Netflix Gets Lost in Space

Though a dynamic and eye-catching adventure with some fine acting sprinkled in, Netflix’ reboot of Lost in Space just doesn’t quite grab me. Though I’m interested enough to “tune in” again next season, I don’t think its because of the gripping plot-line. Maybe its because I’m secretly hoping it becomes more like the original? Well, maybe not. I don’t think I want Will and Penny batting talking carrots. I am definitely hoping it becomes more about character development and less about a bunch of calamities being thrown at the Robinsons (crashing, being frozen in ice, hit by storms, etc.).

In some ways there are interesting parallels with the original. For instance, as with the original, the planet they land on has an extreme orbit that’s going to endanger them. There’s an amok robot; though here he’s of alien origin. There’s a craven,manipulative Dr. Smith, though here, Dr. Smith is a woman, and also not really named Dr. Smith!

I did appreciate the various homages to the original sprinkled in, such as the cameo by Bill Mumy (who played the original Will Robinson). The opening credits feature a view of a family watching the first moon landing, and views of space shuttle launches, all views from the life of a late middle-ager like myself, and not a younger viewer searching around for new sci fi.

There’s also a bit of accurate physics (such as lack of gravity in most of the right situations), but also some that strains credulity (such as trying to lift a Jupiter ship from tilting over a ledge by hooking tow-line to two trucks. Seems to me like they wouldn’t quite have the power to do that). Also, I am not sure why they went with the choice of Jupiter’s only using rocket fuel (and not nuclear energy, etc.), but I guess its the much larger Resolute craft that’s taking them across stellar distances, and so maybe Jupiter’s are only expected to launch from and land on planetary surfaces, each from or to a low orbit.

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