Saturday, June 02, 2018

Lost In Space (2018) (Season 1)

It seems almost pointless to do a remake in some cases.  If you stick too close to the original, the audience might as well go watch the original.  If you deviate too far, the remake becomes on in name only.  It seems like you might not be able to win.  I’ve found that the only time I can really enjoy a remake is if I’ve never seen the original.  Such is the case with Netflix’s Lost in Space.

The original ran from 1965-1968, which was about a decade before my time.  The new version borrows elements that you might expect, such as having a family named Robinson stranded on a planet while in transit to Alpha Centauri.  In the reboot, a large group is going to our nearest stellar neighbor, so the Robinsons aren’t exactly alone in being lost.

How is it, then, that the premise lasts for 10 episodes?  You’d think someone could get them off the planet.  With so many ships having crashed, surely someone has a working vehicle.  Early in the season, space eels eat all their fuel.  Yes.  All of the crashed ships become infested and lose every last drop.  Ok.  The main transport ship is in orbit.  So, someone can call for help.  They try that until someone realizes that the ship’s receiver got knocked off in an attack.  It turns out someone knows where a ship crashed that might not have been infested.  Yes, it has gas.  Good luck getting there and back safely.

It seems like the only thing interesting about the planet is an animal that drinks hybrid gas.  Everything else seems drawn out.  It turns out that there’s a black hole, which will be dangerous to humans, but this seems more like a way of putting a time limit on the humans’ stay on the planet.  It gives the mother ship, which is in orbit, a reason to have to possible leave everyone behind.

You do have some excitement, like one of the Robinson kids being put in danger.  Oh, and The Robot has an interesting backstory, although we don’t get to hear much about that.  It took several episodes to get into where The Robot came from.  It took a few more episodes to find out what his reasons for being there are.  (Ten episodes and we never get only hints as to what an alien civilization might look like.)

Plus, there is the female Dr. Smith that everyone’s talking about.  We get to see little bits of her story doled out.  She’s not to be trusted, but it’s not immediately evident why.   Even when people know not to trust her, she manages to manipulate people.  It seems to be the only thing she’s good at, other than stealing identities.

The entire first season seemed drawn out.  I would hope that certain things will be continued, or at least explained, in the second season.  However, I felt like the first season could have been handled better over a five-episode arc.  It’s almost like a soap opera in that a lot of things happen for the drama.  (You get a lot of cliffhangers and what not.)

It seems like the show was rushed to the screen, which is saying something considering that they had the original show to draw from.  If we’re going to be in space, why not show more aliens?  Even if they’re not humanoid, at least show some animals.  All we get is one lousy robot.  I feel like Netflix could have done better with this.

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