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Lost: The Complete Third Season(TV) (2006-2007)
As the power of the island to both heal and destroy comes into sharp focus, the lines between good and evil are blurred and loyalties are challenged when the survivors of the crash become tangled within the lives of the Others. Plan your escape, and immerse yourself in all 23 episodes of Season Three. Go deeper than ever before in this six-disc Blu-ray box set, complete with hours of never-before-seen bonus features, including secrets from the world of the Others, behind-the-scenes featurettes, unprecedented access to the Lost writers room, and so much more.
For more about Lost: The Complete Third Season and the Lost: The Complete Third Season Blu-ray release, see Lost: The Complete Third Season Blu-ray Review published by Lindsay Mayer on January 30, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.
Directors: Jack Bender, Stephen Williams, Tucker Gates
Writers: J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse, Brian K. Vaughan, Brent Fletcher, Paul Dini
Starring: Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, Jorge Garcia, Josh Holloway, Terry O'Quinn, Naveen Andrews
» See full cast & crew
Lost: The Complete Third Season Blu-ray Review
The latest season of a unique and addicting TV series makes its Blu-ray debut.
Reviewed by Lindsay Mayer, January 30, 2008
In September of 2004, a highly-hyped new series was about to bow on U.S. television. Little was known of the series' premise, other than it was some sort of sci-fi adventure that came packaged with one of the hobbits from Lord of the Rings. After playing witness to the pilot episode's gripping, film-quality title sequence, however, audiences would soon discover there was much, much more to this island Wonderland.
As a TV production, LOST was hashed together rather recklessly. Given the budget floating it and the names behind it, such as TV giant J.J. Abrams, one would reckon the series would be mapped out well beforehand. But ABC seemed eager to put the cart before the horse, and snapped up the series based on a mere outline alone. The writers, needless to say, had their work cut out for them. It is this chaotic creation which may have lead to some plot stinkers down the road; three seasons in, and LOST has lagged a bit. Season three seemed especially rife with meandering subplots, dedicating whole episodes to the meaning of Jack Shephard's tattoo, or a couple of obnoxious side characters that had never been introduced before, and held no importance to the series' overall arc. Time slot changes and constant new episode hiatuses did their fair share as well; confused and frustrated viewership meant a loss in Nielsen ratings. The latter, in turn, may have induced ABC to announce that the series would have a finite end and would run for six seasons total. Thus, three more seasons of 16 episodes each are planned for production; this "light at the end of the tunnel," so to speak, has invigorated LOST fandom and, hopefully, general viewership in turn.
Despite the third season's tendency to string along the audience and test the patience of even the most devoted fan, the story of the Oceanic 815 survivors and the other mysterious inhabitants of the island does indeed progress. Opening up a whole world of bewildering possibilities, the series overall has seemed to leave the straightforward "shipwrecked survival" angle far behind, and has elected instead to focus on a considerably more science fiction/thriller aspect. Now that "the Others" no longer bother to conceal themselves, the 815 survivors must move beyond self-preservation and find out more about this large, cult-like, but well-organized group. It proves far harder than it may initially seem, as the Others have a "home field advantage" and their superior, Ben Linus, is a master of manipulation. The survivors are split when a significant handful of their number - Jack, Kate, and Sawyer - have been taken prisoner by the Others. These trio focus on escape and outwit of their captors, even though the odds are stacked highly against them. Ben is suffering an ailment only Jack can alleviate, and he offers the reluctant hero all sorts of sweet candied promises - including an island exit - if Jack agrees to help him.
Meanwhile, Locke, Desmond, and Mr. Eko have survived the catastrophic implosion of the Swan station, following a fail-safe procedure hastily engaged by Desmond. Desmond is significantly altered however, or so Hurley notices upon their return to the other survivors. Desmond's extrasensory abilities make up only one more mysterious aspect to the island and the people inhabiting it. His relationship with Charlie changes significantly, as well, when Desmond's visions obligate him to save Charlie from grim fates - several times over. The series shifts again to focus on Kate and Sawyer's escape from the Others, aided by Ben's daughter Alex and her boyfriend Karl. Upon their return, Kate gathers up Locke and Sayid and leads off a "rescue mission" for Jack. The captive neurosurgeon, meanwhile, has been developing an odd sort of relationship with Juliet, brought to the island under false pretenses and a begrudging medical staff member, not unlike Jack himself.
After stumbling into some unsavory characters along the way, the rescue troop manages to infiltrate "New Otherton" - the barracks base that the Others live on, and use to carry out their "nefarious" plans. The rescue trio's mission is cut short however, and Kate again finds herself a captive, along with Locke and Sayid. Locke, as always, follows the beat of his own drummer and performs various acts of sabotage, mostly out of the desire to isolate the island from without. Mysteriously, the Others up and abandon the entire barracks facility - with Locke willingly in tow. The tables have turned and the Others find themselves reverting to self-preservation mode. Kate and Sayid then return not only with Jack - but with Juliet as well, who has been (allegedly) betrayed by the Others and left behind. The 815 survivors are understandably wary of this new addition, but before they have much time to puzzle out the woman, they are met by the sudden appearance of a frantic Karl, who warns them that the Others are coming, planning another raid of certain individuals from their ranks.
Shortly before the latter events, a mysterious new character arrives at the island, parachuting in, supposedly, from a downed helicopter. Her name is Naomi, and she carries with her advanced GPS technology that the survivors see as their ticket off the island. At roughly the same time, Ben is increasingly threatened by Locke's abilities; Ben sees much of himself in Locke, and then some. Locke's rival status culminates when Ben takes him to meet Jacob, the "real" leader of the Others. The result was not what Ben had anticipated, and he shoots Locke, leaving him for dead.
Jack, meanwhile, throws together an all-or-nothing plan in an attempt to kill two birds with one stone; he sets a lethal trap for the pursuing Others, whilst leading the entire group of 815 survivors to a radio tower on the island in order to beam a distress signal from Naomi's otherwise malfunctioning GPS radio phone. To further complicate the process, someone must infiltrate the Looking Glass station, offshore and underwater, subdue the station's guards, and disable the transmissions jam function in order to to establish successful two-way communication with external sources. All is not as it seems, however. To Jack and his band of faithful, this is a fairly straightforward process which will guarantee return to civilization. Ben, and even the nigh-unstoppable Locke, arisen from a shot in the gut, attempt to intercept the process at all costs. Their efforts prove in vain, as the radio phone makes a connection and advertises its location clearly to a nearby ship. The compelling cliffhanger presents Jack as a distressed addict at some unknown time post-"rescue," back in civilization at last. In a tremulous voice laced with desperation, he tells Kate, "We should never have left! We have to go back!"
To quote Charles Dickens, whether Jack's cruel fate in the season finale represents "shadows of the things that Will be, or shadows of things that May be, only" is unknown to the series' rapt audience. Given the significant themes of time, fate, and supernatural occurrences, it is this reviewer's opinion that, again, all is not as it seems with the proposed future of Our Hero...
Lost: The Complete Third Season Blu-ray, Video Quality
LOST is most certainly a series that benefits from a high definition presentation. Being the first time that the series is presented in 1080p resolution, the BD release is currently the only way to enjoy the series in "full HD." ABC's high definition broadcast of the series plateaus out at 720p... and the difference is keenly noticeable. With an AVC 1080p/24 encode, the episodes themselves range from 15 to 40 Mbps, with an average of about 25 Mbps. To be perfectly honest, what consistently brought my attention to the acute detail was the stubble on the faces of various male characters; every hair was so distinct. Likewise the sheen of sweat or water. Being set in a very wet, tropical environment naturally leads to lots of wet characters. If they're not damp from some recent storm, they're finding other excuses - such as leaping into the ocean to save some hapless soul from riptide. The play of light is crisply captured on all of this residual liquid; it is simply awesome to watch.
But I'm a connoisseur of fine detail, after all. Often I find the mise–en–scène more interesting than the characters or the action. To this end, the picture quality succeeds in spades. The set certainly makes for some good eye candy, and even better demo material.
