Well I’ve finished season one of Netflix’s new version of Lost in Space and overall I’d say it was a considerable success. Frankly, I’m more than a little surprised. As I stated in my earlier post about the first half of the season, this show is never going to be high concept/genre-defining material- its light and easygoing but certainly none the worse for that. As it turned out, I honestly believe the second half of the season was stronger than the first and it all came together very well indeed. It told its story, had some great character arcs and teased a continuation with some wit and style. The production design was excellent throughout, and there were a few times that I thought ‘this is how a live-action Star Wars tv show should look like’.
Whoa. Live-action Star Wars tv-show. Well, everyone knows it’s coming, but how strange to just write something down like that. I remember when Star Wars films were something special, big event movies on a different level to what everyone else was doing- I remember seeing The Empire Strikes Back one afternoon at the cinema, then going home and seeing an episode of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century on the telly. I appreciate its an unfair comparison, but it was the Buck Rogers episode where they flew into an asteroid field and the comparison was obvious, the gap between the two was huge. Nowadays the gap between tv and cinema isn’t as large as you’d think, and watching something like Lost in Space is a reminder of that. The sets and costumes were terrific and the effects pretty damn good. On tv. Sure, its Netflix so really it’s in some vague place between tv and cinema really, similar to where stuff like HBO’s Game of Thrones fits. But tv. The gap between tv shows and big cinema genre stuff isn’t that huge at all now (and I suppose Disney making so much Star Wars material lessens that whole Star Wars ‘event’ thing anyway), but still…
If only Babylon 5 could have had budgets and technology like shows have now. I remarked on this to my wife after the last episode of Lost in Space ended. B5 started all these big mult-season arcs and epic sagas on tv -arguably the one biggest advantage tv has over films, is simply running-time and what it affords- but it was hampered by a very limited indie-level production budget and cgi effects that, cutting-edge that they were at the time, are painfully limited now. If only Babylon 5 were made now, on something like Netflix or HBO or Amazon… wow.
I still cannot believe Warners has not opted to redo all the B5 effects in HD and remaster the show completely for a HD release. I’d but that sucker in a heartbeat.
But anyway, I’m rambling. Lost in Space was great fun. Well worth a watch if you are after something light and easy, and I’m really looking forward to a second season and seeing where it goes from here. Sure, maybe it could have been better had it been more of a n edgier, intense show but it deliberately wasn’t intended to be that kind of show. Its a great family show and while not perfect, its much better than it possibly has a right to be considering the premise. Quite a refreshing watch, really.
And the robot is great.