Lost in Space: Season 1
April 15, 2018 10:28 AM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

After crash-landing on an alien planet, the Robinson family fight against all odds to survive and escape, but they're surrounded by hidden dangers.

I really liked this show. The science is often questionable, but what really stood out to me is the portrayal of the Robinson family.

What I especially liked was the relationship between Penny and Judy. Often sisters are portrayed in an antagonistic way, but Penny and Judy show so much love for each other. Also, the way Will grows in confidence is great and I usually don't like child actors but Maxwell Jenkins did a great job.

I hope this gets a second season.
posted by Pendragon (23 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
On the whole it was pretty decent but a bunch of things grate on my sensibility.

The Resolute never mentioned that they had lost their receiving dish, just let the colonists waste their time trying to contact the Resolute via radio. The colonists had to find the dish laying in the desert before they know the Resolute can't hear them.
Why does Maureen fly up in a balloon and notice Hawking radiation long before the Resolute mentions the danger?
Are the people on the Resolute absolute morons?
How did the fuel eating eels hit everybody but that one Jupiter. Did they *all* land in water? Are the eels some sort of spore lifeform?
Miracle bird poop saves the day in a matter of hours. Surely they could have found some other biological matter to feed into the magic biomater to fuel converters. Bird poop plus an hour and everybody is fueled and gone.
The Resolute didn't see a launch and explosion. Will can SOS radio his dad in orbit, but not the Resolute. (They could have just pumped power into a simple spark-gap radio transmitter and blasted giant electro-magnetic SOS squeals.
How and why did the alien robot leave the Resolute and end up crash landing. Seems he was last seen tearing the Resolute to pieces rather effectively.
Who makes a robot that you only have to take apart and put back together and let it reset/imprint on the fist thing it sees? Stupid aliens.
Why was the second alien and ship not attacking the Resolute instead of the Jupiter? Surely with the implied objective of recovering the stolen drive technology the second alien should have been going for the Resolute.
My theory is that the drives are the aliens and the robots are just a fancy semi-autonomous drone. Then why the ship shaped for the robots? Why the visual maps?
What sort of captain would put a 24 hour window on rescue, recover all but one, and still say sorry we're leaving in 63 minutes.
Magical Bird Poop.
I'm assuming that now that the Robinsons are all set up with their own power/alien-egg/drive thingy and thrown yet another galaxy away that there will soon be a new 3d printed robot soon.

They could have used a "Day 2" sort of clock somewhere, I'm not terribly sure if the whole season happened in a week or a month. Things start out seeming so bleak but end up with everybody's really actually pretty close together and they spend the next days?? cruising back and forth between downed Jupiters in their Chariots tearing ass across new terrains.
posted by zengargoyle at 3:21 PM on April 15, 2018

I don't think spoiler tags are necessary here.

How did the fuel eating eels hit everybody but that one Jupiter. Did they *all* land in water? Are the eels some sort of spore lifeform?

It was explained that that Jupiter landed in the desert where the eels couldn't live.
posted by Pendragon at 3:27 PM on April 15, 2018

Right, so did all of the other Jupiters land in water with the eels? Seems to me everybody else had landed on land. Where did the eels come from to actually get into the Jupiters and their fuel tanks? Unless their lifecycle has some airborne or creepy-crawly phase... In how many days... all those Jupiters that didn't land in the desert got infected and lost all their fuel to eels!
posted by zengargoyle at 3:34 PM on April 15, 2018

Well, like I said, the science is often questionable. Usually these kind of things bother me, but this show just kind of got under my skin. I guess I just really like the Robinson family.
posted by Pendragon at 3:43 PM on April 15, 2018

And the Colonial Leader dude hadn't already make a list of where all of the known Jupiters were located as a first priority, leaving it to be a plot-point bargaining chip of where's the one ship with fuel. At least Mr. Robinson had voted for some other guy.

