Robots and Pitbulls: 'Lost in Space 2' Actors Bring Smiles to New York Comic Con

NEW YORK — Season 2 of Netflix's "Lost in Space" promises a whole new set of ambitious, problem-solving ideas from the Robinson family as they navigate a whole new world. The new season premieres on Netflix this Christmas Eve (Dec. 24). 

The show has many different elements: spaceflight, sentient robots, wormholes, devious villainy and – perhaps the top-contender for fan favorite of the show – a chicken named Debbie. 

Season 2, which Netflix calls "Lost in Space 2," starts about seven months after Season 1 ends. The first season began with the Robinson family crash-landing onto an Earth-like planet after the spaceship Resolute experiences a mysterious malfunction. The family includes parents John (Toby Stephens) and Maureen (Molly Parker), plus their children Judy (Taylor Russell), Penny (Mina Sundwall) and Will (Maxwell Jenkins).

Related: Netflix's 'Lost in Space' Season 2 Launch Date, Trailer Revealed

Netflix's "Lost in Space 2" premieres on Dec. 24. (Image credit: Netflix)

After exploring the planet and getting themselves out of precarious dilemmas, the Robinsons finally get off the alien planet and reach a binary star system after being pulled through what appears to be a warp in spacetime. By solving their problems with their heads and their hearts, the characters charmed their way into the fandom of many people, like those packed into an afternoon panel at the 2019 New York Comic Con on Oct. 5. 

Cast members Molly Parker, Maxwell Jenkins, Mina Sundwall, Taylor Russell, Ignacio Serricchio, Parker Posey and executive producer Zack Estrin offered a sneak peek at Season 2 and shared stories from behind the scenes. 

Jenkins shared that acting to portray a caring relationship with a frightening but protective robot (an artificially intelligent alien named "Robot" that his character Will discovers at the beginning of the series) reminded him of what it's like to spend time with his four-legged pals at home.

Related: New York Comic Con 2019: Amazing Space Cosplay Photos!

Actor Molly Parker, who plays the Robinson family matriarch Maureen, addresses an audience at the 2019 New York Comic Con during a panel about the second season of the Netflix series "Lost in Space." (Image credit: Ben Gabbe/Getty)

"In the beginning of 'Lost in Space,' during Season 1, I found that it was a lot like working with my two best friends, who happen to be my pitbulls — my rescue pitbulls back at home," he said, sparking a collective  "Aww!" from many members of the audience. "My family has worked in animal welfare my entire life. My dad has rescued and rehabilitated pitbulls," he added. "Pitbulls have a tough reputation, but they are fierce, they are loyal, and, at the end of the day, they are protectors. And that is what the robot is to me."

The robot is a sentient, self-fixing creation with a mysterious backstory who made a dramatic exit in the first season. The new trailer for Season 2 teases that he may make a dramatic return to the series.

"But in Season 2, the robot seemed like something completely different … Will and the robot go on a different path this season, figuring out new things for themselves and I think [their relationship] became something completely different, something new," said Jenkins. Serrichio and Posey kept the crowd lively with their humorous exchanges.

Serricchio, who plays the charming character Don West, made many in the audience laugh when he was asked what it's like working with an animal. That led to a story of the actor's recent encounter with a black widow spider. 

Cast members like Jenkins encouraged Serricchio to tell the story of the bite, which happened off set, when he was spending leisure time in the woods. "Took my shirt off because it was hot, and I walked through a web… and I got bit," he said, ending the facetious retelling with a "da da dah dada dah!" cadence that made many laugh. "What was your question?" Serricchio asked, and, back on topic, he brought up the chicken that plays Debbie. 

"That chicken is like my favorite co-star," and audible sighs rang throughout the auditorium. "No, no, no, no," he said, emphasizing that he was perhaps making a real argument for that. "On time, super well trained… super easy. That chicken has saved my career. I'm not kidding, I try to put her in every scene so people don't focus on me."

The cast of "Lost in Space" speaks at a panel at New York Comic-Con on Oct. 5, 2019.  (Image credit: Ben Gabbe/Getty)

Posey chimed in. "Ignacio even did some press last year, posing without the chicken but for the chicken in the future. So, he said, 'What about the chicken? If I stand like this they can put the chicken in my arms later,'" eliciting more laughter. 

Posey plays the villainous Dr. Smith. During the panel, the actor said that she was a fan of the original 1960s science fiction series that inspired this current reboot. After remarking that she had an action figure from the original series in her purse, an event assistant brought out Posey's Dr. Smith action figure to the stage, and a close-up on the two big screens in the room revealed that it held a remarkable resemblance to the originator of the Dr. Smith role, Jonathan Harris.

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Doris Elin Urrutia
Contributing Writer

Doris is a science journalist and contributor. She received a B.A. in Sociology and Communications at Fordham University in New York City. Her first work was published in collaboration with London Mining Network, where her love of science writing was born. Her passion for astronomy started as a kid when she helped her sister build a model solar system in the Bronx. She got her first shot at astronomy writing as a editorial intern and continues to write about all things cosmic for the website. Doris has also written about microscopic plant life for Scientific American’s website and about whale calls for their print magazine. She has also written about ancient humans for Inverse, with stories ranging from how to recreate Pompeii’s cuisine to how to map the Polynesian expansion through genomics. She currently shares her home with two rabbits. Follow her on twitter at @salazar_elin.