Netflix’s Lost in Space returns to Earth for one last time to bid farewell to The Robinsons in another stylish, heartwarming, though occasionally formulaic adventure. Like the seasons before it, Lost in Space’s third Season is a visually stunning feast for the eyes. Netflix knows how to make a good-looking show and this is no exception. The use of both practical and visual effects, the visits to various alien planets and the depths of space look extraordinary.
One gripe to be had with the visual direction of the show is the design of the primary antagonist of the series, SAR. As leader of the Robots, scenes that feature him lose some dramatic weight as the physical differences between him and his grunts are so slight, that it can be very difficult to differentiate between him and the others.
The writing for the show keeps to the formula of making situations as perilous as possible and then using their wits and trust in one another, the family almost instantly resolves them. So in instances when we are faced with moments of what should be real tension, the complete lack of stakes deflates it somewhat.
Despite this narrative flaw having been present since the beginning Lost in Space remains an incredibly enjoyable show. The Robinsons, as well as family friend Dom, carry us through the occasional murky waters of the plot with charm and good humour. The acting is pitch perfect with the chemistry between the family remaining remarkable. Molly Parker’s portrayal of matriarch Maureen is as brilliant as ever and Maxwell Jenkins’s brings a new-found maturity (and height) previously missing from Will’s character.
At the beginning of the Season the Robinsons are the most divided, both geographically and emotionally, they have ever been. There are deep emotional cracks in their once rock solid familial foundation, ones that could have been incredibly interesting to explore. However, just as every single impossible situation has an unsurprisingly simple and convenient fix, the relationships are quickly mended and we’re back to the same familiar Robinsons by the end of the first episode. Though the family’s members remain just as likeable as they have always been, it was disappointing to not see the writers use this opportunity to have them grow as individuals. Perhaps it was the shorter episode count, but Lost in Space really felt like it was rushing through moments that would have so benefitted from real exploration. The addition of Grant Kelly, Judy’s biological father who was presumed dead, made very little impact to the overall story. Other than one genuinely touching scene between Judy and Kelly, his presence was very limited and whatever potential his return implied at the end of Season Two, was quite frankly wasted.
Despite some issues, Lost in Space remains a fun, heart-warming romp in space that cuts through cynicism in the most charming of ways. The show’s smart plot and loveable characters are more than easy to get invested in. So much so that by the time the credits rolled on a predictably happy yet syrupy ending, I was sad that it was over.
Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure | USA, 2022 | PG | Season 3 | Netflix | Molly Parker, Toby Stephens, Maxwell Jenkins, Taylor Russell, Mina Sundwall, Ignacio Serricchio, Parker Posey, Brian Steele