Tv blabs, movie blabs, book blabs. Lots of blab, but no flab.

Sunday, February 6

The Lost Pilot Part 1 By 3

Anticipation for this series was high. I’ve heard positive reports, it’s doing excellent business in the US (not always a reassuring thing) and it’s coming back for a second season. For most TV shows that I commit to this is a good sign.

Endlessly promoted over the Summer, Lost appeared to be Seven’s flagship show. Lots of hoping that it will click with us as an audience (Seven has little real concept of what audiences want). It premiered the first half of the two hour pilot at 8:30pm on Thursday. I watched and recorded. Just in case we missed it, Seven repeated it at 11:30pm Friday night. Just in case we missed both of those, it was on at 8:30pm tonight as well.

This is insanity! I can understand repeating once. Trying to capture more audience for the next week. Three times is a little too far. Aren’t there enough episodes of show’s they haven’t finished screening to fill those gaps? Tru Calling for example. I wouldn’t be so disturbed about this if it was only Lost. Desperate Housewives also got the same treatment. Monday 8:30, Tuesday 9:30, Saturday 9:30. They claimed tonight that 2.2 million viewers tuned into Desperate Housewives. Was that for both times the pilot aired?

Anyway, about Lost.

The show opens with my new favourite type of shot. Extreme close up of a closed eye that whips open so the iris spins in. Catchy. Moving back, the main character, Jack, is revealed and he starts running through a bamboo forest and out onto a beach. He moves around a shrub and the devastation is revealed. There is the carcass of an airliner strewn across the sand. Fire, debris, bodies and people fill the frame. A bit shocking.

The next few minutes involve Jack trying to save people, he’s a doctor see. There’s blood, yelling, an unstable engine blowing up when a guy gets sucked into it, a fuel loaded wing exploding and a pregnant woman with contractions. Nothing like getting my attention with explosions (not the pregnant woman, she doesn’t explode).

Then Jack wanders off so he can deal with his own bloody gash on his back. Next character: Kate. He convinces her to sew him up. I’m cringing in my seat. They head back to the beach, there’s some brief setups of minor characters, then it’s night. The palm trees in the forest start to crash about and there is other-worldly growling and howling coming from within the trees. Time for the first ad break.

The rest of the ep is spent searching for the front section of the plane in hopes of finding a transceiver to contact some form of assistance. There’s a walk to find it. Then the growly-unseen-somethings attack the outside of the cockpit, and pull the very alive co-pilot out and splash his blood across this windows. The three main characters, Jack, Kate and Charlie (Dominic Monaghan) all make a dash for it. A rather intense run through the torrential rain filled forest. It’s muddy and when Kate gets separated it’s effectively scary. When the three meet up again it’s under the mutilated body of the co-pilot which has been discarded high in a tree. Ick.

I have missed having TV that I can react to. I need action and suspense. When the pilot falls out of the cockpit door I needed a underwear change. There isn’t anything on at the moment that I can get my regular fix from. I’m trying to fill the holes that Buffy and Angel left, and I am hoping that Lost can fill a part of it.

The action sequences were handled quite well. They felt natural and not overly forced. As it is obviously going to be a major part of this show, it has to fit in, or I’ll just wait for the action and not care about characters.

On characters, there is a politically correct range of cultures. Even if they are all what is expected and few that aren’t in every ‘culturally’ diverse film group. The flight left Sydney and was heading for somewhere in the US. So far only one Australian has appeared to survive. Not good odds. Thankfully they employed an actual Australian to play the part.

Jack is... why did they call him Jack?... a typical tall dark and handsome. He’s a doctor, so he’s got instant wealth and appeal as a lead character. Whatever. He’s on a deserted (apparently not) island. It’s going to be eat or be eaten, and he’d better start to act like the leader or things are going to get Lord of the Flies. And there is a Piggy.

Kate is rather forgettable at the moment. I think the actor did a great job at being terrified during the growly-unseen-somethings chase. Being terrified isn’t easy to pull off successfully and I think she did a stellar job. Not enough has been revealed for me to decide whether she is going to be annoying yet. There were a few longing looks at Jack near the end.

