diamond geezer

 Saturday, October 21, 2006

Lost lost

I've been watching, and enjoying, the TV series Lost for a couple of years now. Which is unusual, because it's exceptionally rare that any American drama takes my fancy. I really couldn't give a toss about Friends, or the West Wing, or ER, or any of the other transatlantic shows that people rave over. But Lost I like. So I've invested 48 hours of my life watching the first two series on Channel 4, and I was planning on spending another 48 enjoying the final two series. But no. The third and fourth series have been bought by Sky, and therefore won't be available on terrestrial television. I've lost Lost.

Imported TV series are always at risk of channel-switching, sold off to the highest bidder. Sky paid £20m for Lost, which is just over £400K per episode, so they must think it's worth the effort. But as soon as Lost moves to Sky its audience will tumble. About 2 million people were watching on Channel 4, whereas on Sky One they'll be lucky if half a million viewers tune in. Overnight the show will drop off the cultural radar, becoming the series nobody's talking about (rather like 24 a couple of years back). The real loser is the casual viewer, forced to make alternative viewing arrangements if they want to follow their favourite show to its new home. And I can't be bothered. Here's why.

Option 1: subscribe to Sky TV for two years
But Sky TV is crap. Sure there are some gems tucked away in amongst the dross, but they're vastly outnumbered. I really don't want to pay for twelve channels of pet makeover shows, 20 channels of bare-chested bingo and fifty channels of back-to-back R&B videos, just so that I can watch an hour of Lost a week. Even Sky's cheapest package comes in at £15 a month, and that's for only one-third of the channels, no sport and no blockbuster movies. An ordinary TV licence works out almost £100 cheaper.
Cost: £15 a month × 12 months × 2 years = £360

Option 2: buy the next two series of Lost on DVD
But DVDs aren't the same as watching television. Sure you get to watch every episode without annoying commercial breaks, but you also lose all sense of occasion. I much prefer a steady drip of episodes, one a week, to a six hour splurge of box-set DVD-ing on a sofa-bound Sunday afternoon. And once I control when to watch, there's no chance of discussing the show with anyone else, because they won't be at the same point in the story as me. And have you seen the price of DVD box-sets? Ouch! Series 1 and 2 of Lost retail at £59.99 each, unless you shop around, and quite frankly no single TV programme is worth that kind of outlay. An ordinary TV licence works out only £12 more expensive.
Cost: £59.99 (series 3) + £59.99 (series 4) = £119.98

Option 3: watch Lost via BitTorrent
Many UK Lost fans have already watched the first three episodes of the third series of Lost, even though these have so far only been screened in the US. There are pirate copies swanning round the internet, available for download weeks before Sky get round to showing them, and they're free. Hurrah. But the picture isn't as good as you get on a real TV screen, is it? And this sort of copyright-theft file-sharing is illegal too, as every upstanding citizen knows, so obviously I wouldn't even consider doing it.
Cost: nothing but your conscience

Option 4: read episode-by-episode transcripts online
Oh now that's useful. A full script of each and every episode, line by line, immediately after it airs in the US. You don't get the dark brooding atmosphere of the TV show, but you do get all the twists and turns of the plot. In fact, having just read through the opening transcripts of series three, I now know everything that happens in the first episodes I won't be able to see. So, no point in watching them now, problem solved. Sorry Sky, you'll be Lost without me.
Cost: I think I just saved 47 hours of my life!


<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>


click to return to the main page


...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream