DANGER, ALL WILL Robinson and Lost in Space fans. In this not-so-brave new world of reboots and revivals, some classic TV properties stubbornly resist rebirth.
While not as awful as the movie remake of 20 years ago, which was a low point in the film careers of Oscar winners William Hurt and Gary Oldman (if not Matt LeBlanc), this lumbering 10-episode misfire is just as forgettable. That’s something you’d never say of the cheerfully cheesy Irwin Allen original (1965–1968), a relic beloved by this child of the ’60s.
Recapturing that aura of innocent intergalactic campiness is likely impossible, but playing it straight saps the high concept— Swiss Family Robinson on a spaceship!—of its giddy sense of wonder and, most crucially, fun. Suffering from a profound case of Spielberg envy, with echoes of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. and Jurassic Park (although you may wonder where the dinosaurs disappear to after one random fight scene), the new version has an even more fatal flaw: It wants to be Lost in space.
Almost the entire first season takes place on a mysterious island—sorry, planet—where the Robinson family crash-lands while en route to the colony of Alpha Centauri in their Jupiter 2 vessel. Before long, they’re joined by other stranded travelers in their own Jupiter ships, all seeking fuel and a plan to get off this unstable way station. Somehow I expected perils more th