Quest for plot twists loses space and time
And on it goes: The stars of the Seven network’s ongoing saga LIKE patriotism, time travel is the last refuge of the scoundrel. When Lost , the continuing saga of the survivors of a plane crash trapped on a mysterious tropical island, re-emerged for a fifth season on our screens last week, it began with a flashback. Just for a change. But instead of the usual character-building exercise, this time it was to those bounders at the Dharma Initiative who created the technological shenanigans of the island in the first place.
Fans, those hardy, enduring souls who have not withered in the face of possibly the most stretched, most preposterous, most manipulative television program in history, will recall Hurley ( Jorge Garcia) jump-starting a Dharma Kombi van that had been rusting in a paddock for decades. The Kombi screamed down the rise, started miraculously, and Hurley and his passenger, the now deceased Charlie ( Dominic Monaghan), whooped and hollered and tootled about, joyful as Noddy and Big Ears.
It’s refreshing to see the Kombi immaculate again. Not so refreshing is the man from the Dharma Initiative training videos. He has been rehashed to tell us, straight-faced: ‘‘ This station is being built here because of its proximity to what we believe to be an almost limitless energy.
‘‘ Once we can harness it correctly, it will allow us to manipulate time.’’
Right. There have been temporal paradoxes in Lost before. ( Who could forget Desmond’s antics on the freighter?)
And, near the end of the last season, we saw enigmatic villain Ben ( Michael Emerson) laboriously turn ‘‘ the wheel’’ in an effort to move the island, while some of our beloved heroes were escaping on a helicopter. As they watched, it disappeared.
Yes, Ben moved the freaking island. What we didn’t know is that he moved it in time as well as in space.
, pictured in more comfortable surrounds
And now we know why. It allows all sorts of plot paradoxes. Tonight the longstanding camp on the beach just disappears. ‘‘ It hasn’t been built yet,’’ offers newish temporal expert Dan Faraday ( Jeremy Davies), who receives a well-deserved and extremely satisfying thump in the face from the ever volatile Sawyer ( Josh Holloway) for his troubles.
When you mess with time, you can raise the dead, undo the past and fix the future. Still, those who are off the island must come back, or everybody dies. How, when, and where they enter an island in motion through time and space is not exactly clear.
Lost still has great characters and a growing sense of humour about itself.
But when the island jumped, many will have seen a shark circling beneath it in the crystal-clear Hawaiian waters.
In the debut episode of the third series of this English adventure program, presenter Bruce Parry, pictured, has come to the heart of the Amazonian rainforest to live among the Matis, a tribe that remained uncontacted until the 1970s when loggers moved on to their land. While this first contact was a bonanza for anthropologists, and presumably for the loggers, it didn’t work out so well for the Matis, who were all but wiped out by Western diseases. Parry will try to live as a Matis. He will have nettles rubbed into his skin, have tree sap dropped into his eyes, eat frog toxins and shoot a spider monkey right out of a tree for dinner. The question is: why? In Showcase’s , vampires are coming out of the coffin. Over on ABC2, chimps are coming out of the shadows. Chimpanzees share 99 per cent of our DNA, and are closer to us in their genetic make-up than to gorillas. They have been treated poorly, bought and sold, trained for the circus, made to wear silly costumes and otherwise stripped of their natural dignity. Now they are fighting back. Chimp rights, now!