What I'm Watching: Lost in Space

Why are they crash-landing in the ship's mess room, not in the control room, trying to pilot? How can an interstellar journey from Earth to "the colony" (later stated to be on Alpha Centauri) miss and still hit another habitable planet? Even by my usual standard of "FTL is magical bullshit", this is magical bullshit. SIGH.

"Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space."
β€”Douglas Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

Every scene builds pseudo-tension of an improbable danger just barely missed. Then drags on with people weeping or bickering to dramatic music for a half hour.

The alien planet is Canada πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦, as usual. Glaciers, then Rockies or Cascades pine forest. They didn't even try to make it look like Not-Canada. That was a stupid running gag in Stargate SG-1, but this is really kinda inexcusable.

The sets look like trendy gyms and cafeterias, except for the ubiquitous flooded Jeffries Tube. The glass screen UIs aren't bad. Production is fine, but not amazing, lot of junky plastic gadgets that could've been made in the 1990s.

The robot is fairly shitty, a gunmetal-and-black, pseudo-organic, insectile death machine with Warhammer 40K spiky bits, so it doesn't have to look like anything that works. I really liked the original Robot, and its predecessor Robby in Forbidden Planet. Nobody would ever love this thing.

Will Robinson isn't supposed to be fit for stress, but in practice he's totally calm, icewater in his veins, face of a sociopath. Or of an 11-year-old child with no comprehension of his scenes. Maybe he's the real robot.

Taylor Russell (from the Saved by the Bell remake) as Judy, the adopted girl for diversity (there are so far 2 black women and one hispanic soap opera actor in a world of honkies) is the only competent one, and initially extra aggressive and adventurous, and then hit with PTSD and a bit too much caution. Competent actress, as well.

Parker Posey as "Dr Smith" is a very different kind of fraud, but so far not as dangerous as the original, and I've always had kind of a thing for her.

Penny is a moron with no survival skills or common sense. Mom is a bossy engineer, Dad's an absent almost divorced soldier, and their bickering and stiffness don't make them endearing.

I am horrorstruck at the total lack of security on everything, like airlocks and other destructive ship systems which work with a single button press and a fail-bad abort button. Except the 3D printer, which won't make a gun after an emergency crash-landing because alien planets don't need guns? No tech or physical security people consulted on this series.

As of S1E4, I don't hate this, but I have zero investment in most of the characters so I check out when Judy or Dr Smith aren't on screen.
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3 thoughts on “What I'm Watching: Lost in Space”

  1. Thank you! Been reading so many positive reviews of this show, I was wondering if somehow I'd watched a completely different show on Netflix. So far the Robinson family are the stupidest colonists I've ever seen in my life. The design of the "mothership" also gave me fits, why would you put the landers on the inside so that they have to fly through all the struts to get out? Wouldn't putting them on the outside make it easier to pilot them away from the big ship?

    Laughing my head off, because i thought too - wow, this looks just like western Canada.

    the only thing I liked about the first episode was the robot.

    1. Yeah, the right thing to do with a rotating ship is put the launch bays outside, so centripetal force will launch them "for free" when you release docking clamps. So much wrong in that first ep to even summarize.

  2. @mdhughes yes.

    Will Robinson isn't supposed to be fit for stress, but in practice he's totally calm, icewater in his veins, face of a sociopath. Or of an 11-year-old child with no comprehension of his scenes. Maybe he's the real robot

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