Netflix Blasts Off With ‘Lost In Space’

Following the success of ABC’s Rosanne revival, Netflix today launched its reboot of the 1960s sci-fi drama Lost In Space.

The series, like its 1960s predecessor, follows the exploits of the Robinsons, a family chosen to explore potentially habitable planets in space as Earth becomes rapidly inhabitable. When an unforeseen accident occurs during their travels, the family is catapulted of course toward an unknown planet.

While the premiere episode sets the stage for the Robinsons’ ultimate space adventure, it provides flashbacks to show how they arrived at this setting. It also reveals other survivors, including a mischievous and deceiving Doctor Smith (Parker Posey) who will play a major role in future episodes.

Netflix’s version of the series features high-quality special effects, high drama and a sleeker, more daunting-looking and technologically-advanced robot than the cheesy model in the original series.

But ultimately the strength and appeal of Lost In Space revolves around the exploits of the Robinson’s nuclear family – parents John (Toby Stephens) and Maureen (Molly Parker) Robinson and siblings Judy (Taylor Russell), Penny (Mina Sundwall) and Will (Maxwell Jenkins).

They certainly are not the perfect family – John and Maureen were headed for divorce prior to the trip, a subtle, sibling rivalry exists between the two daughters and Will has insecurity issues – but when push comes to shove the family shelves their issues and unites around each other. The series emphasizes family unity under the duress of a crisis.

Fans of the original Lost In Space will find tidbits within Netflix’s version that they can hold on to -- including the famous “Danger, Will Robinson” line uttered by the robot -- but younger viewers who’ve never heard of the series will find enough intrigue, action and drama to enjoy binge-viewing the 10-episode drama. 

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.