Netflix released the trailer for its upcoming Lost in Space remake. The original series, which premiered in 1965 and lasted for three years, was loosely based on the Swiss Family Robinson, but instead of being stranded on an island, this Robinson family found themselves aimlessly traveling through the galaxy trying to find their way back to Earth.
The show followed the adventures of the Robinsons, who according to Mental Floss were chosen to travel on a spacecraft called “The Jupiter 2” and colonize a planet in the Alpha Centauri star system. The Earth was becoming dangerously overpopulated, and the Robinsons were chosen among millions of candidates for the perilous mission in hopes to find a new habitable planet which could help solve the overpopulation crisis.
The family consisted of Professor John Robinson, his wife Dr. Maureen Robinson, and their three children, Judy, Penny, and Will. They were joined by Captain Don West, who was going to pilot the ship when they landed on their destination planet, and one B-9 environmental control robot, whom they referred to simply as “The Robot.”
Before they take off, Dr. Zachary Smith, a spy posing as a mission doctor, tries to sabotage the expedition by tampering with the robot, but he becomes trapped in the ship, becoming an unwilling stowaway. His weight causes the Jupiter 2 to veer off course, becoming lost in space.
During its first season the show had a somewhat serious tone, but starting in its second season it became campier, with episodes becoming whimsical and silly. The astronauts found themselves facing space pirates, entering intergalactic beauty contests, and even landing on a planet where they had to fight hostile vegetables. The series was canceled without reaching any resolution.
Throughout the years there have been attempts at a revival. According to the Retroist, in 1973 Hanna-Barbera produced a pilot for Lost in Space: The Animated Series, which it never sold. Then in 1998 Lost In Space, starring William Hurt, Matt LeBlanc, and Gary Oldman as Dr. Smith was released in theaters to mostly negative reviews, with Rotten Tomatoes giving it a score of only 27 percent.
Now Netflix is giving the show another chance at life, debuting its new version on April 13. Not a lot is known about the new series, except that it has the same premise — space family set to colonize a faraway planet is sabotaged by a stowaway and loses its way — but there’s a big twist: this time, Dr. Smith is a woman (played by Parker Posey). This alone will change much of the dynamic of the show. Having Smith — who even though on paper a supporting character, but in reality, took center stage in most episodes — be played by a woman is a welcome change. Let’s not forget that even though the original series was supposed to take place in the future, it pretty much reflected the mindset of the time in which it was filmed. This included the show’s sexist attitudes, where the women were not-too-bright and basically useless. Maureen, who was supposed to be a brilliant doctor, was reduced to do little more than cooking and saying, “Be careful, John.” Her 12-year-old son was chosen over her to carry weapons bigger than he was and go on dangerous missions, and if the adult men left without him, he was the one put in charge of the Jupiter 2.
In the reboot we can see the trailer is narrated by Maureen (Polly Parker). “Earth is our home, but only so long as it keeps us safe. When this world can no longer serve that purpose, another planet, another colony, another chance, the rest of human history begins — now.” It is good to see her introducing us to their world.
The trailer hints at a much darker, serious show. We only see the Robinsons as they enter the ship. We never get a glimpse of the robot, but we can hear it at the end, warning, “Danger, Will Robinson.”
Other actors in Lost in Space include Toby Stephens as John Robinson, Ignacio Serricchio as Don West, Taylor Russell as Judy Robinson, Mina Sundwall as Penny Robinson, and Maxwell Jenkins as Will Robinson.