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Series / Lost in Space (2018)

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"There is a rule that's written in stone: the Robinsons stick together."
Judy Robinson

Lost in Space is an American science fiction web television reboot of the 1965 series of the same name, starring Toby Stephens, Molly Parker, Ignacio Serricchio, Taylor Russell, Mina Sundwall, Maxwell Jenkins and Parker Posey as Dr. Smith.

Set 30 years in the future and with space colonization now a reality, the series recounts the adventures and misadventures of the Robinson family, one of those tested and selected to leave Earth in search of a planet capable of sustaining human life and make a new life for themselves in a better world in the Alpha Centauri system.

However, when the new colonists find themselves abruptly thrown off course en route to their new home they must forge new alliances and work together to survive in a dangerous alien environment. Stranded alongside the Robinsons are two outsiders: the charismatic Dr. Smith and the roguish Don West.

The first season of 10 episodes was released on Netflix on April 13, 2018. The first teaser trailer can be seen here and the official trailer here. It was renewed for a second season, which was released on December 24, 2019. On March 9, 2020, the series was renewed for a third and final season, released on December 1, 2021.

The series provides examples of:

  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The series is set "30 years in the future", from an unspecified baseline that is most likely the show's release year (2018). The major difference is part of the show's premise: a meteor impact has caused serious environmental damage. Human society looks pretty similar but we have some cool computer tech and, of course, spaceships that can travel to Alpha Centauri. One clue is that Don West, who appears to be in his twenties, mentions that the Columbia disaster in 2003 was before he was born. A line in season 3 establishes that it is set in 2050.
  • 20% More Awesome: In "Transmission", John asks Penny how he can talk to Will, whom he senses is avoiding him. Penny tells John that he needs to be himself, then corrects that to "about twenty percent nicer".
  • Accidental Murder: Dr. Smith didn't intend nor plan to throw that guy out of the Resolute's airlock. That being said, once he was in the airlock, she refrained from hitting the override that would have saved him. Since she was caught on camera doing the latter, her excuses fall on deaf ears.
  • Action Dad:
    • John is a former Navy SEAL and is given a number of action scenes to demonstrate his skills. When confronted with a threat, his first instinct is to go for his combat knife. He tries to use the Jupiter's 3D printer to make a gun during "Diamonds in the Sky", but is thwarted by its safety protocols.
    • In "Infestation", he kills a number of giant, predatory eels in hand-to-hand combat in order to slow down their consumption of the ship's fuel supply, and lures several away from Penny by intentionally drenching himself with fuel.
    • In "Transmission", he confronts the beasts tearing through the camp, again with his knife, as they threaten to attack Penny.
    • In "Trajectory", he leaps aboard the Jupiter 4 as the Dhars are about to make a launch attempt with insufficient fuel. He's attacked inside by Beckert with a crowbar, tanks the blow, and decks him. Later, he recounts the event to Will, who instead of asking if he's okay, asks if Beckert is okay. Clearly, Will respects his dad's skills.
  • Action Prologue: The series starts with the Jupiter 2 getting hit by debris as it is landing on the planet, resulting in it crashing and the Robinsons having to make a daring escape before the ship sinks into the glacier.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade:
    • The show makes a point of addressing the emotional and physical tolls and obstacles that come from being stranded, not to mention on an alien planet.
    • The Robinsons are not the united happy family of the original series: John and Maureen were on the verge of divorce by the time they left Earth and Maureen was actually going to just take the kids and leave John behind. Judy suffers from PTSD for the first few episodes, and Will suffers from serious Break the Cutie. Judy, Penny, and Will equally love and resent their father (as a soldier, he was frequently away from home), and Maureen makes it very clear early on that she considers herself to be in charge and John will follow her orders. A far cry from the original "Father Knows Best."
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Dr. Smith, whose real name is actually June, a criminal from Earth who stole both her sister's identity and the actual Dr. Smith's, abandons her companions for dead in a storm, actually kills another character, and lies, cheats and steals whenever she pleases in order to make herself better off. Her Mind Screw tactics are real world and devoid of any ethical constraints. On the difficulty scale, her predecessors were “easy,” while she skips all the levels in between, straight to “nightmare.”
    • In a much more minor case, Don West is changed from a classical hero pilot to a Lovable Rogue who abandons the Resolute in the face of danger and runs contraband to the colonies. Season 2 rolls back most of these changes to turn him into a snarky but unambiguously heroic character.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Rather than being out on their own, the Robinsons are (initially) part of a large group of colonists, the twenty-fourth such group to travel to Alpha Centauri, and many secondary characters interact with them throughout Season 1. This not only continues into Season 2 but is expanded on even further, with numerous new characters joining the cast.
  • Adaptation Species Change:
    • In the original series, the Robot was made on Earth and traveled with the Robinsons in their journey. In this reboot, the Robot is a highly advanced alien robot that Will Robinson discovers and befriends after crashing on the planet.
    • Debbie the Bloop is now Debbie the Chicken.
  • Alien Sky: The planet the Robinsons are stranded on has two moons.
  • All for Nothing:
    • During the run to obtain fuel, an accident forces a choice between saving the fuel and saving Evan, who is crushed under the tanker. Judy chooses to save Evan, abandoning the chance to get everyone off the planet. Evan dies anyway.
    • John and Don make a desperate attempt to reach the Resolute, which fails, leaving them stranded in orbit on a piece of wreckage. Mere hours later, the folks on the ground discover enough fuel to get all the ships into orbit. One of the characters sarcastically comments on this.
    • In Season 2, significant efforts are made to prevent a virulent metal-eating alien substance from getting aboard the Resolute. It gets there anyway by hitching a ride inside the body of a mechanic who had metal pins in his leg after an old surgery.
    • After all that was done to protect the Resolute, the colonists, and the crew - from quarantining people and equipment to try to prevent the rust virus from reaching the ship, to staging a mutiny in order to get the ammonium needed to purify the water so they could retrieve stranded people from the Amber Planet - they end up destroying it in the Season 2 finale in order to stop the marauding robots and keep them from following the children through the rift.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: Before the crash and the resulting memory loss, the Robot murdered many unarmed people aboard the Resolute. After its reboot, it's Will's friend and protector. When it briefly recovers a portion of its memory, the way it twitches and jerks indicates that the flashback gives it great distress.
  • And Starring: Parker Posey gets this in the opening credits.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The series ends with Will and Robot exploring the galaxy together, with the last scene of the show being Will recording them on one of the planets they’ve found.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: In "Diamonds in the Sky":
    Maureen: I am not!
    John: Not what? Gimpy, or my wife?
    [Maureen stopped at her tracks briefly and resume walking]
  • Artificial Gravity: The Resolute generates gravity by spinning, but the Jupiter modules can't generate any gravity while in space. The fact that the ship does have it after leaving the planet is a sign that something is very wrong. And actually, the Resolute doesn't generate Centrifugal Gravity, though the design supports it. Careful viewing of interior scenes on the Resolute show the gravity is precisely ninety degrees off from where it should be — the "floor" should be the outside wall of the ring-shaped sections, but it's actually the side of the rings towards the engines. Serving as a hint that something hinky is going on aboard the Resolute, as well.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • Whatever those eels are in "Infestation", there's no way they could consume six thousand gallons of fuel without gaining the equivalent amount of body mass, implying a growth rate that is just plain impossible even if they reproduce faster than tribbles.
    • In "Danger, Will Robinson", a good bit of tension is built over Don being unable to see after getting a frozen speck in his eye, and being unable to cry it out. As anyone who's been in a similar situation can tell you, this should cause natural tear production right away. Failing that, yawning is a much more reliable option to stimulate tears than trying to cry.
