The Lost in Space brand stretches back decades, but Netflix is about to bring it back in a big way. Everyone involved in the modernized iteration seems intent on creating something new, but that hasn't stopped them from looking to the source material to pay homage. In fact, when CinemaBlend asked Lost in Space creator Matt Sazama to talk about any franchise continuity at WonderCon 2018, he told me that it is indeed a full-blown reboot , but that it did draw ample inspiration from the original series' darker first six episodes. Addressing the tribute, Sazama elaborated:
There are a lot of Easter eggs to the original show, if you're like a super Lost in Space fan, which I think there's some people who are, which is not that many, but a few. . . . The first five or six episodes of the original Lost in Space were in black and white, and they're beloved by the hardcore fans, and they actually have a tone that's a little different from the campy brightly colored ones that are also fun, but are remembered by most. The tone of the original six is they do crash land on just one planet, and are pushed by crazy weather and monsters to survive. I remember when we were first working with the material and we watched those first few, we were like, 'This is a way in.' I think people who loved the show from the 1960s will recognize that we draw upon the first five or six episodes in Easter egg ways.
Most fans likely remember Lost in Space for its second and third seasons, which aired in color and embraced a fun and wacky campiness inherent to many adventure-based shows at the time, such as the Shatner-era Star Trek or the Adam West-era Batman series. However, the very first run of Lost in Space episodes was more straightforward and serialized, playing to a more serious tone in following the Robinson family's mission to brave the elements and escape the surface of the mysterious planet known as Priplanus. Per Matt Sazama's explanation, that run of episodes was what the reboot's creative team looked back at to inject references that die-hard fans will hopefully pick up on. So for anyone hoping to see a lot of "threat of the week" stories, this Lost in Space might not hit all the chords. (Plus, Netflix can't really do "___ of the week" plots.)
Despite the homage and the use of some original DNA, Netflix's take on Lost in Space has also endeavored to make notable changes to the source material as well. Arguably the most readily apparent of the bunch is the gender-swapped casting of Dazed and Confused star Parker Posey as the quasi-villainous Dr. Smith -- a role made famous by Jonathan Harris in the original series. Lost in Space apparently wants to pay tribute to longtime fans by serving up some deep cut callbacks, but it's also not afraid of updating and altering other elements to help carve out its own identity within the mythos multimedia mythos.
Start binging those original episodes, because the Lost in Space reboot will drop on Netflix on Friday, April 13, at 12:01 a.m. PT. Mark the show's release down on your calendars using our midseason premiere guide and our summer premiere schedule, and head over to the latest episode of The Cord Cutter Podcast to hear what else we have to say about the ever-expanding streaming world.