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Herc Gives ABC's LOST Pilot Five Stars!!

I am – Hercules!!

Lost 1.1 FAQ

What’s “Lost” again?
ABC’s new scifi castaway adventure from “Alias” mastermind J.J. Abrams. As with “Alias,” Abrams himself wrote and directed the pilot.

Didn’t Herc say “Lost” was the fall show to which he was most looking forward? Did it live up to his expectations?
It exceeded them. Which were, I can tell you, enormous.

Is it the fall’s best new show?
Without question.

Is a one-hour pilot or two?
83 minutes, which is two hours. Each hour will be aired on a different Wednesday.

Earlier Coaxial reviews reminded Herc of the beloved live-action Saturday morning adventure “Land of the Lost.” Are there Sleestack? Cro-Magnon boys? Brontosauri?
There’s a polar bear that doesn’t seem to belong on the South Pacific island on which the characters are stranded. There also seems to be something Kong-size lurking in the distance, but neither we nor the characters get any kind of real look at it. We just see huge chunks of forest getting stomped down. And Greg Grunberg, who cameos as the crashed plane’s pilot, is viciously snacked upon by something both colossal and unglimpsed.

Any other island weirdness?
There are flash rainstorms that appear and disappear way too suddenly. And something I will put in invisotext only because it is revealed at pilot’s end: The group we’re following is not the first to find itself stranded on this particular island.

I remember AICN’s first “Lost” reviewer saying he stumbled across the pilot on an infomercial channel and started watching during the scene with Greg Grunberg. When does the plane’s pilot become lunch?
Minute 36.

How many are trapped in this land of the lost? Is it just a man and his two preteen offspring?
Moments before he is eaten, Greg Grunberg learns that “at least 48” others survived the crash.

48 survivors? Do we meet all 48 in the first two hours?
We don’t even see them all. Lots of figures are milling about on the beach in the background, mostly out of focus, never clearly glimpsed, waiting to come to the foreground in later installments. The two-hour pilot depicts only the survivors’ first 24 hours on the island, so we never see any kind of “town meeting” with everyone sorting out what to do.

So who are the castaways? Are there movie stars, millionaires, farm girls and scientists?
There are definitely tiers in terms of screen time.

Tier One:
* If there’s a professor on the island, it’s Jack (Matthew Fox, the eldest of the “Party of Five” kids). He’s a good-hearted young physician, and very useful in this situation.
* If there’s a Mary Ann, it’s brunette Kate (newcomer Evangeline Lilly), the hottest girl on the island and the obvious female lead. She is friendly, game for adventure, and looks spectacular on the beach in her bra and panties.

Tier Two:
* Charlie (former hobbit Dominic Monaghan) is as close as we get to a Ginger. He plays bass in a once-famous rock band called Driveshaft and, like many on the island, harbors a dark secret.
* Hurley (Jorge Garcia, whom fans of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” might remember as the plus-size drug dealer during last season’s car-pool episode) is the show’s main comic relief, a Gen-Y Gilligan whose sunny pragmatism, long curly locks and considerable girth may have been designed to remind Ain’t-It-Cool fans of a certain entertainment Web site maven.

Tier Three:
* Sayid (“English Patient” vet Naveen Andrews) is an affable military vet with survival skills and a history that includes combatting U.S. troops as a member of Iraq’s Republican Guard.
* Sawyer (Josh Holloway, who also appeared in the “Angel” pilot five years ago) is a surly American and Sayid’s societal nemesis. We don’t find out much about him beyond the fact that he’s suspicious and obnoxious.

Tier Four:
* Shannon (former “Oliver Beane” regular Maggie Grace) is the island’s Cordelia Chase, a stunning bikini-clad party blonde who tans as others worry, certain against all logic that rescue is imminent.
* Boone (who played the mysterious Adam Knight on “Smallville” last season) is Shannon’s far nicer and more realistic brother.
* Claire (Emilie DeRaven, who was pregnant with Max Evans’ alien baby on “Roswell”) is a very pregnant girl concerned about the health of her unborn child.
* Michael (Harold Perrineau Jr., the paraplegic narrator from “Oz”) is a father just becoming acquainted with his young son,
* Walt (“You Got Served” star Malcolm David Kelley), who just lost his mother to cancer.
* Jin (the ubiquitous Daniel Dae Kim, a semi-regular since 2001 on everything from “Angel” to “24” to “Enterprise” to “Miss Match” to “ER”) and
* Sun (pretty “Iron Palm” star Yoon-jin Kim) are a pair of Korean nationals who, unable to speak English, effectively segregate themselves from the rest of the survivors. It’s unclear at pilot’s end whether the pair are siblings, cousins, lovers, co-workers or something else entirely.