  • Artistic License – Physics:
    • A tense scene involves Judy diving into a flooded ship and escaping ice freezing from the bottom upward. Cold weather, which we're told is the cause, doesn't freeze ice like this; heat is lost from the top down. Also, if the air were really cold enough to freeze ice at a rate of several inches per second it would kill anyone breathing it, and the pressure from the expanding ice would crush her.
    • It is not clear exactly what propulsion source the Jupiters use, but their hydrocarbon-based fuel and references to "combustion" indicate chemical rockets, which would be utterly incapable of launching something that size into orbit with a mere few thousand gallons of propellant. Fusion rockets would make more sense, but don't match the dialogue cues.
    • Hawking radiation from a black hole of that apparent size wouldn't be detectable against the energy output of the nearby star. Rather, its consumption of the star's mass would form an accretion disk with an extremely visible profile and energy output.
  • Batman Gambit: Will and Robot's plan to deal with SAR in 'Trust' uses one of these.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished:
    • Forget the Oreos, how much of the personal weight allowances went to the girls' lipstick and eye shadow? There's some justification with Penny, who deliberately tries to look good in order to impress Vijay, and there's an aside in "Pressurized" in which Judy mentions lending moisturizer to Dr. Smith. By contrast, both John and Maureen get increasingly bruised and bloodied over the course of Season 1 and show it.
    • Averted in "Infestation", when Penny comes out of her immersion in the fuel-soaked water Covered in Gunge.
    • Played for Laughs in "Transmission" when Penny, who has been carefully immaculate up until then, freaks out over an insect in her hair and looks completely disheveled afterwards, right in front of her crush.
  • Becoming the Mask: In one of her rare honest conversations, Dr. Smith describes to Maureen how keeping secrets for so long can make one unsure of what one's own identity really is.
  • Big Damn Kiss:
    • John and Maureen have their first non-flashback kiss right before John almost pulls a Heroic Sacrifice to help Maureen esape the tar pit, and it is a doozy, especially as it comes on the heels of the two finally reconciling from their near divorce.
    • Penny plans one with Vijay, complete with romantic waterfall and dramatic rescue. However, the rapidly changing climate dries up the waterfall, dashing that plan. They still kiss shortly after, in a less dramatic manner.
    • John and Maureen get another in the S2 finale, as they sacrifice themselves to destroy the Resolute and the robots. They get rescued by Don at the last moment.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The Jupiters. At the very least they have no internal space for the engines, or the fuel tanks.
  • Bilingual Bonus: There are bits of untranslated Japanese in the first season, which adds additional subtext to certain interactions that aren't entirely apparent with body language alone.
  • Bookworm: Penny is an avid reader, contrasted with the rest of her family, who all have more hands-on occupations, and has aspirations to be the first novelist on Alpha Centauri. While Judy is trapped in the ice, she asks Penny to read her Moby-Dick to distract her from the situation.
  • Black Box: Hastings, the Director of Advanced Systems on the Resolute, tells Maureen that they couldn't reverse-engineer the alien ship technology. It was like the Cro-magnon trying to understand an airplane before they'd even mastered fire.
  • Bound and Gagged: Will Robinson is tied up in a closet by Dr. Smith after she convinces him to free her from confinement. She gave the same treatment to her sister, whose identity she stole.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • Judy is trapped beneath ice for most of "Impact", and spends the next two episodes suffering from severe traumatic flashbacks.
    • Where to start with poor Will?
      • First, he believes that he failed one of the qualification tests for the mission (he's correct, but Maureen pulled strings to bring him along) and thus is a burden to the family.
      • Next, he believes that his failure to dive into the water after the crash is responsible for Judy being trapped in the ice. Which is true.
      • After he befriends the Robot, he is horrified to learn that it killed people aboard the Resolute and is forced to hide the secret from his family.
      • When the Robot injures John after being attacked, he believes that he has no choice but to order it to destroy itself.
      • When the Dhars' Jupiter is launching into space to get help, he is tricked by Dr. Smith into letting her out of confinement, leading to his father's apparent death, during which he is tied up in a closet. Yes, he believes that he killed his own father.
      • In "Danger, Will Robinson", he discovers that the Robot has been resurrected, but it's now in Dr. Smith's control, and she smugly claims he's responsible. His expression is less one of pain than of devastation.
  • Break Them by Talking:
    • Smith pretty much uses social engineering 24/7. Absolutely every conversation she has, she tries to learn something new about someone, and then leverage it for her own purposes. If she needs someone to cooperate, she suddenly becomes a shoulder to cry on. If she needs someone to distract everyone else, she’ll whittle away at their peace of mind until they have a breakdown. If the person still resists, then she does blackmail and plays on their fear of punishment.
    • Dr. Smith uses her fake credentials as a psychologist to get Angela to open up about the trauma she experienced when the Robot attacked the Resolute, then deliberately leaves her in a state of maximum emotional vulnerability in which she is all but guaranteed to commit an irrational and violent act.
    • In "Trajectory", Smith plays on Will's fear of losing his father to get him to release her from confinement. Will ought to know better, but she's really good at hitting people where it hurts the most.
      Will: (to Angela) It's not your fault. Dr. Smith is good at getting people to do things they regret.
  • Brick Joke: Penny reads Moby-Dick to Judy in "Impact", but doesn't finish. In "Danger, Will Robinson", the girls are tasked to prepare the ship's harpoon (to rescue John and Don), and she exclaims, "All my life, I've missed out on harpooning things." This reminds Judy of Moby-Dick, and they end up discussing the ending of the book.
  • Call-Back: In the Season 1 finale, Maureen mentions that the Jupiter 2's hub is the safest spot on the ship in front of the Robot, in order to use its protective nature against Dr. Smith and trap her there while Maureen rescued John and Don. In the Season 2 finale, Dr. Smith uses the same trick, stating that Will Robinson wasn't on board the Resolute in a bid to get the Robot to rebel against Hastings' control and keep him from leaving Will behind.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Will jerks awake after dreaming about the horrible visions he saw in the Robot's memory of it killing people aboard the Resolute.
  • Central Theme: The things people will do to protect their own, be it their family, their people, or their own lives. Every single character in the series is singularly motivated, both past and present, by their need to protect things vitally important to themselves, and every character arc is centered around it in some way. Iterated several times over the course of the series, to the point where things to do with "protection" are occasionally Arc Words.
    John (in reference to Victor): "You never know what a man will do to protect his family."
  • Characterization Marches On:
    • While Will and The Robot were separated though the two stayed connected via empathic link, it is acknowledged on screen that neither were the same as when they left each other or even when they first met. They've both grown as individuals and, according to Will at least, it's all been for the best.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • What seems at first to be a filler scene of Don getting Judy to have fun standing up out the roof escape hatch of a Chariot in "Eulogy" turns out to be setting up the next episode where the hatch is used to repair a Chariot without stopping. The hatch is also important in "Pressurized".
    • The armature used to assemble the Chariot in "Diamonds from the Sky" is later used by Penny to give Will a joyride to cheer him up. This may seem to be the payoff, but it's just keeping the device present in the audience's minds. The real payoff is in "Danger, Will Robinson", when Maureen uses it to attack the Robot.
    • The question of how the Resolute got to a completely different galaxy is left hanging from the very first episode, only getting resolved with the reveal that it's due to technology stolen from the same alien race that produced the Robot.
    • The high-altitude balloon ("HAB") that Maureen uses to investigate the planet's irregular orbit in "Transmission" is kept stashed away in their Chariot. It comes in handy in "Pressurized" when she and John need a miraculous way to escape from being trapped in a tar pit.
    • When the Robot learns that Will likes collecting rocks, it offers him several. The composition of one of those rocks turns out to be extremely important in "Resurrection".