Yeah, I guess like science and procedure wise it's just a mix of competence and incompetence fueled by stolen alien tech. This is what, the 24th colony mission in the handful of years since they acquired the tech to make the trip.

Did I miss it, or has the Resolute still not found out that they're not even in the Milky Way anymore?

The Jupiters get a bit of a pass, in this incarnation they seem to be little more than fancy mobile homesteading drop-ships. Mostly habitat and just enough fuel/engine/etc. to get between ground and space, so not really space-ships. But they should have a self-contained emergency beacon rocket/torpedo or signal laser or something.

One can only hope that there will be a second season and more flashbacks and there's some more hidden plot left.
posted by zengargoyle at 4:11 PM on April 15, 2018

I never watched the original Lost In Space tv series; I don't think it was in local syndication during my childhood, though I guess I've picked up the basics from general geek/fandom osmosis (and, I didn't hate the 1998 movie - I mean, I know it wasn't good, but I watched it on cable for lack of anything better to do at least a couple of times). So, this reboot didn't have a nostalgia factor for me, just general genre curiosity.

I was deeply underwhelmed at the start of this series -- the science was bonkers awful, the characters were mostly unappealing/poorly written. I think the characters got better as it went along, to the point that it got me onboard the fun train enough to not care about all the dumb science-ish stuff going on in the action plot.

Really loved the helium-voiced "I love you" after the escape from the tar-pit, such a silly moment.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:17 PM on April 15, 2018

> I was deeply underwhelmed at the start of this series
Interesting: I'm in the entirely opposite camp. I felt that the opening few episodes were actually intriguing: I really loved the interaction between the kids, and I thought that the Robinson's broken family dynamic (Maureen Robinson asking if the watch Judy had bought her father could be returned) was particularly well-rendered, together with Judy's PTSD and the morally compromised mother and father. I also liked the gender switching and minority representation, and in the Age of Trump there was something about Parker Posey's sociopathy, endless lies, manipulation and self-justification that was particularly disturbing, in a good way. (Although every time I see her I can't quite help recalling her musical audition as Libby Mae Brown in Waiting For Guffman).

But then the science quickly fell apart, the twists became predictable, the plot holes multiplied, and too much of the script hinged on Unnecessary Lies and Things People Should Have Told Other People, But Didn't.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 11:23 PM on April 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

I found it very frustrating, way too much of the plot came down to the Robinson's failure to communicate/persistent and utterly unnecessary lying. I think in the final tally they caused more problems than they solved and the Resolute is better off without them.

I also found everyone weirdly unconcerned about the alien robot's motivations, it all came down to whether it was evil or not, which is pretty silly. I could be wrong but the only time anyone even questions why alien robots would be attacking them is in the final episodes when Maureen and Dr. Smith find the other alien engine. Basically the question is answered for them before they really articulate it.
posted by selenized at 6:44 AM on April 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

The Resolute never mentioned that they had lost their receiving dish, just let the colonists waste their time trying to contact the Resolute via radio.

And the Colonial Leader dude hadn't already make a list of where all of the known Jupiters were located as a first priority,

has the Resolute still not found out that they're not even in the Milky Way anymore?

Yeah. While the series wasn't a horrible watch (and count me in on the team that liked the show and the characters more the more episodes I watched), there was a awful lot of . . . . . like, not even bad science, just lack of common sense or acknowledgment of practical reality. There was a hell of a lot of solo gallivanting about, on a planet where nobody even knows what the local equivalent of poison ivy looks like, much less what might actually kill you. (The most egregious example being Maureen heading off to balloon herself into low orbit without even telling her husband where she was going or what she was doing. WTF, Maureen??? I learned about the buddy system when I was eight, fer chrissakes.)

And given that we saw the Resolute taking some really heavy damage from the attack and getting pulled into the the wormhole or whatever it was, where the hell did they get the materials, tools, and facilities to conduct the sort of repairs necessary to get the ship ready for interstellar travel again? (Which makes the whole receiver dish thing even more annoying, because, c'mon, even giving them a pass on the tools and materials, somebody would've noticed that that whacking great dish thingy isn't attached to the ship anymore while they were re-welding panels onto the sides or whatever.)