Tier Five:
* Locke (Terry O’Quinn, whose FBI agent Kendall headed Sydney Bristow’s task force during the second season of “Alias”) is the sinister-looking codger who spends pretty much the entire episode alone at the edge of the waterline, smiling creepily at his fellow survivors. His last words in the pilot, spoken to youngster Walt, are, “Do you want to know a secret?”

What’s not so great?
One could quibble a bit with the show’s logic at junctures. 1) Many, upon seeing the plane’s wreckage, may wonder how so many people survived such a horrific disaster. 2) Since one survivor is left with a giant hunk of shrapnel jutting out of his chest, does it really make sense for the only surviving doctor to wander off on a search mission? 3) Why is everyone so sure that a pair of found handcuffs signifies that there’s a fugitive among the survivors? The cuffs could be somebody’s sex toy, or could have fallen from the belt of a sky marshal, right? Finally, and this may be because my particular copy of the pilot may be a little muddy, it’s difficult to make out the unseen monsters’ distant wake.

What’s great?
The characters, the action, the mysteries, the pacing, the comedy, the many grisly mishaps, the special effects, the twist endings. The huge and unprecedented number of crash survivors, which should make for some fascinating drama as this strange new society is forged. The three harrowing, and I mean harrowing, planebound flashbacks, which should give many a frequent flyer nightmares for years. The cast generally, and Garcia’s repeated use of the noun “dude” in particular. The many fascinating loose ends, so certain to leave audiences craving more (just as the loose ends left by the “Alias” pilot did three years ago).

How does it end, spoiler-boy?
“Guys,” asks Charlie of his fellow survivors, “where are we?”

Herc’s rating for “Lost” 1.1?

The Hercules T. Strong Rating System:
***** better than we deserve
**** better than most motion pictures
*** actually worth your valuable time
** as horrible as most stuff on TV
* makes you quietly pray for bulletins

I am – Hercules!!

Looking for bumper stickers, plush toys and girls’ underwear covered with cartoon double-amputees? Visit The Herc Store!

Readers Talkback
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  • July 24, 2004, 5:42 a.m. CST

    Help me out here

    by Toranaga

    When does this come on? Or did I overlook that?

  • July 24, 2004, 5:44 a.m. CST

    Never mind.

    by Toranaga

    Sep 22nd? Damn that's a long way away.

  • July 24, 2004, 6:37 a.m. CST

    That's moronic to call it the Fall's Best New Show when you have

    by Grabthars_Hammer

  • July 24, 2004, 6:42 a.m. CST

    Sounds very cool.

    by Psyclops

    The plot description reminds me a bit of the movie CUBE. Various strangers wake up in a mysterious place and try to piece together exactly where they are and what's happening to them. Sounds like a very cool series, I'm definitely looking forward to seeing it. Bloody deaths, strange happenings and unseen monsters? Bring it on.

  • July 24, 2004, 10:12 a.m. CST

    by optimus122

    Hmm Jack explains that he thought that the dude with the metal in his chest would be at a hospital within the next day so he held off operating on him ..guess he thought they would be rescued fairly quick but that dont seem to be happening.

  • July 24, 2004, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Wiess in new show

    by Just Plain Steve

    I thought he was supposed to have his own series and not die in the pilot?

  • July 24, 2004, 10:39 a.m. CST

    ABC better be paying royalties to the estate od Rod Serling, bec

    by FrankDrebin

    Exact same plot. The only difference is that each episode of Serling's show was only 45 minutes long. It was an experiment by ABC to create dramatic shows for people with short attention spans. Some hour-long shows pad the story to kill time. Like COLOMBO: I used to watch the first 15 minutes to see what the crime was, then switch over to something else for a half hour, then switch back for the final 15 minutes to see how Peter Falk solved it. Anyway, the experiment was a failure and ABC cancelled all the "variable-length" shows after one season.

