Netflix was kind enough to allow us to sit down at New York Comic Con with showrunner, Zack Estrin, executive producers Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama, and the cast of “Lost In Space,” whose second season will launch globally on December 24th. During our discussions, Estrin, Sharpless and Sazama were quick to point out that when they first approached people with the idea of rebooting the 1960’s series into a show the whole family could watch today, that people thought they were crazy and said, “No one watches TV like that anymore!” Now after a whole season, the results are in and Sazama says “Lost In Space” broke Netflix’s bingeing model. It was taking weeks and months for households to finish watching the show and they attribute it to families waiting to watch together on the weekends when kids are home from school and parents from work. It is pure chance that Season 2 will launch in December but according to Sharpless, it is perfect and Estrin says people are thanking him as their elder children will be home from college, etc. and able to partake in the family viewing. Here are few more highlights from the roundtable discussion:
What can you tell us about your characters in Season 2?
Maxwell (Max) Jenkins (Will Robinson): Will in Season 1 is very different than Will in Season 2. Season 1 Will we saw him start to grow up, in Season 2 we see him become a completely different person. Also his relationship with the robot is different in many ways. We left it and the robot was flying away and when Will comes face to face with adventures he’ll react differently this season.
Mina Sundwall (Penny Robinson): When I read Season 1 I really really loved that Penny was always who she is no matter what and she’s very strong, she’s stronger than she gives herself credit for and in Season 2 I think that you also learn how smart she is. She writes everything down to try and make sense of the world and things that are happening to her and her family and she comes to realize slowly and I think the viewers can realize it as well that’s she’s not an action hero. Whenever she relies on action to solve a problem there’s often more trouble but I’m excited for her to understand that she’s actually more of a guide and that she empowers those around her and that empowerment is a form of power and her act of heroism and that she is smarter than she will ever give herself credit for. She’s cool, she’s alright.
Taylor Russell (Judy Robinson): Judy has been asking for responsibility and wants to be treated like an adult. The 18 year old going on 40. She wants to be one of the adults so badly like most teenagers do, you think you know everything and you want to be treated older than you are. And because the stakes are so high and we’re in space and we all have such big responsibilities in the family, that ask is fulfilled and then its like can she rise to the occasion? When you get what you ask for can you actually handle it? And that question is a big theme in her story this year and I’m happy about that. I think Judy gets pushed to the limit so that’s exciting.
Parker Posey (June Harris/Dr. Smith): This season you see a bit of what has made my character such a broken person and we kind of get into the karmic reasons why she is stuck with the Robinson family. And it’s fun to make sense of that.
What was particularly challenging for you this season?
Zack Estrin: Max is a challenge! He grew a foot since season 1 and needed a new suit and they’re not cheap! The challenge to keep the new season fresh is to make sure you are revealing new things to the audience and not just about the people but about the larger picture of the show. Where do the robots come from? How many more of them are out there? Who made them? What is the secret bargain, it was a small detail in Season 1, but Maureen clearly traded something in Season 1 to get Will Robinson on the ship. So we are going to learn what that stuff was.
Molly Parker (Maureen Robinson): This show is so physical. There is so much practical physical work that we have to do. I would have been terrified if I had known initially. I thought we would just be in a studio with a green screen. The first day we shot we were literally at the bottom of waterfall in Iceland.
JJ Feild (Ben Adler): The only green screen I had was the last day of shooting otherwise they built everything else.
Molly: They built the Resolute for this season and we have a set that is the length of two stages and they cut a hole between the two stages so that they could have this corridor and you could really see it curve.
Do you do your own stunts?
Max: Yes and on “Lost In Space” we are so blessed to have an amazing stunt crew they are just great and I’m lucky enough that they are so collaborative with me so that I get to do some of my own stunts. Because I don’t know if a lot of you know this or not but I grew up in a circus (Midnight Circus) so I’ve grown up flying high above the ground doing all of those crazy things. For the more dangerous stunts a 21 year old woman fills in for me because they could not find a man short enough however now they can!
Is there anything you take from your personal lives to put into your character?
Molly: My son’s name is Will so that makes it really easy!
JJ: My character has children (Feild has two of his own, ages 7 and 2) and this whole show is about getting back to something, without giving too much away. Our premise is that mankind has to get back to save itself and then they go and get lost. But it’s this returning to children. My wife and I are both in the same business we travel a ridiculous amount. We just had a brand new kid so there’s that feeling of being away and that longing and there’s really an element of longing to this show that is easy to tap into.
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