Just a lot of stuff like that, nothing really huge but a lot of little things that add up to make you think, "Man, these Brave New Colonists might not survive a walk in the park, much less a whole new world. Have the writers ever been anywhere that didn't have air conditioning and a latte machine?"

Parker Posey was just astounding, though - the best acting and by far the best writing. Even though this is (supposedly) a kids show, that was one of the most chilling portrayals of a sociopath I've ever seen onscreen, right up there with Hopkins in Silence or DeNiro in Taxi Driver or Robert Mitchum in Night of the Hunter.
posted by soundguy99 at 7:48 AM on April 17, 2018 [4 favorites]

So, what's the general opinion? Would you recommend this show to a friend.or would you advise that they not waste precious binge time?

I grew-up watching LiS as a kid (big crush on Judy) and utterly hated the movie. Would you suggest I take a peek at this thing? I like Parker Posey, but I've read that she can only do so much with such bad scripts.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:45 AM on April 17, 2018

Would you recommend this show to a friend.or would you advise that they not waste precious binge time?

It has it's flaws. There's a lot of quite tired tropes, storytellingwise, the science is bad, and contrary to some opinions, I think Parker Posey's role was severely, let's call it, underwritten (it gets better in the last 2, maybe 3 episodes). Parker Posey of course acts the beejeezus out of what's thrown at her, and shines in giving us a villain which is still relatable.

And I believe it's worth pointing out that it is diverse, and feminist. No maidens in distress because they twisted their ankles - which could have been tempting, as a tongue-in-cheek to the times the original show was from (although there is a scene when a male love interest has to be saved by a female protagonist...).

But yes, I heartily recommend it. It's, to paraphrase a Den of Geek review, utterly above average. Bingeworthy, too. And let's not forget that it's a show aimed at a family audience, including kids.
posted by ojemine at 10:17 AM on April 19, 2018

I love this it was great cheesy fun for kids. It wears all it's thefts honestly and openly; every big nerd horror film from The Abyss to Aliens to Tremors to The Cave is clearly represented here also including this great rip. I would like to watch it with a tween and see them be all omggggg. I loved all the women, and what the heck, the guys too. Still surprised it wasn't the thought of Debbie that made West cry!
posted by Iteki at 12:51 PM on April 19, 2018

So I agree with all the flaws & bring a few of my own. Continuity: how is the gun still the last item printed after the daughter (can't keep track of their names but that's on me) prints the wrench? Plot: why didn't Don't mention the crazy lady who left him to die right off the bat when he met the Robinsons? Because that was needed to drive a later episode.

It did seem to get better towards the end & I'll stick with it for S02. But they need new science & continuity people at the least.
posted by scalefree at 11:58 AM on April 21, 2018

Good to see Neil Marshall in gainful employment but was hoping for some more horror-ish/scary elements after seeing his name as exec producer and as director on the first 2 episodes.

Are others seeing that robot visually references Dr Smith gone bad in the 1998 movie? The cowl shape around its face and when it goes into its 'bad' form also the arms that pop out the back?
posted by biffa at 5:18 AM on April 23, 2018

I had actually forgotten that the 1998 movie ever happened.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:40 AM on April 25, 2018

Super meh. I don’t get Dr. Smith at all. Sociopathy is one thing, but I’ve never known a sociopath who was this stupidly obvious about it. And what’s the upside in stranding Don and Angela in the storm? There are several ways that could hurt her, no ways that it could benefit her. I spend half the show trying to figure out why she’s making her own life worse.

Science is repeatedly terrible, yes, but what I really want is for this show to stop putting Robinsons in danger when there’s no chance they’ll actually kill one off. It makes everything so low-stakes and boring. Judy’s under the ice. Ho hum, she’ll be fine. John and Maureen are trapped in tar. No biggie. John’s Jupiter blew up. Let’s try not to yawn while we wait for this dumbass miracle to reveal itself.