  • July 24, 2004, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Just Plain Steve...

    by Doran

    Greg Grunberg (Weiss in Alias and the pilot here) is getting his own series either midseason or next fall. Hope he doesn't die on Alias...

  • July 24, 2004, 12:24 p.m. CST

    Something new on network TV getting five stars?

    by Johnny Smith

  • July 24, 2004, 12:25 p.m. CST

    Something new on network TV getting five stars?

    by Johnny Smith

    Herc, you're a silly person. Get off your ass and go watch HBO.

  • July 24, 2004, 1:03 p.m. CST

    When do the dinos show up?

    by Christopher3

  • July 24, 2004, 1:58 p.m. CST

    Fuck, now this show won't even last five pisodes. Thanks for the

    by Big Bad Clone

  • July 24, 2004, 2:21 p.m. CST

    parenting advice

    by punto

    it wasn't that they assumed there was a prissoner because of the cuffs, they just saw the cuff and the arab guy, and they assumed he was evil. Anyway, the thing that bothered me the most was the doctor guy giving parenting advice to the black guy ("let the dog come to you"), like he was some sort of expert.. It's ok to help with the medicine (after all, he _is_ a doctor), but that was just too much (unless he actually has children, and we find out after the pilot).

  • July 24, 2004, 3:07 p.m. CST

    New Doctor Who is coming, and you guys don't care?

    by TheTARDIS

    I thought this site was meant to be cool? The longest running genre show in the history of television makes a comeback and AICN decides not to cover it? Doesn't make much sense to me.

  • July 24, 2004, 3:36 p.m. CST


    by optimus122

    He wasn't giving parenting advice , the dog was in the woods which is also were the hostile creatures he told the dude to let the dog come to him rather then see the dude go into the woods and get killed ( remember he still hasn't told them all about what happened to the pilot ).

  • July 24, 2004, 4:45 p.m. CST

    What doesn't Herc give 5 stars?

    by Tracheotomy Man

    I bet he would've given Charles in Charge 5 stars...

  • July 24, 2004, 5:16 p.m. CST

    Tracheotomy Man, you would give Charles in Charge five stars?

    by Hercules

    I'd give maybe one and a half stars to Charles in Charge. So I guess I give your bitch-punk ass no stars, Tracheotomy Man.

  • July 24, 2004, 5:20 p.m. CST

    i'd give charles in charge 2 stars...

    by Toe Jam

    but the theme song and nicole egert each 5 stars

  • July 24, 2004, 5:36 p.m. CST

    I hope this works out

    by 007-11

    I'm sick of getting into shows on ABC only to have them cancelled. The last one was "Karen Sisco". Fortunately they've played the remaining episodes and the one's already shown on USA. Anyone know when/if "Carnivale" comes back?

  • July 24, 2004, 8:09 p.m. CST

    This series has "cult favorite" written all over it. It's like a

    by Prof. Pop-Cult

    ...Thus, I don't see this series suriving on ABC. But I plan to keep watching, and I hope ABC orders a set number of episodes (13) so the producers can finish the story arc. The pilot has been available on bittorrent for over a month now. Originally, I wasn't interested in seeing this show, but thanks to bittorrent, ironically enough, ABC has me as a new viewer for this show.

  • July 24, 2004, 11:47 p.m. CST

    007-11: Carnivale

    by Johnny Smith

    Carnivale returns in January 2005.

  • July 25, 2004, 12:32 a.m. CST

    Sorry, Herc.

    by Tracheotomy Man

    Didn't think you'd get so upset at the Charles in Charge joke. Admit it though, you would've given Small Wonder five stars, right?

  • July 25, 2004, 2:40 a.m. CST

    ABC will screw this up and it will be cancelled.

    by Russman

    ABC executives are ball-less losers.

  • July 25, 2004, 4:25 a.m. CST

    ABC has ordered 13 episodes...

    by Prof. Pop-Cult

    I looked this up at and read this news. Let's hope ABC commits to have all 13 episodes made and aired. And if they don't air them all, then at least have a DVD set released.

