Lost in Space

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Lost in space is a brilliant idea that has been done twice, both times deeply flawed, but it still remains a great idea.

The reason this is a great idea is because it places a group of people with sufficient internal conflict to be in a story, in a context where the writers can do pretty much anything they want. Star Trek, of course, did the same thing, with their voyage to wherever the writers imagine scenario.

The first Lost in Space had the misfortune of being produced at a time when All Television Sucked. If you want to see how bad things can really get, have a look at the original pilot.

This was made in the days where pilots were pilots, typically not shown to the general public. So they were sometimes made on the cheap, or in other ways flawed. The first episode or two use the hour long pilot’s plot and modified script, and IIRC many of the scenes.

The second lost in space was a mediocre movie with a premise that should be re-shot and edited. In this version, the to-be-lost-in-space family have to leave earth because a global recycling program that had been put in place years earlier had a small miscalculation that added up, unnoticed, over time, with the ultimate result of destroying the environment. Obviously, the re-write would use global warming.

Mediocre as a movie, in many ways, but taking full advantage of modern effects. And a number of good scenes.

Anyway, all that is behind us now. Netflix is making “Lost In Space” staring Molly Parker, Toby Stephens, and Max Jenkins. Have a look:

It is a series. Looks excellent. The robot is a major upgrade!

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21 thoughts on “Lost in Space

  1. There was also a comic book of Lost in Space (late 60s, I believe). It probably wasn’t all that good but the kid me ate it up — just like I did the TV show.

    I’m looking forward to the new version.

  2. There was also the 1973 series The Starlost, starring Keir Dullea of 2001 fame. Created by Harlan Ellison, it is described as “A group of humans must explore a vast starship in order to find the controls to save it from destruction.”

    Then, Stargate: Universe (2009-2011) gave us much the same scenario.

  3. I do not remember the name of the series — it wasn’t on long, in the early 80s. The premise was that in the future space exploration was a risky business and a mysterious group of aliens was intercepting ships, killing or kidnapping the crews, and stealing the shipments. The series followed a “police force” tasked with countering the aliens and investigating their origin.

    One of my favorite lines (because I am now and always have been a fan of bad jokes and puns) was this: The police had boarded a recently hijacked freighter and were looking for information. They had with them the stereotypical nerdy scientist. One sergeant was tasked with protecting him. The line:

    “Okay doc, come with me and stick on my butt like week-old underwear.”

    You don’t see writing like that very often.

    1. Er; with respect thats some pretty ordinary script in my opinion. Unlikely to raise a laugh with Australian audiences, who have been very spoiled with amazing scripts from poms.
      What country made the show? Do you remember?
      Have you seen Blackadder ( especially WW1 episodes) ? Are you being served? Mrs Bucket? Father Ted? Or, in a scifi vein, Red dwarf?
      Theres zero chance such a line would make a draft of a script of Till death do us part or Yes, Minister. The writing in both is sublime.
      Pretty much the best scripts from yanks ive seen are all from Seinfeld or Married with children, ( Marcies lines in particular). Some under rated stuff in Roger Ramjet too.
      Trailer park boys from Canada beats all american stuff easily for funny dialogue, but then the caliber of acting in Trailer park boys would make even a shoddy script shine.
      Might be a cultural thing. Some Cambodian born colleagues were pissing themselves over a joke that i found very passe.

  4. … with respect thats some pretty ordinary script

    I think you missed the part of my comment where I said this:

    because I am now and always have been a fan of bad jokes and puns,

    so I never said it was witty, only that it fit my (admittedly low) standard for cheap lines.

    Not sure if it was Star Cops.

    1. Ah, gotcha. Sorry bout the misunderstanding. You might like this.
      How come its hard to find aspirin in the bush?

      Cuz the parrots eat em all.

  5. Took a break from work (while a project for a class was training) and watched Episode 1. Not outstanding but I still enjoyed it. Interesting changes in terms of family structure and dynamics from the original. Looks really good too.

    I’m an outlier in this next regard: I have never heard of any of the actors in the show, but so far I think they’re well cast.

  6. I am enjoying the new version of Lost in Space, at lease I was up until e4of S1 where for some Bizarre and unknown reason, an edit occurs that completely destroys the continuity of how the Family Robinson find and rescue the two remaining characters that Dr. Smith left to die out in the diamond storm in e3. At one moment , as a viewer, we were travelling down a road, exploring I suppose the area, and then bang, an edit and we are now back in the Jupiter, having not only found and rescued the two, but that, they are now an integral part of the team. Why this edit and how did we get here? Not good , , not good at all…

  7. I never heard of Star Cops; it sounds interesting — and it gets a rating of 7.5 from IMDB users.

    I do have one quibble: one of the characters is named Anna Shoun. That’s an odd name for a Japanese woman. Maybe the writers wanted to be unconventional.


  8. Could Dr Smith be any uglier? She looks like a burn victim. I would sure hate to be her in real life and have to look at that ugly face in the mirror every day.

  9. The original Lost in space had a unique charm to it. The reboot benefits from higher production values, however, some of the situations and characters are a bit cliche. The two most interesting characters are the new robot and Dr. Smith.

  10. As a huge fan of Science Fiction & Star Trek in every era including the alternate time line with Chris Pine, & a Star Wars fan (no comment on Episodes I, II & III). I love this reincarnation of Lost in Space. Yes there are some edits that botch the story line & leave you scratching your head. But the actors are great! The young Robinsons are played by amazing young actors! The special effects are terrific & the first season was awesome! It was just the first season. I didn’t care for Parker Posey at first but after a third viewing I like her. A female Dr. Smith at least doesn’t whine & simper as Jonathan Harris in the first TV show. It seems very possible that it will get better. We so seldom get a Sci Fi series for TV with the caliber of writing, effects & performers that I am surprised at all the negative reviews. What do you expect for a first season of a great Sci Fi TV show?

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