Entertainment

‘Maybe not an advertisement for space travel,’ Molly Parker, star of new Lost in Space, says

Scary and exciting, but not dark.

That’s how Canadian actor Molly Parker describes her new Netflix series Lost in Space.

It’s a reboot of the ’60s show of the same name, which aired when people were first making forays beyond Earth’s atmosphere, hoping to step foot on the moon.

More than 50 years later, the new Lost in Space retells the story of the Robinson family escaping Earth only to crash-land on the wrong planet. Set 30 years in the future, Parker plays Maureen, a respected scientist, and mother of three who is chosen to colonize space along with her ex-husband.

Parker told CBC News that, unlike the original show — in which the idea of space travel was a great fantasy, especially for kids — this version feels different because of our growing awareness of how badly humans have harmed our own planet.

“I think there is a bit of a warning in this show around ‘What if you had to go? What if you couldn’t stay here any more? What if we actually don’t turn this around?” she said. 

Parker also notes that since it’s one brush with death after another in the action-adventure plot, the series is “maybe not an advertisement for space travel.”

“Also I don’t really like flying so I’d rather stay here.”

Lost in Space, wet in Vancouver

The show was shot in studios in Vancouver and on location around Squamish and the Seymour watershed, which suited Parker — a Maple Ridge, B.C., native — just fine.

Except for the cold, wet weather.

“Growing up there, you don’t really notice, but you go away and you come back and you just forget the scale of it,” she said.

“Those Douglas Firs — it does feel like you almost could be on another planet. A planet of big big trees.”

“But it was also quite tough to shoot. I thought when we were first starting that, because it was sci-fi, we were going to be on the [sound] stage a lot and doing green screen — which there was a fair amount of — but we also shot on location for at least half of it. So, you know, it’s pretty rainy out there.”

'Maybe not an advertisement for space travel,' Molly Parker, star of new Lost in Space, says

Molly Parker, left, and Toby Stephens find themselves in peril as they flee Earth, only to crash-land on the wrong planet, in the new series Lost in Space. (Netflix)

Beyond House of Cards

Playing smart, complex women is something Parker has become known for in shows such as Deadwood and House of Cards.

In the latter, also a Netflix series, Parker played congresswoman Jacqueline Sharp in the second and third season, opposite Kevin Spacey.

After the Spacey scandal and his subsequent firing, the series was put on hiatus, and a shortened sixth season is now being shot.

'Maybe not an advertisement for space travel,' Molly Parker, star of new Lost in Space, says

Filming in the mountains north of Vancouver made Parker feel like she was on ‘a planet of big big trees.’ (Netflix)

“I’m looking forward to seeing what they’ve done,” Parker said.

“I haven’t been a part of the show for a few years, but I know a lot of people in the crew and I was really happy for them they sort of got to finish it up.”

Now, in the wake of the #MeToo movement, there’s more attention being paid to gender balance and pay parity in TV and movies, something Parker feels is long overdue.

'Maybe not an advertisement for space travel,' Molly Parker, star of new Lost in Space, says

Parker worked opposite Kevin Spacey, left, on the Netflix series House of Cards, playing a U.S. congresswoman. (AP Photo/Netflix/Nathaniel E. Bell)

“Honestly I feel like there’s a correction being made that should have been made a long time ago,” she said.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous that women don’t get paid what the men get paid, in this business or any other. 

“And one of the things about this show is that it takes place 30 years in the future and it’s full of strong, complex women but no one ever mentions it, it’s never like ‘girls can do what boys can do’. It’s just a given.”

“And I would hope in 30 years we won’t have to have this conversation anymore.”

Lost in Space starts streaming on Netflix on April 13.

'Maybe not an advertisement for space travel,' Molly Parker, star of new Lost in Space, says

Parker watched a preview of Lost in Space with her mother and son, and was impressed how the writers created a show that was ‘sophisticated enough for an adult audience but exciting and fun for kids too.’ (Netflix)

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