Graham Kibble-White looks at the programme destined to be the next big thing
A man wakes up on a beach. As he blearily comes to his senses, he grows aware of a great deal of noise and confusion.
Just yards away, people are crying out in pain and fear.
Getting to his feet he's greeted with a horrific sight - the wreckage of a passenger plane and the injured survivors desperately trying to pull themselves away from the carnage.
This is the opening sequence to Channel 4's latest US import, Lost.
A tense and highly addictive drama, it tells the tale of 48 people castaway on a remote Pacific island following a terrifying plane crash.
Although it's already picked up rave reviews in the States where it debuted last year, the show got off to a rocky start.
When co-creator JJ Abrams (the man behind Jennifer Garner's spy show Alias) was invited by US TV network boss Lloyd Braun to contribute to the project, he was initially unimpressed.
"I didn't like the premise - I mean, the idea of a plane crash and people who land on an island wasn't very interesting to me," he commented.
However, as he sunk his teeth into it, his opinion was gradually swayed and, together with Damon Lindelof (the creator of medical drama Crossing Jordan), he crafted an action-packed series.
The pilot episode was the most expensive ever made in the history of television, clocking in at over five million dollars.
It cost 250,000 dollars alone just to ship the wrecked plane pieces out to Hawaii.
Drawing an impressive 18.65 million viewers on its first night, the series has since gone on to repay that initial investment.
It took a sizeable chunk out of American Idol's audience (which it was scheduled up against in the US) and picked up nominations for 12 Emmy awards.
* Lost is on Channel 4 from Wednesday.