Despite its questionable progression in later seasons and its mixed reception following the finale in 2010, Lost‘s two-part pilot undoubtedly goes down in history as one of if not the best beginnings of any television show. Both in character and scope, and in just two forty-minute episodes, J.J. Abrams roped in a massive audience, already eager to find out more about the characters and the mysterious island they are stranded on.
We begin when Jack (Matthew Fox) wakes up, surrounded by rainforest. From his eyes we see the reveal of the plane crash and are immediately hooked by the immediacy which the pilot plays out. As the characters embark on sending a rescue message, we are given snapshots of couples, siblings and individuals who are all united by one incident, yet clearly have many secrets that we are excited to see explored. What ultimately elevates this pilot amongst others is how little we are told and how much we are trusted to think for ourselves – a prime example is Jack helping the wounded and talking about surgery: the situation does not call for him to proclaim he is a doctor and what information we are given about each character is revealed naturally in dialogue. Kate (Evangeline Lily) and Charlie (Dominic Monaghan) especially receive a lot of limelight in the pilot, cleverly interweaving character twists with the never-seen but deadly creature of the island providing a cynical and uncomfortable atmosphere as they must work together for survival. How much can everyone trust the people around them? And why is the island so far from normal?
It must be remembered in a sea of high-scope television shows we are accustomed to today that this was not the norm for this era, and by 2004 standards the digital effects and fantastic score by Michael Giacchino provided a cinematic experience. In fact, this all holds up now, and with vital character-based flashbacks and simple plot-points, one can really feel the massive potential of this show. Whether you feel Lost lived up to its potential is another thing altogether. However, its pilot definitely holds up as one of the most exciting of all time.
Lost is available on Amazon Prime UK. You can watch the Showmax trailer below.