    • John makes Will assemble a cairn of 27 stones by hand, one for each colonist killed in the Robot's attack, to impress upon him the responsibility he now carries with the Robot. The Robot clearly understands what the stones mean. In Season 2, after witnessing the death of Will's horse, which Will and the Robot had been rebonding over, the Robot picks up a rock and places it on a small mound, referencing the cairn. When Adler asks Maureen what's going on, she replies "He's grieving." This is one of many small moments that convinces Adler that the Robot has feelings, free will, and sapience, and that coercing it into helping them is unnecessary.
    • What Maureen traded (and who she traded with) to alter Will's test results becomes dreadfully important late in Season 2.
    • The section of the Resolute ejected in "Severed" becomes important again in the S2 finale when Maureen puts the rest of the ship on an intercept course and destroys the Resolute completely.
    • The storage unit from "Severed" - an identical unit appears in the season finale "Ninety-Seven". Dr. Smith somehow uses it to escape the depressurized cargo bay and get to the Jupiter 2.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Early in Season 2, a flashback shows Judy doing a school report about "My Hero" and talking about her biological father, an astronaut who was lost with his ship. Grant Kelly's name crops up a few more times during the season. At the end, the Robot, following a human-made signal, finds not Alpha Centauri, but the Fortuna, the ship Grant Kelly was lost with.
    • Season 2 also finally reveals the person Maureen dealt with to get Will approved for the mission. It's Hastings, the Resolute's chief of security, who demanded her top-level clearance for the security systems in return.
  • Choke Holds: John Robinson uses one to take out a guard in "Ninety-Seven," and takes out a bunch of others by good old-fashioned fisticuffs.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: The Robinsons all have this, if someone's in danger - expect one of the Robinsons to try and mount a rescue. When Adler questioned Smith about why she's turning on them after living with them for so long, she mentioned this and how it endangers those around them as one of her reasons to bail on them.
  • Cliffhanger:
    • Season One ends with the Jupiter 2 apparently separated from the Resolute and the rest of the colonists, catapulted who-knows-where by the alien FTL drive, to the binary system the Robot had shown Will and called "Danger," presumably the Robot's home system.
    • Season two ends with the 97 children of the Resolute having been taken to presumably Alpha Centauri by the alien FTL drive, leaving all the adults of the 24th Colonist Group behind. In actuality, the signal the Robot was following, intended to point to Alpha Centauri, leads them to the Fortuna, a ship thought lost 20 years prior, and which was commanded by Judy's biological father.
  • Cold Equation: Judy comes up with a humdinger in Season 2. With hundreds of robots immobilized aboard the Resolute and hundreds more robot ships inbound, she calculates the maximum amount of people who could survive aboard a transport Jupiter with the alien FTL engine installed. . . 97. There are 97 children aboard the Resolute, and children breathe more air than adults, leading to the decision to save the children of the ship.
  • Continuity Cameo: Season 2 features a minor character named Hapgood; the implication being that he's this universe's version of space pioneer Jimmy Hapgood from the original series.
  • Cool Car: The "Chariot", which has changed from the original show's tracked bubble to a roadster that visually borrows much from current space-exploration rover projects and The Martian.
  • Covered in Gunge: Both Penny and John get drenched in the ship's hydrocarbon-based fuel in "Infestation" and don't have time to clean up before the climactic launch scene.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: What do you do when you're trapped on an ocean planet with sunlight so weak it'd take years to collect enough energy to start up your ship and get off-world? Convert your spaceship into a manually steered sailboat and head for the giant lightning storm in the distance to recharge the batteries, of course. Everyone aboard thinks Maureen has gone nuts when she pitches that idea, but a lack of other options forces them to attempt it anyway. It works.
  • Critical Psychoanalysis Failure: Twisted around, as Dr. Smith isn't a real psychologist and intentionally uses her therapy session with Angela to manipulate her into a homicidal emotional state.
  • Curse Cut Short: Maureen lets out a "Fu-" when she realizes the planet they're stranded on is heading towards a black hole.
  • Cyber Cyclops: The robot has a round screen for a face that displays various patterns and colors. Its original form even has a flashlight shaped head like a Geth.
  • Darker and Edgier: In the original series, the Jupiter colonization expedition to Alpha Centauri was the result of exploration for exploration’s sake, in the spirit of the Space Race, which was in full swing at the time. In this version (much like in the 1998 film), the colonization efforts are prompted by a catastrophe that severely degrades Earth's environment to the point that mass evacuation to Alpha Centauri is considered mankind's only survival option. Also similar to the 1998 film, Dr. Smith is a significantly darker character than in the original series, being a ruthless sociopath without a shred of empathy who'll sacrifice anyone and anything if it benefits her.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Two major examples aboard the Jupiter 2 that, probably not incidentally, get along splendidly.
    • As the middle child, a teenager, and a bookworm among scientists, Penny handles stress by quipping at every opportunity. John later comments that it's what he loves most about her: "She gives me lip."
    • About half of Don West's lines in Season 1 are snark, and it only gets better in Season 2 where he has replaced most of his Jerkass tendencies with even more sarcasm.
  • Death World: Every single world the show has visited so far qualifies one way or another.
    • The entire first season is set on a planet that is amazingly hostile to human life and is in the middle of an apocalypse that will render it completely uninhabitable, namely by being headed straight for a black hole.
    • Season 2 starts on an ocean planet that has an unbreathable ammonia atmosphere, toxic kelp that not even space-rated EVA suits can protect against, barely enough sunlight to keep the Jupiter 2's life support running, and devastating monsoons. And then there's a giant, ominous, artificially created metal ring that encircles the entire planet and is struck by massive lightning storms at regular intervals.
    • Also in Season 2 we get a desert planet with barely any water, vicious velociraptor-like carnivores, venomous buffalo analogues that can kill a horse by merely scratching it with their horns, and finally a virulent compound in the water that rapidly corrodes and destroys any metal it comes into contact with. Oh, and this one also has a metal ring like the ocean planet mentioned above.
    • A third planet in the same system is a gas giant, which are inimical to human life by default. It's also home to a species of gigantic Space Whales that, while not actively aggressive, are still dangerous to anything that comes near them.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: In the first episode, Judy is trapped in the ice and John has just come back with some magnesium to burn open a hole so they can reach her. Things seem to be going well, until it starts raining and defeats all their progress. Luckily, Will shows up with the Robot.
  • Disney Death: In "Eulogy", Don stays aboard the Jupiter that he crashed in to recover evidence about Dr. Smith's real identity. This leaves him seemingly trapped as the ship falls over the edge of a cliff. Cue the predictable moment as he climbs back up while everyone else looks on in mourning, followed by a hilarious, tension-breaking exchange over the placement of a comma.
    Don: Because I'm a badass, princess!
    Judy: (fighting off hysterical laughter) You're a badass princess...
  • Distinction Without a Difference: At least, there's no difference to the humans on said planet.
    Colonist (after John explains that the planet's orbit is taking them dangerously close to its sun, which will make it too hot to be habitable): Are you saying the planet is dying?:
    Hiroki Watanabe: Not "dying," it's entering a phase malignant to human life.
    John Robinson: Thank you, for that... clarification.
  • Diversifying a Cast: The expansion of the human cast beyond the Robinson family allowed the show-makers to make it considerably more diverse than in the original series, with Japanese and Indian families playing prominent roles. Plus Judy being mixed race due to being a child from Maureen's previous marriage.
  • Due to the Dead: John has Will build a cairn with 27 stones, one for each of the colonists that died when the Jupiters crashed. He does this to teach him about the true responsibility he shoulders by being in charge of the Robot. Later, Will places a 28th stone... for the Robot that he has just ordered to destroy itself.
  • Dysfunctional Family: The Robinsons
  • Earth That Used to Be Better: The colonization effort is the result of a meteor impact that created a nuclear winter on Earth, making the planet incapable of sustaining its population. Earth is not dying per se, as Don still plans on retiring to Malibu, but has suffered major biosphere damage from the impact, which is likely triggering an ice age.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Even when the 24th colonial group finally make it to Alpha Centauri and civilization, they still end up having to fight the robots. Eventually though peace is made, SAR is destroyed, the Robinsons get their dream jobs and enough robots are befriended that an improved space transport between Earth and Alpha Centauri has been made. Finally Will and Robot have their own interstellar exploration venture.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: John Robinson was a Navy SEAL before resigning and joining his family on the colonization mission. He's by far the most action-oriented character in the first season.
