Lost in Space
Season 1 Episode 1
Synopsis: The Robinson family are sitting in the family area of the Jupiter 2 in their space suits, playing a game of go fish, unaware of what is happening outside. You can feel the tension in the air as everyone looks worried at every little shake and we find out that they were right to as the ship is hit with debris and they are hurtled into the atmosphere of a nearby planet before crashing down. When they come to, they find that the ship is trapped in ice and after they escape, John decides to send Will back in to retrieve something they need to survive, only to find Judy has decided to go on her own. When the water quickly freezes over, Judy finds herself trapped in it only inches from the surface and rescue.
The rest of the family tries to devise a way to free her as Will Robinson comes up with an idea that requires he and his father John to travel to one of the glaciers to find magnesium. As Judy’s oxygen continues to run out, Will stumbles into a forest area that he can’t climb out of, leaving John to decide which child he needs to save first. As he leaves to rescue Judy, Will discovers that he’s not alone in the forest.
What works: The overall story is great. The first episode does a great job of building and sustaining tension. The first few minutes of the episode go a long way towards establishing the characters and their strengths and the flashback moments show who they are as a family. The last few moments with the introduction of another character from LOS lore was well done as well. The action was great as well and it ended on a cliffhanger that made me interested in the next episode.
What doesn’t: I understand that relationships are difficult to maintain and that John’s position in the military made it difficult on the family with his absence, but why is it that so many shows start with the premise that the parents in the series are either getting divorced or separated? I don’t want some Pollyanna depiction of parents who always get along, but two adults who disagree but love each other enough to fight for the sake of their relationship would be nice. Instead, it’s eye-rolling pseudo-tension of two adults sniping at each other and jockeying for dominance. It’s a dynamic that is annoying in this episode.
Surprises: At the end of the episode there is an awesome cameo from a member of the original cast of Lost in Space playing a part that is equally awesome in its implications.