Lost in Space – Season 1 Overall Review

Lost in Space S1

I took my time getting around to this Netflix series as it didn’t immediatly appeal, admittedly my knowledge of Lost in Space is limited to the Matt LeBlanc film from the 90s, so… Not really a surprise I didn’t jump straight in! Anyway, I ended up really enjoying the series! It took its time to get going, that’s for sure, but it really picked up in the latter stages and prooved itself worthy of a second season. So let’s take a closer look then!

Official Synopsis:

In the year 2048 the Robinson family is selected for the 24th mission of the Resolute, an interstellar spacecraft which will carry selected families to colonize a new world. Before they reach their destination, an alien robot breaches the Resolute’s hull. Some of the families are forced to evacuate the mothership in their short-range Jupiter spacecraft. The Robinsons and other colonists crash-land on a nearby habitable planet, where they battle the strange new environment and their own personal demons as they attempt to find a way back to the Resolute…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

Cast of Characters:

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Most of the lead cast… and the back of Will’s head.

John Robinson (Toby Stephens) – John and Maureen have been having marital trouble, so much so that John re-joined the army as a valid excuse to give them separation. That all changed, however, when the family needed to evacuate Earth…

Maureen Robinson (Molly Parker) – Maureen is a genius with technology and engineering, and helped the pioneering spacecrafts that saved humanity. That being said, her and her children weren’t guaranteed a place off Earth, and Maureen may have had to cut a few corners to help her family…

Will Robinson (Maxwell Jenkins) – Young Will actually failed his test and was refused entry onto the Resolute, not that he knew this due to his mother’s tampering…

Judy Robinson (Taylor Russell) – Judy is training to be a Doctor, but her studies have to be put on hold as her family are chosen to help colonise a far away world and leave the dying Earth behind… so a valid excuse, if there ever was one, to stop your studies…

Penny Robinson (Mina Sundwall) – Penny is your classic sarcastic teen, just starting to experience crushes on boys and all that jazz. Also is now taking off into space to help colonise a new world, which is of course another classic teenage rite of passage!

The Robot (Brian Steele) – A robot-like creature from an unknown alien race, it’s given the task of retrieving their race’s stolen engine that powers the Resolute…

June Harris / Dr. Smith (Parker Posey) – June is a schemer and a scammer, and when her sister is chosen to go off world and leave her behind, she tries the greatest scam of them all: pretend to be her sister and survive, even if that means leaving her own blood behind to die. Little did she know that that wouldn’t be the only identity she’d have to steal to live…

Don West (Ignacio Serricchio) – Don is a mechanic, judged worthy enough to help repair and maintain the Resolute and the Jupiter ships attached, but not worthy enough of actually landing in the new world…

Victor Dhar (Raza Jaffrey) – Victor was voted as the leader of the 24th mission, and as such he is in charge of directing everyone once they land… which may be more trouble than he thought going in…

and more!

The Good:

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The robot looks a little different than it did in the 60s… or the 90s, to be fair!

The key thing with a show like this is the family at the heart of it, and if they’re believable, and I’m happy to say that the Robinsons do interact really well, even Will is that rare good child actor, so it all works out. John and Maureen slowly falling back in love through a series of “we’re trapped in a life-threatening situation, so let’s forgive each other” scenes was really well plotted so it felt legit and natural, Judy was the straight act to Penny’s sarcasm, and like I said, Will wasn’t that bad, and made a good double act with The Robot.

Speaking of Mr. “Danger Will Robinson”, I like the twist that the robot was a hostile alien that brought down the ships in the first place, and how when Will saved it in the forest, it became loyal to the boy, even adapting its shape to better look humanoid. The survivors who actually saw the original alien kill a bunch of people all rightfully distrusting it was good drama too.

Dr. Smith, as she’s called even after her true nature was revealed, is good fun. Completely selfish, her slowly unveiled plan to get the Robot on her side was really fun to watch, and made you look forward to the day it backfired on her. In the end she actually saved John Robinson, which was a nice little “she’s not 100% evil, just used to being in it for herself” moment. Looking forward to seeing where her character goes.

Don West provides excellent comic relief as well, he was probably my favourite character in the end. He had the Han Solo roguish charm going for him (not that I’m saying he’s the next Harrison Ford or anything) and nailed his “sarcasm in the face of danger” role as well.

The main draw of the series when I watched the trailer was the visuals, and they didn’t disappoint! Much like I said in my review of The Expanse, it’s amazing what can be done on TV nowadays, it puts a lot of big box office films to shame. Large alien vistas, alien creatures and plants, and lots of great spaceship shots. Lovely.

Finally the actual story, the Robinsons and a bunch of other families stranded on a alien planet far from home and struggling to survive long enough to reach the Resolute and find their way back, is really well done. There are dangerous walks through snow, forests and deserts, people trapped, people dying, people trapped and dying, and a good “don’t make a sound and wake the monsters” tense scene in a cave during Episode 9. It starts off really slow, but you end up loving it. The Episode 8 cliffhanger, where it looks like John Robinson and Don West are killed in a fiery ship explosion, was great as well. I didn’t actually think they were dead (who’d kill both a lead character and the top comic relief in Season 1 Episode 8?) but it was fun to find out how they’d survive.

Speaking of cliffhangers, The Robinsons, Dr. Smith and Don are suddenly transported away to a star system that the Robot had drawn in the past and described as “Danger”, so it looks like Season 2 will be the more traditional Robinsons and Smith stranded only (with Don), at least to begin with, in an even more hostile place… Looking forward to it!

The Bad:

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I like the design of the Resolute. Can’t say if it looks different from how it did in the past, if it even featured in the other versions!

Episode 1 is full of plenty of drama, but it then gets very slow and basic for a while, until picking up some time after Episode 5. It happens a lot with these “all episodes released at once” Netflix shows, but not all of use binge more than two episodes a night…

Although I like that he turned it around and became a good guy in the very end, Victor Dhar was a very old fashioned British baddie, and very one-dimensional. Like I said, in the end he’d held off the Resolute’s departure to pick up the Robinsons, so he did change his tune, but still…

Overall Thoughts:

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Oh yeah, the land vehicles looked good too. Very “near-future”.

Overall a really fun series! It kept a family friendly vibe while still bringing the drama and the humour. It looked stunning and the cast are all really good, so it’s hard to knock it too much, though I still don’t think it’s quite 5/5. Still, it’s a high 4, and I’m really looking forward to the next bunch of episodes, whenever that ends up being.

4 Star Watch

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