When Lost in Space makes its grand return to Netflix later this month, there will be one distinct change from the original sci-fi show, with the producers opting to gender-swap the character of Dr. Smith as Parker Posey takes on the role made famous by Jonathan Harris in the 1960s series.
Speaking to Cinema Blend, executive producer Kevin Burns has revealed why they opted to go with a female Dr. Smith, stating that they did not want to compete with Harris’ iconic take on the character.
“Jon Jashni [executive producer[ 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.”
“Set 30 years in the future, colonization in space is now a reality, and the Robinson family is among those tested and selected to make a new life for themselves in a better world. But when the new colonists find themselves abruptly torn off course en route to their new home they must forge new alliances and work together to survive in a dangerous alien environment, light-years from their original destination. Stranded along with the Robinsons are two outsiders who find themselves thrown together by circumstance and a mutual knack for deception. The unsettlingly charismatic Dr. Smith (Posey) is a master manipulator with an inscrutable end game. And the roguish, but inadvertently charming Don West (Ignacio Serricchio) is a highly-skilled, blue-collar contractor, who had no intention of joining the colony, let alone crash landing on a lost planet.”
Lost In Space arrives on Netflix on April 13th.