Thursday, 17 September 2009

Television Review: Llost

Now that popular American cop drama Law and Order has an English spin-off, it seems that the time has come for more UK versions of US shows. Plans are already underway for CSI: Bromsgrove and Las Vegas: Blackpool Edition; producers hope that they will fare better than Jodrell Bank – Above and Beyond, which was cancelled after one episode in the 1990s.

The BBC’s most eagerly awaited new American inspiration is Llost. Based on a popular US show, Llost opens with a man waking up to find that he has been a victim in an airplane crash, and that he is stranded on a small island off the coast of Wales.

While the island is no more than a rock in the middle of the sea, barely a square mile in area, there is more to it than meets the eye. For example, in the first episode our intrepid hero espies a clan of mysterious creatures. What could they be, with their oddly shaped multicoloured faces and weird ways of walking? Upon closer inspection we discover that they are puffins.

A puffin, for those who have never seen one before.

Another feature of this island of the damned is a strange large black cloud that looms over it for much of the series, adding to a sense of dread and foreboding. Our hero agonises over the meaning and intentions of the mysterious entity for some time, and the mystery is not solved until episode seven when it is revealed that the cloud is full of rain.

Throughout the show we are treated to flashbacks of the man’s life, when we see all sorts of coincidental things related to Wales and islands. In one flashback, he buys a CD by Tom Jones. In another, we see him consider a Hawaiian holiday. The only exception to this trend is episode nine, which contains flashbacks from one of the puffins. To be honest, this is one of the weaker episodes.

I won’t reveal all of the secrets to the show here, but suffice to say that for each question that is answered, many more are asked. Like, what is all that brown foamy stuff that washes up on the rocks each day? Does the island exist outside the normal laws of time or does it just feel like that because the days are so boring? And, is it possible to eat rocks?

Llost is certainly a show with promise. Whether it will match the success of the American original remains to be seen, but the episodes I have seen are full of ennui, despair and existential suffering: just what the UK television audience expects from its drama series. Indeed, an episode of Llost is nearly as depressing as a half-hour of Coronation Street or Eastenders.

Llost, every Tuesday at teatime. For more information on Wales and Welsh Islands, please visit the Welsh Tourism Hut, or see their website at If you interested in puffins, or would like to adopt or befriend a puffin, the police would like to hear from you.


Anonymous said...

Hahahaha. Llost! The Welsh Lost. That killed me. Or in Welsh Cwygwllyghggllowcwlgahad.

I'm watching only for the puffins. And for a cameo by Thomas the Tank Engine.

BeckEye said...

What the heck is a puffin? Why can't you people speak English?

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

Veggie Ass: Ooh, and the Fat Controller too?

Beckeye: And here I was thinking you were into ornithology. I've added a picture for you.

Red said...

Puffins are so cute!

This show sounds terrible, but seeing as it's from the BBC, I'd totally watch it anyway.

Some Guy said...

I can tell I'm going to llove it!

BeckEye said...

OH...MY...GOD. That thing is ADORABLE.

Cwybrow said...

Can I have a puffin?

Cooper Green said...

My wife and I were driving to Cape Breton on the Canso Causeway some years ago when she mentioned that what she'd like to see most of all was a puffin (we don't see them on the west coast). Meantime, right beside us were the remnants of an old pier, just a series of posts sticking out of the water. Each post had a puffin perched on top. She expected them to be much larger than they are. In Wales, by the way, they're called pllychpwpwllins.

Soda and Candy said...

I call shenans, that bird is totally made up.
There's no way something that ridiculously cute is real.

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

Red: Puffins are ace and they can kill a man from 40 paces.

Some Guy: I see what you lldid there!

Beckeye: See?

omchelsea: Yes. Yes you can. Talk to that guy who lives under the overpass.

CG: They're a lot tinier when they're far away.

S&C: Okay, I just took a penguin into Photoshop and fixed it. Happy now?