It’s time to go back to the beginning and see how it all began. If you’re a fan, you’ve already seen these episodes, likely several times. You also probably have the DVD sets that have come over the last couple of years. You might be trying to decide if a television show is really worth your while to upgrade to high definition. The answer is a resounding yes. Lost is one of the most innovative series to arrive on network television in quite some time. In an age where the true quality appears to be dominated by cable stations anymore, it’s refreshing to know that there’s a show once in a while that can entertain, thrill, and make you think all at the same time. And no matter how frustrating some of these plots have been to follow, follow we do. No matter how many times you’ve seen these episodes, I highly recommend that you pick up this first season set immediately. The show has a high level of rewatchability, and these Blu-rays are long overdue. But, hell, I didn’t need to tell you that.
With every J.J. Abrams series we know there are certain things we can look forward to, and Lost is no exception. The cast contains a rather large ensemble of wonderful characters that have been thrown together on this island trying to survive. It doesn’t take us long to discover through a clever series of flashbacks that these characters have crossed paths before. It becomes all too clear that someone or something has brought them here on this island at this particular time for a reason. The flashbacks take up a significant part of each episode so that two very distinct stories are being told with each installment. They usually focus on one or a small number of the characters each week. Through these vignettes we get our background on each of these people and find out a little bit about what their life was like before the crash, and what brought them to the fated Oceanic flight in the first place. These characters are really what it’s all about. The character descriptions below do contain minor first season spoilers, but I have avoided any of the dramatic reveals.
Jack Shepherd (Matthew Fox): Jack is a surgeon who was in Australia to pick up his father only to find out that he’d died. He carries a great deal of guilt over his father’s fate. He becomes the defacto leader of the group and usually is the voice of reason during a crisis. He’s become quite attracted to…
Kate Austen (Evangeline Lilly): Kate was a fugitive brought on the flight by a US Marshall. She has apparently killed someone she cared about and had been on the run for sometime. She’s rather self sufficient but not above manipulating others, particularly men, to do things for her. While she appears to care for Jack, she’s willing to play Jack against another castaway, for who she has a kind of bad boy feeling for.
Sawyer (Jodh Holloway): Sawyer is a con artist and pretty much only thinks of himself, at least that’s the impression he gives on the surface. He ransacks the wreckage and bodies to hoard supplies, using them to barter when someone else needs them. He’s less likely to do much physical work and doesn’t particularly need anyone to like him.
John Locke (Terry O’Quinn): Locke is the most connected to the island. He believes that it communicates with him and is guiding them all to a necessary fate. He was wheelchair bound when he boarded the flight but has been healed following the crash. He believes it is the island. John’s life on the island is filled with the most intrigue. He’s likely the last one to trust, but also the most likely to keep them all alive.
Sayid (Naveen Andrews): Sayid is an Iraqi who was a member of the Republican Guard during the first Iraq War. He was a “communications officer” but specialized in torture. He’s also a bit of an electronics wizard and is able to repair things like radios and sonar devices. He has a hard time trusting anybody else.
Claire Littleton (Emilie de Ravin): When you consider the flight originated from Australia, it appears odd that Claire is the only Australian in the group. She’s very pregnant. She finds comfort and help with her baby from…
Charlie Pace (Dominic Monaghan): Charlie was a member of the rock band, Driveshaft. The band was a one hit wonder but left him with a heroin addiction. His stash will eventually run out so that Charlie starts his stay here in a lot of trouble. He’s somewhat an innocent guy and finds it hard to believe when others don’t know who he is.
Hurley (Jorge Garcia): Hurley is the kindhearted, gee whiz member of the group. He used a series of numbers he got from a crazy guy to win the lottery and has $180 million to his name. Unfortunately for Hurley, and maybe for all of them, the numbers appear cursed and have given him nothing but bad luck, culminating in the plane crash. He’s a big guy and also the most gentle and least interested in intrigue.
Boone (Ian Somerhalder) and Shannon (Maggie Grace) are step brother and sister. She’s spoiled and not at all adapting to the rough conditions. He becomes interested in Locke and serves as an apostle of sorts to him.
Michael (Harold Perrineau, Jr.) was bringing his young son Walt (Malcolm David Kelley) home after his mother died. They are estranged, and now he is just learning to be a father to a son that doesn’t know him.
