This is not exactly new news, but we do have a few more details about the upcoming series which I’ll get to in a moment.
It’s hard to explain the influence that the original Lost in Space television series had on a number of us budding sci-fi geeks as we were growing up in the 60s and 70s. For myself, though I was too young to appreciate it during its original prime time run which began in 1965, I did catch it when it ran in stripped syndication (that being the phrase for shows that run at a certain time Monday through Friday in reruns, a practice mostly relegated to more recent vintage sitcoms nowadays).
The adventures of the Space Family Robinson seemed at the time the perfect combination of camp and high adventure and introduced a number of us to the whole idea of space travel and encounters with all manner of alien beings. Interestingly, it was originally sold to the networks as a straightforward adventure show, as seen in this short presentation reel put together as a way to lure advertisers to pony up money and support the show:
Of course, even though that reel focuses on the family adventure aspects of the show and does contain many of the elements which would draw viewers in, it is missing two of the most important factors that really made Lost in Space the fondly remembered show that it became, and that’s because neither of the two most interesting and famous aspects of the show were not in the original plans.
Those, of course were the Robot and the high-camp Dr. Smith. It was not until those elements were added (after the initial and unaired at the time pilot was shot) that the show really became the fondly remembered icon that it is today.
I apologize, btw for the effect overlay in the above clip, but it appears to be there to circumvent any YouTube issues. Still it’s good enough to give you a sense of the show.
Anyway, according to this and a number of other media reports, Lost in Space will be… well, not exactly soon, since it’s not expected to drop until 2018, but eventually, returning to the small screen as a 10 episode series on Netflix. Obviously at this point we don’t know a whole lot about what the show will be like, but early reports indicate that the new show may hew more closely to the initial concept – more of a straight sci-fi adventure than what the original eventually became.
Which is okay, and is possibly more suited for today’s audience, but at the same time seems the kind of move that will make it just another space adventure show and not the kind of thing that will be must see and inspiring viewing for those budding young minds looking for something which will attract them into a science fiction fandom that they may not even know exists the way the original did with my generation.
Which would be a shame, because without them, sf has no future.
Or, to put it another way, “Danger, Will Robinson! My circuits detect an unnecessary seriousness overload!”
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.