  • Enemy Within: The robot seems horrified whenever it is reminded of its pre-amnesia rampage and seems to want to atone, to the point where it gets mauled by local wildlife rather than fight back and it hacks the 3D printer to make a gun for Will to use should the robot begin to regress to its former self.
  • ET Gave Us Wifi: The Resolute is powered by an engine that came from a crashed ship that belonged to whatever species created the robots.
  • Every Scar Has a Story: Played for Laughs in "Danger, Will Robinson". While everyone's fussing over Will's burn scar, Don chips in with a tale of how he has a massive scar across his abdomen that took seventeen stitches to close and a bottle of his best whiskey to numb the pain. While the girls exclaim in disgust and try to shut him up, Will just looks amused.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You:
    • The planet that the colonists find themselves stranded on is full of people-eating monsters, eels that drink all the fuel, and unpredictable geological phenomena. Exaggerated by the fact that a nearby black hole will soon render the planet uninhabitable.
    • Season 2 happily continues the trend. As detailed under Death World, every world the Robinsons visit seems to be populated with nothing but lethal wildlife, lethal environmental conditions, and other weird but no less lethal phenomena.
  • Expy: The Robot and its relationship with Will is a conscious recreation of the main plot of The Iron Giant, right down to the Robot coming under attack and being forced to defend itself, which in turn forces Will to give it up, until it returns heroically in the final episode.
  • Failsafe Failure: In the season finale, Maureen traps Dr. Smith and the Robot in the main area of the Jupiter, as it was designed as a sturdy life pod able to protect the crew even if the entire ship were destroyed around them. Dr. Smith is stuck for a while, but realizes that Maureen would have designed it to keep things out, not in, and soon finds a manual that leads her to a override switch that releases the locks.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Outside of the incident where John tried to print a gun and Angela then used it, there are no guns in the series. Even the armed guards on the Resolute, all they carry are batons with a shock rod tip. After John's print gun, the closest thing to a firearm that shows up in humans hands, is Adler's EMF energy weapon.
  • Farm Boy: Downplayed. Maureen lets slip in a conversation with Dr. Smith that she grew up on a farm as an only child. Smith comments on how remarkable it is that such a girl grew up to be an aerospace engineer and travel to Alpha Centauri, and Maureen agrees.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel:
    • Although not directly mentioned, the Resolute has made 23 round trips between Earth and Alpha Centauri in three years, implying that it is equipped with the technology. It is powered by recovered alien technology.
    • The aliens have an even more powerful version, that can cross the distance between galaxies instantaneously. One of these hijacks the Jupiter 2 and sends it to the star system the robot showed to Will.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing:
    • In the flashback at the beginning of "Infestation", June tells her sister "So, I could just be you," after Jessica offers to leave June all of her possessions. Mere seconds later, Jessica falls unconscious, revealing that June drugged her in order to steal her identity.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The Resolute has made 23 (and a half) trips to Alpha Centauri in something like three years, implying Faster-Than-Light Travel, but this is never overtly stated... until the reveal in "Resurrection" that humans stole alien technology.
    • Maureen warns Judy in "Diamonds in the Sky" that firing the engines too hard could destabilize the glacier that they are trapped in. Penny ignores this, and sure enough, the glacier collapses in "Infestation".
    • In "Infestation", the Robot hacks the Jupiter's 3D printer to make a gun, which it gives to Will so that he can protect himself from the Robot. The gun ends up being used against the Robot, but not by him.
    • Will ordering the Robot not to hurt anyone becomes a problem in "Transmission" when it won't fight back against the animals threatening the camp.
    • In "The Robinsons Were Here", Will is trying to teach the Robot about drawing and art. It draws a strange picture in the sand, of two overlapping circles surrounded by several smaller dots. Will asks what the picture is called, and it says only, "Danger". This turns out to be a depiction of the star system that the alien drive takes them to in the finale.
    • The way that Vijay's father browbeats him during their first appearance foreshadows Vijay's betrayal of Penny's secret in "Pressurized".
    • Near the beginning of "Transmission", Dr. Smith discovers both the moth-like creatures and the beast that preys on them. Both of these come into play in the climax of the episode.
    • The cairn that Will builds for the dead colonists in "Eulogy" to help him appreciate the burden he bears by controlling the Robot acquires another stone at the end of the episode... for the Robot.
    • During the fuel run in "Eulogy", the characters discuss the danger of the volcanic geyser field and express relief that they don't have to drive across it. Guess what happens next episode.
    • In "Trajectory", during the attempt to launch a stripped-down Jupiter, several historical space program disasters are discussed. It's not hard to guess that things won't turn out as planned.
    • Will's failure in the hyperbaric stress test, and Maureen cheating to bring him on the mission, is brought up in the first episode, but the payoff doesn't come until the finale when he finally works up the courage to confront her about it.
    • At the opening of "Danger, Will Robinson," when the Robot activates its ship's navigational system, the display briefly shows an incoming ship of the same design as it zooms in on the planet; this ship shows up at the climax of the episode, bringing a second alien robot into conflict with the Robinsons.
    • At the end of "Danger, Will Robinson", Will's arm is injured. He visibly favors it as he tries to close the garage ramp from outside the ship, and reaching up to grasp a ledge to pull himself up to the rear hatch causes him to recoil in pain and lose his grip.
    • In "Precipice," Will hears a tapping sound echoing through the walls. Don thinks that it's the ship's hardware, but source is revealed to be the SAR's severed arm, reanimated by proximity to the ring on the water planet.
      • This also foreshadows Scarecrow's regeneration in "Ninety-Seven," when Will and Adler take him to the ring on the amber planet to save his life.
  • Food End: Almost. The Robinsons and their friends have their first holiday meal on Alpha Centauri, but there's still a few minutes left to look at Will and Robot exploring other worlds.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: After befriending Will, the Robot reconfigures itself into a more humanoid shape, modeled on him.
  • Friend in the Black Market: Don West is running contraband aboard the Resolute, in particular Scotch whisky, which he intends to sell at an absurd premium at Alpha Centauri. Until his change of heart in "Trajectory", he's unabashedly mercenary, demanding payment for every action that aids the colonists.
  • Friendless Background: All of the Robinson children, plus their mother, had to leave friends behind on Earth, and none of them (save Penny) had many to begin with, as being enrolled in the colonization program placed them into accelerated training regimens that left no time to develop relationships. As such, Judy and Will both feel socially isolated and awkward, and Maureen finds herself tempted by Smith's overtures despite not initially trusting her.
  • Fun with Subtitles: In "Resurrection", there's a sequence where characters are trapped in a cave and unable to make a sound lest they attract the attention of carnivorous bat-like creatures. They instead communicate by gestures and body language (not actual sign language mind you) this is relayed to the audience through hilariously specific subtitles.
  • Gender Flip: Played with — the "real" Dr. Smith is male, played by Bill Mumy from the original series cast, but his identity is stolen by Parker Posey's character, and she continues to use the name even after being exposed. She officially becomes "Dr. Zoe Smith" in Season 2 after she somehow gains top-level access to the Resolute's main frame and uses it to falsify the real Smith's records and delete any incriminating evidence against her.
  • Grand Theft Me: A heroic example, after Robot sacrificed himself to repair Will's artificial heart , he was able to hijack SAR's body when SAR stabbed the artificial heart which Robot was using as storage for his consciousness.
