Archive for April, 2018

My Lost in Space reboot paradox

April 17, 2018

My Lost in Space reboot paradox

I have begun watching the new

Netflix reboot of Lost in Space

I need to start out by saying that I’m a fan of the original. I have a boxed set of DVDs, and for years, pet toads of mine actually lived in a toy Jupiter 2 (with a lot more environment around it).

Before I give you my paradox about the new show, I do want to give you a

MILD SPOILER WARNING

I’m not going to reveal any major plot twists, but if you want complete discovery, you might want to wait to read this until you’ve seen the first couple of episodes.

Here’s my issue:

I watched it because it was a reboot of Lost in Space. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have watched it otherwise, but it was the specific impetus to get me to move it up in my queue.

I would have liked it better if I hadn’t thought of it as based on Lost in Space.

Whenever anybody is going to do a remake or a reboot, I always want them to come up with one sentence which describes the essence of the original, and stick to that.

For me, one of the key elements of the original LiS is that Will is a prodigy…that the youngest member of the family is the smartest, and even though they don’t always believe him, he is usually right. He is also brave and resourceful.

As far as I was concerned, Lost in Space was about Will and his family (and the robot and Dr. Smith)…not with Will as just one of the group.

Now, admittedly, that may be in part because I was resonating with Will at that point.

I want to be very clear: I would have had no problem if Will was a different gender, or race, or hair color. For that matter, Will could have been an alien in an alien family. The point was that the youngest, likely to be least respected family member, was the “best”.

In this new version, Will is incompetent and scared.

He becomes valuable, but mostly through his connection with the robot.

Okay, okay…he does have one idea which helps…but if Mom Maureen hadn’t been unable to make the suggestion, she would have.

Pretty much everybody is seriously flawed…that can work, but I think the show is geared at children. It’s nice to have people you can admire when you are a kid, and they seem to want to make a point that they all have negative qualities (although they may have more positive qualities).

There are nods to the original series. A character is named Goddard (Mark Goddard played Major Don West on the original), and an original cast member has what I thought was a pretty clever cameo.

END SPOILER ALERT

So…I’m enjoying it. It’s emotionally moving, and some of the effects are effective and even awe-invoking. It passes the “flashback test”, meaning that I have spontaneously thought about it. It doesn’t disrespect the original, and shows a deep knowledge of it…but does have a very different feel.

I’ll keep watching it and see where it goes. It may get better if it forges more of its own identity (so I’m not constantly reminded of the 1960s version), but it doesn’t need to get better to hold my interest.

Have a different opinion? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

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