Lost in Space: Netflix's new sci-fi series promises much needed fun

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Netflix has been prolific in its production of original sci-fi lately.

But most of its high-profile shows - like Black Mirror and Altered Carbon, as well as more cult fare like The OA and 3% - all have one thing in common; a focus on the bleak and gritty.

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Lost in Space, the latest addition to Netflix's sci-fi canon, could change that; bringing much need levity to proceedings.

Based on the 1965 TV series of the same name - not the Matt LeBlanc-starring 1998 film - Lost in Space follows the adventures of a family of pioneering colonists whose spaceship veers off course.

A fun, campy romp?

It's the year 2046 and the Robinsons, piloting their Jupiter 2 spaceship, come across a rip in spacetime that throws them wildly from their planned trajectory.

They crash on an unknown planet, light years from their intended destination, and must battle the new, alien environment in their attempts to escape.

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The Robinsons may be lost on an alien world, but it's a much more hopeful place than Altered Carbon's dystopian San Francisco (Photo: Netflix)

The original series was a fun, campy romp across space, and when compared to today's standards, seems even more tame than it would've done 50 years ago.

The first-look trailer doesn't give too much away, but Netflix looks to be treading relatively family-friendly waters here.

But that's not to say the space adventure will be completely lacking in bite.

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The reason the Robinsons' are on their travels in the first place, is that Earth has essentially become an inhospitable wasteland, rendered unsustainable by years of mass pollution. If there's a core message at the heart of Lost in Space, it's an environmental one.

The 1998 film also featured terrorist groups, assassinations, and all the sci-fi jargon one could want from a more high-concept thriller. So perhaps Netflix's new adaptation will also provide bona fide science-fiction action for the die-hards.

Watched in space

There is one clear sign that it might not be too much of a harrowing exploration into the dangers of space travel.

Netflix provided NASA with access to the pilot episode, which was transmitted to the International Space Station for astronauts to view during their leisure time.

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You can't imagine they'd let them watch anything too nerve-jangling.

Shows like Black Mirror and Altered Carbon are an important part of Netflix's science-fiction offering, but something a little lighter will no doubt be welcomed by viewers among the numerous pessimistic futures and dystopias.

Lost in Space begins on Netflix on April 13

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