DVD Review

Mania Grade: A-

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  • Show Grade: B+
  • Reviewed Format: DVD
  • Rated: N/A
  • Stars: Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, Naveen Andrews, Dominic Monaghan, Terry O'Quinn, Daniel Dae Kim, Maggie Grace, Emilie de Ravin, Jorge Garcia, Josh Holloway, Harold Perrineau Jr., Yoon-jin Kim, Ian Somerhalder, Malcolm David Kelly
  • Writers: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Distributor: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
  • Original Year of Release: 2004-05
  • Suggested Retail Price: $59.99
  • Extras: 24 episodes on seven discs; 5 commentary tracks; The Genesis of Lost; Designing a Disaster; Before They Were Lost (personal stories and audition tapes); The Making of the Pilot; the art of Matthew Fox; Lost at Comicon; Lost on Location; On set with Jimmy Kimmel; Backstage with Driveshaft; The Lost Flashbacks; deleted scenes; bloopers


We've come a long way from GILLIGAN'S ISLAND, baby.

By Patrick Sauriol     September 21, 2005

LOST: Season 1
Emerging as one of two breakthrough hits for ABC last season, LOST has given hope to television viewers seeking refuge from the wave of reality TV. It's amazing to think that just one year ago critics of the 2004-05 TV season were speculating that there might not be an audience out there looking for a program featuring a large ensemble cast and that relied on a series of ongoing mysteries for its premise. How the times have changed considering that there are three similar-in-premise shows debuting this new fall season.

LOST follows the immediate aftermath of a trans-Pacific airliner that crashes a thousand miles off-course and on the beach of a tropical and seemingly uninhabited island. There are 48 survivors that pull themselves from the wreckage, and from that number 14 principal characters that the show follows. All of the LOST characters have their own set of skeletons in their closets, and as the group begins to unravel some of the mysterious oddities to be found on their new home (such as wandering polar bears, other castaways and an unseen, deadly beast), each episode also tells in flashback a life-changing moment from one character's past. Slowly, over the course of the first season we come to know more about what makes these people tick, what brought them to be on the doomed flight and a growing sense of dread that there are other forces at work positioning the castaways for some unknown purpose that they may not survive to see.

ABC knows when it's got a good thing going. By releasing the DVD of LOST's first season a week before the show's second season premier it's able to deliver the introductory episodes to those that may have heard the commotion about the show but may not have had the time to check it out. At the same time the whole package for LOST: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON is top notch, serving the needs of the LOST fanatics who want more of this show right away. The seven-disc set features all of the episodes in the impressive 1.78:1 widescreen format (not 1.33 full-screen format, which is what you saw them in if you're not set up with high-def TV) and in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound quality, ensuring that the audio and video presentation of the show, from airliner crash to the blowing of the hatch, are spectacular to watch.

The seventh disc contains most of the package's bonus material, about three hours worth of stuff for LOSTees (is that even a name?) to lose themselves in. Those seeking more insight into the show's creation and the airplane crash seen in the pilot will find it in two 8-minute featurettes examining each concept. A longer featurette looks at how the show was cast, which leads nicely into the audition tapes showing the actors try out (including some surprises as to which LOST member was trying out for other parts.) There's also a selection of interesting shorts: photographs that actor Matthew Fox, better known as Jack on the show, took of what he saw behind-the-scenes; a look at the song made for Dominic Monaghan's rock guitarist character's band; and half-a-dozen smaller vignettes examining a facet from a particular episode. There are also the usual DVD suspects such as a bloopers reel, a dozen deleted scenes from throughout the season and snippets from the 2004 Comicon panel as well as a Jimmy Kimmel set visit. Fledgling screenwriters will find additional enjoyment downloading the script from the pilot episode to your computer.

Getting back to the other six discs, there are five commentary tracks available on the set: parts one and two of the "Pilot" (featuring producers J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk); the Locke-centric episode "Walkabout" (featuring commentary from actor Terry O'Quinn and producers Jack Bender and writer David Fury); "The Moth" (featuring Dominic Monaghan [a.k.a. Charlie] as well as Lindelof and Burk); and finally "Hearts and Minds" (actors Maggie Grace [Shannon], Ian Sommerhalder [Boone] and producers Javier Grillo-Marxuach and Carlton Cuse).

LOST has taken some criticism for taking its time in revealing some of the island's secrets, or by addressing a dangling plot thread in a roundabout fashion that does little but raise even more questions. I've been guilty of such criticism mainly because I felt that the show's creators may not have definite ideas in their heads as to what the true answers are behind the show's major mysteries it's called being burned by nine seasons of watching THE X-FILES. Whether or not the LOST castaways will run into the same mythology problems encountered by Agents Scully and Mulder remains to be seen, but judging the show solely by its first 24 episodes it's fair to say that there is something here worth investing more of your time with.


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