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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 has been renewed for a second season.

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.
  • 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 smuggles whiskey to the colonies.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Adult Fear:
    • First off, the idea of you and your kids being trapped on an unknown planet with nobody else around. But it only gets worse.
    • Being forced to watch, helpless, as your child suffocates to death.
    • Getting separated from two children at the same time and having to choose which one to help.
    • Having to choose, again, between rescuing one family member and getting the rest to safety.
    • Being told, point blank, by your child that bringing them on the trip was a mistake because they're to blame for everything that went wrong.
    • Having the opportunity to save all of your family. . . except your youngest, because he didn't pass the rigorous stress tests. Leave him behind all alone, give up the one chance for a better life to keep the family together, or cheat to take him with you?
    • Letting a person into your home, into your family, trusting them around your kids and belongings, and then find out they're a criminal, pathological liar, only out for themselves, borderline sociopath and borderline murderer? And they've been spending the bulk of their time making friends with your youngest and most impressionable child?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 cacklingly claims he's responsible. His expression is less one of pain than of devastation.
  • Break Them by Talking:
    • 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.
  • 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."
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Considering its a family of STEM nerds that read classics, none of them think of ordering the robot to be “Three Laws Friendly” which could have avoided the drama around it in the 2nd half of season 1.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Deadpan Snarker: 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."
  • Death World: 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.
  • 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:
    Colonist (after Maureen explains that the planet they're on is en route to a black hole and this is the reason the environment is insane): So you're telling us that we're stuck on a dying planet?:
    Hiroki Watanabe (somewhat excitedly): The planet isn't dying, it's transforming into something that won't be able to sustain human life!
  • 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.
  • 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. Taken Up to Eleven by the fact that a nearby black hole will soon render the planet uninhabitable.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • In "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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Internal Reveal: In "Pressurized", Maureen tells John that Will failed the test and she cheated 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 caused 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.
  • Jerkass: Victor Dhar, the 24th Colony Group's representative, is such an asshole that the audience has to wonder how he ever got elected for 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.
  • 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 Victor breaking Penny's promise, Penny calls Victor 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!
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: At the climax, 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.
  • Not So Different: 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; we never learn exactly what the real Dr. Smith's profession was.
  • 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.
  • Pokémon Speak: The Robot can only say three words: "Danger, Will Robinson." It still manages to make itself understood. In the finale, it adds "Dr. Smith" and "Friend" to its vocabulary.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: In episode 3, 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 yearsnote .
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • Ship Tease:
    • Sparks fly between Don and Judy almost every time they interact, as Judy wants to be all business but Don tries to tease out her sense of fun, calling her "princess" and doing his best to get her to loosen up. Judy, in turn, ends up being Don's moral compass. Season 1 ends with the relationship inconclusive.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?"
  • 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.
  • 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 an unnamed Resolute crewman by trapping him in an airlock and refusing to cancel the automatic cycle. Bye, Red Shirt that we never knew.
    • 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.
  • Title Drop: Subverted. 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.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • Wham Episode: The ninth episode, "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.
  • 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"

Example of: