From the co-director of the blockbuster sci-fi film Armageddon (1998) and Mission Impossible 3 (2006) comes another exciting thriller but with a twist, for while J. J. Abrams usually works for cinema productions, he has deviated to bring you the high rated, long running, survival thriller T.V series “Lost” which first aired in 2004 and has since won the Golden Globe Award in 2006 for best T.V drama series. The show has previously been compared to other action dramas such as CSI, Prison Break and 24 but, looking at the ratings; it seems it’s in a whole new category!
This pilot episode starts with Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox) finding himself in the jungle, battered and bruised. He starts to run, eventually finding himself arriving at a beach and the carnage resulting from a crash of Oceanic Flight 815. He is immediately portrayed as a stereotypical American hero when he springs to action and administers medical aid to survivors being a distinguished surgeon. After rescuing a man pinned down by wreckage he springs to help Claire and enlists the shambling giant Hurley (Jorge Garcia) to guard her and runs off again to administer CPR to Rose.
He then tends to his own wounds and meets Kate (Evangeline Lilly) whom he asks to stitch his back. That night the peacefulness of the camp is broken by loud noises and crashing. In the morning Jack enlists Kate and Charlie (Dominic Monoghan) to find the rest of the plane which is somewhere in the jungle. When they find the cockpit and some of plane they climb in and find the pilot and this is where the pilot episode really starts to kick off, with roaring monsters, bloodied corpses and a hell of a lot more!
The camerawork throughout is impressive and powerfully constructed which of course makes Abrams’ latest release even more spectacular. This episode uses a wide variety of camera shots such as during Jack’s run to the beach (at the beginning) and when he surveys the carnage a rather effective panning, long holding camera shot is put into place. Elsewhere, just before the end, when Jack, Kate and Charlie are being chased by the ‘monster’ the camerawork has obviously been really well thought out as when the drama is fast paced the camera quickly cuts and switches to a different angle and then cuts and changes again so you don’t get a view of whatever is chasing them.
The acting and characterisation are generally well done but some scenes throughout the acting and drama has not been thought out very well, such as when Kate is stitching up Jack’s back and Jack goes on about on of his operations that went wrong; this scene, together with the camera two shot is obviously meant to signify that there is going to be something between them later on.
During the episode, the music has been used to a great advantage. When the entity is chasing the trio, the music is used to create a tense atmosphere where it is chilling and threatening. Elsewhere the music is tightly constructed around a single event such as where Jack is helping the survivors the music gets repetitive and you start to lose interest. The music is also used all in some parts of the episode, notably the end where Jack, Kate and Charlie look for the plane, to give the scene an eerie effect.
About halfway through the episode it immediately begins to become obvious that the purpose of this starter episode is to set up ‘sub-plots’ which will then of course be expanded upon in later episodes as we learn more about the other characters. The plot is often hard to follow simply because the ‘sub-plots’ get in the way such as Charlie and his drug addiction, the mysterious thing in the jungle and the pregnant woman, to name a few. Some things are really hard to believe-like the fact that there just happened to be a doctor with all the wounded people and that Kate would simply just stitch up Jack’s back as though it was a normal thing to be doing in everyday life. However, the plot is generally well thought out and powerfully constructed as all the action will make the audience want to watch the next episode, just to find out what happens after the pilot has been killed.
Overall, it looks to be certain that the series will go ahead and be loved by everyone that watches it. It’s not just the cast of characters and the mystery of where they are, it’s the other seemingly insignificant, yet very important details such as the characterisation, camerawork and the music, which together, create a very chilling and mysterious atmosphere. If you like action thrillers such as this one, then you should go ahead and watch it as you will love it. On the other hand, if you miss just one episode I am sure that it will make it very confusing to watch as in just one episode a lot can happen. If you don’t fancy trying to catch up with what’s happened or don’t want a very confusing plot then this isn’t for you.