Lost: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray ALL - America - Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Noor Razzak (30th June 2009).
The Show

If you haven't heard of "Lost" I'd be inclined to ask "where have you been?" Back in 2004 ABC television stormed through the year with two big hits "Desperate Housewives" (2004-Present) and "Lost", one of the highest rated shows of that year and one that continued to impress into its current seasons (despite some second season road bumps along the way). "Lost" as a show is a fairly simple concept, a passenger plane crashes on a seemingly deserted island, 40+ survivors are stranded and wait for help, when help doesn't arrive they try to find ways to leave the island or at least make their stay bearable. Oh yeah did I forget to mention that there's also strange creatures that kill, polar bears (yeah on a tropical island), and the island itself seems to hide secrets that when gradually uncovered poses a direct threat to the survivors.

Throughout the show we get to meet some of the survivors, beginning with the show's hero Jack (Mathew Fox) a surgeon that helps some of the survivors with wounds and injuries, other characters include an ex-Iraqi Republican Guardsman Sayid (Naveen Andrews), a beautiful fugitive Kate (Evangeline Lilly), Sawyer (Josh Holloway) a conman, John Locke (Terry O'Quin) who's a former box company clerk that ends up being a survivalist guru on the island, an ex-rocker from a broken-up band Drive Shaft Charlie (Dominic Monaghan), Hurley (Jorge Garcia) a cursed millionaire, Sun (Yoon-Jin Kim) and Jin (Daniel Dae Kim) a married Korean couple with a troubled past, Boone (Ian Somerhalder) and Shannon (Maggie Grace) a brother and sister combo, a pregnant Aussie Claire (Emilie De Ravin) and father and son Michael (Harold Perrineau) and Walter (Malcolm David Kelly). Of course there are other survivors that populate the island but for the first series these are main characters, and it's their relationships with each other and back stories that shape each episode.

Although the general gist of the show isn't entirely complicated the characters and story lines are deep and complex, the overall objective for these people is survival and rescue, while they attempt to achieve this each character's relationship with one and other is developed, some connect as friends, others as enemies, whatever it may be they all have to live together for the time being. These relationships are what drives the show narratively as they cue important back stories for each of the main characters. These back stories add depth to each of the survivors and allows the audience to not only make a personal connection with them but also keep you engaged in the storylines and their lives, how these back stories later relate to their actions and motivations on the island is also key.

The success of the show is dependent on two main elements, well-developed and well written characters is a must, and the creators of "Lost" have achieved this splendidly, especially when you're dealing with a large cast it's important to be able to differentiate the characters so they stand out as unique from one an other and the casting of this show was done with that in mind. Each actor owns their role, they all manage to bring something special to each character. The cast seem so comfortable in these roles you'd almost believe that these are real people. Secondly it must be engaging and "Lost" is most certainly that, and they've managed to create a mystery surrounding the island, which is as much a character in this show as the survivors. The island hides many secrets and strange creatures that threaten the lives of these characters, furthermore there seems to be some sort of eeriness that emits from the island. The show will keep you guessing, only revealing tidbit after tidbit whenever the time is right.

"Lost" is cleverly written, J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof and Jeffrey Lieber have created a show with so much depth that you'll need to watch the show more than once. You'll be able to pick up things that never noticed before. If you want to be a little pretentious you could say that from the character's back stories they were all lost in their lives before they were lost on this island. Well, anyway the show will challenge you as a viewer at every turn and keeps you hooked until the very end, and then makes you want more. Perhaps it is a manipulative style of storytelling to reel in the viewers, either way it's the characters and their situations that keep you coming back for more and that's the sign of great writing, the fact that you care enough for these people is stronger than anything a marketing department can spin you to keep watching. By the time you get through the entire first season you'll have more questions than answers, this I can promise you but you'll have a great time developing those questions as the show progresses.

"Lost" is one of those shows that come along once in a while that totally blows you away right from the word "Go" the show's pilot is one of the best pilots I've ever seen from any TV show, it grabs you and sucks you in almost immediately. It is quality television that doesn't fail its audience, it keeps you on the edge and takes you for a wonderful ride that's filled with thrilling action sequences, well constructed and executed plot lines and interestingly compelling characters what more could you possibly ask for?