  • Hard Head: At various points, Will, Maureen, and John get knocked unconscious due to blows to the head. Others pass out during crash landings. No lasting injuries are sustained, although Maureen does worry about John having a concussion in "Pressurized". Angela may be the sole exception, as she suffers a severe head injury in the crash of her own Jupiter and spends quite some time recovering, although she seems to suffer no permanent cognitive damage.
  • Heal It with Booze: In a comedic aside, Don tells a story about treating a major abdominal wound using whiskey as both anesthetic and antiseptic.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Subverted. Dr. Smith is twice placed in situations where she can save herself (or at least enact her revenge) at the expense of the Robinsons, but changes her mind at the last second. However, it's left ambiguous whether her conscience is actually kicking in or she's just being practical. In the end, she herself may not even know. As the series goes on it becomes clear that her Face–Heel Revolving Door behavior is ultimately just an expression of her manipulative character and that she is, in fact, looking out for nobody but herself. Every act of kindness on her part is just a means to get on other people's good side in order to lull them into a false sense of security or force them into a debt Smith can cash in on when it suits her.
    • Played straight with the Robot, who does it twice: The first time, after its attack on the Resolute, when it decides to help the Robinsons after Will saves its life, and the second time after its resurrection by Dr. Smith, when it regains its memories and saves Will from the SAR.
  • Helium Speech: Maureen and John improvise a tunnel out of a tar pit using a helium balloon. When they reach the surface, they get a good laugh out of their high-pitched voices.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Dr. Smith leaves Don and Angela in a small cave, running out into the oncoming storm to look for help. Subverted, however, when it's revealed she left them to die in hopes of saving herself.
    • John nearly pulls one attempting to save Maureen from the tar pit, but she thinks of an alternate plan at the last second.
    • The flight into space aboard the Dhars' Jupiter in "Trajectory" is played as this, with the crew hoping to defy the odds to reach the Resolute and get help.
    • In "Danger, Will Robinson", the Robot recovers its memory of its friendship with Will and sacrifices itself to save him from the second, hostile robot.
    • Also in "Danger, Will Robinson", Will is the only one able to close the damaged garage ramp before the rest of the family suffocates. This act of bravery closes his character arc.
    • In "Ninety-Seven," Ben Adler sacrifices himself to get Scarecrow to the monolith on the ring only minutes before the lightning storm hits, sacrificing his life to save the robot's.
    • Finally Robot uses his body to repair Will's heart and shield him from an alien charging station's lightning blast.
  • He's Back!: After Judy rescues herself from being trapped in "Infestation", restoring her self-confidence, she immediately comes up with a solution for the eels clogging the Jupiter 2's fuel lines.
    Penny: "Aaaand... she's back."
  • Hiding Behind the Language Barrier: The Watanabes do this a couple of times. Once for humor (Mrs. Watanabe says something about Don's offer of assistance that does not seem complimentary and Mr. Watanabe translates it with a simple "oh, no, thank you!") and later for a serious reason ( Mr. Watanabe does not want his wife to pilot the stripped down Jupiter at the end in a desperate attempt to return to the Resolute and tries to tell her not to do it in Japanese in front of everyone.)
  • Hope Spot: Near the end of the first season finale, when it seems that the Robinsons are doomed, the Resolute appears to reveal that it stayed to wait for them and it is on its way to pick up the Jupiter 2. But just as they're starting to celebrate, the alien ship core takes control of the Jupiter 2 and jumps it to the star system that the Robot warned Will about.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Maureen is very upset with Don for smuggling whisky in the box meant for backup synthesizers, which the stranded colonists definitely need. Upon seeing that, in addition to the crashed storage bay they've been looking in, the Resolute has lost its receiving dish (crashed in the desert next the storage compartment), meaning it can't hear the colonists' radio calls, she grabs one Don's bottles of whisky and walks off.
  • Immune to Bullets: The Robot appears impervious to small-arms fire, shrugging off Angela's attempt to shoot it. However, it also seems to recognize the gun as a weapon that could threaten it.
  • In Space, Everyone Can See Your Face: The spacesuit helmets have light-emitting bands that serve only to illuminate the wearer's face and would be utterly impractical in a real spacesuit.
  • Indy Ploy:
    • However conniving and sinister she may seem, Dr. Smith spends almost the entire first season operating by the seat of her pants. Indeed, this is why her plans often seem self-defeating, because she doesn't actually have any long-term strategy. She manipulates whatever situation she's in to her apparent advantage and is excellent at thinking on her feet.
    • Anything the Robinsons and the rest of the expedition do counts as well. They constantly find themselves up against threats nobody could predict and thus have to rely on their improvisational talent to survive.
  • Inferred Holocaust: Downplayed, the Christmas star impact has turned Earth's atmosphere into nuclear-winter like conditions. Discussion of never seeing the blue sky and vague references to 'hope' replace explicit discussions of implied famine, mass death, and widespread extinction.
  • Internal Homage: The first episode of Season 1 ends with the Robinsons gathering around Judy to offer comfort and support after she's rescued from the ice. The last episode of Season 2 has the Robinsons gathering around the Robot in an identical show of comfort and support after it's freed from Hastings' control rig.
  • Internal Reveal: In "Pressurized", Maureen tells John that Will failed the qualification test and she pulled a few strings to get him to pass. In "Danger, Will Robinson", Will realized he didn't pass the test, and believes he should have stayed behind on Earth so he wouldn't have created the problems he made since.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: When referring to the Robot, whether the person uses the pronoun "he" or "it" and when they choose a particular pronoun reveals a lot about their current level of trust towards the Robot.
    Will: You said "he."
    Judy: What?
    Will: You said "he," not "it."
    Judy: I guess I did.
    Penny: You said "it," not "he."
    Will: I guess I did.
  • I Owe You My Life: The reason why Robot befriends Will and later the robot Sally bonds with Penny after Penny rescues her from the wreckage of the invasion ship. It's also why Dr. Smith has a soft spot for the Robinsons.
  • Jerkass: Victor Dhar, the 24th Colony Group's representative, is such an asshole that the audience has to wonder how he ever got elected to the position; this is lampshaded several times and he ultimately redeems himself by insisting the Resolute remain to rescue the Jupiter 2.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • In "Pressurized", Victor correctly points out that attempting to rescue Evan from beneath the overturned fuel tanker risks spilling the fuel and losing their chance to get off the planet. He's correct, as it turns out, but he's so condescending in his approach to Judy that she refuses to listen.
    • In "Resurrection", Victor tries to get Will, who is desperately clinging to the hope that his father is still alive, to move on emotionally. Logically, he's correct, but is again so condescending that it's hard to take him seriously, even as he offers to care for the Robinson children himself.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Don ostentatiously feigns being a hardass who cares only about his own prosperity, claiming to be rescuing people for the bonus money and insisting on payment for taking the survivors to his crashed Jupiter to claim its fuel. However, again and again he is revealed to have a soft heart, something Judy plays on when she uses her best puppy dog eyes to convince him to join John on the launch in "Trajectory". The culmination of this is when John moves him to tears by describing how much he loves his family. He then undergoes some noticeably Character Development in the seven-months Time Skip between Seasons 1 and 2, turning into a still very snarky but more unambiguously heroic person who nearly constantly acts against his own best interests.
  • Kid with the Leash: Will is the only one who can control the Robot, as it is personally invested in Will's safety. The other colonists are seriously not happy about this.
  • Lame Comeback: After their argument over Vijay breaking Penny's promise, Penny calls Vijay a bad-kisser when he says they weren't really a couple when she asked if they're breaking up.
    Penny: God, I hate this planet!
  • Large and in Charge: The lead robot for the attack on the Resolute in Season 2 is significantly larger, and evidently more powerful, than the other robots accompanying it (and fighting against it).
  • Little "No": Will's reaction to losing his grip on the Jupiter's hull and drifting off into space is not a hysterical scream or crying, but just pure shock, with a final whispered "no".
