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Lost is an extremely popular TV show that ran for six series. The first series began in the US in September 2004, but it wasn't aired in the UK until the following summer, in August 2005. The UK was actually one of the last countries to get the show; it aired in other countries such as Norway, Italy, Ireland and Israel before then. Although it had its up and downs, there were literally tens of millions of people tuning in to each episode, and it was extremely well received by critics.
I didn't watch this on TV at the time, but I watched it on DVD about a year later. Recently I've watched it again because it was on BT Vision's On Demand service for free.
The first episode opens with a spectacularly elaborate plane crash. An enormous jet travelling from Sydney to Los Angeles has hit extreme turbulence, and breaks apart in mid air. The plane plummets through the sky to an island below them, scattering its passengers liberally over the island and the ocean. After the initial shock, the survivors work together to build shelter, and light a signal fire to aid their rescuers. Soon, though, it becomes clear that no-one is coming to rescue them. The show follows the survivors as they explore their surroundings, meet the strange inhabitants of this strange island, and most importantly, try to make their way home.
Most of the episodes have two simultaneous storylines; the primary one shows life on the island, and a secondary one follows one of the characters before they came to the island. This is an interesting technique and to be honest I think it is completely necessary to keep the programme watchable. A show that was based on the island the whole time would start to feel really claustrophobic and I think a lot of people would lose interest. I also like the way you get to know the characters one at a time, and learn things about them that might well change your opinion of them. I'm sure most of us would agree that the way we would act on a desert island after a plane crash probably wouldn't reflect our real personalities, so it's great that we get to see the characters in different environments.
This show has a relatively large cast: for the first half of the series, thirteen main cast members were billed, and for the second half, fourteen. This made it the largest cast on an American TV show at the time. For this reason I'm not going to go in to a great deal of detail regarding each character, I'll just do a quick introduction.
Jack Shepherd (Matthew Fox) is a spinal surgeon who was flying home to LA from Sydney, where he had been to collect his father's body. Jack's medical experience comes in very useful on the island, as does his quick decision making.
Kate Austen (Evangeline Lilly) at first appears to be a quiet, level headed young woman. However, fairly early on in the series we find out that she has some dark secrets in her past, and a very shady reason for travelling on the plane. Kate seems to be the person most women are expected to identify with, although that didn't really work for me.
James 'Sawyer' Ford (Josh Holloway) is a cowboy type figure with a Southern drawl and little in the way of ethics. He isn't one for sharing and his penchant for hiding stashes of valuable kit causes a lot of upsets within the group.
Sayid Jarrah (Naveen Andrews) is a veteran of the Gulf War, having worked as a communications officer for the Iraqi Republican Guard. Whilst I wouldn't describe him as one of the leaders of the group, his skill with electronics and broadcasting equipment mean he soon becomes one of the central figures.
John Locke (Terry O'Quinn) plays a mysterious man who has the survival skills needed to help the islanders survive. However, after something miraculous happens to him on the island, he begins to develop his own agenda. Not all the islanders trust him.
Charlie Pace (Dominic Monaghan) is a British ex-rockstar struggling with a drug problem. He doesn't have any special skills or talents to distinguish him, but he does have a colourful back story that makes him memorable. He also develops a touching relationship with Claire Lyttleton (Emilie de Ravin) who is a heavily pregnant girl who was on her way to give her baby up for adoption in the US.
Hugo 'Hurley' Reyes (Jorge Garcia) is a big guy with a huge heart to match. He is willing to help anyone out, but his tendency to gossip causes problems.
Michael Dawson (Harold Perrineau) is a construction worker. He went to Australia to pick up his son, Walt Lloyd (Malcolm David Kelley), who lived with his mother until she recently died.
Jin (Daniel Dae Kin) and Sun (Yunjin Kim) Kwon are a Korean husband and wife. Sun is the daughter of the wealthy Korean businessman that Jin works for, and the work Jin does isn't always of the legal variety. Jin and Sun are probably my favourite characters, as throughout the six series they are the ones that go through the biggest changes and you find yourself really rooting for them in the end.
Finally, Boone Carlyle (Ian Somerhalder) and Shannon Rutherford (Maggie Grace) are step- brother and sister who, for reasons as yet unknown, are less than polite to one another.
