Netflix Dark Sci-Fi Thriller Series Revives Dead Franchise

By Jacob VanGundy | Published

In 2018, Netflix revived the classic sci-fi series Lost In Space, bringing the iconic 1960s series to modern audiences. It’s the second attempt at reviving the classic show back into the zeitgeist, achieving more success than the attempt in the 90s. While it didn’t propel the series back into being a household name, Netflix managed to modernize the series in interesting ways and create a surprisingly heartfelt, dark, science fiction show. 

Sci-Fi The Entire Family Can All Enjoy

Lost In Space follows the same general premise of a family’s adventures in space following a crash landing, inspired by The Swiss Family Robinson. The Netflix version is a bit less episodic bringing in a bit more dramatic weight and focusing more on the survival and social elements of a failed space colonization attempt. While there is still some of the 60s style science fiction fun to be had it takes a back seat to a more serious science fiction drama. 

The Cast

The cast of Lost In Space is a mix of revered actors and less-known names. The main cast includes Molly Parker, Toby Stephens, Maxwell Jenkins, Taylor Russel, Mina Sundwall, Ignacio Serricchio, and Parker Posey as the core family and a thief posing as a doctor who escapes with them. Other notable cast members are Brian Steele, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Kiki Sukezane, Shaun Parkes, and Russell Hornsby. 

Critics And Audiences Love Lost In Space

Lost In Space was well received, particularly after its rough first season, earning both critical and fan praise. It received 84 percent on Rotten Tomatoes among critics and 78 percent among audiences, with the show being generally praised as a compelling sci-fi drama that respected its source material. The visual effects in particular garnered praise, with the show winning several awards from the Visual Effects Society. 

The Original Series

Despite its enduring legacy, the original Lost In Space has often struggled in the shadow of the much more successful science fiction adventure show of the 1960s: Star Trek. While Star Trek became a lasting phenomenon with numerous sequel series, movies, and other media, Lost In Space had little direct continuation and fandom after its initial three-season run.

However, elements of the show such as the brilliant John Williams score and the robot’s famous “Danger Will Robinson” catchphrase have remained in the zeitgeist despite the lack of direct follow-up to the show. 

The 1998 Flop

Netflix’s reboot of the show was much more successful than the previous attempt to bring back Lost In Space, the notoriously bad movie starring Matt LeBlanc. While staying more true to the original in some ways, the movie failed tonally trying to make the series into a more action-oriented story that just didn’t work. That movie could have easily killed the franchise permanently, but the Netflix reboot managed to feel so fresh and distinctive that it was able to overcome the franchise’s tarnished reputation. 

Stream All 3 Seasons On Netflix

Fans who want to see a fresh take on the iconic and often neglected Lost In Space should give the newest version a chance. For fans new to the franchise it’s also a perfect entry point, not requiring any knowledge of the original show to be enjoyed outside of the occasional referential detail. Lost In Space is available to stream on Netflix.