I know what you’re thinking: “how could they possibly do a Lost in Space remake better than the one with Matt LeBlanc and Gary Oldman?” (No one is actually thinking that). Well, Netflix have come along with the second season of their rendition of Lost in Space and it’s bigger and better than ever before.
This season of Lost in Space picks back up with the Robinsons as they’re now trapped in an alien solar system and must find a way to return to the Resolute without the aid of their trusty Robot. Last season was a lot of fun. It introduced a number of great characters and gave each of those characters a certain trait unique to them that made them interesting and a number of engaging relationships weaving through the rest of the cast to set up multiple arcs that get you engaged. All of that and more continues in this season, which doubles down on the heart, emotion, action and tension to create another fun, thrilling sci-fi adventure.
That’s what this series is as its core; a fun sci-fi adventure with a strong emphasis on the strength of family when it comes to overcoming any obstacle in life. Every episode is a fun, thrilling ride where the Robinson family’s adventures continue in ways you wouldn’t expect as more and more obstacles are thrown at them. It’s great from the opening scene and doesn’t stop being great til the final credits roll, incredible consistency! Being a fun series, doesn’t mean there aren’t any stakes. That’s actually what I really liked about this season; that regardless of whether people actually die or not there are real stakes and you care about the characters when they get into dangerous predicaments.
The constant threat of danger never really gets old either, as with each episode there are new threats, some human and some natural, that the main characters need to overcome in ways natural to their characters. The story is good, great even, but it’s the characters and the strength of their relationships that make this series what it is.
The balance between the characters’ stories is fantastic throughout, but mainly I still loved the arcs of both Penny and Judy through this season as I feel like out of everyone they seem to do the most growing and develop further than some of the other characters. They all grow, but I specifically love their arcs through the season above most others.
The amount of heart and emotion in each episode is quite immense, especially as the entire show revolves around that tight family dynamic. Every character is fleshed out so much that you really do care about every single one of them as they all have ties to each other. The relationships between the main cast of characters makes the journey each one is on that much more exciting to follow. The characters no doubt get split up at times and their individual journeys branch off in different directions, but due to the strength of every character, the story is deeply engaging across every single narrative arc no matter who it’s following.
The emotional investment in the characters is so strong it keeps you coming back and really adds to the essence of the show being centred around family. Even certain characters such as the quite manipulative Dr. Smith has her own journey through the show that is also just as interesting as the rest despite the fact that you may despise her for her actions in the first season. The amalgamation of arcs and how they all intertwine makes for stellar storytelling.
The fact that the writers get you to care about a robot that has no human-like facial features is incredible. Through movement and the animation of his face “lights” alone, they manage to capture and incredible amount of character and emotion that makes the robot just as human as the humans.
The cast is absolutely not to be forgotten as for the family dynamic to work, there needs to be a strong sense of chemistry between them that comes across as realistic. If you turned around and told me that Molly Parker (Maureen), Toby Stephens (John), Maxwell Jenkins (Will), Taylor Russell (Judy) and Mina Sundwall (Penny) are a family in real life, I’d probably believe you. Their chemistry is emotional and electric across every scene they share together which adds greater depth to the characters and their journeys. The fact that the characters aren’t all just paired off and that the small groups they get split into are constantly different keeps things fresh and does a lot to build character.
It’s not only the Robinsons who get a lot of love (and hate) this season. Parker Posey returns as the mischievous Dr. Smith and she’s just fantastic. Her arc is a really interesting one in this season, boasting a number of ups and downs just like last season. Parker really has a tight grip on this character and she’s just as compelling in every scene as she is suspicious. You never know what the character is going to do and what the ulterior motive is, and Parker keeps that all locked down so well that she makes for a strong character with a lot of duality.
Don West was one of my favourite components of the last season as he was the character who not only injected plenty of witty humour into the show but also delivered a tonne of heart. Thankfully, he’s back and just as entertaining as ever, played expertly by Ignacio Serricchio. The charisma he brings to every scene is so valuable that I couldn’t possibly see this show without him. Now, the same can be said about all of the main cast, but he brings this added layer of fun and emotion that would be hard, if not impossible, to replace. My only gripe here is that Debbie the chicken didn’t get nearly as much screen time as I’d hoped.
As long as the story remains fresh and inventive, I could watch 10 seasons of this family navigating the galaxy and never get bored. The entire aura of Lost in Space is built around a fun sci-fi adventure. From the spine-tingling music to the impressively real-looking visuals, this really is the best when it comes to pure fun sci-fi adventures with some stakes and danger weaved in throughout. This season builds on everything that worked last season and is compelling from beginning to end, without slowing down at any point. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable series with a tonne of heart and emotion to go around that I’d recommend to anyone wanting a feel-good sci-fi series to indulge in.