The show has to stop that. If you’re going to threaten someone’s life, pick someone the Robinsons care about but who isn’t protected by magical plot armor, like whashisface the nimble geyser casualty. But make the colonists mourn him for more than 15 seconds next time.

I could live with dumb science and plot holes if they’d give me realistic motivations and genuine stakes, but alas....
posted by Pater Aletheias at 7:14 AM on April 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

Yeah, that was plot hole city. The only reason the storyline worked at all was because they literally ignored the antagonist or what she was doing 90% of the time.
posted by P.o.B. at 10:31 PM on April 26, 2018

I really liked this. Holes, yes. Tropes galore. But the acting was great, as was the set design, costumes and locations. so great to have actual location shoots, even if it felt familiar to this PNW'er.

The Robinson women were worth the journey. Judy had to face her fears and overcome them; Penny was strong enough to endure her first crush and Maureen is just nails in every episode.

Will is likable, which can't be said of every precocious kid science geek.

Groot, I mean the Robot, was more interesting, imo, as an alien than as a protector made by one of the parents, which is easily a direction they could have gone.

Parker Posey played a hateable villain, which is all you can ask.

I'm definitely stoked to see what they can do with a second season.
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:35 PM on April 26, 2018

Smith/Harris/whomever has left Don and Angela for dead in the desert, sent a bereaved gun wielding nutter into the Robinson's home, knocked out mama Robinson (incidentally nearly killing papa Robinson), kidnapped mama Robinson, held the entire family hostage, tried to leave pap Robinson and Don to die in space and, finally, sent her killer robot to kill the entire family Robinson.

And that's leaving aside drugging her sister, stealing her identity, her murderising her sister's boyfriend.

After all that, what possible reason do they have for not throwing her out an airlock after breaking her kneecaps with a crowbar?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:08 PM on April 26, 2018

She also weirdly pulled information about others and doings out of thin air, and a lot of coincidental happenings seemed to line up in her favor.

I think I would’ve enjoyed the show more if I was around thirteen.
posted by P.o.B. at 5:49 PM on April 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

In the last five minutes of the season I was like oh dang, things might actually start to get interesting now!!

And then it ended.
posted by the turtle's teeth at 8:53 AM on April 30, 2018

Yeah, I liked it, but man by the end Dr. Smith's character was wearing thin, just any number of "ok, you survived for 30 more minutes, but only by making the last person on the planet hate you" got pretty frickin' thin after a while. I mean, it's a kids-ish/tween-ish show, so they're not just going to space her as irredeemable, but somewhere around episode 8 she was begging for it.

I mean, I'll forgive kids the fault of passing the stupid ball around, they're kids, and some of the rest of it, eh, concession to keeping the story rolling over whatever, but it got on my nerves how often Dr. Smith used the evil stupid ball and got away with it with no repercussions. That's some fine plot armor. Oh, wait, she saved Pops Robinson there at the end, all is forgiven!

For what it was and what it was targeting, I think it did all right. I mean yes, definitely plotting by the same school that plotted Lost - how can we endanger the Robinsons today?!? ok they're out of danger now, yay! DON'T PAY ATTENTION TO THE LONGER STORY ARC.
posted by Kyol at 9:14 AM on May 14, 2018

That said I was sort of waiting for the pivot in the last few minutes of the show - Space Family Robinson is fun and all, but if they go back to Earth / continue to Proxima on the Resolute, there's no second season (Hi we all nearly died multiple times, sign us up to do it all over again lulz!), or if they turn it into Space Family Resolute it's.. I mean I guess it allows them to have sacrificial cast for heightened threats and stuff, but it undercuts the whole "the Robinsons stick together" theme.

And yeah, I expect the robot egg is the method of robot propagation? Or maybe it's the robot warp core and we'll get Yet Another Robot in S2? Anyway.
posted by Kyol at 9:39 AM on May 14, 2018

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