Now in its 5th series, I’ve watched the show from the 1st (in fairness though, you pretty much have to). The first series was compulsive viewing as the survivors of Oceanic flight 815 adjusted to life on the island after the crash, encountered the smoke monster, and tried to figure out how to get into that hatch. There was a clear sense of mystery surrounding the island, what with the smoke monster, but also with the character Locke being seemingly magically healed from the paralysis he had before the plane crash.
Season 2 and 3 it went slightly off the boil for me. While some stuff was good (Desmond, Ben), the Tailies never really caught my interest in season 2 and felt like they got far too much focus (only to be largely wiped out), and in season 3, while finding out about the Others was interesting, again, Jack, Kate and Sawyer felt like they were getting way too much focus, while there were far more interesting characters (Locke and Sayid for a start) that they could’ve been focusing on, rather than giving us our 20th Jack flashback.
However after season 3, the creators sat down with the studio and came to the agreement that the show would end after season 6. And since they came back with season 4 and the story of the Oceanic 6, its really felt like a brand new show to me. Its regained a lot of that compulsiveness and focus that I felt it lost during seasons 2 and 3.
Currently season 5 has been running quite a fun storyline with the cast members who have remained on the island jumping through time to different points in the show’s timeline, while those that escaped the island have been gathered together to return to the island to stop these time jumps. Now granted, if these were the first episodes you watched, you’d be completely stuffed in terms of understanding it, but if you’ve watched the show from the beginning its been a great way of explaining bits and pieces of the mystery and great fun trying to figure out when people are in the timeline. You do need to keep your head about you, but its very rewarding.
Sky One are also doing The Lost Initiative. Originally a podcast, and now a twice-weekly video series on their website, Iain Lee, Geeky Tom and Paul Terry give their commentary on each week’s episode, throw around their own theories as to what’s going on, and respond to viewer theories. Well worth checking out, especially if like me, you tend not to rewatch episodes a lot, as they can pick up on things that casual viewers can miss.