Jin Kwon (Daniel Dae Kim) and Sun Kwon (Junijin Kim) are a married Korean couple who do not appear to speak English. This isolates them pretty much from the group. They are having some rather serious marital problems before the crash, only to have the relationship further strained. Jin works for Sun’s father, a Korean mob figure who requires him to perform brutal acts of violence.
Of course perhaps the most intriguing character in the series is the island itself. I’ve heard so many series creators talk about making the location a character in the show. Honestly, the phrase is so overused. Believe it here. It’s the island itself that makes this more than just a story of castaways on an uncharted island. The island is a mysterious force that unravels its mysteries week after week throughout the run of the series. There are monsters and enigmatic hatches built into the ground. There are polar bears and a black mist that can carry a man away. And don’t forget that the island appears to have healing powers. Filmed on location in Hawaii, the cinematography is breathtaking. And what better way to truly appreciate that, than on Blu-ray?
The season starts at the beginning with the actual plane crash. In fact, the season often returns to that very day in flashbacks. Don’t try to kid yourself. If you have not yet experienced this series, you simply can not even think about beginning anywhere else. There is a depth to these characters that begins here and provides intimate knowledge that will become absolutely essential as the years move along. The release of this Blu-ray allows you the ability to take the high definition experience and ride it for four straight seasons. The fifth one will be out on Blu-ray in September. The dynamics between these characters is never simple and changes, sometimes dramatically, as the needs arise. Seldom does a show have such a large cast with such complicated relationships and interactions and yet somehow find a way to service them all quite satisfactorily. Of course, you’ll feel like you never get enough of your favorite characters. And this is an Abrams world where no one is safe. Some of the above mentioned characters do not survive the season.
Each episode of Lost is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. They are presented in 1080p using an AVC/MPEG-4 codec. The bit rate remains an impressive 25 or higher mbps. The transfers are on the average pretty good. The colors are certainly tight, particularly the greens of the wilderness and the ocean blue-greens. The island comes alive with incredible detail. This is by far the best television high definition image I’ve found to date. There are times when grain is a little too heavy. I found the new level of detail offered in high definition to truly enhance the experience.
The DTS-HD Master Audio uncompressed 5.1 track is pretty sweet. While most of the sound is dialog, handled perfectly, there are brilliant moments when creepy jungle sounds or rain do a remarkable job of surrounding you with the show’s action. It wasn’t hard at all to lose myself in the mix. The big difference here is in the sub range. For the first time I could feel a strong bass helping to immerse me in the action.
There are 5 Audio Commentaries that feature various cast and crew.
The extras are all in SD. Most of the features can be found on the last of the discs.
There is also a Season Play option that remembers where in the season you left off.
Departure: (1:45:41) This nearly 2 hour collection of features can be broken up into the following segments: Before They Were Lost, Welcome To Oahu, The Making Of The Pilot, The Art Of Matthew Fox, and Lost @ Comicon. Pretty much everything you wanted to know about the genesis of the series and how it got off the ground, so to speak, you’ll find here. Plenty of participation from cast and crew and tons of behind the scenes footage.
Tales From The Island: (1:02:48) These segments can also be played separately: Lost On Location, On The Set With Jimmy Kimmel, Back Stage With Drive Shaft. The first two segments deal primarily with the Hawaiian locations, while the last segment focuses on the Charlie character. There’s a lot of insight into each of the characters by the actors who play them.
Lost Revealed: Here you’ll find: Lost Flashbacks, Deleted Scenes, Bloopers, Live From The Museum Of Television And Radio, Flashbacks and Mythology. The running time for all of them is approx. 45 minutes. Most of it is additional footage and an examination of the show’s mythology.
This is not only a grand opportunity to get started on the show and be assured of the high definition experience throughout. It’s also a good deal if you already bought the first season on DVD. There’s a voucher inside that will get you a $20 refund for upgrading. That’s a pretty good deal. I was impressed at how easy it was to go through these episodes even though I’d seen them at least twice before. Whether or not you’ve already encountered the show, here’s your chance to jump on board. It’s hard to believe that there’s anyone out there who has not yet seen the show. Still, I’m told there are. “How can something that huge go undiscovered all this time?”