Lost: The Complete Third Season Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Almost as impressive as the video is the set's audio options. Supplied with an uncompressed 5.1 English PCM track, the episodes also offer English and French Dolby Digital 5.1, as well as Spanish in Dolby Digital 2.0. A handful of episodes also offer audio commentary from various cast and crew. The PCM track completes the AVC picture to make a cohesive presentation that really compels one to experience the series, rather than just watch it blithely from a distance. Foley effects in the surround mix are rich and full, and dialogue is clear and unmuddied. Michael Giacchino's unnerving score is laced intricately throughout, making its presence known but never overwhelming the action. Rounding out the offerings are the Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes in English and French. One can't help but be a bit disappointed that a Spanish 5.1 track was shafted, though I am uncertain whether it was due to limited disc space, or perhaps a 5.1 mix was never produced for broadcast. In any case, a flat stereo track on an otherwise richly laden disc seems a shame.
Lost: The Complete Third Season Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The third season BD comes with a separate, sixth disc brimming with interesting extra features. Most notable are those exclusive to the Blu-ray release - "Access: Granted" and "Blu-Prints." The former is a LOST fan's dream come true, as chief writers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse sit down for a no-nonsense interview to give answers (and closure) on a virtual laundry list of obscure questions. The pair give the once-and-for-all on who is truly dead, where the polar bears cames from, and the fate of certain Dharma stations, among other things. The feature is accompanied by thoughts and speculations from various television critics, editors and TV personalities. An overall satisfying piece, "Access: Granted" actually succeeded to get me wound up about the greater story arcs of LOST, having been unexposed to new material for months!
"Blu-Prints," the other not-so-cleverly-titled exclusive feature, leads the viewer around among various sets with production designers leading the way. The creative process is interesting to watch on several props and locations, though the feature was a bit too "engineer geek" for my tastes overall.
The most substantial single feature is arguably "LOST On Location," which brings the viewers along for a fly-on-the-wall experience during production of several episodes. Quite a bit of humor is apparent as the cast and crew goof around between takes, and it makes the piece a rather enjoyable experience. "LOST In A Day" is similar in that it shows all phases of production on the series in a single day - from early morning shooting with cast, to editing of dailies, adding foley effects and music, writer's discussions on upcoming episodes, flying film from Hawai'i to Los Angeles every night - one is agog at how such a busy and multifaceted production stays organized! Along the same vein is a "Crew Tribute" wherein Evangeline Lilly borrows a cameraman and sneaks up on sheepish crew members unawares to give them proper gratitude and "face time" on tne disc for all of their hard work behind the scenes.
"The World of the Others" is an in-universe look at the behavior and the motives of the morally ambiguous Others; what is it that they are after? What secrets have yet to be revealed about their community? A final featurette is "The LOST Book Club" - a very interesting discussion on the significance of various literature referenced in the series. Almost always, the depiction of a character reading a book in any given episode flags a thematic similarility - either within the episode itself, or perhaps foreshadowing events to come.
The remainder of the extra features are treats and tidbits, like deleted scenes, unused flashbacks, and a blooper reel. There's even a short, but humorous piece featuring Terry O'Quinn "educating" one on how to throw a knife from the handle in order for it to properly stick its target. Predictably, this little piece is slathered with disclaimers for the stupid. Also included on the set are four audio commentaries with various cast and crew for the episodes "A Tale of Two Cities," "I Do," "Exposé," and "The Man Behind the Curtain."
Lost: The Complete Third Season Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Though slow at times, LOST's third season is one of exposition as well as expansion. We learn much of the island's "other" inhabitants and uncover a wee bit about the ambiguous Dharma Initiative project. More significantly, perhaps, are the "shades of gray" added to many of the series' regular characters. Sun is not "the good wife," Sayid is not "the virtuous soldier." Mr. Eko became a priest chiefly as atonement for his sins of the past. Claire is plagued with lifelong guilt. The third season even humanized the "bad guys" like Juliet and Ben - if only marginally! It created a heap of sympathy for characters like Sawyer and Locke. What the season lacked for in island time events, it made up for by fleshing out its recurrent characters.
It is no secret that I enjoy this series - it started off with a bang and still has huge potential. In terms of story, I highly recommend it. As a Blu-ray Disc recommendation, I would push it even more. This set boasts a stunning presentation in both picture and sound, and succeeds in further immersing the viewer into "the LOST experience." The exclusive BD extra features are a further incentive for hardcore fans, as well. In my humble opinion, LOST: The Complete Third Season should be the benchmark by which all other Blu-ray television series should strive to meet - or exceed!
Lost: Other Seasons
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