With more than 32 hours of extra material on the Lost: The Complete Collection Blu-Ray set, it can be a little intimidating to sift through. That's why I've come up with a list of the fifteen essential extras you need to see to properly round off your Lost viewing experience. These extras cover the entire six season run. I even went so far as to rank them for you in importance. You might be surprised to find that the much-hyped epilogue segment, "The New Man in Charge" didn't even make my Top 5. What surprised even me was that every single extra unique to the Season Six set did make the final cut. The producers and creators definitely went all out on this final season to give the fans something special.
While this feature won't be spoiling some of the new content you'll find in the extras, we are going to assume that you've seen the entirety of Lost, so SPOILER WARNING if you've not seen it, but if you haven't, know that you're really missing out. So why not pick up the set for yourself, check out the series, and come back after you've recovered from that experience to find out which extras you simply have to see.
15) "Soundtrack of Survival"
(from Season 4) - From the opening shot of Jack's eye in the pilot through to the final moments in the church, music has been as much an instrument of the storytelling as the actors, sets and location. Set around a concert in Hawaii with a full orchestra playing music from the score of the show, you come to appreciate the care that went into the sound that drives show's the emotional core. Music is a gateway into our hearts and souls, and Lost tapped into that beautifully on a scale usually reserved for the movies.
14) "See You In Another Life, Brotha"
(from Season 6) - The flash-sideways were a huge part of the final season, and ultimately became the place where we would get to say our final goodbyes to most of the castaways we came to know and love over six seasons. This video short looks at how the genesis of this storytelling approach came about, and talks about the intentions behind what we saw. As with everything in Lost, great care was taken in every aspect of what made it onto the screen, and there was thought behind every character interaction in the flash-sideways universe. Filled with cast and creator interviews, it gives a whole new appreciation for what was being attempted with this particular storytelling technique.
13) "Making Up for Lost Time"
(from Season 5)" - Just as flashing sideways became a staple of Season Six, Season Five had genuine time travel for our castaways to contend with. You might be surprised that it was because of the fans that the show's creators even incorporated genuine time travel into the series, but it made for some interesting challenges for the set designers, and shed more light on the Dharma Initiative than the four seasons prior had managed to do. The short film takes us behind-the-scenes at the time travel elements of the season, from the challenges for the actors when the sky went white, to the challenges for the costume and set designers when they had to recreate the 1970s.
12) "The Freighter Folk"
(from Season 4) - After the disastrous attempt to expand the cast by exploring fellow castaways (*cough*Nikki and Paulo*cough*) in Season Three, the writers came upon this brilliant idea of bringing new people to the island. The addition of the "freighter folk" added more personalities for our characters to interact with, but it also brought a fun new set for the creators to explore in the freighter itself. This short looks at how Naomi, Miles, Faraday, Lapidus, Keamy and Charlotte were chosen to join the show, and offers some behind-the-scenes looks at their first moments with the cast.
11) "The World of the Others"
(from Season 3) - After causing trouble for our survivors for two straight seasons, the creators finally decided to give "The Others" the chance to tell their side of the story, so to speak. It was a dark story, but it was also the story that turned Benjamin Linus (Michael Emerson) from a mysterious monster into one of the most well-rounded and complex characters in television history. This short examines how the creators chose to tell the story of "The Others," including the creation of the sympathetic Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell) character to show that they're just as human as the survivors.
10) "Lost on Location"
(from Seasons 1-6) - Since the first season set, the producers have offered these behind-the-scenes vignettes from various episodes throughout the series entire run. Seeing how key moments and scenes were captured from the pilot through the finale really helps spotlight just how much work went into a show as unorthodox in its presentation and settings as Lost was. Most of these shorts are only a minute or two per episode, so it's not a great time commitment to go back "in the moment" when some of those favorite sequences were coming together and see it from different production viewpoints. It's not easy to make television, and even moreso, it wasn't easy to make Lost look so good every week, so it's worth taking the time to appreciate that work, and look at these episodes through a whole different eye.