The First Season of "Lost" includes 25 episodes:

Episode 1: "Pilot - Part 1" runtime: 42 minutes 13 seconds.
Episode 2: "Pilot - Part 2" runtime: 40 minutes 17 seconds.
Episode 3: "Tabula Rasa" runtime: 43 minutes 27 seconds.
Episode 4: "Walkabout" runtime: 42 minutes 42 seconds.
Episode 5: "White Rabbit" runtime: 42 minutes 30 seconds.
Episode 6: "House of the Rising Sun" runtime: 42 minutes 44 seconds.
Episode 7: "The Moth" runtime: 43 minutes 14 seconds.
Episode 8: "Confidence Man" runtime 43 minutes 10 seconds.
Episode 9: "Solitary" runtime: 43 minutes 8 seconds.
Episode 10: "Raised by Another" runtime: 42 minutes 45 seconds.
Episode 11: "All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues" runtime: 42 minutes 8 seconds.
Episode 12: "Whatever the Case May Be" runtime: 43 minutes 12 seconds.
Episode 13: "Hearts and Minds" runtime 43 minutes 17 seconds.
Episode 14: "Special" runtime: 43 minutes 15 seconds.
Episode 15: "Homecoming" runtime: 41 minutes 36 seconds.
Episode 16: "Outlaws" runtime: 43 minutes 16 seconds.
Episode 17: "...In Translation" runtime: 43 minutes 2 seconds.
Episode 18: "Numbers" runtime: 43 minutes 6 seconds.
Episode 19: "Deus Ex Machina" runtime: 42 minutes 39 seconds.
Episode 20: "Do No Harm" runtime: 43 minutes 14 seconds.
Episode 21: "The Greater Good" runtime: 43 minutes 15 seconds.
Episode 22: "Born to Run" runtime: 43 minutes 14 seconds.
Episode 23: "Exodus, Part 1" runtime: 43 minutes 16 seconds.
Episode 24: "Exodus, Part 2" runtime: 43 minutes 9 seconds.
Episode 25: 'Exodus, Part 3" runtime: 43 minutes 24 seconds.

Video

Presented in the show's original broadcast ratio of 1.78:1 widescreen in high-definition 1080p 24/fps and mastered in AVC MPEG-4 compression codec. At first impression this inaugural season of the show looks terrific in high-definition. The transfers are sharp and wonderfully immaculate, the textures and detail hold up well, close-ups feature detail right down to the beads of sweat that trickle down the casts' faces and can virtually count the stubble on the leads. The HD image is about as pristine as they come for a TV show and the series' high value production is presented here in their full glory, taking in the lush greens of the jungle and the intricate and complex production design of the sets and locations. The vibrant colors are but only a minor aspect of what makes these transfers look so good, depth and clarity is unparalleled, Buena Vista has given "Lost" a truly breathtaking treatment without any visible flaws. It's a show that deserves to be seen on the HD medium and fans will get their money's worth here.

Audio

Five audio tracks are present in this disc in English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround mixed at 48kHz/16-bit as well as French Dolby Digital 5.1 surround, English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 surround audio. For the purposes of this review I chose to view the series with its DTS-HD audio. While the series' third and fourth seasons featured an uncompressed PCM track, Buena vista has opted to drop that format in favor of DTS-HD. The box art reads "English Uncompressed" with no mention of DTS-HD but that is in fact the audio format presented here. While this track is impressive I couldn't help but be a little disappointed that the excellent 48kHz/24-bit uncompressed PCM tracks were dropped for 48kHz/16-bit DTS-HD audio, the sound is still impressive exhibiting excellent depth and range. Dialogue is clear and distortion free, with brilliantly mixed ambient sounds that place you right on the middle of the exotic island locations from the beaches to the jungle. The immersive quality is the first thing you'll notice, furthermore the action elements of this series are also well mixed throughout the surround channels with an aggressive punch. The mix is complex and rich for a television series and will please the most discerning of home theater enthusiast.
Subtitles are included in English, English for the hearing impaired, Dutch, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Thai, Indonesian, Malaysian and Korean.

Extras

Buena Vista has included a host of interesting, entertaining and informative extras throughout this 7-disc set. We get a series of audio commentaries on key episodes, in-depth featurettes, a documentary, a series of audition tapes from the cast and much more. Below is a detailed breakdown of the extras you'll find on each of the discs.

Before getting into the meat of these discs, it's worth noting that each disc features some Blu-ray exclusive features, primarily they include D-Box motion code for each episode as well as "Season Play" function this feature allows you to jump straight into each episode after the next without missing your place between discs.

