This past Friday, Renee, Ethan, Jessica and I made a date to watch the first two episodes of Netflix’s new Lost in Spaceseries. I was guardedly excited. I love Lost in Space, the original, classic, 1965 – 1968 series, campy, silly, scientifically inaccurate as it is. The show had heart, especially early on, before it became a Vaudeville showcase for the talents of Jonathan Harris, Bob May in the Robot suit, and Dick Tufeld providing the Robot’s voice. It was about a pioneer family who stuck together, looked out for each other, believed in morality and the Golden Rule. Its overarching message, delineated in the first season’s finale, was “Love. In all the universe, there is nothing stronger.”
In 1998, a disappointing attempt to revisit the adventures of the Space Family Robinson was brought to the big screen. Five of the original cast returned, with only Dick Tufeld taking on his original role voicing the Robot. It was neither a box office nor a critical success, and hoped-for sequels (hoped-for by the producers and pretty much no one else) never materialized.
In 2004, the CW commissioned a pilot, The Robinsons – Lost in Space, which was not picked up as a series, but was an enjoyable hour of television. Disappointment again, this time because the attempted reboot never got a chance to prove itself.
Last Friday, disappointment was blown out of the water. For me, anyway. I was so moved by the opening episode of this new series that I was literally in tears by the climax. These were not my childhood friends as I had known them, but this series had heart. This family stuck together, loved each other, and believed in morality, allowing them to overcome character flaws and weaknesses that 1960s television never dared expose in series regulars.
When the credits rolled, apart from annoyance at Netflix’s asinine habit of interrupting the end credits (and a new version of John Williams’s classic 3rdSeason theme!) to start the next episode immediately, all I felt was forgiveness.