If you’ve watched the original 1960s series of Lost in Space, or seen the 1998 movie version, then you probably think you know all the main players. However, you might find that things have changed somewhat. We thought we’d provide you with a quick guide to who’s who.
Warning: contains spoilers!
Maureen Robinson (Molly Parker)
Maureen Robinson is an aeronautical engineer with a brilliant mind, and actually designed parts of the Jupiter crafts that belong to the families aboard The Resolute. She is fearless and unflappable, taking dangerous situations in her stride, and dealing with them in the most practical way. She is the mother of three children: Judy, Penny, and Will. She decided to take her family into space, and into a new life on a distant planet, after her marriage to John Robinson began to break down and she filed for divorce.
Originally, she wanted to leave John behind on Earth, but he ended up coming along. Although her relationship with John is rocky they do love one another. She is seen as the head of her family, and would go to any lengths to protect them, but she doesn’t bark orders at them: all but the most urgent issues are discussed and decided upon as a family.
John Robinson (Toby Stephens)
John Robinson is the father of Judy, Penny, and Will, and the husband of Maureen. He was formerly a marine, often away from home for long stretches of time, and unable to let his family know his location, and it was this that contributed to the breakdown of his relationship with them.
He is brave, strong-willed, and gentle, and is doing his best to make up to his family all the time he missed with them and the bad decisions that he made in the past. There is tension between him and his children, but they adore him, and he would do anything for them.
Judy Robinson (Taylor Russell)
Judy Robinson is 18 years old, and a medical doctor. She is smart, hardworking, and headstrong. She is mostly very serious, with occasional moments of humour. She is kind and always tries to say or do the right thing. She is brave and selfless, and will literally dive in to a dangerous situation in order to save lives.
John Robinson is not her biological father, but he is her real father, and they are very alike, which is why they sometimes butt heads. Initially trapped under the ice during an attempt to save her family, Judy has to master her fear of this memory in order to get back to being her true, heroic self.
Will Robinson (Maxwell Jenkins)
Will Robinson is 11 years old. Will is incredibly smart, often noticing things that other people don’t, and making connections that others miss. This ability is something that often saves the day for the Robinsons and their colleagues. Will is often nervous, and worried about his capabilities, and has a tendency to freeze up under pressure.
He was told that he had passed the tests required for him to relocate with his family to Alpha Centauri, but actually he had – as he suspected – failed, and it was only a deal made by his mother that got him into the program. Will, despite his fear, always tries to do the right thing, and when he saves the Robot’s life it becomes his protector, and the best friend he has ever had.
Penny Robinson (Mina Sundwall)
Penny Robinson is around 16 years old. She is the mischievous middle child, and the one most inclined to introduce levity into a situation. Penny loves to read, and would rather avoid responsibility if at all possible, but that doesn’t mean that she can’t handle herself in a crisis, operating on her mother’s leg under instruction from Judy, and taking on a rescue mission when Judy wasn’t able to. She likes to tease Judy that the two of them don’t get on, but actually they really do.
Dr Smith (Parker Posey)
Dr Smith is not actually Dr Smith. Although this is how she is referred to by everyone, even after they discover her secret, the truth is that she stole this identity from a man who was injured in the attack on The Resolute. Her real name is June Harris. We know from her sister, Jessica, that she has a criminal past, and although she says that it is this past that she is trying to flee she just keeps making the same mistakes again and again.
She stole her sister’s identity in order to get aboard The Resolute, drugging her and cutting the ID chip out of her arm, in what was clearly a calculated plan. Once aboard The Resolute she was caught, and in the struggle ended up letting someone die in an attempt to preserve her own fake identity. She claims to be a psychologist, and clearly has an excellent understanding of the human mind and how to manipulate it for her own ends, but whether this claim is true or not we don’t yet know.
What we do know is that she is unstable. She claims that she never meant to hurt anyone, and perhaps this is true, but she doesn’t seem to have any qualms about letting someone else – for example the Robot – do the hurting on her behalf. She has occasional moments of empathy, when against all expectations she does the right thing, but whether this is a redeeming feature or actually all part of her plan is not yet clear.
Don West (Ignacio Serricchio)
Don is a mechanic and also, we later discover, a smuggler. He seems to see himself as a loveable rogue, but to others he can come across as irritating and full of bluster. However, despite his protests that he is not a humanitarian and is only out for himself, he ends up risking his life on more than one occasion in order to save others.
He seems particularly susceptible to the will of Judy Robinson, despite her tendency to make him the butt of a joke whenever he gets too full of himself. He has a pet chicken called Debbie, who he rescued from a crashed ship, and who he makes sure is well cared for, even though he originally said that he was going to eat her.
The Robot (Brian Steele)
The Robot is a piece of alien technology that has great strength and vast destructive powers, as well as the ability to heal and mend by some mysterious force. It was responsible for the attack on The Resolute spacecraft, and the death of 27 people, before its ship crashed on the same planet as the Robinson’s Jupiter 2 craft. It originally threatened Will Robinson, but he saved its life, and it became his protector and friend, following his commands and going on to save the Robinson’s lives on several occasions.
It has the capacity to learn how to behave from watching those around it, but we don’t yet know whether or not it is sentient. Originally somewhat insectoid in form, walking upright on two legs, but with four arms, it reconfigured its shape to approximate the human form once it met Will. It doesn’t have a face as we understand it, just a space full of coloured light like whirling galaxies, that changes from blue to red when it becomes dangerous. It can heal itself, but requires contact with its ship to do so.