DISC ONE:

The first extra you'll find on this disc is an audio commentary on both parts of the "Pilot" episodes. The commentary is by executive producer/director J.J. Abrams, executive producer/writer Damon Lindelof and executive producer Bryan Burk. If you want to know almost everything there is to know about the two-part "Pilot" episode as well as series origins and development then you'll find it all contained within these two tracks. Pre-production, production and post-production issues are all covered as well as tidbits regarding the script, cast, locations as well as the incredible beach wreckage sequence at the beginning of the episode. This commentary will entertain and inform, nice work.

Next up is an audio commentary on the episode "Walkabout" by executive producer Jack Bender, co-executive producer David Fury and cast member Terry O'Quinn. The three participants on this track share their thoughts about this episode, primarily dealing with the mysterious John Locke and his surprising back story. O'Quinn also shares his thoughts about the character and filming in Hawaii among other things.

DISC TWO:

Only one extra included on this disc is an audio commentary on the episode "The Moth" by executive producer/writer Damon Lindelof and executive producer Bryan Burk with cast member Dominic Monaghan. This rather light hearted track has the participants making fun at various aspects of the show, throughout the commentary Monaghan constantly refers to the show as the "DMS" or "Dominic Monaghan Show" which was funny at the start but gets old rather quickly as it's used too many times. We also learn a little bit more about the character Charlie and the different locations of the show and how almost all the flashback stuff is also filmed on Hawaii, including the Sydney stuff, the Korean fishing Village that Jin goes back to find his father, etc.

DISC THREE:

There are no extras on this disc.

DISC FOUR:

The only extra on this disc is the last of the audio commentaries on the episode "Hearts and Minds" by executive producer/writer Carlton Cuse, supervising producer/writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach along with cast members Maggie Grace and Ian Somerhalder. In this track the writers discuss how they tackled Boone and Shannon's story and expand on these characters, most importantly their relationship. Cuse and Grillo-Marxuach also discuss Bonne's relationship with Locke and the idea to use a "vision quest" in this episode to open Boone's eye's about his sister. Somerhalder and Grace also talk about their characters and reactions to this episode especially the back story.

DISC FIVE & DISC SIX:

There are no extras on these discs.

DISC SEVEN:

This is the supplements disc where most of the extras are housed. The extras are broken up in to three sections, "Departure", "Tales from the Island" and "Lost Revealed" below is a look at each extra under these sections.

The first section is entitled "Departure" under this submenu you will find:

"The Genesis of Lost" is a featurette that runs for 8 minutes 40 seconds. As the title suggests this is a piece on how the show came to be, from the initial idea to the development of the characters and the island as a character itself, this featurette includes interviews with the creators and key writers on the series.

"Designing a Disaster" is a featurette that runs for 7 minutes 59 seconds and chronicles the challenge in creating the beach crash site for the series pilot episode. An actual plane was purchased from a plane graveyard, cut into several sections and transported to Hawaii only to be scattered on the beach all within a tight time frame before cameras rolled on the first episode.

"Before They Were Lost" is a featurette that runs for 22 minutes 55 seconds and is primarily about the show's ensemble cast, here we learn about the casting of the show, how the producers and creators of the show found the right people to fill these roles. Each main character is covered in this lengthy piece and stands out as one of the best extras on this disc. It's very rare that we get a glimpse inside the casting process and this provides the fans with an inside look at each key character.

Following that featurette is a section that compliments it very well, we get to see the audition tapes for 13 of the main characters, here the actors are reading various scenes from the show and are presented quite rough in this section you'll see tapes from:

- Mathew Fox, this tape runs for 3 minutes 31 seconds.
- Evangeline Lilly, this tape runs for 2 minutes 53 seconds.
- Dominic Monaghan, this tape runs for 1 minute 16 seconds.
- Naveen Andrews, this tape runs for 2 minutes 1 second.
- Yoon-Jin Kim, this tape runs for 1 minute 10 seconds.
- Daniel Dae Kim, this tape runs for 46 seconds.
- Josh Holloway, this tape runs for 1 minute 20 seconds.
- Jorge Garcia, this tape runs for 1 minute 57 seconds.
- Ian Somerhalder, this tape runs for 1 minute 36 seconds.
- Maggie Grace, this tape runs for 1 minute 48 seconds.
- Harold Perrineau, this tape runs for 1 minute 35 seconds.
- Malcolm David Kelly, this tape runs for 1 minute 22 seconds.
- Emilie De Ravin, this tape runs for 2 minutes 19 seconds.

The only person that didn't have to audition for a role was Terry O'Quin, who plays John Locke, in the featurette "Before They Were Lost" we learn from show co-creator J.J. Abrams that O'Quinn and Abrams have worked before on episodes of "Alias" (2001-2006) and that he was perfect for the part.

"Welcome to Oahu: The Making of the Pilot" is an in-depth documentary that runs for 33 minutes 20 seconds and takes you through the grueling task of filming the series pilot in Hawaii, this "fly-on-the-wall" perspective is an interesting look at the production at the various locations for the first episode, we also get to see the cast on set in their working environment. This is an excellent supplementary feature that shows you what goes into making a TV series episode as important as the pilot, which provides a fist impression to both the TV executives and to audiences at home about what the show is about and what it promises to deliver.

"The Art of Mathew Fox" is a featurette that runs for 6 minutes 7 seconds, this piece plays much like a photo reel with images taken on the set of the show by actor Mathew Fox, the piece is accompanied by a voice over narration by Fox himself providing detail and insight into the photographs and how these were collected together as a special photographic book and given to cast and crew.

"Lost@ComiCon" is a brief featurette that runs for 1 minute 50 seconds and features some key cast and crew promoting the show at the San Diego Comic Convention to a sold out auditorium of fans that got to see the pilot episode on a giant projection screen.

The second section is entitled "Tales from the Island" under this submenu you will find:

"Lost: On Location" are a series of 8 featurette that take you behind the scenes on some key episodes throughout the series, these are:

- "The Trouble with Boars" featurette that runs for 5 minutes 19 seconds. Here we get a look at the boars used in the series and the difficulty in working with animals, the use of computer generated boars during the filming of the episode where sawyer hunts down a boar that he believes is targeting him.

- "House of the Rising Sun" featurette runs for 7 minutes 19 seconds. Here we take a closer look at the episode where Jack discovers the caves and also looks at Jin and Sun's back story, writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach discuses the challenge in writing to portray people of a different culture and dealing with a different language altogether.

- "Confidence Man" featurette runs for 4 minutes 24 seconds. Here we take a look at the episode where sawyer gets tortured by Jack and Sayid. Here we learn more about Sawyer's character from co-creator/writer Damon Lindelof as well as delve into his dark background.

- "All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues" featurette runs for 4 minutes 56 seconds. Here we get to look at shooting the scene where Charlie is hanging limo from a tree and being discovered by Jack and Kate. The piece also covers finding the right location to shoot that scene as well as takes a look at choreographing and shooting the fight Jack has with Ethan Rom (William Mapother).

- "Whatever the Case May Be" featurette runs for 2 minutes 58 seconds. Here we get a closer look into the episode that delves deeper into Kate's dark past. Evangeline Lilly reflects on the challenge and fun of shooting this episode, co-creator/writer Damon Lindelof reminds us about her criminal dealings and manipulative nature.

- "Hearts and Minds" featurette runs for 6 minutes 20 seconds. Here we get a closer look at the episode where Shannon and Boone's back story is revealed. The creators explain the use of the vision quest Locke sends Boone on in order the shed his obsession with Shannon and to further his relationship with Locke.

- "Special" featurette runs for 3 minutes 5 seconds. This takes a look at the VFX required to effectively create the scene where Walt is trapped in banyan tree being attacked by a Polar Bear. Harold Perrineau confesses it's hard not to laugh at the guy in the bear suit, just the head and arms are used for close-ups. Most of the bear itself was computer generate, this piece also explores Walt's character and the possibility that he may have some sort of psychic power.

- "Exodus" featurette runs for 9 minutes 21 seconds and takes a behind-the-scenes look at the last episode of the season, primarily the launch of the raft, the Black Rock ship and the blowing of the hatch door. We get some insight into the production design of the raft, how it was launched into the sea with the help of a hydraulic gimbal set-up. The director of that episode Jack Bender talks of the difficulty of shooting that sequence especially trying to convey the emotion of these characters leaving the other castaways to journey out in a raft to find help. Also we take a closer look at how the Black Rock ship was created, 1 of the ship was built as a practical set while the rest was extended with the aid of CGI. Finally we get a look at the filming of the blowing of the hatch and an explanation of the final shot of the first season, of Jack and Locke looking down into the shaft of the hatch.

