The scroll in front of a "Star Wars" movie. The voice-over touting the mission of the Starship Enterprise. There are a few things in sci-fi entertainment that induce an automatic and often visceral response.
Another phrase entrenched in the nerd lexicon: "Danger, Will Robinson." This was immediately apparent inside the arena of the Anaheim Convention Center at WonderCon over the weekend when the words were uttered by the totally remade robot in Netflix's revival of "Lost in Space." Despite a few changes in staging and casting — and updates to technology — the nostalgia still thrilled the crowd.
As revealed for the crowd in a preview airing of the show's first episode, the new "Lost In Space," which begins streaming April 13, keeps the original family intact, but opens up to a much larger world of space travelers. The biggest shift is the casting choice of Parker Posey as Dr. Smith, played in the original 1965 series by scene-stealing actor Jonathan Harris and in the 1998 movie by Gary Oldman.
Posey was among the cast members who showed up for a post-screening Q&A session. Max Jenkins, Molly Parker, Taylor Russell, Ignacio Serricchio, Toby Stephens, Mina Sundwall and executive producer Zack Estrin also took to the stage in front of an appreciative crowd. Posey noted that the sense of nostalgia felt by the crowd when characters were introduced on screen was not lost on the actors.
"As a 5- or 6-year-old, I'd wake up before 6 o'clock to watch the static turn to color, and just to watch 'Lost in Space,'" said Posey, who for good measure added that she was never as interested in "Star Trek."
Twelve-year-old Jenkins, who plays Will Robinson, was too young to know much about the original series, or even the 1990s movie reboot. Even so, he knew the famous "Danger, Will Robinson" line.
"Yeah, I knew. I'd heard the line before on 'Family Guy,'" Jenkins said. He added that another link to the past was provided when he met Bill Mumy, TV's original Will Robinson on the 1960s series.
"We bonded over Pete Seeger," Jenkins said, "and comic books."