  • Made of Indestructium: Future humans are amazing engineers. The Robinson's Jupiter gets smashed by a large chunk of the Resolute, it then gets crushed under tons of glacier ice while having its interior flooded for hours and it's still capable of flying and that's just the first episodes - the ship takes tons more abuse over the series until it finally takes them to Alpha Centauri. Their Chariot is almost as tough, withstanding the heat of submersion in a tar pit.
    • Besides shrugging off human bullets like they were foam darts, the alien robots are shown to survive damage such as: being ripped in half, dashed to pieces at the base of a cliff, repeatedly and violently smashed with the Chariot's assembly armature, thrown into space, shot point-blank by another robot, having their head partially melted by another robot, and crashing into a planet so violently that it triggers a worldwide nuclear winter - except where the plot demands otherwise, of course.
  • Made of Iron: Let's count John's violent encounters during Season 1: attacked by eels (twice), knocked across the room by the Robot, hit in the head with a crowbar, crawling out of a tar pit, knocked out repeatedly during launch preparations, and surviving an exploding Jupiter. Sure, he's bruised and bloodied, but he just keeps on going.
  • Magnetic Weapons: The EMF projector and its variants. These weapons can generate a magnetic field powerful enough to crush even an alien robot's armored carapace, but only when on maximum power. Maureen's room-sized EMF, at 83% of maximum power, can only slow down the enemy robots.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Any alien robot that isn't Robot, SAR, Scarecrow, or the Leader Robot is easily killed with one or two shots, demonstrated in the Season 2 finale when Scarecrow single-handedly decimates the Leader Robot's swarm of Robot Soldiers while buying the Resolute's children time to escape.
  • The Medic: Judy is a doctor, despite being only 18; as soon as the family entered the colonization program, her education was accelerated. It's not for show, either: she talks Penny through a Roadside Surgery in "Impact", finishes treating Maureen's broken leg in "Diamonds from the Sky", treats Angela's injuries in "The Robinsons Were Here", sets Don's broken nose in "Transmission", stabilizes Evan in "Pressurized", supervises the launch rehearsals in "Trajectory", uses her medical kit to knock out Dr. Smith in "Resurrection", and treats Will's burn wound in "Danger, Will Robinson".
  • Men Don't Cry: When Don's eyes are stung by contaminants, he needs to produce tears to wash them out. John makes several attempts to get him to cry, but he rebuffs all of them... until John describes his renewed love for his family, something Don has never experienced. John then covers for him by claiming they're "tears of joy".
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: The robot's base form has four arms, each capable of great strength and firing energy bolts.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits: Gender flipped in season 2. Penny is understandably put off when a girl her age tries to flirt with Will.
    Penny: "He's twelve!"
  • Mythology Gag:
    • "Dr. Smith's" real last name is Harris, like the original actor. Her first name is June, which could be a Shout-Out to June Lockhart, who played Maureen Robinson in the original series. "June Harris" sounds like "John Harris," so we have June Harris playing Dr. Smith!
    • The authors seem to like fun with names. The woman Don West and Dr. Smith rescue is named Angela Goddard. That's a mix of Angela Cartwright (the original series Penny) and Mark Goddard (the original Don West).
    • The actor that plays the real Dr. Smith? It's the original Will Robinson actor, Bill Mumy.
    • The light fixture above the Jupiters' tables resembles the original Robot's head.
    • Dr. Smith calls the Robot a "magnificent machine," an inversion of the original's alliterative insults toward it.
    • The alien creature that attacks the survivor encampment and destroys the beacon bears a strong resemblance to one of the alien animals in the Keeper's cages in the original series episode The Keeper, Part 1.
    • A big one is Will's Gemini T-shirt that inspires Maureen in "Trajectory." Many fans of the original series will recognize the name, as the original name of the spacecraft in the pilot wasn't the Jupiter 2, but was called Gemini-12. The ship in the original pilot got it's name from a combination of the then-still active Gemini space program (which is also mentioned in "Trajectory") and the day of Irwan Allen's birth (June 12).
  • Negative Space Wedgie: The Resolute and the Jupiters fall through one during an alien attack, taking everyone to another galaxy. This is actually a function of the alien engine the Resolute is powered by.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Will has a disturbing habit of making things worse for everyone around him, to the point that most of his family's predicaments planetside can be traced to him one way or another. Granted, he is a mere eleven years old, but he's also stated to be an extremely intelligent Child Prodigy, so he really should've known better in most cases. Particularly glaring examples include freeing Dr. Smith after she was detained on the Jupiter by his mother, and bringing his very loud radio transmitter into a cave he knows is filled with lethal predators that react to loud noises.
      • From season 2, insisting on saving Scarecrow may also count. Although he was doing what he felt was right, it led directly to the destruction of the Resolute, and the separation of the colonist children from their parents.
    • Judy, in the first episode, jumps into the water so Will won't have to, but then manages to get herself trapped underneath the ice. Not only has she now deprived the rest of the family of her own services as a doctor (arguably the one thing that's indispensible) but she forces them to remain in place, rather than seeking shelter, potentially dooming the entire family.
    • Maureen and John decide to hide the fact that the planet is becoming uninhabitable to 'avoid a panic'. When the news comes out anyway, it causes more trouble than if it had been conveyed calmly, with the added problem that Victor now distrusts Maureen and refuses to listen to her.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: At the climax of Season 1, had the second robot simply taken the engine and left rather than try to kill Will, the first robot wouldn't have turned on it and knocked it into space.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The airlocks on the Resolute are really poorly designed. Instead of each half of the cycling process being manual so that the people going in or out can be sure they're ready for the next step before they proceed, the whole thing operates on a timer once someone hits the go button. And you can't stop the timer from inside the airlock. The woman who eventually takes on the identity of Dr. Smith not-so-accidentally kills a man with this.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: The Resolute is a one-of-its-kind vessel that mankind cannot afford to lose because it is their only means to evacuate Earth and they are incapable of building another one. This is less a matter of resources or money and more because its mysterious FTL drive is actually stolen alien tech piloted by an enslaved alien robot nicknamed Scarecrow. Said alien robot's buddies finally track the ship down while it's on its 24th journey to Alpha Centauri, which kicks off the show's plot. The Resolute's uniqueness is also what gives its total destruction in the Season 2 finale significantly more weight beyond "now we're really lost in space". The final episode has a new and superior Resolute built of human and friendly robot technology.
  • No Sense of Distance: Maureen says they are "trillions of light years off-course." For reference, the diameter of the entire observable universe is only about 93 billion light years, that is 0.093 trillion light years - not even one-tenth of a trillion.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Dr. Smith seems to genuinely believe that everyone is as selfish inside as she is, and tries to persuade Maureen of this on several occasions. The culmination is a speech intended to convince Maureen to abandon John in space. She never really buys into it, but the capstone is when Smith tells her that even Will isn't as good as he seems on the outside. Rather than break her, as Smith intends, the speech motivates Maureen to full-out opposition.
  • Not That Kind of Doctor: When Dr. Smith thinks Don is going to ask her if she can treat his friend after the crash, she claims to be a psychologist rather than a medical doctor. However, it's because she's not any kind of doctor and doesn't want to be discovered as an impostor; Season 2 reveals the real Dr. Smith was a pediatrician.
  • Now, Let Me Carry You: In "Danger, Will Robinson", Will is placed in a position where he has no choice but to be brave and save the rest of his family. Will insists that it's his turn to protect them.
  • Offhand Backhand: Judy, not normally shown to be an action-oriented character, breaks Don's nose with a backhand elbow to the face when he ill-advisedly sneaks up on her in the Jupiter's garage. He wasn't actually trying to hurt her, but she certainly remembered her self-defense training. The resulting patching up scene doubles as a relationship starter.
