Doc Jensen's recommended viewing list shows the past is prologue. Plus: Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse kick it with the Doc, results to be shared at an event this week in New York, and the Doc's first big theory of 2009
Lost, Matthew Fox
Credit: Mario Perez/ABC

The wait is almost over. The start of Lost‘s fifth and penultimate season — Jan. 21, 2009, at 9 p.m., to be very exact about it — is days away. Although in some ways, it feels like the show is already here, as the buzz machine is cranked to high. We’ve got revealing Lost teaser videos, a new alternate reality experience, and an increasing number of early reviews of the premiere everywhere. Check out these multiple blasts of enthusiasm from fellow Lost obsessive Doc Arzt, a.k.a. Jon Lachonis, co-author of Lost Ate My Life. I think the title of Doc’s book also pretty much sums up his passionate, heady assessment.

The heraldic trumpeting will grow louder this week. On Jan. 16, exec producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof will hold court with journalists at the annual mid-season press tour. The very next day — Saturday, Jan. 17, from 2-6 p.m. — The Paley Center for Media in New York City will host a sneak peek of the season premiere as part of its month-long salute to Lost, co-sponsored by a certain publication whose initials, when pronounced, make the sound you might have made when you saw the scene in Borat where Sacha Baron Cohen got his face all jammed up in that large hairy naked guy’s flabby ass crack. And via the magic of pre-recorded video, yours truly will conduct an interview with Messrs. Lindelof and Cuse, noteworthy for their revealing insight and my painful awkwardness. (I hope to God my laaaaaame attempt at mimicking Michael’s famous ”WAAAALT!” cry doesn’t make the final cut.) Kinda makes you mad that it’s only for those New York people, doesn’t it? Well, maybe we can make it up to you some way. Stay tuned.

What you need to know for what’s to come

You may or may not know that I have seen the first two episodes of Lost‘s fifth season. I don’t do early reviews, but I will say this: For hardcore fans — and if you’re of the mad mind to be reading this column, my hunch is that you qualify — the two-part premiere event will reward your toe-tapping anticipation with bunches of capture-your-imagination, theory-inspiring (and theory-narrowing) developments. The cat is out of the bag: This season is about time travel — explicitly, unapologetically, sometimes dauntingly, altogether pretty ingeniously. To further prep for the quantum leaping and fragmented fun to come, I thought I would devote my first Doc Jensen column of the season to recommending the following past episodes for review.

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