'Lost in Space': Set in another galaxy, but grounded in reality
Based on the 1960s science-fiction series of the same title, Lost in Space tells the story of a family that goes on a journey in outer space to seek better living conditions on another planet as part of a colonization experiment.
Canadian actress Molly Parker, best known for her roles in the shows House of Cards and Deadwood, plays Maureen Robinson, an aerospace engineer, wife, and the mother of Judy (Taylor Russell), Penny (Mina Sundwall) and Will (Maxwell Jenkins). British actor Toby Stephens, who took the lead role in the series Black Sails and a villain’s character in Die Another Day, plays seasoned army veteran John Robinson, estranged husband to Maureen and father to the 3 kids.
Although the story is set in outer space, the show is very much grounded in reality, with characters dealing with real-life issues most people can relate to. It is essentially a family drama in a picturesque sci-fi setting, and this provides plenty of opportunity for the writers to inject emotional turns into the plot.
In a media interview, Molly Parker talked about how the concept of family is an integral part of the Lost in Space, and how it makes the series appealing to a larger audience.
“A part of the story is how this family that is somewhat fractured is able to find its way back together. One of the things that I loved about the script when I read it is this isn't the perfect nuclear family.”
“This is a family that is full of heart, but all of these people have flaws and challenges and things that they are trying to overcome. And I think – I hope – that audiences can relate to them on a human level beyond the big adventure that the show is,” Parker said.
Maxwell Jenkins, who plays Will, the youngest in the Robinson family, points out, “They always come back to being a family. Like Molly said yes, they’re a fractured family but no matter what, The Robinsons stick together.”
Stephens, on the other hand, finds value in the fact that Lost in Space isn’t like your usual sci-fi flick, making it generally more relatable.
“It's not like those space operas like Star Wars where it actually massive and people are talking. I mean forgive me but you don't really go and kind of relate, you don’t go to a situation and say I've had a situation just like Luke Skywalker's. I've been there I've been there Luke. Or, know exactly how you feel losing your hand like that.”
“It’s also not like one of those dystopian things like Blade Runner or something really dark. This is its own thing and because it's always couched in this family, there is a domestic situation it always holds some kind of reality.”
“That's kind of the center of gravity and all of the stuff that happens around it is kind of really cool and exciting but it always goes back to these real people that hopefully people or the audience would want to relate to.”
A mother in real life, Parker sees Lost in Space as a show that both children and parents can enjoy watching together.
She explains, “The kids actually have to be a little older because it’s awesome, sophisticated and scary. And it's exciting so I know as a parent because there's not that much that you can watch with your middle school child that is also fun for adults and is interesting.”
Lost in Space premieres on Netflix on April 13. – Rappler.com