  • July 25, 2004, 4:02 p.m. CST

    Easily blown

    by Godardwhowhatnow

    Unless they treat this thing right, it could easily end up like the very promising train wreck "Earth 2". Once we know about all of the island's goings on (be it a government experiment, some alternate dimension, or simply a 'land of the lost' type thing, or whatever), everything immediately loses it's mystery, and it can become kind of a chore to draw the plot further. I can't remember a recent show that pulled off a theme like this. Still, it sounds like a lot of fun, and I'll be there for the pilot.

  • July 25, 2004, 7:04 p.m. CST

    I dont want to waste my time

    by AlwaysThere

    The show will be lost in a couple of weeks.

  • July 26, 2004, 1:10 a.m. CST

    The important questions that need answering

    by JPA170478

  • July 26, 2004, 1:18 a.m. CST

    The important questions that need answering

    by JPA170478

    1. Does Whats his name from Party of five have a permanent five o'clock shadow in this show too or will his shave? 2. Is the Korean chick, going to be the girl that most geeks (I include myself in this category, like everyone else who views Aint it Cool) will fantasise over? 3. Will the number of incredibly obvious "Gilligan" style jokes (and I used the word jokes very loosely) exceed one thousand within the frist week after the premiere? 4.

  • July 26, 2004, 2:09 a.m. CST

    Why is it that everyone is always "Lost" in a sci-fi show?

    by Hung-Wei Lo

    Star Trek Voyager, Lost In Space, Land Of The Lost, Other World, Honey I Lost The Kids??

  • July 26, 2004, 9:16 a.m. CST

    I'll TIVO the first three episodes

    by ATARI

    And if it hasn't been cancelled by the fourth, then I'll have a mini-marathon. Otherwise I won't waste the time, because network TV has screwed me too many times. 'Harsh Realm' anybody?

  • July 26, 2004, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Lost has been given 13 episodes...

    by Jim Jam Bongs

    ...And the producers say that a complete arc will be told - start, middle and end - within these 13. If they get their back-nine to finish out the season, then the 13th episode will probably be changed a little to lead on into the second story arc.

  • July 26, 2004, 2:44 p.m. CST

    ABC's track record

    by twitchinmonkey

    This looks like it could be a good show, and what does ABC do to good shows? Sports Night-45 episodes, Twin Peaks-29 episodes, The Job-19 episodes, American version of Cracker-16 episodes, Nothing Sacred-15 episodes, Cupid-13 episodes, Karen Sisco-7 episodes, Miracles-6 episodes. Don

  • July 26, 2004, 3:53 p.m. CST


    by Another Faith

    Twitchinmonkey, I thought I was the only one who lamented Cupid. Best casting of Jeremy Piven yet -- next to Cameron Crowe's use of him in "Singles".

  • July 26, 2004, 4:46 p.m. CST

    What about Grosse Point Blank?

    by Tracheotomy Man

    C'mon, AnotherFaith, Piven was pretty spiffy there. Better than in Singles, if memory serves...

  • July 26, 2004, 5:53 p.m. CST

    I saw the first 50 minutes

    by adaline

    at comic con and it does look very cool, and the fact that it took almost every writer from "Angel" does not hurt either. I really don't have anything to complain about, but trust me, it's better then anything else airing on Wednesday night.

  • July 26, 2004, 6:24 p.m. CST

    I saw the first 50 minutes at Comic-Con, too

    by Eternal Watcher

    It's an intiguing setup, but I suspect that it will start with a two-hour premiere because people are going to expect all of what we've been seeing in promos to be in the first episode. As long as this show isn't the "Island of Dr. Moreau" or "Dr. Shrinker", I wil lbe happy. The producers have assured the CC audience it won't be the "monster-of the week"...and that better include mad scientists or evil secret government project. I will say this...if at the end of the series anyone survives, I will be surprised. It would be more interesting if everyone dies, then we get another plane crash at the island...and that's where the show ends.

  • July 27, 2004, 12:38 a.m. CST

    the Korean characters

    by alicegator

    Both Daniel Dae Kim and Kim Yoonjin speak perfect English, so I am wondering if they will turn the tables on the other castaways...they may, after all, be pretending not to speak English.

