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Lost - The Complete First Season
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Lost did have some hiccups during the first season. Some plot threads were left dangling for weeks, and the "oh, it didn't really happen" card was played too often. But the strong writing and topnotch cast kept the show a cut above most network TV. The best-known actor at the time of the show's debut was Dominic Monaghan, fresh off his stint as Merry the Hobbit in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films. The rest of the cast is either unknowns or "where I have I seen that face before" supporting players, including Matthew Fox and Evangeline Lilly, who are the closest thing to leads. Other standouts include Naveen Andrews, Terry O'Quinn (who's made a nice career out of conspiracy-themed TV shows), Josh Holloway, Jorge Garcia, Yunjin Kim, Maggie Grace, and Emilie de Ravin, but there's really not a weak link in the cast. Co-created by J.J. Abrams (Alias), Lost left enough unanswered questions after its first season to keep viewers riveted for a second season. --David Horiuchi
Where Have I Seen These Castaways? (click images to find out)
Stills from Lost (click for larger image)
Sawyer in action
Claire and Charlie
Jin and Michael
Claire and Hurley
Even if you saw every episode of Lost on TV--or perhaps especially if you saw every episode--the DVD set is a must-own. The episodes are presented in widescreen format, just as they were broadcast on high-definition channels. (Conventional ABC-TV broadcasts were reduced to 1.33 full-screen format.) Four of the episodes have commentary tracks by the producing team and the actors who were featured on certain episodes (Terry O'Quinn, Dominic Monaghan, and Maggie Grace and Ian Sommerhalder). The last disc has over three hours of bonus material sensibly broken into three categories. "Departure" discusses the initial creation of the series, the making of the pilot, and the cast (some characters were created to fit the actors, and Evangeline Lilly's Kate was the hardest to cast). It also includes the cast's audition tapes and photographs by Matthew Fox. "Tales from the Island" provides background material on seven of the episodes plus the boars used in filming, Jimmy Kimmel's appearance on the set, and the genesis of the Driveshaft song ("You all everybody..."). Finally, "Lost Revealed" includes two scenes cut from the season finale, 13 other deleted scenes (not identified by episode, unfortunately), a blooper reel, and the cast and crew's giddy appearance at the Museum of Television & Radio. --David Horiuchi
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In 2004, the series was hyped as the latest series from J.J. Abrams who was known for his TV series "Felicity" and "Alias" and joined by a talented team which includes executive producer and writer Damon Lindelof ("Crossing Jordan"), executive producer and writer Carlton Cuse ("Nash Bridges", "The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.") , writer Jeffrey Lieber, producer Ra'uf Glasgow ("The Big Easy" and "Profiler"), Jack Bender ("Eight is Enough" and "Beverly Hills 90210'), Bryan Burke ("Alias") and Jean Higgins ("CSI: Miami") .
The series debuted on ABC in Sept. 2004 and was instantly a critically acclaimed hit as people all over the Internet would discuss and debate the circumstances of the show. Series creators would plant Easter Eggs on the TV series, on the Internet, on commercial trailers and eventually people were drawn in by the well-written dramatic thriller and sci-fi storyline, wonderful acting but the overall signs of conspiracy and mystery. The series would inspire many blogs, podcasts and so much hype that around 17-20 million people were drawn to the series each night a new episode aired.
The series won an Emmy Award for "Outstanding Drama Series" and series creator J.J. Abrams was award an Emmy in September 2005. The series also won the Writers Guild of America Awards for "Outstanding Achievement in Writing for a Dramatic Television Series", 2005 Producer Guild Awards for "Best Production" and the 2005 Director's Guild Award for "Best Direction of a Dramatic Television Program" and the "Screen Actors Guild Awards 2005' for Best Ensemble Cast.
For the first season, a total of 25 episodes aired from Sept. 2004 through May 2005. There are four episodes featured on each disc (7 Blu-ray discs total, final episode on disc 7). Here is a list of the episodes (with non-spoiler summaries) included in first season:
* EPISODE 1: Pilot: Part 1 - The survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 must learn to work together and find a way to survive and wait for a rescue party. Meanwhile, Jack, Kate and Charlie go to look for the other section of a plane and discover that something bad may be living on the island.
* EPISODE 2: Pilot: Part 2 - Sayid tries to fix a transceiver. Meanwhile, Sayid and Sawyer clash.
* EPISODE 3: Tabula Rasa - The Marshal tries to warn everyone about Kate and the survivors must decide what to do with him. A Kate Austen flashback episode.
* EPISODE 4: Walkabout - The survivors must hunt for food and Locke goes boar hunting. Meanwhile, Sayid and team try to setup an antenna in hopes of a rescue. A John Locke flashback episode.
* EPISODE 5: White Rabbit - The survivors need a leader. A Jack Shephard flashback episode.
* EPISODE 6: House of the Rising Sun - Jin and Michael clash. A Jin and Sun flashback episode.
* EPISODE 7: The Moth - Locke discovers Charlie's heroin addiction secret. A Charlie Pace flashback episode.
* EPISODE 8: Confidence Man - Someone attacked Sayid while he was trying to setup the antenna. They look towards Sawyer as the culprit. But is he really the culprit? A Saywer flashback episode.
* EPISODE 9: Solitary - Sayid discovers a mysterious cable running through the jungle. He discovers another survivor on the island named Danielle Rousseau. A Sayid flashback episode.
* EPISODE 10: Raised by Another - Someone tried to steal Claire's baby. Meanwhile, Hurley discovers that someone in the camp is not on the flight manifest. A Claire flashback episode.
* EPISODE 11: All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues - The survivors discover that there was someone on the Island that is not part of the manifest. A Jack flashback episode.
* EPISODE 12: Whatever the Case May Be - Both Sawyer and Kate discover a locked suitcase at the bottom of the lake. A Kate flashback episode.
* EPISODE 13: Hearts and Minds - Shannon and Sayid are growing closer. Meanwhile, Boone and Locke make a significant discovery on the island. A Shannon flashback episode.
* EPISODE 14: Special - Michael doesn't like Walt spending so much time with Locke. A Michael and Walt flashback episode.
* EPISODE 15: Homecoming - Someone has hurt Claire and Charlie wants revenge. A Charlie flashback episode.
* EPISODE 16: Outlaws - Sawyer is attacked by a big boar and now wants to hunt it down. A Sawyer flashback episode.
* EPISODE 17: ...In Translation - Sun wears her bikini in public and upsets Jin and is jealous that she may be spending time with Michael. A Jin and Sun flashback episode.
* EPISODE 18: Numbers - Hurley finds documents with the numbers that help him win the lottery (which he believes is cursed). He believes Danielle Rousseau may know the numbers, so he sets off to find her on his own. A Hurley flashback episode.
* EPISODE 19: Deus Ex Machina - Locke and Boone find a plane stuck on a cliff. A John Locke flashback episode.
* EPISODE 20: Do No Harm - While Locke and Boone look further into the plane, one of them is severely injured. A Jack flashback episode.
* EPISODE 21: The Greater Good - Jack blames Locke for a death of a survivor and the two clash. A Sayid flashback episode.
* EPISODE 22: Born To Run - Sawyer reveals to the survivors of Kate's secret. A Kate flashback episode.
* EPISODE 23: Exodus Part 1 - Rousseau shows the survivors of where they can find dynamite to open the hatch. Meanwhile, Michael, Jin and Sawyer continue to work on the raft. A flashback episode of the main cast members as they leave to the airport.
* EPISODE 24: Exodus Part 2 - Another Oceanic survivor dies and the group tries to carefully take their dynamite to the hatch. Flashback episodes of all main cast members on the day they are to leave for their flight are featured.
* EPISODE 25: Exodus Part 3 - While one group tries to open the hatch, Michael, Walt, Jin and Sawyer leave the island on their raft. Flashback episodes of all main cast members on the day they are to leave for their flight are featured.
"LOST" Season 1 makes its first entry to Blu-ray and similar to both Season 3 and Season 4, the Blu-ray's allow for "SeasonPlay" that allows people to watch as they go and can stop, restart where they last left off. "SeasonPlay" is optional and people can select it before watching an episode.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
"LOST" is a series that looks incredible on High Definition. Featured in 1080p High Definition (aspect ratio of 1:78:1), the detail of the island is captured quite vibrantly. The green lush plants that surround the island, the blue skies, the blue ocean. Personally, most of the video footage shot in Hawaii tend to be vibrant in colors and "LOST" is no exception. There is grain that can be seen in each episode and I have to admit that the quality is not up to par as "LOST - THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON" (not sure if they are using better equipment in the later seasons) but the picture quality is still pretty good.
There is little compression artifacts that can be seen in low light conditions but overall, the picture quality of "LOST" is not perfect but still looks gorgeous! I compared both my DVD box set to this Blu-ray set and the picture quality in High Definition shows off detail that I never caught on DVD. From the plane wreckage to the orange dimples on the orange peel in John Locke's mouth. These can be seen quite clearly on Blu-ray.
