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Netflix's 'Lost in Space' Robot Has A Soul, Says Producer

The 60s sci-fi television series gave us one of the most recognizable quotes, "Danger Will Robinson," delivered by a clunky dehydrator-looking bot simply called Robot. In the updated version of Lost in Space, the robot is now a slim alien being with lights for a face. From the previews, the alien still delivers the famous line from the original, and still is Will's (Maxwell Jenkins) trusted friend. Aside from that, Estrin says he's a far different Robot.
Don't expect a straight up copy of the 60s show, according to the producer but an updated version of the Robinson family's travels into outer space. The homages are more of a "nudge, nudge wink wink" said the producer at the Wondercon press room including for the Robot.

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One of the major changes is the origins of Robot. Instead of a man-made android, Will's friend is a mystery to the crew who appears on the planet they've landed on.

Coming up with a new look for the robot was a challenge.

“Initially you want to figure out a way to… it’s a very iconic design," said Estrin at WonderCon. "A lot of people have an emotional attachment to that, you have to find a way to pull out a bit of that and also try to find a way to move a bit forward, fashion forward.”

The creation of the robot is part practical, spiritual performance and motion capture. The producing team wanted a character rather than just a prop. The robot had to have a soul and show emotion.

“You want to be able to have a performer there who can emote and have a soul and ultimately we came to idea of the lights that are in the robot’s face. It’s just the robot doesn’t talk very much, a lot of the character’s performance comes from the lights.”

To build up the relationship between Robot and Will, the producers withheld the robot from actor Maxwell Jenkins who plays Will until the first day of shooting.

“Watching his reaction was like a real kid watching a real thing come into the room. It was a mix of wonder and fear and awe and love and it was the coolest thing I have ever seen.”

Hopefully viewers will feel the same when they tune into Lost in Space starting on Friday, April 13 on Netflix.

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