There have been attempts to remake the classic CBS series Lost In Space in the past, but outside of a feature film in 1998, none really have made it very far.
In fact, the former The WB network went all out to produce a Lost In Space pilot directed by John Woo that ended up not going to series. (Instead, the sets were bought by Syfy’s Battlestar Galactica and used as part of the Battlestar Pegasus bridge).
But Netflix is serious about its Lost In Space reboot, and one of the show’s stars – Black Sails alum Toby Stephens – warns this isn’t going to be your grandfather’s journey into space. In fact, as he told Collider‘s Christina Radish, his role as John Robinson won’t be simply a foil to Dr. Smith, but instead dealing with some very heavy issues involved with getting lost in space.
“It’s a very clever, modern reworking of a great story. Lost In Space is Swiss Family Robinson in space, so it was a story that existed before Lost In Space.
“The fundamental story is that it’s a family that is lost in a difficult, life-threatening situation, and how it challenges them and brings them closer together. That is essentially what the story of this is, it’s just the context is a lot more modern.”
Just like another reboot of recent years, Lost In Space might be looking for the type of feel and connection with modern audiences as Battlestar Galactica did more than a decade ago. Yet, it will still have to find a way to balance that new audience with nostalgia of the old.
The original Lost In Space aired between 1965 and 1968, getting a jump on rival network’s Star Trek, but presenting stories in a much more 1960s-kind-of-way. Created by Irwin Allen, the show starred Guy Williams as Dr. John Robinson who takes off in his flying saucer with his family in the 1990s only to get, well, lost in space.
With him are not only his wife and children, but also saboteur Dr. Smith (played by Jonathan Harris), and The Robot, voiced by Dick Tufeld.
The series acted as if the family were just lost in the Midwest somewhere, landing on planets, dealing with various planet-of-the-week issues, and then taking off to see where they ended up next.
The Netflix series, Stephens promises, will be different.
“It’s a more modern take on the ’60s version. If you look at it now, it’s charming, but it seems so innocent. Whereas this is a version that is for our time. I’m hoping it will still have humor and humanity in it, but it has obviously gotta be for a modern audience.”
The London-born Stephens played Capt. Flint in Black Sails, which is about to start its fourth and final season on Starz. His previous work was primarily in British television shows, including Robin Hood, Wired and Jane Eyre.
The new Lost In Space is being developed by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, and includes Molly Parker as Maureen Robinson, Ignacio Serricchio as Don West, Taylor Russell as Judy Robinson, Maxwell Jenkins as Will Robinson, Mina Sundwall as Penny Robinson, and Posey Parker as Dr. Smith.
Netflix has scheduled a release of the new series next year.
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