Lost in Space is a rare Christmas gift for sci-fi lovers. Based on the 1965 television show produced by Irwin Allen, the Netflix version captures the Robinson family's unending battle for survival in outer space.
As to their worst enemies? Take the robot, a mindlessly aggressive shapeshifter who successfully destroys their ship, the Jupiter, only to eventually make friends with their youngest son, Will (Maxwell Jenkins).
Who plays the robot in the new Lost in Space?
So, who plays the robot in the new Lost in Space?
The robot is played by Brian Steele, a Hollywood actor with a specialism in "creature acting." A lifelong fan of sci-fi and everything gory, phantasmagoric, and monster-related, he joined the trade in a bid to enact some of his favorite most-dreaded characters.
Brian has an impressive portfolio to boast, having appeared in movies like Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy and Hellboy II., Nimród Antal's Predators, and McG's Terminator Salvation.
In Hellboy, Brian appeared in the role of Sammael, a dark-brown, thick-skinned reptilian with enough tentacles to affright an octopus.
In Hellboy II., Brian played not one, not two, but five different characters, Wink, Cronie, Spice Shop Troll, Cathedral Head, and Fragglewump. The odd-looking, clumsy creatures appear in the Troll Market scene of the movie – a bustling, lively location that Johann Kraus discovers with the guidance of a cat-eating troll.
Lost in Space captures the robot's transformation from evil to good.
While his previous roles called for a relatively static, less acting-oriented approach, Lost in Space allows Brian to convey a myriad of human emotions.
The robot undergoes some whopping changes in the 10-episode-long show: from a vengeful, mindlessly aggressive character fixated on pointless destruction, he turns into an accommodating, well-meaning creature able to utilize his powers in the name of the good cause.
Season 1 of the sci-fi series charted how the robot learned to cooperate with the family. In the episode titled "Impact," for instance, we watch the robot rescue Judy (Taylor Russell) by melting down the ice block she became trapped in. Later on, the robot sticks around to help the family combat their temperature-related difficulties and to fend off other threats.
However, despite his good efforts and obedient behavior, the Robinson family eventually votes against the robot. Unable to decipher whether the once-heinous creature should be trusted or not, they command Will to cut ties with him.
In "Eulogy," we watch Will instruct the creature to walk off a cliff, thinking that this would end his life. Although this doesn't happen, the robot vanishes from the life of the family just the same.
Season 2 of the show sees the family embark on a relentless quest to travel through the galaxy to find their old ally – and help Will build an even closer bond with his good friend.
Unlike most of the roles Brian played in the past, Lost in Space dares to chalk up new questions about morality, AI, and the limits of humanity.
Through the robot's character, Lost in Space taps into larger-scale discussions about what it means to be a human being, what's the correlation between empathy, sentiment, and moral goodness, and whether extraterrestrial creatures should be thought of as equal to their flesh-and-blood counterparts.
Season 2 of Lost in Space is now available on Netflix.