Producers Talk “Lost in Space” Smith Change

When Netflix’s upcoming reboot of “Lost in Space” was announced, there was some curiosity and interest. However, it wasn’t until Parker Posey joined the cast as Dr. Smith that there was suddenly a whole lot more attention paid.

Jonathan Harris’ iconic campy turn in the original often stole the show and couldn’t be replicated, something Gary Oldman was aware of with his much darker take on Smith in the 1998 film adaptation. The changing of the character of Dr. Smith into a woman for the new one, combined with the hiring of Posey who’s famed for her comic talents, immediately sets it apart and executive producer Kevin Burns tells Cinema Blend it was very much a conscious decision:

“Jon [Jashni, EP] and I had wanted Dr. Smith to be a woman. Why? Because we were very close to Jonathan Harris. I knew him very well. I had him in my ear telling me ‘If they ain’t got me they got nothing. Kevin, I love you, but it will fail because I am Dr. Smith and nobody else can be Dr. Smith. That’s why that Gary Oldman movie died.’

So we said we won’t invite that comparison. What we’ll do is we will cast someone who will bring to it everything Jonathan brought to it but from a totally different perspective without having all of that baggage.

Toby Stephens, Molly Parker and Ignacio Serricchio also star in “Lost in Space” which will debut on Netflix in full on April 13th.