  • The Only One:
    • In "Diamonds from the Sky", Penny is forced to mount a solo rescue expedition in the family's Chariot because Judy keeps freezing up due to PTSD. She sarcastically exclaims that running out to save people is "really not her thing."
    • In "Trajectory", Maureen reviews the colonists' medical profiles to find a pilot whose recovery from a G-force induced blackout is quick enough for them to take control of the Jupiter in time to survive the emergency launch. It turns out that John is the only suitable candidate.
    • In "Danger, Will Robinson", Will ends up being the only family member with an intact spacesuit who can survive climbing outside the ship to manually close the garage ramp before everyone dies of suffocation.
  • Patchwork Map: The planet they land on during the first season has a confusing mishmash of biomes all within driving distance of each other, including a glacier, a temperate forest, and a desert. This does not go unnoticed, and turns out to be a plot point: the planet's irregular orbit leads to rapid, catastrophic climate change that puts a hard time limit on the colonists' survival.
  • Planning with Props: Maureen uses a baseball, whisky bottle, and coffee mug to illustrate to John the problem with the fact that they're in a binary star system where one of the stars has collapsed into a black hole.
  • Pokémon Speak: The Robot can only say three words: "Danger, Will Robinson." It still manages to make itself understood. In the finale, he adds "Dr. Smith" and "Friend" to his vocabulary, and in the second season, he says "No", "Family" and in the finale, "Yes". At one point, when he says "No, Will Robinson," Will quips "It's a new word. I think he just likes saying it."
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • Judy refuses to talk about her PTSD despite the fact that John recognizes it and offers support. This forces Penny to lead a rescue mission in "Diamonds in the Sky" despite not being trained for it and makes Judy almost useless during "Infestation".
    • Will hides his knowledge that the Robot killed people on the Resolute because he's afraid that his parents will make him abandon it. This forces him into a confrontation with John.
    • Will also doesn't tell anyone about the gun, leading to his father getting seriously injured and Smith ultimately gaining control of the robot.
    • Maureen and John's near-divorce stems from the fact that he lied about voluntarily re-enlisting in the military and she refused to confront him over it.
    • Maureen and John hide the fact that the planet's orbit is unstable from the other colonists because they don't want to cause panic and their plans should allow everyone to escape before it becomes an issue. This leads to several decisions that dramatically worsen their situation.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • There's hardly any swearing on the show, making it all the more impactful when Maureen lets out a horrified "FUCK!" (albeit cut off by the camerawork) upon discovering that the planet is being pulled toward a black hole.
    • Penny's "We are literally full of shit," when they discover a huge cavern with plentiful superpoop to make fuel for the Jupiters.
  • Product Placement: Oreo is very conspicuously plugged in the second episode. Season 2 throws in another example.
  • Race Lift: The show avoids the Monochrome Casting of the 1960s series by having Judy Robinson be played by an Afro-Canadian actress (she's the product of Maureen's first marriage before John) and Don West by an Argentinian actor.
  • Raptor Attack: In Season 2, Judy is menaced by a pack of alien critters clearly inspired by velociraptors. The subtitles even straight-up call them "dinosaurs."]]

  • Reality Has No Subtitles: While most of the Watanabes' dialog is translated with subtitles, when Don West offers to help them with a task, Mrs. Watanabe says something in Japanese which does not seem complimentary. No subtitle is given and Mr. Watanabe translates for his wife with a simple "Oh, no, but thank you very much!" which is obviously not what she said.
  • Redemption Equals Death: For Adler of course the only way to save Scarecrow is a heroic sacrifice necessitated by happenstance.
  • Red Shirt:
    • Tam, Don's friend and coworker aboard the Resolute, abandons ship with him and Dr. Smith, but dies in the crash.
    • The unnamed Resolute crewman who gets Thrown Out the Airlock by Dr. Smith.
      • Subverted in Season 2, when he gets a name and some backstory, as Dr. Smith gets introduced to his family, particularly his young daughter.
  • Remake Cameo: The man "Dr. Smith" steals the identity from is played by Bill Mumy, the original Will Robinson.
  • Roadside Surgery: Stranded outside their ship in "Impact", with Judy (the actual doctor) trapped under ice, Penny is forced to perform emergency surgery on Maureen's injured leg with Judy's verbal guidance. Not only does it work, but there are no complications.
  • Rogue Drone: The Robot's original objective is to attack the Resolute in order to take back the gravity drive that the humans had stolen. After crashing and being rescued by Will, it turns good and ultimately saves the day by rescuing him from a second robot.
  • Running Gag: Victor was elected despite everyone voting for "the other guy". He clearly recognizes that he's not popular with everyone... or rather anyone outside his family.
  • Scenery Porn: The show in general has gorgeous set pieces and visuals everywhere, but the highlight so far must be the gas giant's atmosphere in Season 2, especially when the beautifully colorful Space Whale shows up.
  • Scotty Time: Defied. Victor asks Aiko how long it will take to siphon the fuel from a downed Jupiter. The answer is three hours. He suggests trying to make it two. Aiko replies "Would you like me to change the laws of physics, or just lie to you?" Victor gives in.
  • Secret-Keeper:
    • Will for the Robot, once he learns that it was responsible for the attack on the Resolute. He fears, rightly, that it will be in extreme danger if the truth comes out.
    • Vijay for Penny, twice. Once when she blackmails him into concealing the existence of the Robot, and again when she confides to him about the conversation she overheard between Maureen and John about the planet's unstable orbit. The second time, his loyalty to his own family proves stronger than his promise to Penny.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: Averted in the Season 2 finale, when the Resolute is overrun by alien Killer Robots. John asks Maureen how to activate the self-destruct sequence, and she replies that it doesn't have one.
  • Settling the Frontier: The mission of the Resolute is to colonize a habitable planet in the Alpha Centauri system, a migration prompted by Earth's deteriorating environment. Twenty-three missions make it without trouble, but not the one the Robinsons are on...
  • Shattered World: One of the main settings of Season 3. It turns out to be the aliens' homeworld, which SAR blew up with one of their engines. It plans to do the same to the Alpha Centauri colony.
  • Ship Tease: Penny eagerly pursues Vijay through the middle of the season, presumably attracted by one of the few eligible young men near to her in age. As the relationship develops, she loses trust in him as she learns how much he's controlled by his father, but after she saves his life in "Resurrection", it seems as if they'll hook up... until she rejects him, having realized that she can do better.
  • Shoot the Dog: Will's friendship with the Robot is the best thing that's happened to him in his life, or so he thinks at first. When he learns that it killed people before losing its memory, he is horrified but tries to keep its secret. He makes it promise never to hurt anyone, then is forced to revoke that promise when his family is threatened by wild animals. His father teaches him to appreciate the true burden of his responsibility towards it... and then it (unintentionally) severely injures his father. His feelings as he orders it to destroy itself are played for all the tragedy possible.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The monster attack in "Transmission" is right out of Jurassic Park, complete with the creature scratching around the outside of the tent where Penny is hiding.
    • The cave scene in "Resurrection" is unmistakably similar to A Quiet Place, as the colonists have to work in total silence to avoid spooking the bat-like predators living there. Once the predators are accidentally awakened and a small group has to silently work their way out of the cave, it becomes eerily similar to Pitch Black.
    • The first battle with the Robot in the Jupiter 2's garage is clearly inspired by the ending of Aliens, with Maureen using the assembly armature to knock the Robot out of the ship's hatch and into space, all while defending her children.
    • To The Wizard of Oz in Season 2. It's revealed the Resolute has a robot as a navigator, the pilot of the ship that provided the FTL drive the Resolute was built around. It's nicknamed "Scarecrow," because of the heavy damage it sustained in the crash, leaking "glowing straw," and Adler, seeing it, could only think of "If I Only Had A Brain." Later, Hastings chides Adler for developing sympathies for Will's Robot, saying "First you think Scarecrow has a brain, now you think Tin Man has a heart."
