fourth season of lost, one of the most talked about tv shows in the world. there's an awful lot of backstory and continuity built up by this point in the programme's run so this is not the best place to start if you've never seen it before. the first disc does contain a short feature called 'lost in 8:15' which manages to tell the story of the first three seasons in eight minutes and fifteen seconds [long term viewers will recognise those numbers]so you might be okay but if you're new to the programme go here LOST - The Complete First Season [2005
if you're not, read on.
in the middle of the third year it was decided that the programme would run for three more years to bring the story to a close, and each of these seasons would last sixteen episodes. the american tv writers strike of 2007 meant this season had to be cut down to fourteen episodes, although the last two of this season are really one long episode cut in two parts. all of this does mean that, a couple of early episodes that don't seem to amount to much at the time notwithstanding, the season really does have a great deal of pace to it, and as result is the best since the first. we really do get a fair amount of progression. And answers. and more questions. but it does move it along very nicely.
as seen from the end of season three the traditional flashbacks were dropped in favour of flashforwards, showing that some of the characters were now off the island. thus this season tells us the story of what happened to them, paralleled with how they got off the island in the first place. and there are still the occasional actual flashbacks. so you can never be quite sure when everything is taking place. but working it out is a rewarding effort.
shocking things happen. familiar faces are seen again. and the season brings everything together at the end and right up to date, with those who got off the island facing a very difficult choice. and the viewers very eager to see what will happen next. lost really does feel like it's going somewhere at this point, and I look forward to finding what happens next.
this box set contains six dvds.
language tracks are: english italian and spanish
subtitles are: english italian spanish swedish norwegian danish finnish icelandic portugese dutch
disc one contains episodes one to three. episode one has a commentary from jorge garcia [who plays hurley] and evangeline lilly [who plays kate]
episode two has a commentary from three of the production staff. and the disc also has the aforemtntioned lost in 8:15
disc two contains episodes four to seven, and episode seven has a commentary from daniel dae kim yunjin kim [jin and sun] and the director of the episode.
disc three has episodes seven to eleven
and disc four has episodes twelve to fourteen. thirteen and fourteen are as mentioned really one long one split into two, and they have a commentary from two of the producers. which contains some very interesting bits of informantion and hints.
disc five is the first of two extras discs, and contains the following features:
lost on location. roughly forty two minutes of features showing the making of several of the episodes, and how various stunts and action and other things in them were done. these can be watched all together or individually. tecnhically they're interesting and as documentaries they're very good, the cast and crew involved being open and fun to listen to.
island backlot is an eighteen minute long feature showing how nearly everything in all four years of the show has been shot on one island in hawaii. it's remarkable to watch how many different features the place has, and how they've managed to make parts of look like places elsewhere in the world. and there's a wonderful shot of the sea life off the beach.
right to bear arms runs for eleven minutes and looks at all the guns that the characters have on the show. this is also quite remarakble to watch as it shows the depth of detail that script coordinators have to go to make sure continuity is maintained. they have to remember where each gun is and who has it at various points in the story.
soundtrack of survival runs for twenty six minutes and shows highlights of a concert in hawaii of music from the show, with live readings from actor terry o'quinn [locke] in the middle of the tunes. it also looks at how the show's composer does his job. this really highlights some of the great music he's come up with. And it makes you want to see a full version of the symphony being performed. would that they'd bring it to dvd.
lost bloopers is the customary short reel of outtakes. if you've seen a few of these they tend to get repetitive, and there's nothing desperately amusing here, although there is one moment of someone getting character and actor names muddled which is quite funny.
there are also roughly nine minutes worth of deleted scenes from various episodes. they can be watched individually or all together. there's nothing major amongst them but there are some good moments.
disc six is interesting because the background picture - which is of a cave seen in the season finale - can change on occasion to other backdrops from the season. It seems to be random and I have no idea if it's possible to control it.
the extras on this:
course of the future. thus puts all the flash forwards seen in the season into chronological order. it runs for roughly forty five minutes, and it does trim some of them for length a little. stick with this and it gets interesting because it does help to clarify a few things.
oceanic six is a very clever little film, presented as a documentary someone posted on the internet showing how the characters who get off the island can't be telling the truth. there are some famiiiar faces in it as well. nicely done and worth watching. it runs roughly fifteen minutes.
freighter folk is a twelve minute long feature looking at the new characters introduced in this season. it's quick but entertaining.
offshore shoot is an eight minute long documentary showing the filming of the scenes that were done on a ship offshore from the island. this is a bit short and feels like edited highlights, but it's worth it for another great shot of the sea life off the island. and a beautiful sunset.
and an intersting curio of a feature: lost. missing pieces. fourteen short films, each running roughly three minutes, that are each set at earlier points in the show, and fill in minor details that may not have occurred to you. it's startling to be reminded how some of the characters looked in part one, and there are two of these that feature a character who you probably thought you'd never see again. all highly recommended.
an excellent season of an excellent show, and it will leave you eager for the next one.