The first of my summer shows to wrap up the season is ASTRA LOST IN SPACE, and it’s with a bit of a sad tone that I bid it farewell. This was, without a doubt, one of my favorite shows these past few months with its focus on exploration, mystery, and a healthy balance of comedy and suspense. I could have gone on for several more weeks of ASTRA’s journey through space. Instead, the story chose to follow a tight schedule to ensure closure after twelve episodes.
A large part of what fueled my excitement for this series at the start was the quick takeoff; we didn’t dilly dally with world or character building. We met the team, jumped into a ship with them, and almost immediately encountered the conflict that would guide the rest of our journey. I’m almost always a fan of quick starts like this if they are done well in the appropriate venue.
The series then does the right thing by reining the panic in with planetary exploration. Some are almost paradise with abundant resources lacking any kind of natural competition. Other planets almost seem engineered to kill visitors. Combining an unknown like space with a group of diverse strangers already creates a lot of tension; however, these episodes allowed us and the characters to get to know one another and piece together what exactly landed them in this dilemma in the first place.
When I first glanced over ASTRA’s description at the start of the season, I didn’t consider mystery as a genre. Most other lost-in-space type of stories seem to occur from a malfunction of some kind, or as the result of a necessary exploration for a new home planet. When we find out the incident was likely forced, another dimension of survival is born. Not only does the crew need to find sustenance from foreign environments, they also need to watch their backs for betrayal.
When the final puzzle piece falls into place and the reason for their circumstances reveals itself, they have yet another danger to hurdle. There are so many ways for our crew to die, yet their strength of character and hope for the future maintains the lighter tone of this story.
I know I’m singing this show all praises, when not everything was as I would have wished. I honestly could have gone for a whole twelve more episodes to allow for more planets, more strange flora and fauna, more adventures for our crew. I also thought it odd how quickly our young pilots picked up the controls of a ship not only completely foreign to them, but also extremely dated. I will stop short of saying the ending felt rushed, because I actually appreciated the tight pace of the final couple of episodes. Every scene felt necessary. They didn’t draw out the drama and even went so far as to gift the audience with a time skip.
If you slept on this show or stalled for some reason, I encourage you to experience the journey for yourself. I’m already looking forward to a re-watch so I can see how many clues I can catch. Many of my initial suspicions proved correct, but I’m still curious about what other hints I might have overlooked.
Rating: 2 dango