Netflix is doing a remake of the 1960’s series Lost in Space. The new Lost In Space is described as an epic but grounded science fiction saga focusing on a young explorer family from earth lost in an alien universe and the challenges they face in staying together against seemingly insurmountable odds.
The original series, which debuted 50 years ago, was created and produced by Irwin Allan and ran for three seasons on CBS. The new series is being written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, the duo previously worked together on Dracula Untold and The Last Witch Hunter; Neil Marshall is expected to direct.
A Lost in Space revival was floated at NBC as a TV movie, but that project went away following the death of original co-star Jonathan Harris, who played Smith. During the 2003-04 season, a reboot of the series landed at the WB in a bidding war, where it went to pilot written by Doug Petrie and directed by John Woo but did not move to series. Meanwhile, a feature adaptation was released in 1998 film written by Akiva Goldsman and directed by Stephen Hopkins.
The Original Plot:
In October 1997, 32 years into the future from the perspective of viewers in 1965, the United States is about to launch one of history’s great adventures: man’s colonization of deep space. The Jupiter 2, called Gemini 12 in the pilot episode, a futuristic saucer-shaped spaceship, stands on its launch pad undergoing final preparations. Its mission is to take a single family on a five-and-a-half-year journey – updated from 98 years in the pilot episode – to a planet orbiting the nearby star Alpha Centauri. The pilot episode had referred to the planet itself as Alpha Centauri, which space probes reveal possesses ideal conditions for human life.
The Robinson family, allegedly selected from among two million volunteers for this mission, consisted of Professor John Robinson, played by Guy Williams, his wife, Maureen, played by June Lockhart, their children, Judy (Marta Kristen), Penny (Angela Cartwright), and Will (Billy Mumy). They are accompanied by their pilot, U.S. Space Corps Major Donald West (Mark Goddard), who is trained to fly the ship when the time comes for the eventual landing. Initially the Robinsons and West will be in freezing tubes for the voyage with the tubes set to open when the spacecraft approached its destination. Unless there was a problem with the ship’s navigation or guidance system during the voyage, West was only to take the controls during the final approach to and landing on the destination planet while the Robinsons were to strap themselves into contour couches on the lower deck for the landing.
Though the original television series concept centered on the Robinson family, many later story lines focused primarily on Dr. Zachary Smith, played by Jonathan Harris. Smith, along with the Robot, was absent from the pilot as the addition of their characters was decided once the series had been commissioned for production. Originally written as an utterly evil but careless saboteur, Smith gradually becomes the troublesome, self-centered, incompetent foil who provides the comic relief for the show and causes most of the episodic conflict and misadventures. In the unaired pilot, what causes the group to become lost in space is a chance encounter with a meteor storm, but in the first aired episode, it is Smith’s sabotage and unplanned presence on the ship that sets the ship off course into the meteor field. Smith is thus the key to the story.
The cast of Lost in Space were reunited in July 2015 at Comic-Con
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