Lost: The Complete Collection Blu-ray Review

August 24, 2010

Lost: The Complete Collection on Blu-ray is likely your one and only chance to acquire the entire six-season run of ABC's hit show in a single package. After the unexpected series finale you'll probably want to re-watch every episode to pick up on cues to where the show was heading early on.

It is hard for someone like myself whom has watched Lost on-air since season one to imagine someone else not having seen a single episode yet. For them, or perhaps even you, this collection offers up the opportunity to play through the entire series without interruption and in the best possible presentation available. That's a win-win scenario no matter which way you spin it.

Is Lost perfect or the be all, end all of television serials? Absolutely not; in fact, I still harbor some resentment over show runners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse's storytelling that pushed the island's mythological mysteries tied to ancient Egyptians to the background in favor of the character-centric flavor the final season takes. Even though the storytelling is not without its flaws, you'd be hard-pressed to sit through six seasons of another show that is as engaging, suspenseful, wonderfully acted by a large ensemble, or beautifully produced mostly on-location than Lost.

High-Def Presentation

All seasons in the Lost: The Complete Collection set are region 'A,' a departure from the mix of region-specific and region-free individual season box sets. The measure of excellence Disney and ABC Studios set with seasons 1-5 of Lost on Blu-ray continue in the conclusive season 6 set. AVC-encoded 1080p video framed at 1.78:1 is transferred to Blu-ray with rich detail, clarity and colors even the untrained eye can tell are a step up from the 1080i broadcast version. Bitrates continuously run between 20 and 35mbps. From beginning to end, the video transfer on Lost: The Complete Collection is as good as television on Blu-ray gets.

Audio across Lost: The Complete Collection is presented in lossless 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. The show's high production values have always produced rich audio more befitting a feature film than a television show and season 6 continues that tradition. The bitrate bounces between 4 and 5 mbps while surrounds, though not engaged as much as they could be, flutter with activity enough to remind you there's more than the front channels.

Lost: The Complete Collection includes D-BOX Motion Code embedded on each disc of the entire series. I've reviewed season one with Blu-ray already and will return to this space in the near future with a D-BOX wrap-up on the entire series.

Beyond the Feature

Unboxing the hefty Lost: The Complete Blu-ray Collection set reveals an Egyptian-influenced case that would great sitting on a tabletop. The lid to the case when removed depicts an embossed relief map of the Lost island on its underside. Inclusion of the Dharma stations and other key landmarks on the map would have been useful but their exclusion is a minor quibble.

Under the lid is a thick book that provides imagery and the synopsis for every episode of Lost. I consider this the show's bible as it's a great reference to going back and re-watching specific scenes or episodes without having to look up information online. Beneath the guide is a Senet game board as seen played by Jacob and the Man in Black in season six. How to play the game properly is as mysterious as the scientific explanation to the island's location.

The main compartment of the case houses small chambers around the outside and a box in the middle with all the season discs packaged inside tall, slender tri-fold cases. I love the tri-folds as they have a certain uniqueness to them, but the case in which they all reside could be a bit more durable in instances where an owner would want to display it separately from the Egyptian box.

The chambers include a small black light "torch" pen, the game pieces (re: rocks and sticks) for Senet, and a small Ankh replica with a tiny Black Rock journal entry tucked inside. I wish the small Ankh could have been full scale and possibly even the outer packaging but a miniature version is better than none at all.

Seasons 1-5 of Lost include all the bonus features that are available on their previously released individually packaged Blu-ray versions. The bonus features for season six are all-new due to the simultaneous release of that season and are examined below.

Audio Commentaries - Commentaries are included for a total of four season six episodes: 'LA X,' 'Dr. Linus,' 'Ab Aeterno' and 'Across The Sea.' A big miss is the lack of an audio commentary by the show creators for 'The End,' the one episode in the entire series that demands explanation the most.

SeasonPlay - This feature allows you to turn off any episode at any point and be reminded of where you left off when any disc from the collection is booted up. It's a useful tool when embarking on a mission to watch six seasons worth of shows in one long stretch.

The New Man in Charge (11:55, HD) - An epilogue starring primarily Benjamin Linus that is designed to answer some of the partially explained or outright ignored mysteries that Lost is famous for. Packaging so many answers into a scant few minutes feels forced, but the lasting impression is more a tease of where the franchise could continue in potentially a different medium.

Crafting a Final Season (38:33, HD) - Carlton Cuse, Damon Lindelof and their cast and crew discuss and react to the challenges and pressure of bringing Lost to an end. What's neat is a progression of behind-the-scenes footage from the beginning of season six through 'The End' and its massive red script and real tears. There's no explanation of events here; it's strictly an insiders view of putting the final acts onto film.

A Hero's Journey (8:57, HD) - The obvious hero is Jack Shepherd but the show was designed so that all the core cast members embark on their own unique hero's journey together. This short featurette spells that out with a mix of interview snippets and supporting clips from the show.

See You in Another Life, Brotha (8:36, HD) - Some fairly obvious explanation of why the characters behave as they do in the sideways world including mirrors at a metaphor. Chances are you already figured out most of what's offered.

Lost on Location (28:40, HD) - A behind-the-scenes look at constructing six of the key sets and the wardrobe from the sixth season. Jorge trying to decipher the Egyptian hieroglyphs around the temple set is a real hoot. This featurette is a fun half-hour spent as a fly on the wall with the guys who give the show its aesthetic look and feel.

Deleted Scenes (9:39) - A total of nine deleted scenes offer up at least one character exchange with Claire and Locke that should not have been cut. Unfortunately they are not presented in high definition, not even Vincent's few seconds popping up in an unusual place.

Lost Bloopers (4:90, HD) - These bloopers are worth watching for Matthew Fox's reactions to a rooster that keeps sounding off while he's trying to deliver his lines. It's funny even on repeated viewings.

Lost University: Masters Program - A BD-Live feature that downloads the Lost University program onto your player (taking approximately 5 minutes or more to do so) and allows you to earn a Lost Master's Degree over the course of many days after registering. A great extra for the Lost fanatic who wants to extend the show's experience and connect with other "Losties."

There's more to Lost: The Complete Collection on Blu-ray but to access those hidden surprises you'll have to pick up the set yourself. If I told you what they were then a smoke monster with a Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment logo on its tail would most certainly appear next to my bed tonight, grab me by the ankles and put me into a permanent dream state.

What I can tell you is that sometimes a complete series collection is not worth ditching whatever individual seasons you've collected over several years to acquire. Lost: The Complete Collection is not one of them. The tabletop-ready packaging, pack-in goodies and hidden surprises make this set a Lost fan's holy grail worth trekking through a mysterious jungle to seek out.

- Dan Bradley

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Cheers:
  • Great displayable packaging with some unexpected surprises
  • Set exclusives geared towards "Losties"
  • Best TV a/v presentation around
  • Fantastic all-around show
  • Jeers:
  • No episode commentary on 'The End'
  • Lack of interactive features
  • Overall:
    9.0
    Movie   9.3
    Video   9.5
    Audio   9.0
    Extras   8.9
    Replay   9.0