Friday, August 04, 2017

Lost in Oz, Episode 1: Go Forth

At long last, the complete first series of Lost in Oz is out. This has been a long time coming, as I think the pilot went up a couple of years ago now. It got such positive reviews that it went to series, and the complete series of thirteen episodes dropped today. To tide things over during the long wait, an Extended Adventure (basically the first three episodes edited together into a movie) came out last year, which won three Emmy Awards, so this show has a lot to live up to. As I did with Emerald City, I plan to watch and react to every episode. Unlike Emerald City, I can do this every day, or two or three times if I get bored and/or ambitious.

This was not my first time watching the pilot episode (now titled "Go Forth"), but it's been a while. This time, I stopped and paused it a handful of times at the little in jokes for fans of the books. But I'm getting ahead of myself here. Dorothy Gale is a spunky, impulsive kid in modern day Kansas. One day, late for school, she and her dog, Toto, find a magic notebook that tells her to say, "Go forth." Bad idea, as it whips up a magic green tornado! In a panic, Dorothy calls her mom, Evelyn, who gives her instructions on how to get home. (Wait, Evelyn has been to Oz?) When Evelyn gets home, she finds a crystal ball and calls Oz for help.

When she gets to Oz, Dorothy meets up with some strange creatures in the surprisingly technologically advanced Emerald City (think something out of The Jetsons, Futurama, or Tomorrowland, only even busier and more colorful), but West, an aspiring witch whose mother knows Dorothy's mother, finds her and shows her the ropes. At Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkle Emmanuel Ambrose Diggs Middle School (hone of the Fighting Growleywogs!), they also run into Ojo, a big-for-his-size Munchkin. There, Dorothy learns about the shortage of magic in Oz and the elements of the periodic table of magic she needs to find to get home. Back at West's place, they examine a box given to them by a patchwork doll, and discover that it contains ozonium, the rarest of all the magical elements. But someone is after it, and flying monkeys kidnap West. Dorothy uses the one grain of ozonium she was able to hold onto to bring to life the Lookout, the Emerald City's guardian, who leads them to the thief. West, who still seems to be deciding what kind of witch she is going to be, almost joins our antagonist, but changes her mind, only so that she and Ojo can have their magic stolen and be turned into statues. Ah, but Dorothy has a trick up her sleeve and manages to save the day. In the process, however, all of the ozonium gets used up, so Dorothy is lost in Oz. But she and West decide to find Glinda for help.

This is really a fun show, and I am really looking forward to watching the rest of the series now. It definitely has the spirit of the Oz books, and any of the characters (the list of episode titles has some really interesting hints of what's to come), but with a modern sensibility that I think many people, especially the kids this is aimed at, will find appealing. I'm looking forward to what's going to happen next!

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