As for the audio, "LOST" is featured in DTS HD-Master Audio 5.1. The dialogue is quite clear but one thing that caught my attention is how magnificent the audio is in terms of capturing the ambiance of the island when each person is moving through the jungle. The explosions of the plane is caught all around you and you are literally immersed into the destruction of the plane as audio is heard on the front channels, surrounds, rear surrounds and through the LFE of your subwoofer. Very nice!
Also, I loved how music and sounds really brought an overall mood to certain scenes. The music by Michael Giacchino and the way the orchestra creates that tension for the scenes was awesome. So, music plays a big part in the series and the music soundtrack is just wonderful!
The Blu-ray edition of "LOST - THE COMPLETE SEASON ONE" is featured in Standard Definition (480i) and English 5.1 Dolby Digital with English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles. Several discs are full of special features and Easter Eggs. Included are:
* Audio Commentary for "PILOT (PART 1)" by Executive Producers J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk
* Audio Commentary for "PILOT (PART 2)" by Executive Producers J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk
* Audio Commentary for "WALKABOUT" by Executive Producer Jack Bender, Co-Executive Producer David Fury and actor Terry O'Quinn
* SNEAK PEEKS: LOST on ABC
* Audio Commentary for "THE MOTH" by Executive Producers Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk with actor Dominic Monaghan
EASTER EGG: Using your remote, go down to season play and press right. You can get the marker dot on the Oceanic logo on the airplane. This will bring up a picture of a transceiver and you will hear the French transmission from Rousseau that Sayid picked up on it.
* Audio Commentary for "HEARTS AND MINDS" by Executive Producer Carlton Cuse, Supervising Producer Javier Grillo-Marxuach with co-stars Maggie Grace & Ian Somerhalder
EASTER EGG: Not really an Easter Egg but wait for the main menu to flash around five to eight times and you will see the black mist (monster) come from the left.
EASTER EGG: Alternate title sequence: Go to features and press up and then you will see the marker dot suddenly point to the left hand side up. You will get a short clip of lightning on an island and each character being shown quickly.
* DEPARTURE - This segment features a total of six features. Included are:
- THE GENESIS OF LOST: (8:38) All creative executive of ABC had to pitch an idea for a show. Lloyd Braun, former President at ABC talked about how he pitched an idea of "Cast Away the Series". Thom Sherman (President, Bad Robot Television) talks about going to J.J. Abrams to help develop the series.
- DESIGNING A DISASTER: (49:45) How the crew had to create the plane accident for the pilot episode and had a short amount of time to make it happen. They needed a plane and had to purchase one, have it dismantled/cut up and shipped by two freighters to Hawaii.
- BEFORE THEY WERE LOST: (49:01) How the crew had three weeks to cast 14 people to play the major characters. How certain talent were cast for their role and characters were created after meeting some of the talents. Also, included in this segment are audition tapes.
- AUDITION TAPES: The audition tapes of each of the main talent.
- WELCOME TO OAHU: THE MAKING OF THE PILOT: (33:22) Interviews with cast and crew on the making of the pilot episode.
- THE ART OF MATTHEW FOX: (6:07) Featuring Matthew Fox's art and photography. Narration by Matthew Fox.
- LOST @ COMICON: (1:50) Featuring a featurette with an interview with the stars of "LOST" in regards to their experience at the San Diego Comicon.
* TALES FROM THE ISLAND: This segment features three featurettes. Included are:
- LOST ON LOCATION: This section contains several mini-featurettes of crew talking about the filming of certain scenes and the animals that had to be use on scenes. Included are the following 10 mini-featurettes: The Trouble with Boars, White Rabbit, House of the Rising Sun, The Moth, Confidence Man, All the Best Cowboys have Daddy Issues, Whatever the Case May Be, Hearts and Minds, Special and Exodus. Examples include "The Trouble with Boars" which is about the difficulty of using untrained boars in the series and "House of the Rising Sun" is about having to shoot in a cave.
- ON SET WITH JIMMY KIMMEL: (7:15) Jimmy Kimmel goes to Hawaii and visits the set of "LOST".
- BACKSTAGE WITH DRIVE SHAFT: (6:38) Dominic Monaghan talks about his character and his character's band Drive Shaft.
* LOST REVEALED: The following features five featurettes. Included are:
- THE LOST FLASHBACKS: The following are flashbacks that were not shown on the season finale: "AT THE AIRPORT: CLAIRE" and "AT THE AIRPORT: SAYID".
- DELETED SCENES: A total of 15 deleted scenes.
- BLOOPERS FROM THE SET: (4:17) A hilarious blooper reel with music.
- LIVE FROM THE MUSEUM OF TELEVISION & RADIO: (10:55) An excerpt from the salute to "LOST" held at the Directors Guild of America.
