A Lost in Space Sneak peek at WonderCon 2018
We got a chance to attend the panel for the upcoming Netflix series Lost in Space at WonderCon 2018. The panel included showrunner Zack Estrin and cast members including Toby Stephens, Molly Parker, Mina Sundwall, Ignacio Serricchio, Max Jenkins, Taylor Russell, and Parker Posey. The room was also treated to the entire first episode of the Netflix series!
Very mild spoilers here. In the episode, we get to meet the Robinson family, who are on a colonization ship that crash lands on a planet. It’s freezing and covered in snow, and Maureen (Parker) has broken her leg. They realize they’re going to freeze and Judy (Russell) tries to rescue something from the ship that has sunken in an almost frozen lake. She’s trapped.
To say much more than that would spoil things, but here is a bit more that we can tell you. Though the show begins with what just seems like disaster after disaster, it quickly becomes a story about a family and the origin of what has happened to the Earth to get them out into space. Unlike the original series, they’re not alone on the planet as they weren’t the only ship out there. We get to see some backstory, the flaws in each of the family members, and how they are just beginning to overcome it. We also see a certain robot meet a certain little boy and it’s absolutely beautiful. In fact, you’re going to want to keep the tissues close by for the end of the episode. There was a very loud sniffling in the audience during a certain scene. You’ll know which one we mean when you see it. We also get a very tantalizing introduction to Dr. Smith (Posey).
After the screening, we got a chance to hear from the cast. Stephens told us that a lot is going on under the surface for the family. He said, “I think what I like most about John… it’s a real family, a real modern family. He has faults. He’s not some ideal parent. He’s trying to be an ideal parent. that’s what I like… they’re all struggling to be better. I think one of the things that I connected with being a parent myself and being far from an ideal parent, trying to be better as a parent.”
Parker told us, “I love the original and I certainly loved the original Maureen. But it’s a different time with different gender dynamics. One of the things that I love about the show, all the girls and women in the show are really strong. There’s never a sense that they couldn’t do what any of the boys can do. It’s not even a question. It’s not a rah rah role playing thing… this show takes place 30 years in the future… hopefully by then we’ll be in a place where we’ve dealt with all that. Class and race and gender. It’s incredible to play a woman who as smart as she is, has all of these flaws…”
Jenkins said that he’d heard the quote “Danger Will Robinson.” He heard it from Family Guy. “I have big shoes to fill. We all do… we’re taking our own spin on it while keeping the same flavor.” He said that meeting the original Will Robinson (Bill Mumy) was a powerful experience and that they’re now lifelong friends.
Sundwall told the crowd that Penny is struggling with her place in family. “I definitely think… she’s the quick witted sarcastic middle child.” She said that Penny isn’t treated as the cute small one or the smart older one. “She’s a romantic soul in a science family. She feels kind of out of place. I definitely think that throughout the season she becomes more comfortable and strong within herself.”
Russell talked about the scene in the ice. “It definitely wasn’t a comfortable situation.” She said that she definitely had some anxiety filming it. They created an ice set in plastic and it was rough, as she had to climb in from the bottom and not move. She also spoke about Judy. “…having somebody that is written the way Judy is written, you have to rise up to the occasion in a lot of different ways. She’ made me much stronger as a person. She’s much stronger than me. It’s an honor for me to be represented the way she is.”
Serricchio wasn’t seen much in the episode, but he told us a bit about him. “He’s all about him right now. He’s got one goal to take care of himself. I’m excited for you guys to see how it all unfolds. He’s got very different values than the rest of the family. In time, hopefully there is a little bit of a lesson to be learned. Right now, it’s all about him.”
Posey said of her character, “I love Dr. Smith so much. I was so touched to get the call… I was obsessed with the show, I would wake up at 6am to watch the static on the TV to see it turn to color [to watch the show].” She said she actually liked the show more than Star Trek. She said that getting to play the character was really touching for her.
A Netflix Original, Lost in Space stars Toby Stephens (Black Sails, Die Another Day) as John Robinson, and Molly Parker (House of Cards, Deadwood) as Maureen Robinson, the family’s parental leaders who are struggling with their estranged relationship in the midst of trying to keep their family safe. As the Robinson kids, Taylor Russell (Falling Skies) is the strong-willed and confident Judy, Mina Sundwall (Maggie’s Plan, Freeheld) is the quick-witted and definitive middle-child Penny, and Max Jenkins (Sense8, Betrayal) is the curious and sensitive Will Robinson, the youngest and most vulnerable of the clan, who forms an unlikely and inexplicable bond with a sentient robotic alien being.
Are you guys excited for the reimagining of Lost in Space? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. The series premieres on Netflix on April 13, 2018.