The mad scientists behind “Lost” created their monster hit by taking some of the most well-drawn characters to inhabit the small screen in years and plopping them smack-dab in the middle of a mystery so grandly intricate and bizarre, it made “Twin Peaks” look like “Murder, She Wrote.” Buena Vista’s seven-disc collection of “Lost’s” first season, featuring enough carefully crafted bonus features to fill a secret hatch, more than matches the ambition of the show’s creators.
Rather than sprinkling a few features among each of the episodic discs, they’ve chosen to collect the bulk of their goodies on what’s called “The Essential ‘Lost’ ” — and as grandiose as that title might be, it pretty much fits. It’s worth buying the set just to hear “Lost” co-creator J.J. Abrams recount his initial skepticism toward ex-ABC topper Lloyd Braun’s early idea for the show: “I’m not sure I see what you’re excited about,” he says.
A lengthy making-of documentary shot during the pilot — which cost a record $12 million-plus — puts viewers on the scene as staffers frantically race against the clock to transport a jumbo jet from California to Hawaii, or as co-creator Damon Lindeloff rewrites the script on-set.
Blooper reel is funny but standard-issue stuff, and a slideshow of pics shot by star Matthew Fox is sweet but unnecessary. Deleted scenes are presented without any context, but are a treat for die-hard fans — particularly a pair of flashbacks cut from the season finale. Tech credits are far beyond standard DVD fare, with even the menus offering a reason to stay tuned.
Also included: A “Before They Were Lost” film outlining the casting process; audition tapes; and cast appearances at the Museum of TV & Radio and Comic-Con.
There’s so much packed on “The Ultimate ‘Lost'” disc, it’s easy to forget the other discs also have bonuses, primarily several commentary tracks on key episodes, including the two-hour pilot. Show’s producers offer up a few nuggets, but who needs audio commentary when there’s an entire disc filled with enough juicy morsels to keep “Lost” fans chewing for weeks?