  • July 27, 2004, 9:10 a.m. CST

    I've Seen It Too ...

    by retroactive71

    I'm an "Alias" fan, and I'm ticked off that its fourth season won't be returning until January 2005, so for me it's nice to know we'll have another dose of J.J. Abrams this fall. As a "Buffy" and "Angel" fan, I could see getting as excited over Abrams' future projects as I get over Joss Whedon's, based on "Lost." It's a great psychological thriller and a fun character study in how the various survivors interact. It's not perfect, but it's good enough and mysterious enough that it left me wanting much more. Unfortunately this is a show that requires viewer investment and I can see that it's the type of show that if you miss a show or two, especially the pilot, you might find yourself "Lost" also, so I pray that ABC will promote this show properly and give it a decent time slot, or it could get "Lost" in the fall ratings detritus. Personally, I love shows that have complicated ongoing storylines instead of just one-shot episodes with villains of the week and hopefully one good dividend of the current reality TV craze might be that networks might be more willing to let an ongoing story develop, because most reality shows seem to be similar to me, in that they follow ongoing storylines. Anyway, whether it stays on the air or not, I'd buy the DVD set. I just hope it gets a chance. It's fun stuff, very compelling and intriguing. Personally one of the scenes that stands out most to me from the pilot is ... WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD ... when the Arab passenger gets into a fistfight with another hotheaded passenger who accuses him of being a terrorist and/or a criminal and of blowing up the plane. After the fight is broken up, the fat metalhead guy tries to bond with the Arab and show his kindness and openmindedness. The subject of the military comes up and the Arab says he fought in the Gulf War. When the fat guy asks if he was Army or Air Force, the Arab replies, "Republican Guard," which suddenly makes the fat guy silently rethink his defense of the Arab. A nice (and complicated) moment.

  • July 31, 2004, 11:46 p.m. CST

    Excellent set up for what might be the next big 'concept' show

    by MarioF

    To begin with, I've seen the first episode of "Lost" twice and I have to admit that for a network television show this program is excellently written, well cast and deftly directed. It easily left me wanting to know more about the Island and the survivors. I love the fact that there are so many cast members, because this gives the writers the unique ability to kill off several key characters, perhaps some who we might believe would otherwise survive. That seriously ups the emotional ante and adds a good level of suspense to the proceedings. This show reminds me very much of "The X-Files", because at the beginning of that program there was literally so much promise and so much wildly interesting, new ground that could potentially be covered. The Thing about "The X-Files" (other than the fact that it went downhill from season six on), was that it was left alone and allowed to slowly develop a core audience and fan-base, whereas the regular networks aren't exactly known for having the patience to do so. I have to agree with twitchinmonkey in regard to "Sports Night", "Twin Peaks" and "The Job" (I would even go so far as to add "Max Headroom" and CBS' "American Gothic" as two more shows unfairly killed, but hey, that's just my opinion). WARNING!!!SPOILER'S AHEAD!!! By the way, I was just wondering if anyone guessed that the prisoner was the woman? Hate to sound sexist, but the truth is, it never occured to me that the person wearing the cuffs might be a female. I was thinking that the doctor might have been the prisoner, but I'm glad it wasn't because that does smack of "The Fugitive" (speaking of which, the updated version was yet another potentially great show killed prematurely IMHO), a little too much. Someone else asked about "Carnivale" (love that show, but then again I love "The Sopranos", "The Wire", "Deadwood", and "Six Feet Under"), and although someone already mentioned that it should be returning in January 2005, I just thought I'd mention that the DVD First Season Sets of both "Deadwood" and "Carnivale" will be released sometime between December and February. Now if they'd just hurry up with "The Wire" Season three!

  • Aug. 3, 2004, 8:13 p.m. CST

    And just like Alias...

    by Vision

    ...they have no idea where they are going and will just stumble about wildly.

