I really enjoyed Lost in Space when it premiered on Netflix what seems like eight years ago. It took a silly show from the 60’s, updated it, made it bigger, and told a very interesting story and, what’s more… it left the series on a cliffhanger that would finally allow the series to exploit the name Lost in Space as the Robinsons were, you know… lost in space. How could they have possibly messed this up?
They messed it up.
Only a few episodes into the second season, the Robinsons make it back to their home ship, The Resolute, and got embroiled in a conspiracy and mystery about alien robots and the ship’s engine.
Folks… this was the wrong direction for this show.
Don’t get me wrong… I rather like the community aspect of the series and wouldn’t have had a problem with the show continuing to show the Robinsons as part of a larger crew, all lost in space together but having the entire season involving a mystery and conspiracy that, to be at least, had already been explored and dealt with was a gigantic waste especially as the last season ended with the Robinsons alone with an alien engine powering their ship, lost in the endless sea of stars.
That promise made to the audience, to me at least, was broken in the most shameless and lazy way possible. Once the Robinsons were back on the Resolute with a full crew, the wonder and mystery of the show… the alien worlds and strange new lifeforms and new civilizations were pushed aside for CGI rust and human treachery.
Imagine a new season of Star Trek in which, instead of exploring space, they just go to Earth and get involved in shenannigans there. It might not be a horrible way to go, but it’s the wrong way to go.
You can’t have Lost in Space if the Robinsons keep going back to their home base!
What worked about this season?
Very little, as it turned out.
I enjoyed the first couple of episodes that found the Robinsons alone and trying to juice up their spaceship with lightning from a perpetual lightning storm on the ocean. It was fun to seem them try and solve problems on the fly and come up against alien menaces in the form of venomous kelp.
I liked Doctor Smith… at first. The character has so much potential to be fun when she’s looking out for her own self-interests and just wants to be safe and secure. Seeing her rally to the rescue and help save the Robinsons from wrecking on the alien ocean was great… it’s just too bad that all of her character motivations later in the season evaporated away to “How can I screw over the Robinsons today?”
Again, removing her from actually being Lost in Space with the family was the worst thing the writers could have possibly done.
I don’t want to say that I hated this season because it all wasn’t terrible. The alien rust subplot was interesting and the episode that had Penny being forced to run 20 kilometers to save her adopted dad was extremely well done and emotional, but so much of this season seems to have short circuited itself by giving the show the crutch of the community again. Lost in Space should have done something different and exciting and it boldly went back to something safe and unsurprising.
Honestly, I hope the series gets another season, but if it doesn’t, I don’t feel like anything of great value has been lost.