America’s biggest, best and most expensive drama comes to Abu Dhabi as Lost hits our screens.
With television programmes, just like in life, you get what you pay for. If you
pay peanuts, you get monkeys on reality TV. If you invest in production values, you get something more substantial. Proving this is episode one of Lost – the most expensive television drama ever made, and in the opinion of many, one of the very best. This month, Lost will crash-land onto TVs in Abu Dhabi and the next 22 Friday nights will be something spectacular.
For the uninitiated to this television phenomenon, here’s the premise:- A flight from Australia crash-lands on a South Pacific island with 48 survivors. People from all walks of life are then thrown together by adversity and are forced to work together against the brutal weather and harsh terrain if they want to stay alive. But it soon becomes apparent that not only do the survivors have their own secrets and hidden agendas but also this is no ordinary island. What’s the mysterious force that keeps smashing down trees? How come there’s a creature native to the Arctic wandering about? Who left the looping 16-year old distress signal? Why can’t some of the survivors be trusted?
Stranded on a desert island is hardly an original concept, but this is no Giligan’s Island. Lord of The Flies meets Twin Peaks is nearer the mark and already fans have been theorising as to what it all means. Where are they? Or even when are they? The crash scene in the pilot episode is one of the best ever filmed and worth tuning in for in itself. From then on, each one-hour show depicts two days in the lives of the 14 main characters. With flashbacks from each character’s point of view to their pre-island lives we learn more about why they were on the plane and more about each of their secrets they have bought with them to the island/ They’re all running away from something, and they’ve all got demons to deal with.
The cast is strong, with a first-class range of main characters making up the motley crew. Jack (Matthew Fox) is a neurosurgeon from the USA and with his inner strength and sharp brain he quickly emerges as a leader. Kate (Evangeline Lilly) strikes up a close friendship with Jack, but is not the innocent she first appears. Sawyer (Josh Holloway) is a smart-talking rebel, full of rude insults and crude suggestions; he soon alienates himself from most of the survivors. And his unappealing habit of collecting and hoarding items from the crash only fuels their hatred. Sayid (Naveen Andrews) clashes with Sawyer, who accuses him of being a terrorist. Sayid then reveals that he is a veteran military officer who saw service in the Gulf War – albeit in the Iraqi Republican Guard.
Add to that a pregnant woman who believes her child will be ‘special’, a failed English rock musician (played by Lord Of The Rings’ ex-hobbit Dominic Monaghan), a Korean husband and wife who don’t speak English, a middle-manager with an obsession with war games and survivalism, and a father (Harold Perrineau Jr from The Matrix and HBO’s outstanding series Oz) trying to prove himself to his son. The doctor and the rock star, the con man and the drama queen – the castaways are all different. But they are all the same. They are all lost.
Created by JJ Abrams, (who gave us Alias) and Damon Lindelof, Lost was a massive success in America with 18m viewers turning in for the first episode and the ratings climbing as the series went on. It’s subsequently been a huge hit in over 180 territories around the world making it Buena Vista’s fastest selling TV series in the company’s history.
In September this year, Lost won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series beating off a quartet of rival dramas that rank among the best of the last decade –The West Wing, Six Feet Under, 24 and Deadwood. From November 18, it’s time to turn off the predictable sitcoms and tedious reality shows and spend the next 22 Friday nights getting Lost.
For Time Out magazine – click here for PDF – 076_timein