Lost in Space (2018)

Worked my way through this on Netflix over the weekend and, for the most part, I rather enjoyed it. Was a fairly effective way of re-envisioning the series. When I saw the initial trailer, I sighed – they race-swapped the eldest Robinson, Judy, and gender-bent Dr. Smith, so I was expecting more SJW-type nonsense (e.g., “Hey, let’s make Penny, the middle kid, gay!” or something like that.) Fortunately, the Judy & Smith changes were pretty much where it stopped.

And speaking of Smith, I have to give props to the writing, directing, and Parker Posey’s acting because I quickly grew to despise this take on Smith. If I was one of the adults in this mess – say, John Robinson, the dad, who is either a marine or a Navy SEAL (because of course he is) – there is no way Smith would show up in season 2. She would have a tragic accident in the airlock that “sadly” claimed her life. If anyone called me on this thin story, I’d probably shrug and admit that I might have helped out but that it was for the best because Smith seemed utterly incapable of interacting with anyone and not stabbing them in the back. She was most definitely the scorpion on the frog’s back and it is stupidity of the highest magnitude to not remove her from the equation to maximize your family’s survival.

The race-swap with Judy was actually surprisingly well done. She is Maureen’s daughter from a previous relationship (unsure whether its by marriage or just an oops) who had already been born when John entered the equation, but she sees him as her dad and vice versa. They even did a nice little quick explanation at one point when Don West gave her when she mentioned ‘her dad.’

Speaking of West, he was definitely one of my favorite characters because he was the Everyman and something of a snarkmaster. He wasn’t anywhere near as snark as Penny, but still, he he managed to be both comedic at times without be comedy relief.

The backdrop of this season is that the Robinsons are part of the 24th mission to the Alpha Centauri colony. We open in media res with their Jupiter crashing on a planet and then get information about how they got her via various flashbacks, which works well enough as a narrative device. The colony ship itself was attacked which led to the crash landing of many Jupiters, and eventually, we learn that the Robot (which show up later on) is what attack and is an alien. Straight away, we learn that Smith isn’t her name – she totally nicks the ID during evacuation from the real Dr. Smith as he lay there wounded; funny bit of stunt casting there as the real Smith was played by Bill Mumy who played Will Robinson in the original show. The bulk of the season is the crew trying to survive as this planet tries to kill them (and the rest of the surviving Jupiter crews), but we end the season on a cliffhanger with the Jupiter 2 crew (including Smith who absolutely needs to get blown out the airlock at this point) truly “Lost in Space…”

So yeah. I’m certainly looking forward to season 2.