Lost in Space reboot launches April 13

DeepIn2U

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I happened to catch this the other day while I was looking at something different. This was one of my favorite shows as a kid, and the only show my parents let me stay up for. I wanted to be Penny and marry Will.

I can't wait!
Pershaps you can shed light on the original story for those of us slightly younger and missed the appeal, please? Honestly.

The movie that debuted last decade with that Matt guy from "Friends" TV show wasn't too bad how it started out. I think it was lame those little space roaches where the biggest issue and that annoying kid with the cool parachute pants remote controlled a very HORRIBLE old robot design. I'm just thankful this is not a earth like designed robot with some sort of garbage AI.

IF they sell the robot as an alien intelligence - not an alien sent AI they'll have something good. But some AI will just kill the appeal ... for me to be honest. The more interesting part is how deeper into the 'evolved' human psyche will be explored (I'm hoping for advances that BSG did vs the original runs of BattleStar Galactica when I was young).
 

AlliFlowers

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Pershaps you can shed light on the original story for those of us slightly younger and missed the appeal, please? Honestly.

The movie that debuted last decade with that Matt guy from "Friends" TV show wasn't too bad how it started out. I think it was lame those little space roaches where the biggest issue and that annoying kid with the cool parachute pants remote controlled a very HORRIBLE old robot design. I'm just thankful this is not a earth like designed robot with some sort of garbage AI.

IF they sell the robot as an alien intelligence - not an alien sent AI they'll have something good. But some AI will just kill the appeal ... for me to be honest. The more interesting part is how deeper into the 'evolved' human psyche will be explored (I'm hoping for advances that BSG did vs the original runs of BattleStar Galactica when I was young).
You have to understand that back when the original show aired, we didn't have CGI or any of the special effects that make movies great today. Kind of like the original Star Trek. It was science fiction, and we loved what we got. Didn't even think of it as cheesy.

The two favorite characters, IMO, are the Robot and Dr. Smith. Smith was a bad guy with a heart. The Robot was a strong nanny. You knew that the Robot would get them out of any real trouble that Smith got them into, and Smith would always get them into trouble.
 

D.T.

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Pershaps you can shed light on the original story for those of us slightly younger and missed the appeal, please? Honestly.

The movie that debuted last decade with that Matt guy from "Friends" TV show wasn't too bad how it started out. I think it was lame those little space roaches where the biggest issue and that annoying kid with the cool parachute pants remote controlled a very HORRIBLE old robot design. I'm just thankful this is not a earth like designed robot with some sort of garbage AI.

IF they sell the robot as an alien intelligence - not an alien sent AI they'll have something good. But some AI will just kill the appeal ... for me to be honest. The more interesting part is how deeper into the 'evolved' human psyche will be explored (I'm hoping for advances that BSG did vs the original runs of BattleStar Galactica when I was young).
@AlliFlowers already answered, and she touched on an important point: you really have to think about it in the context of when it was made. The show premiered in 1965, 4 years before we landed on the moon, the Jupiter 2 was supposed to have launched in 1997 (21 years ago ...)

It speculated on space exploration, computers, robotics (and AI), alien life which were all so unknown at the time, and put it into an identifiable family package with simple plots. Obv. we're still in the dark in 2018 about much of the same, but we've become so much more educated and exposed to things like space flight, computers, etc.

The first season was way more serious, it was also B&W which gave it (even today) a generally darker, scarier tone (and helped to cover some of the - by today's standards - budget F/X).
 

Plutonius

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@AlliFlowers already answered, and she touched on an important point: you really have to think about it in the context of when it was made. The show premiered in 1965, 4 years before we landed on the moon, the Jupiter 2 was supposed to have launched in 1997 (21 years ago ...)

It speculated on space exploration, computers, robotics (and AI), alien life which were all so unknown at the time, and put it into an identifiable family package with simple plots. Obv. we're still in the dark in 2018 about much of the same, but we've become so much more educated and exposed to things like space flight, computers, etc.

The first season was way more serious, it was also B&W which gave it (even today) a generally darker, scarier tone (and helped to cover some of the - by today's standards - budget F/X).
The first season was serious and somewhat dark.

Dr. Smith changed personalities between the first and subsequent seasons (I enjoyed his character much more in the first season).

Irwin Allen also produced the TV series "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" about the same time. It was also black and white in the first seasons and was much more serious and dark. An interesting trivia is that the two shows shared some costumes and equipment while they were filming.

If you like how Lost in Space pressed the boundaries of television SCI FI, Check out the 1956 movie "Forbidden Planet". Many of the ideas that eventually found themselves in TV SCI FI originated from this movie. The robot in Lost in Space was patterned after the Forbidden Planet robot. Forbidden Planet is also an excellent movie.
 
