'Lost in Space' Star Mina Sundwall on Season 2 of Netflix Original Series: 'It's the Retelling of a Classic Story' That Brings 'in the Elements of other Classic Sci-Fi Stories' (Exclusive)

Netflix's Lost in Space series debuted in April 2018, quickly becoming one of the most talked-about shows of the year, and solidifying yet another hit for the streaming service. Now, Season 2 has landed, and fans are finally getting an opportunity to see what became of the Robinson family after the shocking Season 1 finale. Actress Mina Sundwall, who plays younger Robinson daughter Penny, recently spoke with PopCulture.com about working on the epic fantasy series and revealed that she and the rest of the cast "were pretty much as equally kept in the dark" about what the plans for Season 2 were, after the Season 1 finale.

Please Note: Lost in Space Season 2 Spoilers Below

However, even though she wasn't entirely sure at the time what would happen with her character, Sundwall shared that she had an opportunity to offer her input as to what may come of Penny. "Right before we started filming, when they were finalizing it, they brought us all in and they said, 'Is there anything that you would like to see for Penny?' later adding, "They're pretty good at holding off on telling us exactly what's going to happen. We didn't really know in detail until we got the script."

After being asked what she'd like to see for Penny in Season 2, Sundwell shared that she had some very specific ideas in mind for her character.

"Penny and I are very similar in that we are similar ages and we went through some of the same ups and downs in terms of insecurity and not knowing where you fit in, that I wanted to see her start to find her place in the family," she explained. "I wanted to see her find what she was good at. In Season 1, it almost felt like Penny sometimes didn't have a job because she didn't know what she could do. I wanted her to have something that she's good at, something that she can contribute and was her thing, and that was people, different people, and how people think, and writing and telling a story, which I'm very, very grateful that that's the topic they chose, because that is also very similar to me."

The new season of Lost in Space picks up seven months after the ending of Season 1's final episode, and finds the Robinsons — along with Don West (played by Ignacio Serricchio) and Dr. Smith (played by Parker Posey) — stranded on the beaches of an unidentified planet.

The first few episodes feel very much as if they were ripped right out of The Swiss Family Robinson, which is the source material for the franchise. This is something that Sundwall says was at least partially intentional. "We would always talk to the writers and the writers were pretty communicative of where they were pulling certain ideas from," she shared.

"At the same time, we don't really see how it looks or how it feels when you're watching it, and while we're in the middle of it," Sundwall continued, "And they added so many special effects when we went to Iceland, and then we went to Alberta, and then we were in Vancouver, and we were shooting out of order, that we didn't really pick up on things like that until we were able to sit down and watch all the episodes back to back."

When asked which location was her favorite to film in, Sundwall quickly replied, "Iceland, by far," then adding, "It is absolutely, insanely beautiful. And it's the closest that as actors we were able to experience what the Robinson's were going through, because it looks like an extraterrestrial planet. There's these massive black sand beaches and there's all this hardened lava, so it has such a strange texture. It's very isolated and it has a very small population, so you don't really run into anybody casually. That was by far my favorite."

(Photo: Netflix)

In addition to the increased Swiss Family Robinson tones, Season 2 of Lost in Space also features several moments that seem as if they are a direct homage to iconic sci-fi films, such as Star Wars and Jurassic Park.

"I think that it's mostly intentional to be able to pull certain elements from such classic Sci-Fi, iconic movies, like the Star Wars trash compactor scene, because it is very similar to the point where it's quite noticeable," she said, referring to a specific scene in Season 2 where Penny is trapped in a trash compactor with Vijay (played by Ajay Friese), which is very much reminiscent of the similar iconic scene from Star Wars: A New Hope.

"It's the retelling of a classic story and then it's bringing in the elements of other classic Sci-Fi stories," Sundwall added.

One very interesting element of Season 2, is how the relationship between Penny and Dr. Smith develops. This was a dynamic that Sundwall found equally as fascinating as fans have, saying that she was "excited" to delve into that storyline.

"It feels like one of those things that when you are a teenager, and you are insecure, and you don't know where you fit in, you are searching for validation wherever you can get it. And it was a little bit of getting to play into the seduction of the dark side," she shared, adding, "I love being able to experiment with that, and when you know that something is wrong, but it's so good that you just kind of give into it anyway. And playing across Parker is a dream, to watch her work, and to learn from what she does and how she breaks down a scene is like an acting master class."

Finally, Sundwall reflected on a moment in Season 2 where her on-screen brother Will (played by Maxwell Jenkins) comments that he "would do it all over again," referring to the family being shipwrecked and stranded, "because I think that we are better."

She's not sure Penny would feel the same way, saying that the character would likely be "torn, because there's a part of her that never wanted to leave."

"She didn't want to leave Earth. She is not a science person. She doesn't really want to be in space. And that's even in the beginning of the season when she says, 'I would've stayed, I would rather stay because I don't want to deal with having to have the responsibility of saving somebody else's life or having to depend on somebody else to save my life.'


"Yeah, I think she would definitely have rather they stayed, and not gone," Sundwall continued. "But at the same time, it is true that circumstances that are that extreme sometimes bring people close together, and that is part of the reason why the family is the way it is right now. So it is a bit of that feeling, in that sense, she agrees with Will a little bit. But primarily, she is a creature of habit and she would rather stay where she can be a little comfortable, which is so important for growing, and figuring out who you are, and having the space to experiment, which she doesn't have."

Lost in Space Season 2 is now streaming, only on Netflix.