Weirdly my least favourite characters are two that get a lot of airtime: Jack and Kate. Kate is a really interesting character but I don't think the actress playing her was particularly good which lets her down in this first series. Jack swiftly becomes a leader figure for the group, and with him also being the only doctor, he spends most of his time treating fatal wounds, beating himself up when people die and snapping at people when they question his decisions. There's a bit of a love triangle going on between Jack, Sawyer and Kate, and at times Jack is so dull and irritable that it becomes quite unbelievable that he's even in the picture. Plus, Kate is so quiet and stone like that you never really know what she's thinking, so you lose a bit of interest in that storyline.
Boone and Shannon are great for a few laughs, and Hurley is a completely lovable character whose kindness and wacky backstory completely pull me in. Meanwhile Charlie and Claire's friendship is absolutely adorable and despite being really chaste and innocent, it completely trumps what's going on with Jack, Kate and Sawyer.
The most eerie character is easily John Locke, who has some strange experiences on the island that take hold of him a little bit. When you learn about his background, you can understand why he wants to stay on the island, but his journey becomes one of a man possessed, who makes bad decisions because of his weird obsession.
One thing I would say about the characters is, don't get attached to any of them! There are deaths left, right and centre throughout the series and there are a lot of times when characters get into very precarious situations. It's pretty tense stuff!
I don't think it's exaggerating to say that the island the survivors land on is almost a character in itself. As the island's new inhabitants begin to explore more confidently, you start to realise how big the island is - they talk of going to a certain place and mention that its 2 days' walk away. Personally at that point I'd be putting down my pack and going, 'oh well, never mind then' but they seem quite fond of going on these treks. The inhabitants start referring to the island in ways that imply it has a personality or desires of it's own ('The island doesn't want us to leave') and this deepens the mystery surrounding the events.
It's difficult to give much of a plot description, because with 25 episodes in the series, the story is completely different by the last episode in the series. We follow the plane crash survivors as they gradually accept that rescue isn't coming any time soon, and settle into life on the island. There's fruit and fish aplenty, and they soon track down a source of fresh water. On first glance it seems like life on a desert island in the Pacific Ocean could be quite idyllic, but rifts between the survivors fire up almost immediately. Also, it quickly becomes apparent that they are not alone on the island. Just to give you an idea of the kind of thing that happens, I'll outline the pilot episode.
On the first night on the island the survivors hear mysterious, clanking, groaning noises coming from the jungle. The next day Jack, Kate and Charlie trek into the jungle to find the plane's cockpit and, hopefully, a way of communicating with the outside world. They find the pilot still alive but badly hurt, and he gives them some bad news. The plane lost communication in the middle of the ocean, and had changed course to land in Fiji. They had crashed thousands of miles away from the flight path where people would be looking for them. They are still discussing this, and Jack, the doctor, is trying to help the pilot, when suddenly they hear the noises again. They crouch down, trying to hide, but suddenly the pilot is wrenched from his seat. The others run for their lives, and after the noises stop they find the pilot dead, suspended high up in a tree. They didn't see what did this, but they begin to call it the monster, among themselves.
Later, another group venture into the jungle, including, Sawyer, Kate, Charlie, Sayid, Shannon and Boone. They have a transceiver found in the cockpit of the plane that Sayid has altered so that they can try to call for help. On their way, they are attacked by a polar bear, which Sawyer shoots dead. This raises questions: why is there a polar bear on a tropical island? And why does Sawyer have a gun? Sawyer explains that he stole it from a US marshal who was on the plane, escorting a prisoner - and the group immediately start throwing accusations about. Is there someone dangerous in the group? When the group finally get to high ground in order to use the transceiver, they find their signal is being blocked by another transmission that originates somewhere on the island. It is a distress call from a French woman who is asking for help and saying, 'it killed them...it killed them all.'
Meanwhile, there are flashbacks - we see Jack's, Kate's and Charlie's plane journey. We learn that Kate is the marshal's prisoner, although we don't know why, and we learn that Charlie has a serious drug problem.
I think that outline will probably be enough to let you get an idea of whether you would like this show or not! More stories develop throughout the series including a love triangle between three main characters, some touching friendships, some serious rivalries and the discovery that not everyone among the survivors was actually on the plane. The series is a real mixed bag as it covers some typical desert island things such as trying to get rescued and building a raft, but it also has a very psychological twist as you see the way all these people relate to each other. There are some incredibly touching scenes and some horribly tense ones - some episodes are very fast paced and really edge of the seat stuff, while tearjerkers abound.
