Pilot Review: LOST IN SPACE

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TV pilot review by David Blackwell

Last year, the WB gave the OK for a pilot to a new LOST IN SPACE to be made.  Unfortunately they passed on that pilot and the pilot for the new DARK SHADOWS series. After the first few minutes (which are too much bad WB family drama), LOST IN SPACE shines as a serious sci-fi family darama.  The WB tried to get away from genre shows while their new teen centric dramas crashed and burned while the new LOST IN SPACE and DARK SHADOWS could have been winners.

The Robinson family (John Robinson, Maureen Robison, and their kids: Will, David, Judy, and some baby- sorry we don't have Penny) are moving to a farming colony in 2097. They live in pod Jupiter 2 which is connected to a mother ship with many other Jupiter pods. Dr. Robinson was once a Colonel who fought in the war against some aliens years ago. Major Don West is a young hotshot pilot who has a one night stand with Judy and regrets it when he finds out who her father is. The family is very disfuctional. Will builds a robot as a bodyguard. Judy doesn't want to move. David can't live up to his father's expectations.

When the Robinsons and other families are on their two month journey to the farming collony, the transport ship is ambushed by aliens. One thing leads to another and the Jupiter 2 ends up Lost In Space. A couple of neat cliffhanger endings are set up at the end of the pilot. The special effects aren't bad and some of the music is temp music (including music from Battlestar Galactica). Too bad the WB didn't go for a series (since their two new dramas they did pick are cancelled).  The series got grounded before it started due to major creative differences between everyone involved in the show.  Everyone had their own ideas about what the show should be like.  THE ROBINSONS: LOST IN SPACE could have been a serious sci-fi drama in the same category as the new BATTLESTAR GALACTICA series. 

Brad Johnson is good in the role of John Robinson.  He does a better job at the role than William Hurt ever did (for the LOST IN SPACE movie).  Jayne Brook has the least to do as Maureen Robinson because the pilot mostly focuses on John, Don, Judy, Will, and David (who is left to an uncertain fate).  The aliens look like they were stolen from Babylon 5, but they are very dangerous.  Plenty of fighting as John Robinson and Don West kick some alien butt.

I hope New Line sees the wisdom of including this pilot as a an extra whenever they decide to revisit the LOST IN SPACE movie for a new DVD release. Too bad this new TV series didn't get picked up.  It left me wanting to watch what happened next.   I wish Warner would have went back to this pilot and extended it to be a direct to DVD movie.  It is a shame we will might never see this version of LOST IN SPACE.

this review is (c)5-26-2005 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com and look for additional content at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia