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“Lost in Space” Reboot Stuns

Jacob Mulick

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Good science fiction is hard to come by these days, which is why “Lost in Space,” the new Netflix original series, comes as a pleasant surprise.

The reboot features a similar setup to the original 1965 series as a family of five, the Robinsons, become trapped on an alien planet after their ship mysteriously crashes. The similarities end here, as the reboot takes a far more action-packed route than the original. Soon after crashing, the Robinsons face freezing temperatures, giant alien worms, a mysterious robot and a massive super-storm all within the space of a few episodes. And as if that weren’t enough, family drama pits mom Maureen Robinson (played by Molly Parker) against marine veteran dad John Robinson (Toby Stephens) as they struggle to keep their family, and their relationship, intact for the sake of survival.

If this feels like a lot, that’s because it is. The show launches at the breakneck pace of a speeding rocket and does not look back. Interspersed throughout the many perils the family faces, are flashbacks that delve deep into the character’s backstories and provide rich depth to each character. The Robinsons are not the only characters that the show focuses on—Dr. Smith (Parker Posey), the mysterious psychopath taken in by the Robinsons and Don West (Ignacio Serricchio), the cocky engineer, are two other characters that play important roles throughout the series. Between the Robinsons’ adventures, the mysterious motivations of Dr. Smith and the humorous exploits of Don West, the show has more than enough material to hold the audience’s attention and leave them thirsty for more.

Part of what makes the adventures so exciting is an excellently judicious use of special effects and CGI throughout the series. The spaceships look so real it is easy to get lost in the story without the distraction of “That looks so fake!” constantly rearing it’s ugly head. Not only are the props believable, but so is the scenery; the planet features earth-like vegetation and landscaping, but with the odd rock formation or strange purple grass reminding us that yes, we are definitely no longer on Earth.

While a great story is a large part of what makes a show good, the characters still have to feel real and believable. This is easily accomplished in “Lost in Space.” Especially good is Maxwell Jenkins, who plays the youngest of the Robinsons, Will. His performance is just what one would expect of a brilliant but confused eleven-year-old boy who’s world has been turned completely upside down. The other two Robinsons, calm and confident Judy (Taylor Russel) and hotheaded Penny, (Mina Sundwall) have such a strong rivalry that it’s hard to tell that the actors aren’t really siblings. Also brilliant is Parker Posey as Dr. Smith, who plays the character with such an uneasy creepiness that it’s easy to find her unlikable in the best way.

One thing that the “Lost in Space” reboot shares with the original show is the value of family. The Robinsons present a strong example of a family that, although they have problems just like any other, still deeply love one another and would do anything to keep each other safe. Although making Judy a different race from the rest of the family may seem like a controversial move, it speaks to the modern family makeup and promotes inclusiveness as she is as much a part of the family as the others. Overall, the show features a strong message of inclusiveness, family and trust and setting aside differences to work for a common goal.

As a family sci-fi series, “Lost in Space” shines. The show features fantastic special effects, great acting, a believable plot and a strong message that is refreshing to hear in an age of divisiveness. The creators of this show have obviously put a lot of work and love into the series, and it shows. I would recommend this show to anyone looking for a good sci-fi series, as it appeals to both long-time sci-fi fans and those new to the genre. I am excited to see where this series goes and hope that the it continues for seasons to come.

This show receives: 9/10.

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“Lost in Space” Reboot Stuns