It’s time to fasten your safety harnesses as we are about to take another ride in the Jupiter 2 with the Robinson family, Don West, Dr. Smith, the Robot, and Debbie.
The wait for season two has been a bit longer than I had hoped, but the timing for this holiday season can be viewed as a gift since we can take full advantage of our time off from work and school to watch it.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with the cast recently during New York Comic Con 2019, to reflect on the first season, and to gain some insights into the upcoming second season. If you need a quick refresher of season one please see the below featurette with the cast providing an abridged verbal retelling of the events, which took place during the first season.
Let’s begin with Molly Parker who described Maureen as a person who will do whatever to protect her family; however, her ambition for knowledge and desire to be in space puts her family into sticky situations time and time again. Parker said that she feels that Maureen’s ambitions to venture into space and be the person who solves all of the problems they face can be viewed as “a little selfish” and that she is blinded to it. John is the person who will try to “ground her” by calling her out on this. Parker hinted that the writers will explore pushing the boundaries her ethos ‘that every problem has a solution’.
The relationship between Maureen and Dr. Smith will also be interesting to see this upcoming season as they will have to live in close proximity to each other. Parker described the two as opposite sides of the same coin because they both are highly motivated to achieve their goal. When asked how the two of them compare if there were to face off, Parker said they are evenly matched.
Mina Sundwall discussed how Penny this season will strive to assert her own independence and make her own contributions in family of overachievers. She described Penny as an observer and as a person who tries to make sense of the world and the people around her. We can expect is some growth for her character this season.
Taylor talked about Judy’s confidence and her desire to be treated as an equal especially from John, her adoptive father. Taylor said Judy needs to work on communication to make sure she is not only heard but respected.
Parker Posey’s Dr. Smith was one of the highlights of the first season, and Posey made the character her own. Dr. Smith is still a wildcard and has proved to be a formidable adversary and, on occasion, ally. In season one we learned that she assumed another person’s identity and one of the lingering questions is how Don West will expose it to the rest of the Robinson family.
Parker likened Dr. Smith as a classic villain and drew a comparison to them being a victim of The Fates and Greek Gods. She described Dr. Smith as an outcast with a skewed view of the world. She is not just looking to survive, but she is also looking for acceptance from her family and society. She credited the writers for showing fans of Dr. Smith’s past, which allows them to perceive her differently than a “killing machine”. Molly and J.J. Field, a new addition to the cast, sang high praises of Posey for her inventiveness in her scenes.
Ignacio Serricchio hinted there is a better flow with Don and the family in season two; his smooth talking is a way to disarm, although his true nature is rooted in unscrupulous actions, such as the smuggling and his desire for self-preservation. While Serricchio is not a ‘villain’ in this series, he weighed in on his experiences playing similar roles and described playing villains as “juicy”, because they are humans who have been marginalized or beaten down. He further added that the villains do not see themselves as villains, or rather they think they are doing the ‘right’ thing in their minds. On the topic of the relationship between Don West and Doctor Smith, Serrichio described the way their interact as “being honest and aware of each other’s true nature.” Don has a sense of respect for Dr. Smith, but will not be fooled by her either.
When asked about his favorite part about the series, Maxwell Jenkins, who plays Will Robinson, said that “the heart” of the Robinson family is what he really enjoys. Jenkins talked about being surrounded by great writers, actors, and fans which helped him stay grounded. He also discussed Bill Mumy serving as a mentor, who was also the same age when he filmed the original version of the series. Jenkins said that he was grateful for Mumy’s advice. Jenkins also talked about his long-term ambitions of working behind the camera as a director of photography, or a director. He said it was interesting to hang around with the camera crew during filming and learning what they do.
Lost in Space has the potential to have a long run, and series producer Burk Sharpless as well as the rest of the producers, said they have a three year arc planned for the time being. Once they are certain the series will continue past the third season, they will map out another multi-year arc. Lastly, Sharpless informed us of his approach to series where it is not mythology but instead there “nuggets” along the way which will shape the overall story.
Season Two Non-Spoiler Review
The gang is back and the premiere episode finds the Robinsons, Don West, Dr. Smith, and Debbie settled down on a planet several months after they were transported to another planetary system, courtesy of the SAR (Second Alien Robot) device. They are cut off from the Resolute and they have to rely on each other to survive. The family dynamic has been mended, which was at times contentious during season one, and they all seem very relaxed.
Maureen and John are not struggling to lead but have figured out how to be the leaders for the family in their current situation. John’s main goal is to protect his family and there are situations where he puts himself in harm’s way to protect them. Maureen is carrying the burden of trying to figure out how to get back to The Resolute, so her family can thrive, but she puts on a brave face in front of everyone else to mask this.
Judy, Penny, and Will are helping their parents with tasks and ‘chores’. The bond amongst the siblings is strong with each contributing in their own way.
Will’s relationship with his father is stronger now and they get a chance to spend some father-son time. Even with the strengthened bod with his father, Will has an emotional void which will only be filled when he gets to be with his friend, the Robot.
Rounding out the family are Don West and Dr. Smith. While they are not ‘family’, they have been adopting into it per se. Don keeps the ship together and finds a way to lighten the mood, with his wise cracking demeanor while Doctor Smith tries to manipulate her way into being accepted. The family does not trust Dr. Smith, but have no fear, she has a plot or two up her sleeve which may change their view of her. On a side note – Parker Posey takes her character to a whole new level this season with both lighthearted moments, and the actions she takes. The wildcard nature of Dr. Smith continues to shine and her unpredictability is another aspect of interest for me as a viewer, to see what she does next and how her plans bear fruit.
The practical and visual effects are both ambitious and astonishing this season, starting off with the locations used for filming all the way to converting the Jupiter 2 into a sail ship. I was blown away by the scale of the film-making and creativity this season. As you watch this second season be on the lookout for more interesting things such as ‘space whales’. The filming locations in Iceland as well as Drumheller and The Badlands of Alberta, provided great backdrops for the planetary scenes. As such, I recommend using a large screen TV to fully appreciate the scale and visuals.
When it comes to the space adventures, this series continues to stand out due in part to perfect mixture of great writing, acting, wonderful scenery, and interesting situational problems. All of this brings the Robinson family together to overcome their next challenges. Lost in Space season two is firing on all cylinders (so far) as a thrilling adventure filled with suspenseful moments, which is anchored by brilliant actors who continue to bring life into their characters. Overall, I highly recommend adding Lost in Space season two to your ‘must-watch’ list.