Lost in Space

PLEASE NOTE: ScienceFiction.com was given special early access to the first five episodes of ‘Lost in Space’ courtesy of Netflix.  Minor spoilers may lie in the review below, but all major plot-specific spoilers have been given their best attempt at being avoided.  Please proceed in reading this advance review with this knowledge and at your own risk!

The first episode of Netflix’s ‘Lost in Space’ reboot was, as we mentioned in our review, pretty high on the drama.  This second episode certainly doesn’t let up on the cosmic gas pedal, opening with another Jupiter-class vessel (these vessels are individually numbered and are essentially the escape/living pods for the families and colonists onboard the transport ship Resolute, with the Robinsons scoring the familiar designation of Jupiter 2) in a precarious position after it has crash-landed on the mysterious alien planet.

Now, if you’re like me, you’re going to want the series to provide answers to the big questions it posed to us in the last episode: why did the Resolute meet its fiery demise in the first place?  Exactly what – and where – is this strange alien planet that the Robinsons (and others) have crash-landed on?  How does the synthetic alien life-form that has strangely bonded with Will Robinson – the Robot, if you will – factor into all of this?  It appears that Netflix & company are taking more of a “slow burn” approach to answering these questions, which is completely fine – we’ve got 10 episodes in this season, after all, and it’s entirely possible that some of the mysteries may actually spill over into future seasons as well.  So, no real work on the “big picture” questions in this second episode.

What we do get, however, is a great opportunity to spend some time with the two non-Robinson main characters: Dr. Smith and Don West.  It’s no major spoiler to tell you that these two have been thrust together as victims of circumstance, but both characters are genuinely engaging and well worth spending some quality screen time on.  As the viewers, we certainly get the vibe that both of them have something (multiple somethings, probably) that they are hiding, or at minimum not being completely forthcoming about.

There are also a few more details revealed about this strange planet that the Jupiters have crash-landed on; most notably, it’s not a completely Hoth-like ice planet.  As hinted in the previous episode (and the trailers for the show), the Jupiter 2 has landed in the upper mountainous region, and there are plenty of other climate zones for our explorers to, um, explore.  Fans of the original series will be thrilled to see the Chariot return to action here in the reboot, although frustratingly for a few characters, some assembly is required!

The appearance of the Chariot isn’t the only callback to the classic series; as with the first episode, watchful fans will have the opportunity to use their Pause and Rewind buttons to comb over some of the finer details of the show and be rewarded with Easter Eggs here and there.  Pay particular attention to Don West and the characters he encounters in this episode, and you may just see if the character gets a case of cross-generational deja vu from one series to the other.

Aside from a few clunky acting moments and some awkward dialogue pacing that makes some observational-style jokes fall flat, this second episode keeps things moving along fairly well for ‘Lost in Space.’  While it has yet to firmly establish itself as “must-watch TV,” I still feel it’s trending well in the right direction.  We’ll be back tomorrow with a review of the next episode!

Lost in Space is a Netflix Original dramatic and modern reimagining of the classic 1960’s science fiction series. Set 30 years in the future, colonization in space is now a reality, and the Robinson family is among those tested and selected to make a new life for themselves in a better world. But when the new colonists find themselves abruptly torn off course en route to their new home they must forge new alliances and work together to survive in a dangerous alien environment, light-years from their original destination. Stranded along with the Robinsons are two outsiders who find themselves thrown together by circumstance and a mutual knack for deception. The unsettlingly charismatic Dr. Smith is a master manipulator with an inscrutable end game. And the roguish, but inadvertently charming Don West is a highly-skilled, blue collar contractor, who had no intention of joining the colony, let alone crash landing on a lost planet.

Lost in Space stars Toby Stephens as John Robinson, Molly Parker as Maureen Robinson, Parker Posey as Dr. Smith, Ignacio Serricchio as Don West, Taylor Russell as Judy Robinson, Mina Sundwall as Penny Robinson and Max Jenkins as Will Robinson.

The full first season of ‘Lost in Space’ will premiere on Netflix on Friday, April 13, 2017.