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Thomas Veil

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The first and best season took place only a few years after John Glenn went into space. (That’s why their spacesuits were silver like his.)

99A420DA-6BD0-4C40-96DE-31898606307B.jpeg

It was also a time of “firsts”...first American into space, first man to orbit Earth (not the same thing), etc. That’s why the Robinsons were launched alone (as opposed to in a group with other families). They were to be the first to see if the planet orbiting Alpha Centauri was actually habitable. Then many others would follow.

Speaking of firsts, the Russians had actually put a man into space first, which sort of freaked some of us out. Ceding technical superiority to the Commies was not an option. (Dr. Smith’s sabotage was based on this “space race”.)

A last bit of context: people were worried about overpopulation, which was the impetus for finding another planet.

The robot originally was pretty utilitarian. It didn’t have a personality because it’s purpose was to test the atmosphere of the new world. This worked better than it sounds because the robot/Smith relationship somewhat resembled the Spock/McCoy pairing — one being very logical and literal, and the other emotional and grouchy. (It also allowed Smith to corrupt the robot’s programming and turn it briefly into a major threat.)

Finally, Smith was evil. Heartlessly killing children evil. He never succeeded, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. He was, frankly, a bastard. And I preferred him that way as opposed to the ninny he became.

One of the other things I loved about the show was the Jupiter 2 interior. You could look at every angle of the upper deck and identify the inertial navigation system, flight recorder, storage, ladder, elevator, reactor core, stasis tubes, viewport and flight controls (actual Burroughs computers), radio, weapons rack, and airlock. It really was like seeing the space program forty years into the future.

Too bad it (and “2001”’s space station and moon base) are still as far off as they ever were.
 

Thomas Veil

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Well, the first reviews are in, from NBC, Ars Technica, Indiewire, The Guardian, Vox, etc. And they are largely…mixed.

I have to say, I feel the same way about it. So far.

It’s clearly not a bad show, but when it was announced that the writers would be Matt Sazama and Buck Sharpless, I was apprehensive. I’d seen two of their previous projects, “The Last Witch Hunter” and “Dracula Untold” — movies which were a way to kill a couple of hours, but weren’t exactly on the top of anybody’s must-see list.

Still, I figured the format is so good, how badly could they screw it up?

Where to begin?

I hate the flashback-y, non-linear storytelling style. It grated on me on shows like Lost, and I don’t like it much better here. Wouldn’t it be better if we knew what these characters’ relationship problems were ahead of time (on Earth), and then saw how those problems played out when they’re involved in a crisis in space? Doing flashbacks smacks too much of one of those times when you try to tell a long joke, and then have to go back and add a detail you missed so people will get the punchline. Ugh.

The original series spent its first act building up to the lift-off, established the damage to the ship and the family-vs.-Smith antagonistic relationship, followed up with a first encounter, and didn’t tell the story of the crash landing until the third episode. Here, the crash landing happens in the first ten minutes. Way to peak too early, guys.

Neither did I quite buy the reason the Jupiter families left Earth. Uh, we may be in some deep climate $#!+ in less than a century. You don’t need to being in an external threat. It just feels like something needlessly borrowed from another movie.

A saving grace is that the character relationships are quite good, especially among the family. The best, most dramatic scene so far (I’ve seen two hours) was when Will was left alone in the forest, with something making scary noises around him…and he started sobbing. Little Maxwell Jenkins really sold that scene. I felt horrible for the kid.

And I do like that the female family members are given something to do other than make dinner and tend the garden. Finally.

But in other places, there are lapses in logic that just make you wonder. Okay, we’ve all seen snow-capped mountains around cities…but the Robinsons land in an arctic tundra, and a short distance away there’s a valley with a temperate forest? Really?

The robot…meh.

I think what bugs me the most is that you talk to almost any LIS fan, and they’ll tell you that the first original series episodes in particular were dynamite. I’d kind of hoped the writers here would recognize that, and just retell and elaborate on that story, and then take it in new directions from there. That strategy worked very well for Battlestar Galactica.

I’ve only seen the first two episodes so far, but I’m hoping Lost in Space will improve.
 

MacDawg

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I just finished watching the first 2 episodes as well, and I echo the above.
My first impression of episode 1 was, dang I hope episode 2 tells a story and not one crisis after another.

I like the characters ok so far, and I still have hope it will improve in the story telling.
I want to be invested in the characters and their relationships and the dynamic of being, well, lost in space.

I too, remember the original well, and while I don't think they need to adhere strictly to the story, I do want a story.
I'm hoping episode 3 brings things together with the backstory and the current drama.
 