9) "The Genesis of Lost"
(from Season 1) - Even after six seasons on the air, many fans are still madly in love with the Pilot episode, and how this story began. Long before there were "Others" and freighters and time travel and flashing of any kind, there was this horrific plane crash and these survivors trying to figure out what to do next. That was the idea that pulled in America, and it's a lot of fun to go back and look at this Season One video on how the idea came together. That it was filmed for the Season One DVD set is even more appropriate, because co-creators J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof don't even have the benefit of hidnsight yet in talking about the different decisions that were made. The set offers a couple of great shorts on the casting process for the first season and a more in-depth look at how that amazing pilot was made, but this is the one that tells us how this went from some random idea thrown out by a producer into one of the most innovative television shows in the history of the medium. Plus, find out the spark that both Abrams and Lindelof had separately that transformed it from Cast Away: The Series into Lost, giving ABC a monster hit series.
8) "The New Man in Charge"
(from Season 6) - It breaks my heart that I didn't rank this new video short any higher. As the supposed "Epilogue" of the entire series, spotlighting Ben and Hurley's time as the new Guardians of the Island, I think maybe I expected so much more. Without spoiling the contents, the short did manage to address some of the lingering unanswered questions, but the entire production felt like a low-budget affair. I thought the dialogue was a bit forced in places and the extras brought in weren't up to the quality of most Lost extras we've seen throughout the years. The problem is that this is the big selling point for the Season Six and Complete Series collections, and it just didn't live up to the hype. The "Mobisiode" shorts produced back in Season Four at least looked and felt like scenes from Lost. "The New Man in Charge" felt more like a high school or college film class production that somehow managed to score some key Lost actors.
7) "The Oceanic Six: A Conspiracy of Lies"
(from Season 4) It's always a treat when the producers of your favorite TV show make something new, whether its exclusive to the DVD, or a short available online. New content for shows as fanatically picked apart as Lost add fuel to that fire of fandom. Sometimes, it doesn't work out as well as you might have hoped, but other times it can become an absolute joy to watch. "The Oceanic Six: A Conspiracy of Lies" is an in-continuity video made as if it were produced for air within the Lost universe. The half-hour video attempts to debunk the "official" story from Oceanic Airlines and the supposed survivors that have been dubbed "The Oceanic Six." As fans of Lost, who know all too well the true story of Jack, Kate, Aaron, Sun, Hurley and Sayid, so it provides a different perspective on their public story, showcasing a skepticism only hinted at within the show itself.
6) "Deleted Scenes/Mobisodes/Lost Flashbacks"
(from Seasons 1-6) - I cheated a little bit on this one. Okay, I cheated a lot, but it's my list and I do have my reasons. As I was going through the season extras, I discovered that on the first three seasons there was a segment called "The Lost Flashbacks," along with the standard "Deleted Scenes." And yet, they all seem like deleted scenes to me. The "LOst: Missing Pieces" web shorts from Season Four aren't deleted scenes, per se, but they are additional scenes that can enhance your viewing experience, and that's why they're here. I didn't want to have multiple spots on this list featuring additional scenes, as it would seem redundant. Most of these serve to flesh out character moments and scenes, but there is one scene from Season Six featuring Claire and the Man in Black (in his guise as Locke) that I thought spoke very well to what the Man in Black was trying to accomplish by killing the Candidates, and why he had to do it. For that scene alone, the category was worthy of inclusion, but throughout the series, there have been some good moments that didn't make the final cut, and "Missing Pieces" offers some great character interactions as well.
5) "A Hero's Journey"
(from Season 6) - I'm not sure why, but I had an emotional response to this short video. Like Star Wars was, Lost is a hero's journey, but like Stephen King's The Stand, an inspiration for the series, there are many heroes. I hadn't yet considered the thought that Lost was trying to be the classic hero's journey for all of its castaways at the same time, but it's certainly a powerful way to look at their sagas. Whether or not you agree with the way the series ended, the heart and soul of Lost was always in the hands of its characters, and this video served as a great reminder that it was their stories that mattered. The rest of it was just so much window dressing.
