Netflix Lost in Space reboot: A tired feminist narrative that is lost in space
WASHINGTON, April 22, 2018: Science fiction is usually a warning wrapped within an action-packed, fanciful story. Take H.G. Wells. He warned that alien lifeforms may not always come in peace. Instead, they may want to engage in a “War of the Worlds.” Philip K. Dick’s stories centered on creeping American authoritarianism, as in his “The Man in the High Castle.” Now we have the reboot of Lost in Space with its tired feminist narrative. And the loss of Marine John Robinson’s bollocks.
A dysfunctional family gets lost
But the Netflix revival of the campy, 1960s “Lost in Space” series carries a warning of a different sort: beware of feminist ire. It’s the death of enjoyable story-telling.
We learn family patriarch John Robinson (Toby Stephens) is an alpha male and U.S. Marine who is always away on clandestine military missions against an unnamed enemy.
He is proud to keep his family and nation safe.
A smile that hides a seething anger
Wife Maureen (Molly Parker), an aerospace engineer, is unhappy her husband isn’t a little less alpha male and a little more Beau Brummel metrosexual.
But when John is home on a rare Christmas leave, the Robinson clan hears the news that a planet-killing asteroid is bound for earth. But impending planetary disaster or no impending planetary disaster, the war overseas goes on.
While phoning her husband in the war zone, Maureen says, “You’re not that easy to find these days,” having found him.
“That’s the way they [the U.S. Marines] like it, with everything that’s going on. How are the kids?”
“Everybody’s fine,” she says.
“Do you miss me?” asks the weary warrior.
“I don’t know,” Maureen says coldly.
I’m taking the kids and heading for Alpha Centauri
Maureen informs John that she and the kids will join a group of government-selected elites destined to leave earth in search of a new home on a distant exoplanet.
“So, I sent you some papers and I need you to sign them and send them back,” says Maureen.
John grimaces, “Are you finally filing for divorce?”
He discovers his wife has sent him child custody forms. Legally ending a marriage, Maureen informs him, with all its anachronistic promises to love and cherish, is neither here nor there where she’s concerned.
She just wants to take the kids and leave him. Really leave him. Like leave for Alpha Centauri to start a new life, never to be seen again, leave him.
But this tale is told in Quentin Tarantino, “Pulp Fiction,” back-and-forth jumps through time. And we learn that John ends up on the family’s Jupiter spaceship, though he’s clearly ostracized.
John is, after all, the only adult male on board.
Getting the cold, cold shoulder
And for the next several episodes, the subzero cold thrown John’s way is more palpable than the glacial region of the alien world on which their modest version of the Millennium Falcon crash lands.
It’s a planet as distant from earth as Maureen and the kids are from husband, dad and war hero, John Robinson.
Mom clearly wears the pants in this family. And John, in an act of contrition, becomes a willing eunuch.
John, it seems, is not your average U.S. Marine.
Little Will finds an alien father figure
The youngest child in the family is, of course, Will Robinson (Maxwell Jenkins). This latest incarnation of the precocious and nerdy boy is overly weepy and clearly no genius.
Will comes to identify with a shape-shifting, transformer-like alien robot (Brian Steele) rather than his father.
“I always wanted him [dad] to come back,” Will tells his robot confidant as they toss a baseball back and forth, “but, now that he’s here… You probably don’t know what a dad is,” he tells the robot.
Earlier in the story, that automaton is shown proficiently killing humans. Lots of them. Now, he inexplicably transforms into a convenient father figure that rarely speaks and mindlessly performs, well, mindless tasks.
The bloodless machine perfectly exemplifies what for feminists is the perfect American male.
While exploring this dangerous planet, John and Maureen have a parental disagreement. John – informed by his years of military experience – wants the family to head back to the safety of the ship.
Maureen, on the other hand, is downright giddy to explore.
A mama’s boy
When John tells Will to come with him, Maureen sternly tells the boy,
“Will, since when do you not do what I ask?”
The boy obediently walks away from his Marine father and to mama’s side. He is lost to the far left feminist ideology.
The Robinson daughters, Judy (Taylor Russell) and Penny (Mina Sundwall), meanwhile, are lifeless and forgettable characters.
Oh, and the role of the conniving and cowardly Dr. Zachary Smith (as you may guess) is played by a woman (Parker Posey).
The new “Lost in Space” is a feast for the eyes with its sumptuous CG landscapes, its scary robot, and high-tech sets. But an angry feminist stench hangs over the series like dark clouds raining sharp, obsidian stones (episode 2).
The show is written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, whose efforts here are a guilt-laden and clumsy hat-tip to the tedious and tiresome #MeToo movement.
“Lost in Space” is currently streaming on Netflix.
Top image: A Jupiter life raft ship helps the Robinson family get "Lost in Space."
Lost In Space, liberal feminist narrative, bollocks, #MeToo