I’ve already seen the first six episodes of Lost in Space on Netflix, and I love the new series. As a little kid, I enjoyed watching reruns of the original Lost in Space. But just as the original appealed to child-me, the new series appeals to adult-me. This is a grown up Lost in Space that doesn’t have the problems we saw in the reboot movie. Here’s a quick look at some of the differences between the plot of the original series and the plot of the new 2018 series. This article will have some minor spoilers for the first few episodes of the new Lost in Space series.
In the original series, the Robinsons crash landed on a mystery planet many light years away from their original destination of Alpha Centauri. They spent the entire first season on this planet. In that sense, the Netflix series has the same premise. Both the original series and the Netflix series have a colonization theme. Both tell the story of a family that crash lands on a mystery planet while trying to get to a planet near Alpha Centauri.
But in the Netflix series, the Robinsons aren’t sent into space alone. In fact, they’re part of hundreds of families traveling to colonize a planet near Alpha Centauri. And they won’t even be the first ones there. As we learn from Don West, there are already people living there, and people seem to bring the same problems with them wherever they go.
Just like the original series, the Robinsons do crash land on the planet. But unlike the original series, they aren’t alone. There are other people who crashed on the planet too, and they’re working together to try to escape. So while I started the series thinking there would be an Earth 2 kind of vibe, it’s actually more of a Lost vibe that I found. (And that’s not a complaint at all. It’s actually a really welcome change.)
In the original series, the robot was part of the Robinson family, riding on their ship, and was sabotaged by the stowaway Smith. In this new series the robot is actually an alien too. He’s already on the planet when Will arrives, and we don’t know very much about him. He’s a compelling and welcomely unique addition to the series. In fact, at times I found myself drawn in to the robot’s story almost more than any of the other characters.
Dr. Smith is also different. In the original series, Dr. Smith as a spy who sabotaged the flight because another country wanted to be the first to colonize other planets. In the new series, Dr. Smith is a female (played by Parker Posey) who has a mysterious, but very different background. Both are manipulators, but the Netflix Dr. Smith isn’t going to serve as comedic relief. She has a much darker edge to her. But she’s also more refined than the Dr. Smith from the movie.
Even though Netflix’s series takes itself more seriously and gives a darker take on colonization, it’s not unreasonably dark like the reboot movie. It has a brightness and smartness to it that the movie was lacking. It also brings a breathtaking sense of discovery that I’m used to seeing in Star Trek series, and truly enjoyed seeing in the first six episodes of Lost in Space.
The new series has dashes of humor to break up the darkness, but it’s not corny like the original series. The 2018 Netflix version of Lost in Space takes itself very seriously, and I love this new take. There are several mysteries embedded in the show that will make it very tempting to binge watch right away.