart-ass Don West.

There are flashbacks to being back at home before they set off, where Earth has so much smog that everyone has to wear masks outside, and showing pre-interplanetary events taking a bit of a different turn than I was expecting, plus visiting The Resolute, the hub for all the Jupiter spaceships.

Overall, so far, I’ve watched the first two episodes and they’re okay, each of which pass an hour with family-friendly entertainment, but I hope the remaining eight put a bit more flesh on the bones. There are certainly elements shown in the opener which indicates that certain individuals have secrets waiting to be discovered.

All 10 episodes of Lost In Space Season 1 are available on Netflix from tomorrow, Friday April 13th.

UPDATE: I’ve now seen the complete series, and without giving spoilers, I liked how episode 3 had a neat Jaws reference as they came across a problem with their fuel, John asked how they were going to get out of that one, to which Maureen replied: “I’m gonna need a bigger whiteboard!”, although there was a dumb cliche where the dangerous problem could only be solved by one person having to go down where all the danger was… erm… why not just make sure EVERYTHING they need is available at the flick of a switch via remote terminals?

But while that’s something we’ve seen in a ton of dramas and films over the years, what was frustrating about just how much this series borrowed liberally from other sources, sci-fi or otherwise, including Alien, as if the writers of this couldn’t think of much that was fresh and original for the Robinsons to do. Plus, while each episode had some elements that can be great, there’s also a lot that’s so-so kitchen sink drama.

In addition, the robot’s always looking down at the ground as if he’s more depressed than Marvin the Paranoid Android from The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.

After a few episodes, once they’d found other survivors and started setting up some sort of commune, it felt more like a Western around the time of Deadwood… but less violent.

Overall, Lost in Space is an easy watch, but it’s crazy-cliched, and every five minutes something seemed to go wrong. Who was bank-rolling this project? And even if they all survived, how would they get word back to Earth as to their progress? Or was Earth meant to just die out, without a chance?

While I enjoyed the darker sides of the story – as certain individuals showed their true colours, I can’t say I’m massively looking forward to series 2, but I know from friends of mine that this has been very popular with families as a whole, as children love it. There was occasional mild PG-rated swears in there, but while that doesn’t offend me, it does seem rather at odds with the family vibe. Yes, I can imagine living in space is stressful, but it’s not really what young families will want to hear.

I would like Season 2 to be darker in tone, overall, though.

Oh, and the series has a good orchestral version of the original theme, but I did prefer the 1998 movie’s Apollo 440 remix, which reached No.4 in the UK and I’ll link below 🙂

Season 1 Score: 5/10

Series Directors: Tim Southam, Deborah Chow, Stephen Surjik, Alice Troughton and Neil Marshall
Producers: Kari Drake, Brad Van Arragon and Ken Girotti
Creator: Irwin Allen
Developed By: Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless
Writers: Kari Drake, Katherine Collins, Zack Estrin, Vivian Lee, Ed McCardie, Daniel McLellan
Music: Christopher Lennertz

Cast:
John Robinson: Toby Stephens
Penny Robinson: Mina Sundwall
Judy Robinson: Taylor Russell
Will Robinson: Max Jenkins
Maureen Robinson: Molly Parker
Dr. Smith: Parker Posey
Don West: Ignacio Serricchio



Lost In Space – Apollo 440 Remix


Previously on DVDfever:

February 21st:

Lost In Space is entertainment that I only really encountered with the rather engaging 1998 movie starring William Hurt and Gary Oldman, and which would’ve spawned a sequel had there been the audience for it. These days, these sorts of worlds are better explored with a full series, and that’s what Netflix have done by commissioning exactly that, and this time, like the new Doctor in Doctor Who, Dr Smith is now played by a woman!

Prior to that was the series which began in 1965 and ran until 1968, but for this new version, while we won’t see it until April, the pilot episode has already been shown 12 days ago on the International Space Station, for astronauts to view during their leisure time, courtesy of a Netflix/NASA link-up.

Synopsis:
Set 30 years in the future, colonisation in space is now a reality, and the Robinson family is among those tested and selected to make a new life for themselves in a better world. But when the new colonists find themselves abruptly torn off course en route to their new home they must forge new alliances and work together to survive in a dangerous alien environment, light-years from their original destination. Stranded along with the Robinsons are two outsiders who find themselves thrown together by circumstance and a mutual knack for deception. The unsettlingly charismatic Dr. Smith (Parker Posey) is a master manipulator with an inscrutable end game. And the roguish, but inadvertently charming Don West (Ignacio Serricchio) is a highly-skilled, blue collar contractor, who had no intention of joining the colony, let alone crash landing on a lost planet

In the teaser below, meet the Robinson Family, reflect on “Human History” on Earth and look ahead to the future of space travel in this date announcement video. Of course, by now, you already know the date, but it serves as an interesting teaser, showing off the cast. Below that, is the first full trailer as well as a new featurette!

Cast:
Dr. Smith: Parker Posey
John Robinson: Toby Stephens
Judy Robinson: Taylor Russell
Penny Robinson: Mina Sundwall
Will Robinson: Max Jenkins
Maureen Robinson: Molly Parker
Don West: Ignacio Serricchio

Check out the pics (all of which can be clicked on for the full-size version, as well as the one at the top) and also visit the official website: netflix.com/lostinspace












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