Netflix has had a lot of hits with original programming ranging from dramas like Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, as well as the Marvel lineup of Daredevil and Jessica Jones. In addition to speculative fiction shows like Sens8 and Voltron: Legendary Defender, there are about to have a very great science fiction offering with a reboot of Lost In Space. Yes, the Robinson family is about to again go into space to face danger, and this is what we know about the Release Date and what they could do right with it, as opposed to the 1998 reboot movie.
According to CNET, Netflix announced last Wednesday that they ordered 10 one-hour episodes of an updated Lost in Space. This is the same show that aired on CBS from 1965 to 1968, and pre-dated Star Trek as far as the premise of a group in a spaceship going from one place to another. In fact, its premise was exactly like Star Trek: Voyager.
Cindy Holland, Netflix's vice president of original content has said: "The original series so deftly captured both drama and comedy, and that made it very appealing to a broad audience. The current creative team's reimagining of the series for Netflix is sure to appeal to both fans who fondly remember the original and to create a new generation of enthusiasts around the world."
The new series is produced by Legendary TV with Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, the screenwriting team behind films like Dracula Untold and The Last Witch Hunter. None of these films have been a real hit, but hopefully they will have some more luck with this old franchise.
The issue is that this has been attempted before, in 1998, when New Line Pictures attempted a film with an updated Robinson Family with a Lost In Space movie. The film did modestly well, but most do not regard it as a classic and it hasn't aged well.
Honestly, I remembered seeing it at the time and liking it a lot, because at the time, there really wasn't a lot of serious science fiction in theaters. It was a year before the backwards step which is known as Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
The issue with the reboot film was it attempted to update the family values of the 1960s by creating a dysfunctional family, with mixed results. Unfortunately, it didn't update the roles of the women so they didn't just stay aboard the ship while the men went out and did the space exploration. Gary Oldman played Dr. Smith in a pompous way, but the film is campy at best.
I think that there is a lot of potential for a new Lost In Space series. Considering that a lot of science fiction reboots are going for a darker look, it would be quite easy to give Lost In Space that gritty look.
For example, it could be possible that the Robinson family could be one of the last families on Earth, and then there is some big environmental disaster or planetary explosion that would require them to leave the Earth. The family could be the same with the father, wife, and three kids, and the pilot could be a Major Don West type of character who could be a family friend or someone that Professor Robinson hires to fly his ship to leave the Earth. And you have to have Dr. Smith, but just don't have him saying "the pain, the pain", or get infected by alien spiders. Also, get rid of Blarp, the yellow alien monkey.
From there, there could be some kind of hyperspace malfunction or some rubber science that could result in the Robinson family being thrust far from Earth. It is possible that the family could be in search for a new planet with an Earth-like atmosphere or attempt to get back to Earth. Maybe the issue is that they are the last of the human race, hunting down other spaceships from Earth, attempting to restart the species. Will they encounter aliens? It could work with or without.
Well, it is going to take a while before audiences see what they come up with. The new Lost In Space won't appear on Netflix until 2018.