A sci-fi drama for the whole family

Space can be scary, but it’s okay if you’ve got family with you.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

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Space can be scary, but it’s okay if you’ve got family with you.

Netflix’s science-fiction shows can be heavy stuff. With gritty titles like Altered Carbon, Mute, and Annihilation stocking its virtual shelves, the service lacked a lighthearted sci-fi series that the whole family could watch.
That show is Lost in Space, a reboot of the 1960s series of the same name. An incident aboard the Robinsons’ colony ship causes their Jupiter spaceship to crash-land onto an unknown planet and the family must figure out how to survive and escape. 
Behind them is an Earth roiled by climate change, war, and governmental instability. In front of them lies uncertainty and possible death. Alpha Centauri promises a habitable, paradise-like planet where the best and brightest of humanity can start afresh, but only if they manage to get there.
Netflix has done a great job of updating the series for a modern audience. There are familiar tensions that most people will recognize. John and Maureen are separated, and only together for the mission. Judy is a mixed-race teenager from Maureen’s first marriage and has a contentious relationship with her step-sister Penny. The show’s iconic robot has also been given a modern, menacing look and a shady backstory.
Despite all the angst, Lost in Space is a story about resilience, ingenuity, and familial bonds that never quite break, no matter how strained. When you’re faced with a hostile environment, mysterious saboteurs, and the unknown, family may be all that you can rely on. 

By Koh Wanzi