- FLASHBACKS & MYTHOLOGY: (7:28) Executive Producer/Director Jack Bender and execs talk about the flashbacks and how they are able to make a series and build up character development through their backstories.
EASTER EGG: Not really an Easter Egg but wait for the main menu to flash around five to seven times and the plane stuck on the trees will fall.
EASTER EGG: John Locke Orange Peel Scene: Go on set up and hit left. You will see the marker dot suddenly move to the right hand side, down. You will get a 1:30 clip of the Locke orange peel scene. And how the scene had to be filmed several times.
When the first season of "LOST" was on television, I was instantly hooked. I was on the main forums every week, downloaded every "LOST" podcast available, read the magazines and just pretty much got drawn in by the story but the various theories that people had about the island, the characters and more. In fact, I have owned the first season on DVD, listened to the audio books and even owned the pilot on UMD. That's how hooked I was to this show.
Personally, I just found that mystique of crash landing in an island and having to survive to be quite exciting but even moreso, finding out that there are some weird things going on in the island that makes you wonder if what we were watching is actually happening or are the people actually dead. There were so many unusual things that have happened and "LOST" was what was needed on network TV.
Also, as much as "LOST" would seem like a wreck with so many characters featured, the way the show is presented through various flashbacks of each of the main characters, the writers really focused on character development and making the viewer feel positive (or negative) about a certain character and learn about their behavior and a past that somehow each character has some kind of connection with each other.
There were so many amazing episodes, one such episode that will always be a favorite was the first death of one of the main 14. What a shocker! What was equally amazing was watching the season finale and I can remember being shocked and having to go back and forth on my DVR and then later on my DVD copies to see these "secrets" that fans have caught in the final episode. Nevertheless, that finale was awesome and left myself and many fans highly anticipating the second season.
The first season of course leaves the viewer with plenty of questions (and we're currently awaiting season 6 and many questions still exist today) but it was those questions that help fuel the fire to various theories that many fans could not help but take part of. It was quite fun to see how this series captured the attention of so many people and how the producers, writers and even the talent were so surprised of the various theories themselves.
I have to say that watching the first season of "LOST" on High Definition five years later is quite amazing. The series is absolutely beautiful on Blu-ray and was also impressed by the DTS-HD Master Audio lossless soundtrack. And it was great to see all the special features on the DVD included (although I wonder if all Easter Eggs are also included on the Blu-ray since I've only found a very few so far).
Fans who enjoy the "LOST" series will truly want to own the series on High Definition. If you are a big fan of the show, it is pretty much a no-brainer to pick up both Season 1 and 2 (as well as the previously released Season 3 and 4) on Blu-ray. This season is what started it all and with the final sixth season coming soon, you can't help but be happy that all four seasons are now available on Blu-ray.
"LOST - THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON" on Blu-ray is highly recommended!
We have in recent years seen genre shows that were huge hits with critics and managed to generate a passionate cult following. Probably no show was more critically praised than BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (with hordes of high brow critics preferring it to more respectable hit series like THE SOPRANOS), but at its peak it managed only a small audience. LOST has generated critical praise almost as strong as BUFFY, a core of fans nearly as passionate, but unlike BUFFY managed absolutely stunning ratings. It is one of the few instances in recent television history where what is arguably the best show on TV also managed among the strongest ratings. In fact, LOST would be considered a cult show based on the number of websites that it has inspired and the passion of the fans, except that the ratings instead make it a mainstream hit.
Who would have thought that a series dealing with plane crash survivors on a most unusual island would have been this successful? Before it debuted I remember people joking that it sounded like GILLIGAN'S ISLAND without the humor. But it ended up matching or surpassing the most optimistic expecations, in quality as well as in ratings. The mention of ratings is not gratuitious. So many superb shows have been cancelled in recent years (FIREFLY, WONDERFALLS, DEAD LIKE ME, ANGEL) that there was even a "Save LOST" website started . . . before the show even debuted! Luckily, the ratings have made cancellation seem not only remote but impossible.
It is almost impossible to acknowledge everything that LOST does well in the space allotted here. Above all else, it is a superbly written show, not merely on an episode by episode basis, but in the way all of the episodes mesh with one another. The continuity is the best that I have seen in a long time. For instance, the first time we see one character in the show, she is rubbing her wrist. Later, we learn that she had been a prisoner of a U. S. Marshall and had obviously gotten rid of her handcuffs just before we first met her. Almost any detail like that will be dealt with at a later date. But the scripts are just as strong on character development, humor, excitement, and adventure. I do have a tiny bit of fear about Season Two: former BUFFY and ANGEL writer David Fury, who wrote many of the finest scripts of the year, including "Walkabout," which could very well win Fury an Emmy for best written episode of the year, has left LOST to work this summer on the new FOX series THE INSIDE, before joining 24 as a writer and executive producer.
