figures have tumbled precipitously after the first few episodes of its
second season when it was revealed what exactly it was down that
Persistent fans of this show, about a group of airline crash
survivors stuck on a deserted tropical island possessed of unexplained and
almost magical properties, will however know that there has been no drop
whatsoever in the quality of writing, acting and production values in what
made Lost such a ?water cooler? TV show in
the first place.
Lost's science fiction leanings have become more pronounced in its
fourth season as storylines involving time travel amongst other genre
staples are introduced. Sly in-jokes aimed at genre fans abound: one
character reads Philip K. Dick?s last and most personal (and difficult)
Another character is named Charlotte Staples Lewis (C.S. Lewis - geddit?). Also new to the show are flash forwards, a sure indication
that much of the back story is now largely finished, even though flashbacks
have not have been discarded altogether, and that the narrative is
definitely moving forward. Many viewers abandoned the show out of the fear
that the writers are simply making it all up as they go along, but Season
Four proves that there is indeed a grand scheme of things and that plot
issues will most
likely get resolved within the next two planned seasons.
Keeping things interesting some new characters are introduced
while others are killed off. At times the narrative becomes too involved and
complex, especially when viewers are asked to recall this or that obscure
character or event from the myriad of characters and their back stories from
the previous seasons, but this is a minor complaint.
THE DISCS: Courtesy of the recent Hollywood writers strike, Lost
(like many other recent shows such as
The Sarah Connor Chronicles) only had a limited run on its fourth
All 14 - as opposed to the normal 23 episodes ? are spread over four discs.
As if to make up for the shortfall in actual episodes, the bonus features
now span over two extra discs as opposed to the normal single disc of extras
found in previous Lost box sets.
Most of the bonus features are well worth checking out and doesn't feel like
unnecessary let's fill this disc up with unwatchable crap padding, with
the possible exception of Course of the Future: The Definitive Flash
Forwards, which somewhat redundantly re-edits all the essential flash
forward scenes into their ?correct? chronological order, a bit like when
they broadcast The Godfather I and II on television way back
(It goes without saying that it is best to check out the special features -
including the various audio commentaries - only after you've watched all the
episodes in the box set as they do contain spoilers.)
What the various making-of features again make abundantly clear is the sheer
scale and effort that goes into making a show as wildly ambitious as
Lost, and also how inventive the producers are
when it comes to cutting costs. This is, after all, still a TV show even it
often aims for the scale usually found in what they used to call major
Especially of interest is the fact that most of the show's many "overseas"
locations (Scotland army barracks, Harvard, Iraq, etc.) are actually shot
mostly right in Hawaii. We have always maintained that the best special
effects are the ones that don't call attention to themselves and The
Island Backlot: Lost in Hawaii shows how cleverly digital and other
effects are used to realistically recreate exotic locales such as a freezing
Berlin strasse right in Honolulu's sweltering midtown. It is often the
patently obvious effects that disappoint, like that of a freighter blowing
up or a helicopter crash-landing in the ocean.
the various deleted scenes and short mobisodes are fun. Also of interest
is a short mockumentary titled The Oceanic Six: A Conspiracy of Lies
which pokes fun at your typical breathless, overdramatic UFOs are real!
documentaries usually shown on television.
The irony here of course is that
the documentary is ?correct.? It points out that an airliner crashing into
the ocean might as well crash into the ground as the plane practically
disintegrates upon impact and doesn't neatly sink to the bottom of the ocean
as is shown in this season of Lost. Your chances of survival are also
nil. A nice thought to have in the back of your mind as you book your next
intercontinental flight . . .
The features are:
Bonus features (disc five)
Lost on Location
- The Island Backlot: Lost in Hawaii
- The Right to Bear Arms
- Soundtrack of Survival: Composing for Character,
Conflict and the Crash
- Lost bloopers
- Deleted scenes
Bonus features (disc six):
- Course of the Future: The Definitive Flash Forwards
- The Oceanic Six: A Conspiracy of Lies
- The Freighter Folk
- Offshore shoot
- Lost: Missing Pieces (mobisodes)
Other bonus features include:
The Beginning of the End - with commentary by actor Evangeline Lilly and
actor Jorge Garcia
The Constant - with commentary by Editor Mark Goldman, Co-creator /
Exec. Producer Damon Lindelof and Exec. Producer Carlton Cuse
Ji Yeon - with commentary by Director Stephen Semel, actor Daniel Dae
Kim and actor Yunjin Kim
There?s No Place Like Home (Part 2) - with commentary by Co-creator /
Executive Producer Damon Lindelof and Executive Producer Carlton Cuse
WORTH IT? Definitely. Lost is still gripping stuff and one
keeps on watching one episode after another in this season waiting for
events in the "present" to finally intersect with the flash forwards. In
that sense Lost is better suited to viewing on DVD rather than TV as
one is left scratching one's head about what happened in the episode from
two or three weeks ago.
RECOMMENDATION: If you had given up on Lost, then you are
losing out (groan) on what is surely one of the best genre TV shows out
there right now (along with Battlestar
Galactica and the new Doctor Who).
Besides, any show which has Brian K. Vaughn ? writer of one of the best
comics of the past decade or so (Y:
The Last Man, being made into a movie right now) - aboard as one of its
regular writers can't be all bad, now can it? Try picking up the strands from where you left off last or start afresh.
Season four isn't the place for newbies to start watching. If you're already
a fan then you're probably impatiently already waiting for your Amazon.com
pre-order to arrive any day now . . .