This series has extremely high production values, and that's evident from the very opening scenes. Filming is done in Hawaii, and visually this show is just beautiful. No expense has been spared and the plane wreckage on the beach, plus the crash itself which we see repeatedly in flashbacks, are both spectacular and really believable. There's regular doses of blood and gore which look realistic, and other special effects (the polar bear and other certain...um, entities that come into play later) look convincing.
The music used in the show varies. The theme tune is a really creepy, grungy little jingle that fits perfectly with the eerie nature of the show, and there's lots of generic action or love story music. Interspersed with that are some other more popular songs used to great effect, such as Damien Rice's Cannonball. I think music is used really carefully to add to the mood of a scene without taking over what's happening.
Having got those minor things out of the way though, I can discuss the show itself. To be honest I think this series is absolutely brilliant and I was completely hooked from the first time I watched it. The pilot episode is an absolute blinder and it completely sucked me in. I didn't watch this when it first came on TV as I didn't have Sky at the time; instead I got it on DVD and my housemate and I watched it together. We would often watch 5 or 6 episodes in a night and I recall one particular night where we'd gone to bed and after half an hour she tapped on my door and we got up to watch another episode! Every episode seems to land on a cliffhanger that leaves you dying to know what happens next.
I really like the mix in the episodes. Because there's life on the island interspersed with flashbacks (usually focussing on one character per episode) there's no chance of getting bored with one setting or one part of the storyline. The flashbacks mean you get tons of character development and often there are some brilliant twists: Locke's back episode will really surprise you. Meanwhile on the island there is always tons going on to keep you interested. I find that most individual story threads progress quite quickly, so you don't get bored of them, but there are exceptions. There are some big mysteries on the island that you won't get answers to in this series, and there are several questions that won't be resolved until the last series, if then. There's a really strong sense of mystery on the show and many people get very frustrated that things don't get tied up quickly. It can put a lot of people off.
Another thing that can annoy people is that there is a slight supernatural element to the show. Although most of the things that happen in any episode could conceivably happen in real life, there are driving forces and causes at work that don't appear to be entirely normal. Personally I am able to suspend disbelief and accept this as a show that deals with the supernatural to a small extent, but other people I know aren't too impressed. You definitely get eased into this aspect, though, which makes it easier to deal with.
The fact that there's such a huge cast does make things a tiny but confusing at first and I did occasionally find myself getting mixed up with who said what and who lived where, but the makers are very good at reminding you of important connections that you need to know about, so you don't miss anything. However this is a show that really bears rewatching, as once you're familiar with the characters and themes of the show you will notice so much more that you missed the first time around. It makes me feel really smug to point these things out to other fans!
On the subject of the cast, I think the performances are a bit mixed. As I've said, I think Evangeline Lilly is a bit wooden as Kate, and neither Maggie Grace nor Ian Somerhalder are especially impressive. Josh Holloway as Sawyer is okay but he does play Sawyer as a bit two-dimensional; once I found out his backstory, everything he did seemed a bit obvious and it would have been nice for him to surprise me occasionally. Some of the background characters are a bit laughable too, but it doesn't affect my enjoyment too much. On the other hand, Terry O'Quinn and Naveen Andrews as Locke and Sayid are both brilliant in a kind of sinister way, and Jorge Garcia as Hurley is instantly likeable.
Stand out episodes for me include episodes 10, Raised by another, 11, All the best cowboys have daddy issues and 20, Do No Harm. Looking back, all of these have some really tense moments in, so I guess that is mainly what appeals to me about the show. Also, though, they all have certain characters in that I really like and involve a lot of character development.
~~~Price and Availability~~~
The cheapest price I can find for this at the moment (April 2012) is £15.99 on Play.com. This is a great price and I definitely think it's worth the money. A lot of people would pay £10 for a DVD that only gives you 2 hours or so of entertainment - this will keep you going for days! You could also rent them, or stream them online via LoveFilm or Netflix.
I'm afraid I can't comment on the special features as I don't own the DVD set any more and have watched all the recent episodes on my BT Vision box. However the listing on the Play website shows that there are deleted scenes, bloopers and tons of featurettes - having seen the titles, I really want to watch them all now!
I would recommend this to anyone who likes to watch TV shows such as The Killing, Heroes, Alias, Prison Break or Fringe. It's really well made and the story is gripping. The fact that it kept going for 6 series and maintained so many loyal fans really says a lot, and you need to see how it all began. I'm giving this four stars - I would have gone with five, but I plan to review the other series soon and the show goes on to get even better!