4) "Lost University & Master's Program""
(from Seasons 5 & 6) - Originally conceived online, and made available as part of the Season Five set, "Lost University" is an interactive portal where super-fans can take their love of all things Lost beyond anything you can imagine ... unless maybe you're a Star Trek or Star Wars fanatic. The feature offers seminars taught by real education professionals, as well as the chance to explore all the ways this show can be analyzed from an intellectual and educational standpoint. The Season Six set brings home the "Master's Program," offering more in-depth studies into the program, like examining the use of books throughout the series narrative, the chance for fans to interact with and help other fans in these same "classes," and even the opportunity to write and post a "Master's Thesis" on a Lost-related topic. It's a pretty intensive interactive feature, only for the true die-hards, but it's probably one of the coolest ways to truly enhance your obsession.
3) "Mysteries of the Universe: The Dharma Initiative"
(from Season 5) - A supposed lost episode of the TV series "Mysteries of the Universe" exploring the Dharma Initiative. Like "The Oceanic Six: A Conspiracy of Lies," this video was produced as if it was a peripheral product from within the Lost universe. Filmed in the style of the 1960s, the special is hoping to figure out some of the secrets behind the Dharma Initiative, a little-known secret organization like the Freemasons. Again, because we've ultimately learned so much about what they were really doing, it's a fun opportunity to see how this organization tried to represent itself to the outside world, and how conspiracy theorists were able to spot cracks in the facade and attempt to exploit them. Extras that truly enhance the viewing experience are what make Season Sets worth the investment, and Lost certainly has plenty of those to offer.
2) "Course of the Future""
(from Season 4) - Season Four was a game-changer for the series, as it introduced for the first time the "Flash Forward." Throughout the season, we got vignettes of what was happening after the events we were seeing on the island. Only, those events were shown out of order, for dramatic effect. Requiring you to put a series of quick video shorts from the flash-forwards in their proper chronological order before you can even access the special feature, once you're there, you're treated to something special indeed. You can choose to watch the entirety of the flash-forwards in chronological order, so that the story makes more cohesive sense, or even follow the individual journeys of the characters. It's a fun and different way to look at those stories, as watching those stories in order brings the details together even sharper and fresher than ever before. I was hoping we'd get something similar for the flashbacks that comprised the first three seasons in the complete Blu-Ray set, but it wasn't to be. Hell, I even though it'd be fun to do a Chronological Lost and put the entire damned series (flashbacks, -forwards, -sideways and even time travel) in chronological order to see if it even makes any sense watching it that way. I bet the time travel bits would give us all headaches, but it would be fun!
1) "Crafting a Final Season""
(from Season 6) - I only wish this video were longer. It's a true rarity in television for a series to be allowed the opportunity to end on its own terms. Lost got it even better, knowing three years in advance when they would be able to wrap things up. This short brought in veteran TV creators like James Burrows (Cheers, Will & Grace) and Shawn Ryan (The Shield) who've had that opportunity, and talked with them about the significance of that as a creator. The Lost creative team talked about their own experiences closing in on the finale, from the writing team to the production crew, the actors and the creators, the video short acts as a true epilogue to the creation of this monumental television series. How appropriate and emotionally satisfying it must have been that one of the final moments of the season was one that featured so many of the cast members who've long since left the show, allowing for an even more heartfelt and complete goodbye to all the people who helped make this amazing journey one that we were able to enjoy so thoroughly for six seasons.
I truly believe that Lost is a one-of-a-kind phenomenon. A show like that should have probably never been a hit in this country, and we won't soon see its like again. The networks will try, but there was a magic in the genesis of this series, and it's a magic that can't be recreated. Luckily, for fans of the show, Lost: The Complete Collection offers us a way to enjoy not just the six seasons of greatness we did get (except for Nikki and Paulo), but to fully immerse ourselves in every aspect of the creation of such a groundbreaking achievement in television. For that, we say, "Namaste!"