Thomas Veil

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Just watched episode 3, and the show takes a pretty good leap in quality.

Spoiler-free evaluation: there are some really good character moments, and it ends with a very satisfying climax (backed by the season 3 theme, no less). Things look like they’re starting to come together.

And yes, the true level of “Dr. Smith”’s sociopathy is emerging...and she’s a ****ing lunatic.
 

BernyMac

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And yes, the true level of “Dr. Smith”’s sociopathy is emerging...and she’s a ****ing lunatic.
I loathed the original series' Dr Smith! This new one is on a different level. But she seems inconsistent. She went from petty crimes to mad genius (it seems or is it just my perception?)
 

DeepIn2U

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I just finished watching the first 2 episodes as well, and I echo the above.
My first impression of episode 1 was, dang I hope episode 2 tells a story and not one crisis after another.

I like the characters ok so far, and I still have hope it will improve in the story telling.
I want to be invested in the characters and their relationships and the dynamic of being, well, lost in space.

I too, remember the original well, and while I don't think they need to adhere strictly to the story, I do want a story.
I'm hoping episode 3 brings things together with the backstory and the current drama.
Like you and others I’ve watched the first two episodes of this Netflix release of LIS.

First episode almost “lost” me at the scene when the mother just suddenly stated “this is unlike any other planet we’ve seen” after glancing at a laptop for 5 seconds. I’m like ‘you guys just crash landed on this planet for mins’ how can you know anything about this planet to make such an assumption?!?

I prayed this wasn’t going to be like the original Star Trek (and many others like it) where mumble numble is apple suddenly with no meaningful stimulus or cause and the audience is just supposed to accept it. My prayer was answered that never happened again so I’m hopeful.

Development of the characters seems a bit rushed although the actress playing the movie is an old hat at that role (very family personality in her other mother roles), and the danger of the older sister cause post traumatic stress syndrome is also a given. The change in personality for the younger sister so suddenly ... doesn’t sit well with me but I have a feeling she’ll be the 20% comic relief in the series. We’ll be seeing a LOT more of that actress in future heroine movies mark my words.
 

BernyMac

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We finished the series, and some things that are annoying:
They are in an unknown planet and only sticks to protect themselves (given that they are heading to a "known" planet, but I still refuse to believe that the writers made it convenient that there are "zero" problems with predators existing.
People making constantly bad decisions...one after another
Zero communication skills...skills that would have mitigated a LOT of problems
 

Plutonius

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People making constantly bad decisions...one after another
Zero communication skills...skills that would have mitigated a LOT of problems
I hope episode 2 tells a story and not one crisis after another.
Sounds like the Walking Dead.

Poor communications, bad decisions, and one crisis after another. All as they need is lots of gratuitous violence and I'm sure it will be a hit show /S.
 

MacDawg

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I'm through 4 episodes now, and I like it well enough to continue
They do constantly make stupid decisions and fail to communicate obviously important information

But, it is TV show :)
And I don't expect that much honestly, just to be entertained for a bit
And so far it has done that
 

Thomas Veil

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So I just finished the first season, and here are my thoughts:

For those who haven't seen it yet or only saw a few episodes...the series as a whole can be described as a hybrid of Lost (the ABC show), "The Martian", 24 and The X Files.
  • Lost, because it features a large number of castaways and the interaction between them.
  • "The Martian", because to survive they jury-rig more things than McGuyver. There's even a variation on Matt Damon's $#!+ potatoes.
  • 24, because the writers just pile crises on top of crises. This makes for very intense, riveting episodes, but honestly, it is exhausting. These people don't get any downtime because they're in mortal peril virtually every minute.
  • The X Files, because there's some sort of conspiracy here. I won't be a spoiler and say what it's about.
While the plot is not totally implausible, the writers inflict an almost sadistic number of disasters on the Robinsons. Imagine experiencing all the perils from the Indiana Jones movies, at twice the intensity, consecutively. Yeah, it's like that.

The good part is that the character moments are wonderful. There's a moment between John and Maureen at the end of episode 7 that's actually hilarious and serves as a tension release.

Don is one of my favorite characters. He's that "charming rogue" kind of guy. Penny is the best comedy relief in the show and gets the best one-liners. And I already mentioned Maxwell Jenkins as Will.
 

AlliFlowers

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Irwin Allen also produced the TV series "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" about the same time. It was also black and white in the first seasons and was much more serious and dark. An interesting trivia is that the two shows shared some costumes and equipment while they were filming.
I haven't watched yet. But Voyage was also one of my favorites, along with Time Tunnel. I'm looking forward to sitting down and watching eventually.
 