  • Sept. 23, 2004, 12:30 p.m. CST

    Shit - pure shit

    by Garko

    Ok, so I watched this dreck (aka - LOST) last night for the pilot episode. Crap. Crappity Crap. The show wastes no time in showing you how utterly stupid the survivors are. After they survive a horrific plane crash (which they never show because of budget reasons), they are all wandering around the wreckage of the plane (which you could now carry away in your hat) shouting and screaming at each other, because, now get this - one of the jet engines is STILL RUNNING! "Wait", you say. "Running on what?!" I guess it was the collective will of the filmmakers to make the scene cool and also to trim the extra cast a little. How? I will elaborate.. "Lah-dee-dah. I am the Extra cast member! I wonder what would happen if I stepped in front of a MASSIVE, STILL WORKING(!), JET ENGINE. Lah-dee-d..AAAHH..(bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt)! shocking. really. I, y'know? (meh.) Then a wing collapses, almost killing a couple members of the "speaking" cast (one of which is pregnant) and explodes on contact with the nice soft, INCENDIARY, beach sand. Whoo - That was, like, soo close, y'know? And I totally believed that they would kill the 20-ish, blonde, PREGNANT girl on TV. Really. Then, it's night (I am fast forwarding my memory because it's not worth getting into) and everybody hears a gigantic "thing" romping around in the nearby jungle. It is never seen clearly and just makes a nuisance of itself by knocking trees over and waking everyone up. Cut! Brilliant! Aaannd Commercial! We're back and it is now raining on the survivors and everyone is running for cover, because it really sucks to survive a plane crash AND be wet. The horror...zzzzz Then the Hero Party finds the front of the plane and one of the pilots. Capt. Exposition comes out of his coma with a bad fit of verbal diarrhea and explains to the cast and audience that they were off course when they crash and no-one is coming for them. Then Mystery Monster sneaks up on the plane (we never hear it approach, even though we could hear it's footsteps from a good half-mile away the other night) and starts roaring for no reason and shaking more trees. Capt. Exposition exits the show by sticking his head out the window..Thanks, you were great! You will be missed! Then there is a lot of running, screaming, looking over the shoulders, and tripping as the Hero Party eludes the Beast (which we still don't see even though it's broad daylight. Oh well) Thankfully, the pilot is only one hour long, otherwise I would have thrown my Xbox through the screen. Scenes from the next episode: more crying and dissention among the ranks of survivors..Mystery Monster shakes more trees...and it rains AGAIN.

  • Sept. 27, 2004, 12:33 p.m. CST

    The Dog

    by onemom2nv

    Nobody has mentioned the strangeness of this seemingly healthy dog around. Uh Oh, maybe I'm the only one who saw the dog.

  • May 23, 2010, 2:08 a.m. CST

    Tier 5 - Locke

    by zillabeast

    Oh how fascinating....

  • May 23, 2010, 4:27 a.m. CST


    by JWBlack67

    Just watched the Pilot again tonight on ABC, and Locke WAS tier 5. Awesome how they brought that character along.

  • May 23, 2010, 4:29 a.m. CST

    by JWBlack67

  • May 23, 2010, 7:07 a.m. CST


    by Bill Brasky

    You are a fucking idiot. I will be looking for your extra chromosome on talkbacks from now until eternity…just so that I can fuck with you and remind you of how fucking lame you really are. How does it feel man? I mean, you went to bed with fucking Megan Fox a few days before Transformers came out and then told everyone how fucking ugly she was and how she was lousy in bed. I mean, that is basically what you did. Garko = epic fail.

  • May 23, 2010, 8:04 a.m. CST

    Wow, I wasn't even born in 2004

    by JMoe


  • May 23, 2010, 12:27 p.m. CST

    Garko's review sounds like what my wife thought of it

    by DiscoGodfather

    Coincidentally, we're separating. Still some interesting reading here though. fascinating glimpse at a world before "Lost".

  • May 23, 2010, 5:32 p.m. CST

    Best. Show. Ever!

    by ccchhhrrriiisssm

    ...and a decent review to boot!

  • May 23, 2010, 7:22 p.m. CST

    Bah hahaha Garko

    by xcornealiousx

    Funny, did you think 6 years later people would be reading your piss poor review of Lost?! Does it make you sick, this show is going down as one of the greatest of all time? And you did nothing but trash the best pilot episode of tv...ever?! SUCKER!!!!!!!!

  • June 16, 2010, 9:58 a.m. CST

    That's Odd . . .

    by Dave I

    I stumbled across this by accident and it's funny people posted in this ~six years later. To gripe at Garko's review nonetheless.<p><p>Awesome!<p><p>-Cheers