There has been a lot set up in this first hour, and I really hope that it all gets paid off successfully. JJ Abrams, as I mentioned previously, is the creator of Alias, which started with promise then got lost (pardon the pun). With so much action to set up the situation there wasn’t much room for character expansion, but as we’ve only had the first half of the pilot, I’m sure there is more.

I did enjoy the hints of minor characters. Obviously the focus has to be on the main characters for most of the time, but the small introductions of supporting cast gave the biggest impressions. The Orange Man (whom I have dubbed so with such inspiration) smiling, then later sitting in the rain. Daniel Dae Kim’s instructions that the woman he’s with stick with him alone.

I will, on the other hand, be repelled by any Alias or Felicity regulars making an appearance. The ill-fated co-pilot was a regular in both of those shows, and I instantly knew he was going to die. Anyone else and I would have held out some hope.

I will be tuning in next week to watch the rest of the pilot. I am likely to blab about it again, and for just as long. The show has a lot of potential and just as many holes it can fall into and not recover from. Here’s hoping for a smooth ride.

These are my questions from the end of this ep:
  • Where’s the dog come from?
  • What’s the history of Jack’s Tattoos?
  • What is Charlie’s obsession with the toilet near the cockpit? In the flashback he’s running toward it being chased by plane staff, and he disappears into it when the other two are in the cabin.
  • I want more than an ominous shot of the broody smoking obviously bad guy. Info please?
  • I want to know what the growly-unseen-somethings that like to make trees do the limbo. Did anyone else notice they only came out when it was raining?
  • What actually happened to the plane to make it turn around and head for Fiji and ultimately crash?
  • What is the deal with Orange Man?

6 viewers interjected with:

Blogger onanymous said...

(This comment just got way too long, so I posted the rest of it on my blog)

We were lucky enough to get the first 2 episodes screened back to back. Makes a big difference.

Oh, and Kate is definitely much more intriguing than I first thought.

Orange man(Locke)really is creepy - he obviously knows much more than he is letting on, and when he finally does speak in the second episode, it only deepens the mystery.

I think will probably choose 1 or 2 characters to focus on for each ep.

Do you think the 5 on Jack's tattoo could relate to the story he told about conquering his fear?

No airline that I know of will allow an 8 month pregnant woman to fly, especially not on an international flight.

7/2/05 11:05 pm

Blogger verbs said...

I missed the very start, but got into it quickly thereafter. I really think this show has the potential to be awesome, or could fall in a heap very quickly.

So far so good...though whatever's in the jungle better not be lame. If it's lame I won't be a happy camper.

8/2/05 9:42 pm

Blogger Ben said...

it was screened three times!? I didn't know! I wanted to watch it, but Thursday is ER night—for those that watch ER, for the rest of us it's good ol' Intertainment :)

9/2/05 7:54 pm

Blogger Casyn said...

I started to read your post, Onanymous, but had to quickly avert my eyes! I'll read the rest after I see the second half later tonight. :-)

I hope the things in the jungle don't end up looking like the dinosaurs from the TV series "Lost Wordld". Bad CGI will kill my interest immediately.

The second half of the pilot is being repeated on Saturday night as well, so you can catch that if you're home Ben.

Medium started tonight and was very interesting. It's repeated Thursday night at 10:30.

10/2/05 1:27 am

Blogger onanymous said...

Oh, yes I agree. But from what I've seen so far, they went through way too much trouble to create a believable looking crash site, to spoil it now with bad CGI (Let's hope).
Anyway, an unseen monster is sometimes much scarier and menacing than the best guts and gore special FX.

And sorry about the spoilery post. I should have warned you. :)

10/2/05 4:28 pm

Blogger Casyn said...

Well, tonight's beasty sold me on anything scary they're going to throw at us.

Indeed, it is true that something you can't see is far scarier than what you can. Except if it's a full monty Cathy Bates (in About Schmidt). I'm still in therapy about that.

You've also alerted me to the fact that I also don't give spoiler warnings. I'll add that to my list of things to change.

11/2/05 12:00 am


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