My initial fear when the show started was that the central cast was perhaps too large, but it turned out to be unjustified, and the great ensemble cast is unquestionably one of the reasons for the show's success.. Yes, there are a lot of characters, and sometimes I wish some were more central than others, but the depth and power of developing the stories of a dozen characters ended up being both unique and exceptionally entertaining. Jack is the titular lead of the show, although show creator J. J. Abrams has confessed that their original idea was to have Jack assume leadership in the first couple of episodes, and then have him die off, forcing the lovely fugitive Kate become the leader for the castaways. But they quickly realized that Matthew Fox's Jack was too valuable a character to toss aside so cavalierly. If there is a second main character, it is Kate, who is performed by a remarkable newcomer, the excruciatingly beautiful Evangeline Lily, who despite virtually no prior experience (I did recently spot her in a very, very tiny role from the first season episode "Kinetic" on SMALLVILLE, where her only task is to kiss her supposed boyfriend). One of the most consistently fascinating characters is John Locke, played by Terry O'Quinn, a veteran television actor familiar to anyone who has seen shows like ALIAS, THE X-FILES, MILLENIUM, and THE WEST WING. Although he has always performed marvelously, LOST has made him a star. Every one of the major characters has his or her own set of fans. Naveen Andrews, for instance, a Londoner of Indian descent, has been a big hit playing Sayid, the former Iraqi soldier, as has Jorge Garcia as Hurley, the obese lottery winner who is as unlucky for others as he is lucky himself. And while Dominic Monaghan shared in the enormous success of THE LORD OF THE RINGS playing one of the Hobbits, he has achieved more individual success as Charlie, the heroin-addicted bass player for the fictional band Driveshaft (one hit wonders famed for their song "You All Everybody"). So rabid are the show's fans that there are websites dedicated to Driveshaft.
Structurally, the narrative shifts between the efforts of the survivors to adapt to and understand the island on which they are marooned and flashbacks that explain the personal history of each character. Some people object to this, wishing instead that they focused exclusively on the events on the island, but I think that this is wrong. If you focused merely on the events on the island, it would be only an adventure story, but through the flashbacks we learn so much about what makes the people tick that the series becomes as much a character study as an adventure. By the end of the season, we get to know the characters so well that we can anticipate how they are going to respond to even the smallest events. We learn very quickly that the island contains a host of mysteries, including invisible monsters whose location and function remain unknown until the end of the season (if we even understand them then), other inhabitants whose intentions seem both sinister and unknown, and a lone insane Frenchwoman named Danielle Rousseau. But there is not much more than we know about the island. Rousseau talks of the Black Rock, but it isn't what we expect when we finally see it. And then there is the metal doorway that Locke discovers in the middle of the jungle. How can it be opened and what lies behind the door? By the end of the season many of the mysteries are explained, but more are left open-ended.
LOST clearly has the potential to be one of the great series in the history of television. The producers are highly ambitious, but so far their execution has matched their aspirations. I read an interview with David Fury before the first episode aired in which he said they had a plot line that runs over several years, so their clearly is a well-conceived storyline. I have only one concern with the show, and that is the executive producer and creator J. J. Abrams. Although he has two prior hit shows, FELICITY and ALIAS, he has had some problems with taking his shows to higher levels. What made BUFFY so extraordinary was that each year they managed to do something new and amazing, even if some fans were disappointed by some directions it headed. But ALIAS has started to disappoint some fans by the fact that it hasn't progressed much beyond what it was in the first season. Instead of doing strikingly new things, Abrams just tends to recycle the same general storyline. And there has not been much of a payoff for all the focus on Ramaldi (for nonfans of ALIAS, a Renaissance genius whose artifacts provide much of the narrative force of the show). Abrams clearly is brilliant at conceiving and initiating great shows, but he has not yet demonstrated that he is a great finisher in the way that Joss Whedon has. I'm forever the optimist, and I believe that Abrams either will come to terms with this or the other creators and executive producers will help LOST get to a place that we will all find satisfying.
Regardless of the future, this nonetheless is one of the most remarkable rookie seasons any television series has ever enjoyed. I'll end with food for thought. THE X-FILES, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, ANGEL, and FARSCAPE, to name just a few shows, were much better in their second and third seasons than their first. What if two years from now we are able to say the same of LOST?
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