TL;DR is a series that ends on a high note, both beautiful to watch and not afraid to hit those emotional beats.
Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix subscription that viewed this film
Lost in Space Review –
When I heard that Lost in Space was getting a third season, I was pleased. There has been a string of adaptations of old TV shows, but few captured the show’s essence yet took the narrative in a new direction, quite like Lost In Space. However, this news was coupled with the knowledge that this would be the final season. Thus, knowing the series is ending help or hurt the narrative, and I am glad to say it is the first.
So to set the scene, at the end of Season Two, The family Robinson was split asunder trying to flee the robot menace. At the same time, Maureen (Molly Parker) and John (Toby Stephens) took the adults of the expedition and caused a distraction. All of the expeditions kids, including Will (Maxwell Jenkins) and Penny (Mina Sundwall), and led by Judy (Taylor Russell), escaped using the alien engine piloted by Robot (Brian Steele). However, they don’t arrive in Alpha Centauri as planned. Instead, they come on top of a ruined planet where they find the Fortuna, a ship once thought lost and home to Judy’s father (Russell Hornsby). But before they could locate the missing crew, a thruster dies on Jupiter 2. The auto-piolet seeing the danger starts emergency landing procedures, and Judy is only just able to get on board thanks to the stowaway Smith (Parker Posey) before it makes a landing on the one habitable part left on the planet. Where they are stuck for a year. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.
The year gap between seasons 2 and 3, helping in two different ways. First, it explained why Will is now taller than most of the cast, a line that Molly Parker perfectly delivers. But it also works to perfectly up the tension needed in the show. Everyone had been trying to scrape by for a year, some in much worse experience than others. This helps prime the show for the rollercoaster of a season that it is about to get. It also allows the show to deliver one of its best features, its visuals. For example, the kids are stuck in a verdant canyon on a planet of destruction. To make this work, you have location scouts finding the best spot in British Columbia, you have set designers creating what a bunch of kids would make if stuck for a year, and the digital artists that help make it become an alien world. Throughout the season, you see that visual flair from the Jupiter Base to Alpha Centauri to even that final frame.
At the heart of this show has always been the notion of family, and what does that mean as you get flung into space. When we started the show all the way back in Season One, the Family Robinson were not really on speaking terms. In that time, the family has expanded and strengthened to include Robot, West (Ignacio Serricchio), and even Smith in their own odd way. In this final season, they have the chance to show what this notion of family means but both test it and show the fracture points. What happens when Judy runs into her biological father, who she has idolised, but thought was dead. What happens when trust is undermined, or your kids have grown up without you, or even when your kids start doing things you don’t like but only because they learned it off you. This season, more than any of the others, the kids take the forefront of the narrative, and I think it is better for it.
In your final, well, probably final, season, you also must tie up as many of the loose ends as you can. Why did the evil Robots hate Will Robinson so much? Why is Robot different from the other robots? Will they ever actually get to Alpha Centauri? They achieve most of these answers by diving deep and deeper into the lore of this new universe they set up. Some aspects of this deep dive, like the reveal about the damage an engine can do on a planet’s surface, were woven throughout the season. Others still felt a bit forced, and you do feel a bit of narrative rushing in places that you know they would have been let to breathe if this was not an all and done kind of situation. That rushing also makes those moments where it feels like the show is wasting time feel misused. For example, Penny’s love triangle sub-plot which was only ever going to end one way.
You then have to wonder, did the show stick the landing, and I would have to say, yes, yes they did. Knowing this was the last season left everything with a level of dread that they could off any of the characters at any moment. Indeed, I audibly gasped when Will got stabbed through the heart, and I shed a tear when Robot sacrificed themselves, even if in both cases, there was a part of me that already knew that those could and would be undone. I liked that everyone got a moment to shine in the epilogue and that every character ended in a good location. The best example of this is Smith, with the show making sure that she is not excused for her past behaviour but also acknowledging her change.
In the end, do we recommend Lost in Space Season 3? Yes, yes, we do. While not a perfect ending in places. This is a show that revels in its exploration. Explorations of visuals, of families, of what it means to be lost. In all honestly, while this may be the last entry in this universe, I would be happy to see more of it, which I think is the best recommendation I can give.
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 – Frederick E.O. Toye, Kevin Rodney Sullivan, Sarah Boyd, Julian Holmes, Leslie Hope & Jabbar Raisani
Written by – Matt Sazana, Buck Sharpless, Zach Estrin, Vivian Lee, Daniel McLellan, Kari Drake & Katherine Collins
Based off – Lost in Space created by Irwin Allen
Created by – Matt Sazana & Buck Sharpless
Production/Distribution Companies – Legendary Television, Synthesis Entertainment, Applebox Pictures, Clickety-Clack Productions & Netflix
Starring in Season Three – Molly Parker, Toby Stephens, Taylor Russell, Mina Sundwall, Maxwell Jenkins, Ignacio Serricchio, Parker Posey & Brian Steele with Ajay Friese, Russell Hornsby, JJ Field, Douglas Hodge, Raza Jaffrey, Charles Vandervaart, Chloe Estrin, Nevis Unipan, Amelia Burstyn, Tattiawna Jones, Zoriah Wong, Karen Leblanc, William Budijanto, Yukari Komatsu, Viv Leacock, Adam Greydon Reid, Aria Demaris, Hugo Raymundo, Kris McRonney, Zehra Fazal, Martin Rimorin, Elias Leacock, Rob Labelle, Rowan Schlosberg, Alison Araya, Zya Acala, Veenu Sandhu, Colleen Winton, Aiyanna Miorin, Trinity King, Amitai Marmorstein, Natalie Trent, Patrice Jefferson, Shaun Parkes, Daesha Usman, Treymont Levy, John JJ Miller, Nathan Parrott, Emma Yi, Tristan Jensen & June Lockhart
Episodes covered – Tree Little Birds, Contact, The New Guy, Nothing Left Behind, Stuck, Final Transmission, Contingencies on Contingencies & Trust