My fascination: Daniel & Desmond – part one.

Before it aired, I knew very little about what the show would be about. The trailer on Channel 4, whilst stunning, gave virtually nothing away. It simply showed the characters dancing on the beach, in front of the wreckage of a plane, stating that, “all of us are guilty, all of us are lost.” And so, on Wednesday the 10th of August 2005, I sat down to watch the most expensive pilot ever made.

The following day at work The Bear stated that it was “a bit good,” and that was then all we talked about for the rest of the day. In fact, that was all we did every day that followed each and every new episode for the rest of the first season. As the story built, and built, our joint interest intensified. When it came to the season finale, I can remember us texting each other despite the fact that I did not want to miss a second of it. Why did those people snatch Walt from the raft? Did that big bird just say something? How on earth did The Black Rock end up so far inland? What on earth was that thing made of smoke that tried to drag Locke underground? And, more importantly, just what was beneath The Hatch? Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait too long to find out – as the second season aired in the UK very quickly after the first – but I don’t think that either of us expected it to be a Glaswegian called Desmond.

The second season seemed to run at a far slower pace than the first season had built to, but the one thing that prevented my interest from waining was Desmond; A man, that for the previous three years had found himself in a scientific research station called The Swan, who had to push a button every 108 minutes to help control the pocket of electromagnetic energy that the station was built on top of. The season finished with the button not being pushed, and everything that was made of metal flying toward an area of the station that had been concreted over, left with no choice Desmond turned The Failsafe Key and there was a great flash of light.

When Lost returned for the third season it appeared to have completely lost it’s way, and The Bear as a regular viewer, it seemed disjointed and appeared to be treading water. All that was left of The Swan station was a crater, and a passing comment that it had imploded, it’s three occupants however were all still alive. As the season continued it appeared that what happened to The Swan was going to remain unexplained, and as to how Desmond had escaped the implosion and been found wandering naked through the jungle. But then came the eighth episode, Flashes Before Your Eyes, where we treated to the greatest episode of the entire series so far. In a drunken confrontation with Charlie, Desmond explained what had happened to him when he turned The Failsafe Key…

At first, it appeared that what we were watching was a flashback. Except it hadn’t been proceeded by the usual flashback noise, and Desmond didn’t seem to know what was going on. He also appeared to have a memory of being on The Island, despite the fact that  that hadn’t happened yet. It was, without doubt, extraordinary. What Desmond was experiencing was Conscious Time-Travel, just like Dr. Sam Beckett. Except, unlike Sam, he was doing it within his own timeline. He was experiencing his own life in the wrong order. In this… Leap, I suppose, he encountered Eloise Hawking who appeared to know what he was experiencing. She explained that he cannot change the future, and, if he tried, the universe will course-correct. And it’s with that, despite not realizing it at the the time, that the rules by which time-travel would adhere to in Lost were explained. Shortly afterwards Desmond is hit round the head with a cricket bat and finds himself naked in the jungle, exactly where we first found him after The Swan implosion. From then on in the series appeared to find it’s feet. The clumsily introduced new characters were quickly killed off, the writers negotiated an end date for the series, and the season finished with a flashforward; showing some of the characters having finally escaped from The Island.

In spite of my best efforts to explain Flashes Before Your Eyes to him, it was this episode that got The Bear back on board. But it was only after I watched The Constant, in season four, that I managed to make my description of Flashes’ make sense…

To be continued…

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6 thoughts on “My fascination: Daniel & Desmond – part one.

Add yours

  1. Maria recently suggested watching through Lost. At first, I was horrified, and considered faking my own death to avoid it. But your little summary kindles a little bit more interest, bar the fact that I *know* season 3 and 4 are mainly filler…

    I’m still not sure…

  2. Those Desmond episodes made all of the interim dross worthwhile. There was some fantastic television in them!

    1. Daniel’s episodes were also good, as was Richard’s. So too were Locke’s and Ben’s.
      I’ve got more coming on the Desmond and Daniel front soon…

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