Well, a lot of fans' concerns about the first casting announcement have been confirmed. It seems the new Lost In Space will have a lot of changes that will be sure to upset loyal fans (this one included). I'm hoping they get a clue, listen to viewers who made the show a hit in the first place, and drop some of these propose changes.
Here's what we've learned:
A quick summary with complete character breakdowns to follow:
- John and Maureen are estranged
- Judy is Maureen's daughter from a previous marriage
- Judy blames her father for the estrangement
- The family is dysfunctional
- Don is now apparently Han Solo
- Penny is a sarcastic black sheep of the family
- Will is a wimp
- Smith is a woman
- The Robot will look “vastly different”
This is not an official release, but was what went out to talent agents and managers:
[JOHN ROBINSON]40s, the dad. A seasoned combat veteran with the self-possessed strength of a born leader. When the family's spaceship crash-lands on an unknown planet, he maintains a goal-oriented attitude. We see he and his wife draw together in this emergency, but the truth of their relationship is they’re estranged. John insisted that he come along to protect his family from the unknown dangers they might face. This is a chance to make up for the mistakes he’s made in the past, and earn a place back in the family. Faced with difficult decisions that test even him, John must face one potential disaster after another (most of them involve trying to find the lesser evil)…SERIES REGULAR
[MAUREEN ROBINSON]Late 30s – 40s, the mom. An aerospace engineer with a fearsome intellect. A driven and demanding woman both in and outside her home. It's Maureen who makes the decision to bring her family into space. She wants her children to have a chance at a new life on a better world. Her endless optimism is infectious. She’s convinced there is no problem that can’t be solved if you apply your mind to it. But there are things she can’t just fix like they were some engineering problem. It will be up to her to figure out a way off this planet, but as big a challenge will be to forgive her husband and rekindle the love they once had…SERIES REGULAR
[JUDY ROBINSON]To play 18 years old, the oldest of the three Robinson children. Judy is Maureen's biracial daughter from her first marriage. Athletic, confident, her edge comes from her willingness to push herself harder than anyone else. She never knew her biological father, and John adopted her as his own. She took her parents' breakup harder than anyone, and resents John for it. She’s the only trained doctor amongst the surviving Colonists. In a coming of age journey, she finds herself struggling to live up to her responsibilities…SERIES REGULAR
[PENNY ROBINSON]To play 15 years old, the middle child in the family. Quick-witted and contrarian, but her sarcastic and tough exterior covers a romantic soul. If the Robinsons have a black sheep, she’d be it. She’s the most social person in her family, with the best sense of humor of any of them. Penny grew up the victim of middle-child-syndrome, caught between a superstar older sister who could do no wrong and a baby brother who everybody was afraid couldn't do anything right. She didn't want to leave her home on Earth, and struggles with the loss of everything and everyone she knew…SERIES REGULAR
[WILL ROBINSON]To play 11 years old, the youngest. Will is creative, empathetic, and naturally sensitive. He's the smallest and weakest member of the family. Likeable and quick, curious but not confrontational. Picked on growing up, he didn't have many friends. He was eager to pack up and leave Earth and go just about anywhere. Will suffers from panic attacks, and doesn't want to be the one who lets down his family. After the family crashes, Will has to find courage he never thought he had. This unique boy, who wasn’t supposed to be there, will prove to be the key to everyone’s survival…SERIES REGULAR
[DON WEST]Mid 20s, he’s no colonist. He’s a well-paid roughneck, part of a sub-class of highly-skilled but blue collar contractors. He also smuggles in luxury goods on the side. A roguish exterior hides a heart of gold. Once he finished his contract, he’d have been on the next trip back home with enough money to set himself (and those he loves) up for life. He has a cynical view of the colonization of space. They say it's an egalitarian brave new world, but people like him would never be allowed to live there. Now that he's crashed along with “the elites,” he's going to have to forge new alliances, and find in the Robinsons the family he never thought he'd have…SERIES REGULAR
[ROBOT]An intimidating robot who becomes Will's loyal servant… and in the end, friend. But like many characters in this series, Robot contains many mysteries yet to be revealed…SERIES REGULAR. This will be a voice-over and/or motion capture/bodysuit role.
STORY LINE: In 2046, the Jupiter 2 travels through a rip in the space-time continuum, and crash-lands on a distant planet, at an unknown distance from Earth. And there the ROBINSON FAMILY must build a new life for themselves, with a little help from their friends, and no help at all from their enemies (both human and alien)…
Kevin Burns Announcement
Kevin Burns released an announcement as follows:
Nearly $1 Million was spent on the Blu-ray discs so that the “classic” fans would have that forever. Now a new series — using the same premise — is in the works. Of course it will reflect today's (and tomorrow's) sensibilities (which are not “racist” ones, folks). It isn't about “political correctness” — it's about reflecting the world we are living in. Will there be a Robot? Yes — but it will look vastly different for a REASON. Will there be a Dr. Smith? Yes. But that character will also look different. Why change things? Because things change, evolve, grow. Because “Lost in Space” deserves to live for another 50 years. And because maybe if a younger generation is exposed to the new expression of LIS — they will check out where it all started.
Apparently, Kevin Burns sees loving, tight-knit, functional families as a thing of the past and not part of “today's sensibilities”. He also, apparently, just called a lot of Lost In Space fans “racist”. Thanks a lot.
I know Kevin loved Jonathan. If he was wise, he would heed Jonathan's advice about the 1998 movie and stick with what made Lost In Space a success in the first place. This reboot is straying from that wonderful family dynamic. I don't want dysfunctional and neither do any of the fans I've talked to. They have tried these changes, to a more subtle degree, before in the 1998 and the 2004 unsold pilot. They didn't work, they weren't appealing, they didn't bring a huge influx of young fans. Don't alienate your fan base trying to appeal to a younger audience. Do a better job of trying to appeal to all generations. You'd be surprised how different generations can enjoy and appreciate the same things.