LOST is considered one of the best american series' ever by most of its fans , and the first season is motly considered the best series so far. the first season concetrates on around 14 of the plane crash survivers on a mysterious island. the first episodes mainly focus on the panic and chaos of a plane crash and how they are going to survive. But further on it becomes more aparant that this is no ordinary island with a mysterous black smoke travelling around the island as well as finding wild animals such as a polar bear in the middle of the island. Aswell as concentrating on life on the island , the viewer also see's characters pasts in the form of flash backs. there are several main characters in this season the main one being jack; a doctor along with hurley sawyer and kate. this is a must have for any drama fan and anybody who love mysterys as each episode ends with a cliff hanger making you want to go back and see the next episode , many of these questions are remained unanswered at the end of the series but there leaves enough to make you want to come back and see series 2.
LOST is about the survivors of a Oceanic Flight 815, they are trapped on a mysterious island. While roughly 40 people survive, the first season focuses on 14 of them, while at the beginning of the show, they are just trying to survive(get water, find shelter etc). It becomes clear that this is no ordinary island and this is definately not an ordinary show.
The First season of LOST is often considered the best season by its fans, Losts first season introduced us to a new concept for a show, and paved the way for more shows like it in the following years.
Lost is very mystery based and is not really suitable to someone who wants their answers straight away i.e in a cop show when you find out whodunnit at the end of an episode. Many mysterys from the first season have not been resolved, even by the end of season 3.
But if someone has patience with the show and lets the mysteries unfold as they do, then they will come to love it.
Another reason why LOST is a very popular show is because of the characters, the characters are done so well and the writing is so perfect that you really feel like you know the characters by the end of the season a lot more than you would in other shows.
This could be partly due to The flashback that occurs every episode, every episode one character will be focused on and their backstory will be examined.
There is plenty of extras to keep the avid LOST fan entertained including a secret easter egg, There is 5 Audio commentries on episodes with the cast and crew, Lost Scripts, Matthew Fox's Video/Photo Diary and a whole extra disc for extras.
Overall i would advise you to give LOST a shot, its definately a great show, and the writing and directing is genius.
The first series of Lost introduced us to a whole new type of drama. The key to its success is being entirelly impossible to categorise. There are murders, but it isn't a simple who-dunnit. There are horror aspects, but the source of the horror is always lurking just out of reach. There is romance and mysterious characters, but nothing and no-one is as it seems. And just when you think you've got it all figured out, an entirelly new part of the story develops in an unexpected direction.
The story in its simplest is about the survivors of a plane crash, stuck on an island with no escape. Yet the island is not as it first appears. The survivors are not alone, and seemingly cut off from the rest of the world. There are threats of disease, attack, rebellion and everything seems to be strung together by a grand series of coincidences.
There have been numerous suggestions as to what Lost is all about. Have the survivors all gone to hell? Is it all a dream, or a computer game? Perhaps they are part of a scientific experiment. Lost certianly leaves you questioning. And not just about the main issues, but also little details. Why has no-one come to search for the survivors? How can so many of the characters stories from before the crash be conneted? And, just how can they possibly catch enough fish to survive?
Lost series one ends on a cliff-hanger, making you just want to rush out and see what happens next. Unfortunatly the next series is far slower-paced, making me wonder if they are trying to eek out the story to make more money!
And so it begins. Its hard to pinpoint just when you realise how good Lost actually is. Granted, the opening episode is an astonishingly assured way to start, replete with an almighty plane crash on a seemingly deserted desert island. Yet as those who have followed the hype are well aware, theres far more on offer here, with carefully woven plotlines introducing a series of characters who are slowly and intriguingly fleshed out throughout the 25 episodes in this set. At its best, Lost is a delicately layered adventure, laced with some stand-out moments. Youll find ample instances of them here, as well as umpteen examples of the quality of writing that underpins the show. Far fetched? Yes, occasionally, and you could also argue that it takes a while to recapture the energy of those dramatic opening episodes. But this is still a lavish, compulsive show that benefits heavily from its clearly substantial production budget. Naturally as there are more episodes made and planned, there are plenty of building blocks being put in place for later on, both through the evolving life on the island and the plethora of flashbacks that back it up. Yet its at this point that the quality of Lost really hits home, thanks to lots of short term excitement with plenty still to enjoy as the show progresses. That makes Lost Series One a rewarding purchase, and one that promises even greater things ahead.--Simon Brew