'Barbarism is the natural state of mankind,' the borderer said, still staring somberly at the Cimmerian. 'Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph.'

-Robert E. Howard
Beyond The Black River

Monday, April 16, 2018

Lost In Space 2018: A Netflix Original

It is a good time to be fan of Sci-fi or Fantasy. It seems everyday a new network or streaming service is releasing or announcing something. The Expanse, Season 3 aired on April 11th and on April 13th Netflix's Lost In Space was added to my streaming list. I have watched 3 or 4 episodes of the show at the time I am writing this. I am going to try and avoid spoilers, so will be talking in a very generalized kind of way about the show itself vs specific instances in the show.

The show so far has chronicled the Robinson family on a deep space colonization mission. They have crashed on an unknown planet and have to survive the new world. Each episode has had some major calamity to solve or get past, placing the family on the brink of failure and death. The story is told through present day situation and flashbacks helping us learn who the characters are and what motivates them.

The show is, in my opinion, not as intelligent as The Expanse. It seems every episode has had something that has made no sense to me, based on the world they have shown us. I like this franchise and wanted this to be a great show, so I don't really feel like I am out to find problems and analyze it to death. Hopefully as the show progressed and the writers found their way it begins to become more internally consistent.

The storyline and characters, though sharing the same names as the original, deviate a fair bit from the original story. That is the details of the original story, the broad brushtrokes of the show remain the same. Comparing the smaller details to the movie, I think the movie does a better job incorporating these into the story as compared to the original TV show. Is that a good thing? That is for you to decide.

That isn't to say I am not enjoying the show. I am, I think it's a fun, albiet, fairly light entry into sci-fi TV. The effects are generally good and imaginative. The Iconic ship is again redesigned, although it reminds me more of the '98 movie than the Jupiter 2 from the series. The characters are being developed and are portrayed in a decent enough manner. I will continue to watch it for now and will probably revist a few episodes of the original series, which I have not watched in, probably, 30 years. I am also planning on revisting the movie as well.

So if you are looking for something light and enjoyable, I would say give this show a chance. The general feeling on the Internet has been positive. You might like it.

Lost In Space 2018 gets......
3 out 5 Skulls of My Enemies!

Check out my review of the Expanse!


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2 comments:

  1. It's hard to compare a show in the new Golden Age of serious Fantasy/SciFi TV (i.e. Black Mirror, the Expanse, Game of Thrones, etc.) with 1960s TV. The original 1965 Last in Space was true pulp scifi and high camp, never meant to be anything more than throwaway family TV. It didn't take its scifi elements seriously at all.

    In contrast, this reboot is at the complete opposite on the serious meter. The acting and effects are enormously better. They would have been groundbreaking cinema back in the day. The story line includes much darker undercurrents and themes as practically "required" by modern TV dramas including the Robinsons' nearly broken marriage, homicidal robots and Dr. Smith. In the original he (now she) was a silly, narcissistic snake in the grass. Now she is a psychotic murderer in their midst.

    Overall, I feel this Lost in Space is a worthy reboot, more well made and engaging than I expected. Still, I harbor some regret that they didn't swim against the "serious" tide and instead throw some campy silliness into it with Judy and/or the excellent Maureen Robinson character (the Mom, a real standout) on the sides calling bullshit on the goofy bits. That would have made this a fun contrast to all the heavy-handed alternative fiction out there.

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    1. Hey Stephen, thanks for the comment.

      Certainly don't want to do a direct comparison between a show now vs a show in the 60s, we are in a very different time socially as well as effects wise.

      I would however argue that this iteration isn't really taking it's science aspects especially serious either. There are multiple instances in every show where it's not internally consistent or simply not physically consistent.

      This Dr. Smith vs the Old Dr. Smith are certainly different, but yet somewhat similar in there desire to survive and do what it takes to make that happen. The Old Dr. Smith could easily have argued and perhaps wrestled with someone if he thought he was going to be given up. His motivations and what he was able to do are largely an aspect of TV at the time.

      I don't dislike the show. Most of my issues revolve around the disregard for science or internal word consistency. I have no issues with any character changes or story element changes.

      Overall it's not quite what I wanted, but hey....I still like the movie as well. :)

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