Illustration by Grace Schafer-Perry
“Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!” Anyone who has watched the old 1960s TV show Lost in Space will be listening for those four magical words as they sit down to watch the remake, now streaming on Netflix. There is a new robot, and — spoiler alert — the iconic phrase shows up. However, it is not said for a while, and that’s good because Lost In Space has a lot in store for its viewer.
Lost In Space is about a family who, while on their way to a new colony in outer space, crashes onto an unfamiliar planet. It’s not a problem if you haven’t seen the original, because the new show uses many flashbacks to lay out the plot so the audience can understand the course of events with its storylines. The remake stays true to its roots, and fans of the original will find tons of Easter eggs to enjoy in the new version. On the other end of it, there are a lot of updates that make it a excellent show for the new audience or the ones who don’t enjoy sci-fi to the bone.
What the new show excels at particularly is the main family dynamic. In the old version, the spotlight was on Will and the robot. Will Robinson is still here and so is the robot but the remake gives every family member their own spotlight in one way or another. For example, the sisters, Penny and Judy, are quickly set up as opposing forces, with one being the head and the other being the heart. In the original, the sisters were not given much to do, but this modern touch-up allows the women to have a stronger storyline, much like their male counterparts. Another dynamic that works wonderfully is between the mom and dad. The show explores a couple that was once in love but isn’t anymore. They are getting divorced, but they have to work together to keep their kids and themselves alive. In the old show, the parents were happily married but this new dynamic shows that not all marriages run smoothly, which is very relatable. Besides this, the show twists the original storylines around so while a long-time fan can follow along, a new viewer can enjoy the show too. Finally, this show’s best quality is balance, which is rare for a TV show reboot because a lot of times, too much is changed or not enough is. However for Lost In Space, it has found its footing relatively quickly.
What really made this show even better than the original was that it didn’t portray its characters as one big happy family. The reboot takes an edgier tone and it works for this modern age. The characters have depth and arcs that not only drive the plot forward, but intertwine with other characters on the show. A show really thrives if the characters drive the plot and not the other way around. The original seemed to suffer from that more with the emphasis being on the new environment of space rather than the people. In contrast, this edition of Lost in Space makes sure that its focus is on the people — and on everybody, not just the men. This creates a sense of equality that the current industry is trying to achieve and Lost in Space is another step in the right direction towards gender representation in Hollywood.
Lost in Space is a sci-fi extravaganza and even if the audience doesn’t enjoy the genre, they can certainly enjoy the heart of the show. You can tune in for the robot, and also learn to love the sisters, mom and dad. Even Will Robinson seems to have gotten an upgrade — he’s still a little kid, but also smart and adventurous. This show adds another hit to Netflix’s stellar lineup. If you’re in need of a great show to watch, look no further than Lost In Space. It will certainly take you on a ride.