The story behind 'Lost in Space' and how it got off the ground at Netflix
The showrunner behind the Netflix hit series, Lost in Space, shares the inside story behind the series
Irwin Allen was the creator of the original 1960s sci-fi series called Lost in Space. The show was dormant until the 1990s when a film franchise was introduced but it did not ever achieve a lift-off. The Robinson family is back 20 years later on a Netflix reboot of the show.
The showrunner Zack Estrin was looking forward to some time off and a vacation when he received the script for Lost in Space. As reported by Hollywood Reporter, "I had done so many shows in a row, but this script was too good not to develop. I have two kids, ages 14 and 11, and they haven't been able to watch anything I've done. When I pitched them this show, they basically signed the contract for me."
On sitting down with the producers and Netflix executives, he revealed how he felt an instant connection and chemistry with the vision that they had in mind for the show. "It was like everyone was swiping right on all the creative ideas. It was sort of Tinder meets The Love Connection," joked Estrin.
The show 'Lost in Space' requires a lot of high-end technology and so Estrin and his team worked with scientists at Nasa. "We told Nasa that we didn't want ideas for things they were hoping to achieve, we wanted to know what they could actually deliver. "In one of our storylines, the Robinson family is able to convert the waste of a creature into usable fuel. That's something that Nasa is working right now," Estrin said.
Estrin shares that he is not a hardcore sci-fi fan and prefers to focus on the humanity of character-driven storytelling.
"When you look at the relationship between Will and the Robot, you can draw comparisons to The Iron Giant, Black Stallion, Old Yeller. I really wanted to show that we're more focused on quality storytelling and not ships firing lasers."
The team was keen to stick within the show's original adventure tone. "I think that there's a stereotype that all remakes have to be dark and edgy. We didn't want to do that with this show.
"Our family dynamic is one that loves each other, they have problems just like every family has. There's an arc throughout the first season, if people stick with it they'll see the changes that the family goes through … they actually rediscover each other through this traumatic experience."