DATELINE: Lost in Netflix
Dr. Smith Transformed or Transgendered? Parker Posey replaces Jonathan Harris.
As the poor stepchild brother to Star Trek on TV in the 1960s, Irwin Allen’s adventure show became a kids’ favorite. It was a cartoon version sci-fi adaptation of Swiss Family Robinson.
Now, with the bandwagon long ago down the road for Star Trek, Netflix has brought back a 21st century version of Lost in Space.
We found the original amusing, at least for half the opening season. The show had a house villain in Jonathan Harris who played the cowardly, snobby, outrageous Dr. Zachary Smith. He stole every scene they put him in.
In this new version, Smith is a fake. At the end of the opening show of season 1 (will there be another?), actress Parker Posey steals a jacket with the name “Dr. Z. Smith” on it. You could not have a prissy, snooty man play the role.
Voila et voici, you have a new Smith in the form of a woman, ready to add some kind of bad guy karma to the proceedings—and not a moment too soon.
The big budget new version actually is short of special effects and presents a limited view of the future. They crash on an icy planet. Their spaceship really has only one room, and the flashbacks to the holiday scenes could have been as much 20th century as 21st.
The characters keep their names, but that’s about it. Yes, the little boy as Will Robinson may be the best throwback.
As for Dr. John and his wife Maureen: she clearly wears the pants in the family and is actually rather nasty to her husband.
You can chalk it up to a broken leg and her children in danger, danger, danger! However, we may be hard-pressed to return to the return for another episode. Nothing really grabbed us.
We missed Guy Williams who came from Zorro and June Lockhardt who was Lassie’s Mom. They were TV stars even as John and Maureen Robinson.
What a shame.