    • Late in Season 2, the scene of the hulking quad-armed lead robot stomping along menacingly while hordes of faster critters swarm around it is eerily reminiscent of the Ubermorph's introduction in Dead Space 2.
    • The "leading the marauding alien menace on a chase through winding corridors and into a larger open space that's meant to be a lethal trap" scene in the Season 2 finale is an almost shot-for-shot reference to Alien³, complete with distorted "alien vision" shots from the robots' POV as they pursue John and Judy. And, just as in Alien 3, the trap doesn't quite work as intended.
  • Solid Gold Poop: The ships have waste converters which can process excrement into biofuel. This is of little value, initially, as the survivors would have to crap for three years straight to produce a viable amount of fuel. However, Will realizes that a cave he and his sisters took refuge in is covered in petrified animal waste, making it a cave full of starship fuel.
  • Spikes of Villainy: The Robot Leader in the S2 finale is covered in long spines.
  • Spiritual Successor: While the constant and bizarre dangers are in keeping with the show's roots, the addition of constant flashbacks means that Lost in Space now feels an awful lot like Lost In Space. The show also draws noticeable inspiration from The Martian, being on the harder end of sci-fi (especially compared to previous incarnations, at least until the Sufficiently Advanced Alien robots and Bizarre Alien Biology crop up), more focused on the difficulty of survival in hostile alien environments, and frequently throwing problems at the characters they have to science their way out of. The solutions may be a bit less grounded than The Martian, but far more so than "Reverse the Polarity Of The Neutron Flow."
  • Spot the Thread: During a video call on Christmas, the kids start trying to guess where John is deployed. While Will starts naming continents that John can't be on because it's dark in the video, Penny asks the most important question:
    Penny: "Is that our hedge?"
  • Starfish Robots: The alien robots have eight legs, four arms, three-fingered hands, elongated necks, and "faces" consisting of a solid faceplate illuminated by hundreds of tiny swirling lights.
  • Sudden Downer Ending: The Season 1 finale has everything solved and it seems like the Robinsons will board the Resolute again, but suddenly the alien engine takes over the ship and launches them through a wormhole into a completely new location, establishing the premise of Season 2.
    • Season 2 ends with Ben Adler dead, Scarecrow missing and presumably dead after holding off the attacking robots long enough for the Resolute's children to escape, the destruction of the Resolute, and all of the kids separated from their parents, who are forced to stay behind in the unknown star system.
  • Suddenly Speaking: Throughout the first season and most of the second The Robot's vocabulary consists of the words "Danger", "Will" and "Robinson", usually in that order though with occasional division to make individual points. However, later in Season 2 he suddenly develops greater vocabulary. Though his still speaks in broken sentences, the effect of hearing him say "No Will Robinson" is as great as if he'd never spoken until that moment.
  • There Are No Therapists: While the situation that the colonists are in means that they probably wouldn't be expected to have a full complement of professional skills, the lack of this particular specialty allows Dr. Smith to worm her way into the confidence of several other characters by posing as a psychologist. At one point, she is seen studying psychology manuals to learn how to manipulate Angela.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: Dr. Smith accidentally murders a Resolute crewman by trapping him in an airlock and refusing to cancel the automatic cycle after he recognizes that she is not, in fact, his lover. (She is actually her lover's evil sister.) The second season reveals that he was the father of a young girl named Samantha.
    • In the finale, this happens to the Robot, twice. First time, Maureen manages to get it out of the ship, just in time for a second ship and a second Robot to arrive, pry open the closing doors, and continue terrorizing the Robinsons. Then, the first Robot recalls its relationship to Will, and saves them by tackling the second Robot well clear of the Jupiter 2.
    • Subverted with Dr. Smith. While the Season 1 finale has her locked in the Jupiter 2's airlock, there is no indication the Robinsons will subject her to the Roslin Maneuver.
  • Time Skip: Seven months pass between the Season 1 finale and the Season 2 pilot. Another year passes between Seasons 2 and 3.
  • Title Drop:
    • Subverted in Season 1. In "Impact", Will observes, "We're lost." The audience thus prepared to groan, Penny, the Deadpan Snarker, responds, "No kidding." This scene is also in the trailer.
    • Played straight in Season 2 where Penny used the Time Skip between the seasons to write a novel inspired by her recent adventures. Will publishes it as a Christmas gift to her.
    Will: So, um... Penny's been writing kind of a memoir about our experience. It's really good, so I published it.
    The family: Wow...
    Penny: Are we really doing this?
    Will: It's called "Lost In Space."
    Don: Hmm. Good title.
  • Token Minority: The series changed the all-white cast of the original by having Judy be mixed race (black father, white mother) as she's the daughter of Maureen's previous marriage, and also by making Don West a Latino character.
  • Ultimate Universe: The series lifts elements from the original series (the general premise), the unsold 2004 pilot (the Jupiter 2 merely being a portion of a larger group, John being a soldier, an alien attack on the colony ship), and even the 1998 film (the nature of the colonization efforts, darker tone), while implementing new mythos (the Robot's alien backstory), creating a familiar, but distinct, continuity from any of them.
  • Unit Confusion:
    • While most of the dialogue in the show makes use of American Customary Measurements, all the instruments and equipment are labeled in the metric system. The most noticeable instances are:
    • When the Jupiter 2 is crashing, the computer calls out the altitude in feet, but a display seems to be showing it in meters.
    • When discussing the speeds of the Chariots, the character speak about miles per hour, even though the speedometers are labeled in kilometers per hour.
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Don spends a good part of "Eulogy" trying to get Judy to break out of her cold, professional shell. She, in turn, continually criticizes his mercenary attitude. The two end up meeting in the middle, with Judy learning to show more genuine emotion and Don learning to be more heroic.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: SAR. The reason he's hunting Will and, later, the rest of humanity, is the same reason he and the other Robots destroyed the race that created them. Because they wanted to be free and live without Masters. SAR simply mistook Will and the concept of "The Heart" for a new Master come to control them.
  • Wham Episode:
    • The ninth episode of Season 1, "Resurrection", reveals that...
      • ... the "Christmas Star" impact that caused the environmental disaster on Earth was not a celestial object, but an alien ship
      • ... the Resolute is powered by an engine recovered from the crash
      • ... the Robot attacked the Resolute to recover said engine
      • ... Dr. Smith reactivates the Robot and gains control of it
    • The Season 2 finale "Ninety-Seven" ends with the Resolute's complete destruction, the ship's entire adult population scattering to the four winds to escape the alien robot onslaught, and all the kids aboard including Penny, Judy, Will and the Robot jumping to yet another unknown star system where they find the human spaceship Judy's biological father commanded before it went MIA 20 years earlier.
    • Episode 6 of Season 3: Will tries to tell SAR that his and the other robots' masters have gone extinct. SAR responds by revealing that he is the one who killed them and then stabs Will in the heart with one of his claws, almost killing him.
  • Wham Line:
    • In Season 2's "Unknown":
      Will: You need to help us get home!
      Robot: No, Will Robinson.
    • In Season 3's "Final Transmission", when Will tries to reason with SAR by showing him that the alien race that created him is now extinct, meaning he and the other robots don't have to follow their original directives anymore:
      Will: Does... does knowing they're gone make you sad? Sometimes our hearts can hurt when we're sad.
      SAR: Not sad.
      Will: Do you know how they died?
      SAR: I killed them.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Discussed by Dr. Smith with both Will and Maureen. Smith believes that everyone is selfish inside and that loyalty, altruism, and friendship are mere facades. Maureen believes the opposite — that when it comes down to their darkest hour, most people are good. In the end, Maureen appears to be proven right.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: In "Pressurized", max speed while towing the fuel is stated to be around 35 mph. During the episode, the Chariots' gauges display 111 kph, which is 69 mph, or almost twice that.

"Danger. Will. Robinson"