Netflix released the full trailer for Lost in Space, the reboot of the popular 1960s sci-fi TV series created by Irwin Allen. If it weren’t for the names of the characters and family, you’d think it was a completely different show.
Both shows follow the Robinson family as a nod to Daniel Defoe’s classic Robinson Crusoe. Both stories feature their main characters stranded in a remote area. Where Crusoe was stranded on an island, the Robinsons, a family of five, along with Maj. Don West find themselves stranded in space looking to survive in hopes to get home. As the family comes to, they discover a malfunction causes their ship to go off-course from their original mission to explore deep space. They also find a stowaway in Dr. Zachary Smith, who all the crew except Will, the youngest Robinson, suspects his motives.
The original cast starred Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Bill Mumy, Angela Cartwright and Jonathan Harris. The popularity for nostalgia led to an ill-fated 1998 feature with Gary Oldman, William Hurt, Matt LeBlanc, Mimi Rogers, and Heather Graham.
The 2018 reboot features a more ethnically diverse cast with Toby Stephens stepping into the role as the Robinson patriarch John, Molly Parker as his wife Maureen, Mina Sundwall as Penny, Taylor Russell as Judy, Max Jenkins as Will, Ignacio Serricchio as Don West and Parker Posey as the gender-flipped Dr. Smith.
The trailer features some differences from the original show. Aside from the more diverse cast, the Robot (originally voiced by Dick Tufeld in the Allen series and the film), which was a member of the crew on the show and the film, now appears to be a sentient alien Will meets and befriends. One of the major dynamics of the show was Will’s relationship with the Robot and Dr. Smith. Will was the only reason why the Robinsons allowed Smith to even stay.
The trailer doesn’t really reveal Smith’s conniving ways or even the bond she’ll likely establish with Will. It does foreshadow the relationship between Will and the robot offering a glimpse of the family relationship we come to love from the show.
A franchise like Lost in Space clearly does need to be build up on TV, because the disadvantage of the 1998 film it couldn’t overcome was that it didn’t have time to show the organic growth of the family. On the show, you could come to appreciate the dual-sided nature of Smith despite his initial nefarious intentions, he’s come to occasionally dabble into benevolence, something we never really saw in the film.
Given Netflix’s success in reviving other past franchises like Fuller House, GLOW, and Arrested Development, it could be interesting to see if the show can succeed in the 21st century where the film failed. Will we see any of the original cast members like Mumy make an appearance?