Next up is the "On Set with Jimmy Kimmel" featurette that runs for 7 minutes 15 seconds, this piece is a segment from the Jimmy Kimmel show where he visits the set of the show on Hawaii.

"Backstage with Driveshaft" is a featurette that runs for 6 minutes 40 seconds and takes behind the scenes of the Driveshaft concert sequence and we discover how the song "You All Everybody" came about. We also get to find out about the character of Charlie and his band.

The third and final section is entitled "Lost Revealed" under this submenu you will find:

"The Lost Flashbacks" are a series of 2 additional scenes of flashbacks that were cut from the season finale episode "Exodus" these scenes include:

- "At the Airport: Claire" runs for 3 minutes 7 seconds, here a nervous Claire confides in the pilot of flight 815 about having to give her baby away to a couple in Los Angeles over coffee at an airport cafe.
- "At the Airport: Sayid" runs for 1 minute 28 seconds, here we see Sayid shopping for a neck tie when suddenly he is confronted by airport security about his unattended bag.

Next up we have a series of 13 deleted scenes that include:

- "Smoking" which runs for 1 minute 10 seconds, Charlie asks sawyer if smoking around plane wreckage is a good idea.
- "Chicken or Lasagne" runs for 43 seconds, Hurley offers Locke some food, but ignores him.
- "Kate & Sayid" runs for 1 minute 9 seconds, here the two discuss the creature that chased her Jack and Charlie in the jungle when they retrieved the transceiver.
- "The Climb" which runs for 2 minutes 2 seconds, is additional footage of Sayid, Kate, Charlie, Shannon, Boone and Sawyer climbing a ridge in order to get to higher ground to test the transceiver, Charlie tries to impress Shannon with some Driveshaft talk but doesn't exactly work.
- "Finding the Tell" which runs for 1 minute 4 seconds, here Locke teaches Walt how to spot a liar by reading their body language.
- "Partners" runs for 56 seconds, this is a scene extension in the episode where Jin attacks Michael, here Boone and Shannon talk negatively about Jin and Sun, meanwhile Sun tries to take care of Jin sore wrist from the handcuffs.
- "The Huddle" which runs 54 seconds, a jealous Sawyer sarcastically makes remarks about Locke, Sayid and Jack being the "Brain Trust" of the island to Kate.
- "Claire's Doctor Visit" that runs for 1 minute 55 seconds shows jack checking up on Claire's health, she confides in him about how the other castaways are avoiding her.
- "A Deal's a Deal" which runs for 47 seconds see Kate trying to get the gun from Sawyer after helping him track the boar.
- "Captive" runs for 29 seconds and sees a bound Jin being escorted by Sawyer.
- "Secrets" runs for 1 minute 50 seconds, here Jack compares Jin and Sun's relationship to a soap opera, while he and Kate are collecting water.
- "The Jack Situation" runs for 42 seconds, here Hurley and Michael try to question Sayid about why Jack jumped on Locke.
- "Whispers" runs for 1 minute 1 second, here Charlie complains to Claire about the crazy French woman Danielle Rousseau and how she hears whispers in the jungle, Claire reveals to Charlie that when Ethan Rom kidnapped her, she too heard whispers in the jungle.

"Bloopers from the Set" is a montage clip of bloopers that runs 4 minutes 17 seconds, of line flubs, missed cues and other general blooper material, there's some funny stuff in here but mostly it's not really worth watching more than once.

Rounding out the discs extensive collection of extras is "Live from the Museum of Television & Radio" is a featurette that runs for 10 minutes 56 seconds, hosted by the Editor-in-Chief pf The Hollywood Reporter Robert Dowling this is a basic appreciation panel for the show and it's creators presented to an audience.

Packaging

This 7-disc set is packaged in a deluxe Blu-ray case housed in a cardboard slip-case.

Overall

"Lost" is a superbly written and executed show that has everything a viewer would want, action, suspense, great characters, well structured plot lines and much more. It's a show that deserves repeated viewing where you are guaranteed to discover little things that you missed before, it makes you realize how detailed and rich this show really is.

Buena Vista have created a very special Blu-ray set that collects every episode from the first season and presents them here with excellent transfers and equally impressive surround sound as well as all the extras from the previous DVD edition.

The Show: A+ Video: A+ Audio: A Extras: A+ Overall: A+

 


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