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Ashana Lian's Fantasy Lab

Fantasy and Fantasy Writing from every angle: fantasy and sci-fi novels, films, artwork, superhero cartoons, children's and YA books, manga, anime, video games and comics. Put the microscope on 'Geek Culture'.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

TV Show: The Lost Room

Image: geekshizzle

Ever since I saw this years ago, I haven't been able to get it out of my head. It is further proof that many of the best fantasy plots are short, and actually have an ending in sight. Plus, the original motives of the story aren't diluted by sequels, spin-offs, endless episodes, yada yada yada.

Brief summary. This is about Detective Joe Miller, who ends up on a case where he discovers a key that opens any door. Once opened, it leads to a golden, mysterious room, and once inside, exiting the room can take you to any place you want to go in the world. His daughter ends up playing with the key and shows him that the room resets itself whenever the door is shut - they put toys in, next time the door is opened it disappears. However this is only one of a vast number of objects that was have unusual, unpredictable abilities, and the more you use one, the more it draws the others to closer. Sadly, during the case, one of the men after the key put his daughter inside the room without it, and it resets with her inside. The rest of the tale is driven story of a quest to find his daughter and OH MY WORD the mythology is so amazing brilliant.

So, it was out in 2006... so I was in Year Nine...? I believe this was around the time of Heroes, which I also loved back then, but what makes this series so special is how clever and intriguing it is, how seemingly unrelated instances actually link together. Magical objects - done before. But the abilities given to the objects are highly creative, in my opinion. There's the added fact that the objects attract each other, and putting objects together allow new things to happen - one example given in the series is when you put the watch and the knife together, you get a telepathy. Additionally, they all came from the same room that you can get to using the key, and the circumstances regarding that room are... well, I suppose Highly Unusual would be an understatement.

The haunting music is lovely, though the refrain isn't as awesome as the one for Fringe.

I liked the involvement of the different groups trying to get their hands on all of the objects, for different reasons - also known as Cabals. The Collectors were the original group, and after them came the Legion, trying to destroy them to prevent harm to innocents, and The Order Of The Reunification (exaggerated, much?!), who believe the object are pieces of God and once put together will allow communication. I liked the varying motives and the desperation each cabal has for their own personal reasons.

You know who's awesome? Suzie Kang. She tracks the items but never comes into contact with them, and doesn't look twice at you if you can't pay for it. Awesome addition to the show.

Now I want to say a few spoilery things.

One thing that I always loved about the show was the twist of Joe being stuck in the vault and using Wally's ticket to get out. It's obvious once you've seen it, but when I watched it for the first time I remember being bowled over. So clever. I also liked the process of actually getting into the vault, using the secret code that The Collectors had left. The scene with the Occupant was quick and effortless, and I expected the conversation to go differently than it did. It's the only bit that I could say was a little disappointing.

I couldn't help feeling annoyed by Joe and Jennifer's sudden, unpredictable switch from I Can't Trust You into a relationship. It doesn't make any sense at all. No chemistry, no logic, no reason at all why there had to be romance. Dude, the show was going fine. But hey, at least the show wasn't riddled with holes. In all honesty, I suppose there weren't enough episodes to allow that to happen.

My favourite character was Wally, mainly because he was funny but also because he was clever and seemed very well aware of the ins and outs of this dangerous game. My favourite object was the Glass Eye, which disintegrates matter; the quarter, which... materialises memories of people dead or living, I suppose; and the key, which of course is the jewel of the whole show.

There's one thing that's a bit bizarre, though - why this is called a 'Science fiction' show. You have a bunch of objects that can do thing unexplained by physics, or biology, or even chemistry - that's not science fiction. That's fantasy. Unless, of course we are going with the theory mentioned at the beginning, about The Event that happened in the room in 1961 being a small breakdown in a pocket of the universe, where the laws of physics go haywire. But that is a theory, it isn't proven. I think this should a called science fantasy, because not enough is explained to make it SF, but just enough to not completely discount it. It sits on the hedge. I mean fence. Meh, it's all Spec Fic.

Oh... I suppose when we get to the alternate dimension part, at the end, I see why it's called science fiction.

Image: Wikipedia

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