Like the original Lost In Space, the heart-and-soul of the new Netflix reboot revolves around the tender relationship between a Robot and young Will Robinson. But, unlike the original show, the Robot in the new Lost In Space has several secrets and a totally different origin. In some ways, the Robot in the new Lost In Space is philosophically like the Cylons on the rebooted Battlestar Galactica. Everything about the backstory is different, but somehow, the allegories, messages, and character relationships are somewhat similar. This all allows the show to scan as honoring the old show, but be its own thing. And, unlike Battlestar, the Robot in the new Lost In Space is still wholesome-ish, even if he way more hardcore.
Here’s how the latest Robot is very different from his clunky incarnation in the Sixties show, but nevertheless, true to the spirit of the show, too.
Spoilers ahead for all ten episodes of Lost In Space season 1, now streaming on Netflix.
The Origin of the Robot is Totally Different
In the new show, the Robot is not created by humans. It’s an alien robot, with an unknown origin. Like the OG robot, this robot is highly adaptable, but the fact that it’s an alien lifeform first and a robot second, makes you wonder why everyone just calls it “the robot.” If this happened in a real-life situation, we’d probably call it “the alien.” The Robot’s home star system is maybe where the Robinson family ends-up in the final moments of the last episode show, too.The old-school robot was definitely not an alien. Not to mention, why the robot’s blue eye turns red when he’s evil isn’t really explained. Ever.
The Robot’s Crimes are Pretty Much Inexcusable
In the very first episode, we find out that the Robot murders a ton of the humans on the space station Resolute, including the original Dr. Zachary Smith(Bill Mumy in a meta cameo). The old school robot would never do this. And, this fact makes the new Robot a little harder to like, despite his undying love for Will Robinson.
The Robot Fights Another Robot, Which is Both Different AND the Same as the Old Show
In the last episode of the show, the Robot fights another Robot, presumably one of his alien masters. This rumble serves as the payoff for the entire series, and allows the Robot to finally redeem himself after several back-and-forth betrayals and one important monster-smackdown.
The context of this fight isn’t like anything on the original Lost In Space. But the concept itself is very similar to the classic episode “War of the Robots,” in which B-9 faces the Robot from Forbidden Planet; more commonly known as “Robby the Robot.” Robby was designed by Robert Kinoshita, who also designed B-9 for Lost In Space.
The Robot is Briefly Controlled By Dr. Smith
Okay. This is actually totally the same. In the second pilot episode of the original Lost In Space, Dr. Smith (Jonathan Harris) reprograms the Robot for mayhem. In this, the result is the same, though Dr. Smith doesn’t do any reprogramming. Plus, as many fans already know, the new Dr. Smith, isn’t really Dr. Smith.
Lost in Space is streaming now on Netflix.