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Quick Thoughts on The Lost Room

[Updated on 12/20/06 by JP]

I finally got a chance to see The Lost Room this week (go, go gadget DVR!) and I wanted to jot down my thoughts before I forget about it entirely.

SHORT VERSION:

I loved it. It wasn’t perfect, but it was intriguing, fun to watch and I wouldn’t mind seeing more. It’s hard not to play “What’s your favorite object?” with others. (Besides the key, mine would be the quarter. Or the comb. Or the glass eye. Or — Argh! There are lots of cool ones!)

LONGER VERSION: (**** SPOILER WARNING!!! ****)


Like I said there were issues, mostly in the last half-hour. Here’s a quick rundown of my impressions:

  • The force behind the room is never explained. “Some supernatural force” is not enough of an explanation. I want to know why it’s happening. I was expecting something like The Shining where some long-forgotten heinous crime was committed and the universe is trying to set things right, but nope. Nada.
  • I like the idea of the prophet, but when the cop’s gun failed to work in the presence of the glasses, why wouldn’t the cop, oh I don’t know, tackle the guy? She tried shooting the gun and then gave up completely? Lame!
  • I liked the character of Bus Ticket Wally.
  • I also liked the way they used the objects, like when Joe Miller used the key to travel, or when he used it to find Wally by hanging around outside “Hell”.
  • People parted with objects too quickly — not just room objects either. In the last scenes, Miller asks the Weasel for his car. The Weasel says he wants to go because he has nothing left. Miller asks again. Weasel says OK. Huh? I understand the writers didn’t want to deal with Weasel in the final Motel room scene, but surely Weasel , who had already exhibited desperation for getting the objects, would have had a little more cajones?
  • Now that Joe Miller is an object, will he experience the same “noise” that the former person-object (I forget his name) had?

Even with these problems, I still thought it was very enjoyable. The vague, open-ended final scenes, while a little disappointing for the mini-series, is a nice launch point for a weekly series. AlthoughI am reminded of the old Friday the 13th: The Series show where there was some supernatural antique artifact to be dealt with every week. That wouldn’t be so bad, would it?

[Update begins here — Ed.]

I’ll agree with John that The Lost Room was an enjoyable series, rising above most of the SciFi Original fare that is shown. Sure, it has some problems, but it was still fun. I’ll steal John’s template and list my impressions:

  • The biggest issue for me was Peter Krause who played Dt. John Miller. I was under the impression that an actor must actually, you know, act. He must of gone to the Keeanu Reeves ‘School Of Acting With One Facial Expression’. Krause replaces Reeves’ ‘Woodenly Sullen’ with ‘Self-satisfied Smirk’. He always had that little smile on his face when he interacted with others, as if he knew more than the other characters did. Annoying. Yes, yes. Near the end he did get to break down and almost cry over his daughter, but I chalk the red eyes up to the buckets of pool water he tossed in his face to make his eyes water.
  • Where do they go from here with Miller? He’s replaced The Occupant which leaves no one ‘alive’ who knows what happened to cause the incident in 1961. They’ve effectively cut off any inquiry into the cause or motivations behind the incident. I’m assuming, if they go for a weekly series, they’ll have to spin their way out of this.<.li>
  • If The Lost Room is going to be classed as a SF series, they’ll need to do more explaining about the room and the incident. Chalking it up to some ‘supernatural’ event takes the show out of SF and places it into either the horror or fantasy genres. This is why I’m not sure I’d watch a series of The Lost Room, because I don’t see them explaining, ever, the root cause of the show, and I’m not sure how long a weekly ‘hunt the object’ show will stay interesting.
  • Still, as a one-off series, it was fun. It even got my wife interested to some degree which is saying something since she doesn’t typically get into the shows I like. And its all the more amazing this show was made considering what’s coming up on SciFi this weekend, Magma: Volcanic Disaster! Oh noes!

About John DeNardo (13014 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

3 Comments on Quick Thoughts on The Lost Room

  1. LOL @ Keeanu Reeves School Of Acting. I didn’t really notice that but now that you mention it…. yeah. He wasn’t all that bad though.

  2. Kush IX Lives // June 13, 2013 at 5:49 am //

    I agree with what has been said here in some respects, yes John Miller was a bit dry, but as far as explanations go I think we got what we needed. Look at lost for instance, the island was magic, we weren’t told why things happened just that it “what the island wanted”. Whatever the “event” was that caused the room and objects to posses the abilities they do I don’t feel needs to be explained. ‘Something’ happened and we know it may have had something to do with Eddy (the occupant) or he may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Also we see the motel room 10 in the desert with Gruber when he loses the photo for a few seconds, so we know the room still has a physical tether to the earth.

    Anyway just thought I’d share, literally just finished watching it for the first time, thought it was really good, a shame a full tv series was never picked up from it but according to Wikipedia there are a series of comics that follow the events of the mini series so will be checking those out next, maybe that’s where answers lay?

  3. 1. Why doesn’t Miller carry around a mini door everywhere?
    2. He is doomed when he locks the key in the room. Best to swallow it, collect objects and return them to the room. The objects would drive him insane.

    3. How awesome would it be if you started spreading false data? Like when someone uses weasels pen or the comb he explains why time didn’t stop for him or he didn’t get zapped because he is “the bearer of the key” >:)

    4. The human race would eventually become Millers (assuming he has the desire for sex still and can procreate). His same genome would eventually become dominant. Just when they thought the last Miller gene was wiped out, it crops up again with a new birth. Eventually it will spread and conquer all other genes. Its probably why Homo Sapiens wiped out Neanderthals 🙂

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