It combines elements of The Prisoner, The Twilight Zone, and Forbidden Planet with the philosophy of It's a Wonderful Life - that we're all intrinsically intertwined, affecting each other in ways we'll never know. And it continues to chart new TV territory in an extremely addictive way, taking the mystery in unpredictable directions. It's LOST, and the 23 episodes of Season 2 (Touchstone; Series ••••, Picture/Sound ••••, Extras ••••) are technically masterful.

The 1.78:1 widescreen picture is incredibly bright and crisp. Contrast is excellent, with rich, natural colors. The Pacific Ocean - a range of greens that keeps getting darker until there's a band of deep blue in the distance - looks more real than I've ever seen it on video. Images are sharp and detailed, revealing textures of faces that give them a roundness. Sound is just as good, with very active surround channels immersing you in the atmosphere of the island. Voices, music, and effects come at you from all corners, with convincing jet flyovers and vehicle pannings in flashbacks.

Assorted directors, producers, writers, and cast members provide the five commentaries that concentrate on the characters and the story in a relaxed, easy-to-listen-to manner. The seven-DVD set includes a full disc of excellent extras, presented in the spirit of the show as a scientific investigation. Prime are 90 minutes of crammed behind-the-scenes documentaries covering location shooting, the creation of an episode from writing to postproduction, and the building of the hatch set. There are also featurettes on Sawyerisms and various theories about the mystery. A piece on chance encounters segues into a cool interactive game, where you get to see clips of the characters' path-crossings before they were marooned on the island. Can't wait for Set 3.

For more on Lost, check back soon for interviews with Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof (http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/lost) amd Dominic Monaghan (http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/dom).

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