TL;DR – A really great continuation of the first season showing the strengths of this new interpretation at every turn
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
We are currently living through a second Golden Age for Science Fiction on TV and one of the first really cool examples of that was a new Lost in Space landing on our screens a couple of years ago. It was energetic, delightful, but also had some thematic weight behind it. Well, Season Two is upon us, so it’s time to see how well it did.
So to set the scene, at the end of Season One, the family Robinson, that is Maureen (Molly Parker), John (Toby Stephens), Will (Maxwell Jenkins), Judy (Taylor Russell), and Penny (Mina Sundwall) along with Don West (Ignacio Serricchio) and Dr Smith (Parker Posey) got launched through a warp portal by Robot (Brian Steele) to protect them. This leads them to land on a planet that is habitable, bar all the methane in the atmosphere. The warp drained most of the Jupiter 2’s power meaning they can breathe and stay warm but not a whole lot else. All of this changes when Maureen notices that there is a patch of lightning in the distance that comes so regularly that you can schedule it, and maybe a lighting jolt is just what the Jupiter 2 needs. Now as we go on there will be some [SPOILERS] as we will be looking at the season as a whole, so just be warned if you have not seen it yet.
One of the ways this season has really excelled is in its visuals, and one of the ways they did that is by some great location work. When we open the season we are on a relatively safe planet bar the fact the atmosphere is deadly. Here is a world black sands and harsh seascapes and Iceland is the perfect place to bring that to life. Then later in the season, we go from arctic chill to an arid desert terrain that was filmed I believe in and around Alberta. This juxtaposition is both great for the narrative of the show but also the visuals. This is taken to the next level with some beautiful work by the artists creating worlds of gas and darkness. I think the standout here was when the Resolute was inside the gas giant and we saw the bands of gas ripple and ebb around the place.
When we look back at the original series of Lost in Space, the big departure from that series to this is that the Robinsons are not alone. There is the whole crew of the Resolute and the other families going on the trip with them that are on for the same ride. For me, this was a great change for the show because it allowed for relationships to be formed, more interesting stories that carry on from episode to episode and gives you some narrative space for real consequences. At the end of Season One, when they all blasted off into space, I was wondering if they would set this part of the show aside in the next season and I am so glad that was not the case. We get to see the bond that John has with Ava (Tattiawna Jones) but also the damage from him jumping ship. We get to see the love and not love but then maybe something between Penny and Vijay (Ajay Friese). We also get to see Ben Adler (JJ Feild) see his past innocent past in Will.
The show also gave us some really interesting moments this season as it dived right into the grey. For example, I liked that even though Captain Kamal (Sakina Jaffrey) was doing things that could be considered to be heartless, at no time could you not understand her motivations and also kinda see how she could be right. Or how Officer Hastings (Douglas Hodge) tries to change the narrative around the Robinsons to make the rest of the survivors be reluctant to help them. Then, of course, there is the whole arc of Dr Smith where she goes from prisoner to saboteur to fugitive to respected doctor to ally to betrayer to ally to outcast to a saviour.
There was a lot going on this season, but there was one core thread that really pulled it through with me, and that was the relationship between Robot and Will. Will has to do a lot of growing up this season as he comes to terms with the fact that Robot is their own sentient being with their own drives. He is not just some Labrador that you can order around, or expect to always be there. Their friendship had always been very much one-sided and Will has to both come to terms with that but also grow as a better person because of it. For Robot, he also grows throughout the season as he has to come face to face with death and its repercussions.
In the end, do we recommend the second season of Lost in Space? Yes we do. It was a great follow up to the first season, building upon everything but also bringing in new ideas. It also ended on such a wow moment that I can’t wait to see where they go in Season Three.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Lost in Space
Directed by – Alex Graves, Leslie Hope, Jon East, Tim Southam, Jabbar Raisani, Stephen Surjik,
Written by – Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless, Zack Estrin, Liz Sagal, Kari Drake, Vivian Lee, Katherine Collins and Daniel McLellan
Based off – Lost in Space created by Irwin Allen
Created by – Matt Sazana & Buck Sharpless
Show Runner – Zack Estrin
Production/Distribution Companies – Legendary Television, Synthesis Entertainment, Applebox Pictures, Clickety-Clack Productions & Netflix
Starring in Season Two – Molly Parker, Toby Stephens, Taylor Russell, Mina Sundwall, Maxwell Jenkins, Ignacio Serricchio, Parker Posey, Brian Steele, Ajay Friese & Sibongile Mlambo with Raza Jaffrey, JJ Field, Sakina Jaffrey, Douglas Hodge, Tattiawna Jones, Viv Leacock, Nevis Unipan, Zehra Fazal, Amelia Burstyn, Yukari Komatsu, Zya Acala, Aria DeMaris, Alison Araya, Rob LaBelle, Amanda Marier, Jarret John, Shaun Parkes, Selma Blair, Angela Cartwright & Bill Mumy
Episodes covered – Shipwrecked, Precipice, Echoes, Scarecrow, Run, Severed, Evolution, Unknown, Shell Game & Ninety-Seven