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There is no doubt in my mind that LOST is one of the most enigmatic series to ever air on television… that said, the show will most likely remembered the same way years after it has gone off the air. When I sat down to watch LOST for the very first time, the series turned out to be nothing like what I was expecting. I came to LOST preconceived notion that I would be watching a reinvented version of GILLIGAN’S ISLAND with a decidedly dramatic bent. I expected a television series that would, on a weekly basis, relay the hardships of a group of castaways on a deserted island in a realistic fashion. Sure, LOST does have that aspect, but the series almost immediately proved itself to be so much more. What makes LOST different from my expectations is how the series meshes elements of science fiction/fantasy and conspiracy into its dramatic storyline, so that the show isn’t merely the fight for survival amongst a group of plane crash survivors on an uncharted island… somewhere in the Pacific.

For those completely unfamiliar with the series, the premise of LOST follows the survivors of a jetliner crash, who find themselves stranded on a remote Pacific island a thousand miles away from their last know position, with no way of contacting the outside world to let them know that anyone form Oceanic Airlines flight 815 has survived. What and whom the survivors find on this island constitute the numerous mysteries that slowly unravel week after week. LOST is a largely character driven series, with the character’s back stories and histories being as important to the show as their current plight. The various mysteries that the survivors ultimately discover on the island are best discovered firsthand and I will not spoil the surprises by going into any significant details about the storylines. What I will say about season one of LOST is that the pilot episode(s) are among the very best that I have ever seen on a network television program. The production values of the pilot are just mind bogglingly good, in addition to being great drama. The outstanding season one ensemble cast of LOST includes, but is not limited to, Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, Terry O'Quinn, Josh Holloway, Dominic Monaghan, Emilie de Ravin, Jorge Garcia, Naveen Andrews, Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim, Maggie Grace, Ian Somerhalder, Mira Furlan, Harold Perrineau and Malcolm David Kelley.

LOST: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON ($70) comes to Blu-ray in a seven-disc set that features the following twenty-four episodes that were aired during year one: Pilot Part 1, Pilot Part 2, Tabula Rasa, Walkabout, White Rabbit, House Of The Rising Sun, The Moth, Confidence Man, Solitary, Raised By Another, All The Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues, Whatever The Case May Be, Hearts And Minds, Special, Homecoming, Outlaws, ...In Translation, Numbers, Deus Ex Machina, Do No Harm, The Greater Good, Born To Run, Exodus Part 1 and Exodus Part 2.

Buena Vista Home Entertainment has made all twenty-four episodes that comprise LOST: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio presentations that have been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. The 1080p presentations of the episodes are certainly better than the 720p hi-def broadcasts on ABC (which are artifact laden on my cable system). In comparison to the seasons that follow, the visual qualities of season one of LOST are a little inconsistent, as if the series was still trying to find the rhythm of high definition production technique. Image sharpness and detail are generally very strong for a television production, with some softness creeping in across the episodes. However, the Hawaiian locations that stand in for the mysterious uncharted island do look very beautiful throughout. Colors tend to be very lush and very warm, in addition to producing appealing flesh tones. Blacks are accurate and the whites are crisp. Contrast and shadow detail are usually just a fine for a television level production, but there are some inconsistencies, with a tendency to push towards an overly contrasted look. There are no noticeable defects in the source materials. Some grain is present in the image, with some instances appearing heavier than others.

All of the episodes that comprise LOST: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON are presented on Blu-ray Disc with 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks. This is highly impressive television production audio, even if the sound design of the series does make some concessions to the necessities of over the air broadcasting. The forward soundstage has dominance, but also has an in your face quality that is quite effective. There are elements to the pilot episode that really bring it all to explosive life. Of course, throughout the course of the season, there is plenty of activity that is clearly defined across the front. As for the surround channels, they too are quite effective, even if they are not at the level of a theatrical feature. There is a ton of ambient sounds that brings the jungle locations to life, as well as small active effects that make one feel they are part of the action. Fidelity is quite strong thanks to the lossless encode, which does best broadcast sound by a wide margin. The musical component sounds terrific, plus the sound effects are really quite convincing. As for the bass channel, it is rather weighty and in many cases fairly potent. Dialogue is clean and easy to understand. An English Dolby Digital 5.1 channel track and French, Spanish and Portuguese 2.0 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc. Subtitles are available in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Netherlands, Bahasa, Malay and Korean.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard episode selection and set up features, as well as some supplemental materials. Running Audio Commentaries are featured on the set for five of the episodes. Featurettes and other programs include the following: Lost Flashbacks (five minutes), Welcome To Oahu (thirty three minutes), The Genesis Of Lost (nine minutes), Lost On Location (forty-four minutes), Designing A Disaster (eight minutes), Before They Were Lost (twenty-three minutes), Audition Tapes (twenty-three minutes), The Art Of Matthew Fox (six minutes), Backstage With Drive Shaft (seven minutes), Live From The Museum Of Television & Radio (eleven minutes), On Set With Jimmy Kimmel (seven minutes) and Flashbacks & Mythology (seven minutes). Supplements also include Deleted Scenes and Lost Bloopers.

LOST is definitely one of the absolute best things airing on network television. Despite some production related inconsistencies during season one, the Blu-ray presentations themselves are fairly terrific. LOST on Blu-ray is very highly recommended.



Lost: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray]


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2009 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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