By Kevin Hoskinson
One of the latest offerings in the modern Hollywood reboot craze is a Netflix reimagining of the 1965 series Lost in Space. For those unfamiliar with the series, it follows the adventures of the Robinson family, who are, well, lost in space. In the year 2046, an object known as “The Christmas Star” crashes into earth and threatens the survival of everything on the planet. In order to save humanity, mankind launches The Resolute, a spacecraft carrying selected families to colonize a new planet. Before they reach their destination, The Resolute is attacked by an alien robot, causing the families on board to evacuate using the short-range Jupiter spacecraft. The Robinsons, along with other colonists, crash land on a habitable planet nearby. It becomes a fight for survival as the colonist try to adapt to their new environment and attempt to find a way back to the Resolute.
From the opening minutes of the first episode, we are thrown into the action. The Jupiter has crashed and the Robinson family escapes the ship, with a few supplies and some equipment. Not long after, the craft sinks to the bottom of a small body of water. Daughter Judy (Taylor Russell) volunteers to swim to the sunken craft and retrieve a battery to help power up the supplies through the subzero night. Things don’t exactly as planned, as Judy gets frozen in the pool as night falls, and with only 5 hours of air left, her family must rescue her before it’s too late. John (Toby Stephens) and his son, Will (Maxwell Jenkins), set out to collect an element that will melt through the ice. During which time, they get separated, and Will stumbles across a crashed alien ship and a damaged robot that he helps to repair. By doing so, the robot joins Will in his search for the element that could save his sister’s life.
“Impact” was written by Matt Sazama & Burke Sharpless, and directed by Neil Marshall, best known for his film “The Descent” and a couple episodes of “Game of Thrones”. When you get a great script and a great director, magic can happen, and this show is a great example of that. It doesn’t spend any time explaining the story at the beginning, but you don’t need that. As the show progresses, you get glimpses of the lives of the Robinson family before the disaster. The writers and editors do a fantastic job interweaving the flashbacks with the current situation without missing a beat. It is definitely one of the most intense, intriguing first hours of a television show I have ever seen, especially from a family show such as this.
Aside from the writing, the casting choices in this are well done also. The Robinsons feel like a real family, one that you know, or that you are a part of. As the drama in the flashbacks unfolds, you find that they have just as many issues as anyone else, they are far from perfect. A lot of that has to do with the performance and how they interact with each other. There is no one in the cast that is a drag to be around, even if they are by themselves, and that’s a good thing.
If this episode is any indication, we are in for a fun, exhilarating ride. It is non-stop from beginning to end, and I really hope it can keep up the pace. For being a reboot of an old franchise, it still feels fresh and new. It’s smart, thrilling and funny at the same time. The ending of this episode left me wanting to watch more, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Check this out! Do not let this one pass you by.
Rating: 10 out of 10