D.T.

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First episode almost “lost” me at the scene when the mother just suddenly stated “this is unlike any other planet we’ve seen” after glancing at a laptop for 5 seconds. I’m like ‘you guys just crash landed on this planet for mins’ how can you know anything about this planet to make such an assumption?!?
Hahaha, well, that's extraordinarily nit picky :) Maybe the instrumentation running in the ship collected and synced data to their computers - and the latter built a simple model of the planet with a few key attributes that allows a simple, high level comparison vs. known planets.

If you get into _that_ much scrutiny you won't be able to enjoy anything outside of documentaries (and maybe not even those)! :D
 

Plutonius

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Hahaha, well, that's extraordinarily nit picky :) Maybe the instrumentation running in the ship collected and synced data to their computers - and the latter built a simple model of the planet with a few key attributes that allows a simple, high level comparison vs. known planets.

If you get into _that_ much scrutiny you won't be able to enjoy anything outside of documentaries (and maybe not even those)! :D
I'm not sure he was being nit picky. My take was that he didn't feel the acting was realistic in that they were not too concerned with what was around them.
 

D.T.

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I'm not sure he was being nit picky. My take was that he didn't feel the acting was realistic in that they were not too concerned with what was around them.
Hmm, I don't know what the actual intent was (maybe it's what you're suggesting ...), but clearly, the part of the post I quoted doesn't sound like assessment of the acting, but like an analysis of the validity (in the context of the show's science) of assessing the attributes of a planet they just landed on[?]
 

Plutonius

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Hmm, I don't know what the actual intent was (maybe it's what you're suggesting ...), but clearly, the part of the post I quoted doesn't sound like assessment of the acting, but like an analysis of the validity (in the context of the show's science) of assessing the attributes of a planet they just landed on[?]
I would agree with you if his complaint was with how easy it was to scan the area.

Likewise, if it was a comment on the acting, I would agree with him (i.e. unrealistic response).
 
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MacDawg

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So I just finished the first season, and here are my thoughts:

For those who haven't seen it yet or only saw a few episodes...the series as a whole can be described as a hybrid of Lost (the ABC show), "The Martian", 24 and The X Files.
  • Lost, because it features a large number of castaways and the interaction between them.
  • "The Martian", because to survive they jury-rig more things than McGuyver. There's even a variation on Matt Damon's $#!+ potatoes.
  • 24, because the writers just pile crises on top of crises. This makes for very intense, riveting episodes, but honestly, it is exhausting. These people don't get any downtime because they're in mortal peril virtually every minute.
  • The X Files, because there's some sort of conspiracy here. I won't be a spoiler and say what it's about.
While the plot is not totally implausible, the writers inflict an almost sadistic number of disasters on the Robinsons. Imagine experiencing all the perils from the Indiana Jones movies, at twice the intensity, consecutively. Yeah, it's like that.

The good part is that the character moments are wonderful. There's a moment between John and Maureen at the end of episode 7 that's actually hilarious and serves as a tension release.

Don is one of my favorite characters. He's that "charming rogue" kind of guy. Penny is the best comedy relief in the show and gets the best one-liners. And I already mentioned Maxwell Jenkins as Will.
I haven't finished the season yet, but I agree with your assessments and character analysis
I have been entertained, and that's the overall goal I suppose

I could do with a breath here or there from the constant imminent catastrophes that are relentlessly dogging them
It really is exhausting

I find myself saying, "well that's just stupid, why did they do that?"
Or, "hello, don't you think it would be wise to tell somebody about that?"

That said, I don't hate it
I don't love it
But I can watch it
:)
 

DeepIn2U

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Hahaha, well, that's extraordinarily nit picky :) Maybe the instrumentation running in the ship collected and synced data to their computers - and the latter built a simple model of the planet with a few key attributes that allows a simple, high level comparison vs. known planets.

If you get into _that_ much scrutiny you won't be able to enjoy anything outside of documentaries (and maybe not even those)! :D

Oh no it wasn’t knit picky at all it was just so obvious and blatant to my mind I was like “come on”. The worst was nothing was shown for the character to come up with that so it was like an alarm. The show progressively got a lot better though. Will continue past episode 2 tomorrow night
 

Thomas Veil

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This is as good of a review as you'll read anywhere, it's just spot on. Thanks for getting my thoughts into a post :D
You’re quite welcome.

I’ve been struggling for a shorter, more succinct answer when other people ask me, “How was it?” I’ve settled on, “Better than the worst episodes of the original, but not nearly as good as the best.”

The other realization I’ve come to: the most faithful adaptation so far has been, God help us, the 1998 movie.