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‘Lost in Space’ Bosses, Cast Talk Updating the Robinson Family in Reboot

The Robinson family is returning to television in Netflix’s reboot of “Lost in Space,” but this time the women play a bigger role as the family faces thorny relationships and a female adversary in their fight for survival.

The life-span of the Robinson family spans centuries, including the 1812 novel “The Swiss Family Robinson,” the 1960s black-and-white and color television series, and most recently the 1998 film starring Gary Oldman. At the Hollywood premiere for the Netflix version of the family drama, executive producer Zack Estrin, Matt Sazama, and Burk Sharpless said they were inspired by the first six black-and-white episodes in the ’60s for their retelling, but they wanted to update it to be more reflective of today.

“I think the gender roles in the first series are definitely a product of their time and aren’t really what we want to see on TV right now,” Sharpless said. He added that the audience will still have “optimistic, exciting” feelings when watching the Robinson family in space, but now “Maureen Robinson [is] an incredibly intelligent rocket scientist [and], frankly, almost is in charge of the family.”

Molly Parker, who portrays the matriarch, said having the women being written as “capable” and “smart” is a representation of the real world. “It just seems there is a correction being made now that needed to be made a long time ago as far as I’m concerned, but at least it’s starting to happen now,” Parker said.

The most noticeable change from the original series is that Parker Posey has stepped into the role of Dr. Smith, which was originally portrayed by Jonathan Harris in the ’60s series. Posey recalled waking up as a child to watch the syndicated reruns of the series early in the morning. “I was such a fan of the show that I remembered [Harris].” She said her role allowed her to “perform an homage” to an actor and character that she enjoyed.

Also in attendance at the premiere were original “Lost in Space” cast members Bill Mumy, Marta Kristen and Angela Cartwright.

“Lost in Space” streams April 13 on Netflix.

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