Of all the numerous reality game shows that enveloped British TV in the wake of Big Brother, Lost was one of the least publicised, low key, and most entertaining. The premise was ultra-simple. Three pairs of contestants were abandoned, blindfolded, somewhere in the world armed only with a meagre amount of possessions and a limited ration of local currency. They'd no idea where they'd been taken, and were deliberately deposited in as desolate, inhospitable and lonely environment as possible. They then had to get back to London as quickly as possible, and the first team home won a bottle of champagne - plus the chance to do it all again next week.
Various elements combined to make the participants' respective journeys hugely enjoyable television. There was our sometimes gruesomely intimate insight into the relationships between team members, as they worked with but often against each other and squabbled constantly over how to make progress. The isolation aspect was intensely tangible. Aside from just one solitary cameraman - who themselves often became part of the drama - each pair were utterly alone, and you really felt it. Then there was the fact it was a desperately tense race against time. For every nonchalant easy-going contestant there was another absolutely determined to win at all costs. Finally Lost showcased a hilariously haphazard style of globetrotting, involving chaotic hitching and hiking across whole continents to the utter bemusement of their inhabitants. A potent mix of fly-on-the-wall showmanship and epic adventure, Lost was an exceptional show unfairly tucked away late at night that always managed to impress and excite.
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