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Series / Flight 29 Down

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Flight 29 Down (2005-2007) was a live-action television series, created by Stan Rogow and D. J. MacHale and broadcast by Discovery Kids as a Dramatic Half-Hour. In a nutshell, take the premise of Lost and replace the utterly screwed up main characters, the Mind Screws, and the Epileptic Trees with angsty teens, high school drama, and idealism cranked to eleven, and you basically have this show.

In other words, the Coral Island to Lost's Lord of the Flies.

Aired on Discovery Kids for two seasons before getting cancelled. A Made For TV Movie was made to tie up loose ends and to conclude the series. It also had a series of tie-in novels that delved deeper into the plot and characters.

The show provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The tie-in novels expand on the plot as well as characters' histories, personalities and relationships.
  • Arc Number: 29. The was called Flight 29 and the survivors were stuck on the island for 29 days.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: An aversion: at the camp, the girls do their best to stay presentable but still get grungy and dirty, and the beautiful Abby gets all muddy and bruised during her trek in search of the others in "Good Luck Abby."
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Daley and Nathan, a lot. Their competitive natures don't help, either.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • Several characters throughout the course of the series, and the trials show their effect on Lex as the series winds down in Season 2, and Daley is especially beaten up emotionally in the first part of the Hotel Tango.
    • Abby has this in "Good Luck Abby". After nearly starving and dying, she gives up her Granola Girl mindset and becomes much more cold and hardened.
  • Catchphrase: Taylor had "we're not gonna be here that long". That is, until reality sets in.
  • Confession Cam: Each kid gets a tape for the video camera to use as a sort of diary.
  • Covers Always Lie: The DVD covers show Daley with short hair. At no point in the series proper does Daley have short hair. She cuts it at the beginning of the movie.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Jackson is a former delinquent who was convicted of two crimes before going straight. After Melissa invited him on the trip, he bragged to his friends about it and they thought he was shoving it about how much "better" he was than them, causing a fight to breakout between them that resulted in one of them getting stabbed. Despite neither starting the fight or pulling the knife, Jackson fears that his presence there was enough to earn his "third strike" and that he'd be better off remaining stranded on the island.
  • Expy: Taylor seems to be modeled after Shannon from Lost, being a Pretty Freeloader with some smarter and softer moments. Like Shannon, Taylor initially assumes that rescue is imminent and suns herself on the beach rather than helping out.
  • The Heart: Melissa. She's also the most caring person in the group and have saved several people's lives (including Eric, resident Jerkass) several times over.
  • Heroic BSoD: Taylor spends the bulk of the first episode of season 2 just sitting there after discovering their camp destroyed.
  • Hero of Another Story: Captain Russell's group that went into the jungle seemingly had their own harsh experiences that were comparable to the beach group.
  • Hidden Depths: Over the course of the series, many characters show depths the others didn't expect to find. "Troubled" Jackson proves to be a fine leader who guides the group throughout much of season one since he leads by serving, Taylor shows her Genius Ditz side and grows beyond her selfishness, Melissa proves competent in a crisis (and she is one of the softer characters), Lex functions as kind of a little brother to Jackson and provides the group with designs to keep them going, Nathan keeps up everyone's spirit and grows beyond his insecurities relating to his competition with Daley, and even Eric proves to be a dependable friend in a crisis.
  • Hope Spot: In the Season One finale, Lex and Nathan manage to use the satellite radio to contact help. Unfortunately, the response comes during a dangerous monsoon that washes away the radio, the plane and most of the group's equipment.
  • Jerkass: Eric is pretty much Jerkass incarnate!
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Eric - sometimes. He does have a heart under his assholeness.
  • Just Eat Gilligan: Eric is even worse than the second mate of the ''Minnow''. His constant screw ups and trouble making make you wonder why he's ever given any type of say or significant responsibility within the group. This reaches a head when Eric accidentally breaks the group's only lighter in a scheme to get out of doing work and the rest of the group all but wash their hands of him until he manages to redeem himself.
  • Just in Time: In the finale, a rescue vessel spots the survivors and takes them off the island just minutes before a devastating hurricane hits the island.
  • Last-Name Basis: Jackson It is revealed that his first name is Cody.
  • Left Hanging: We never find out if Jackson avoided unfairly getting his third strike after the survivors were rescued.
  • Love Triangle: Melissa likes Jackson, Jackson appears to likes Taylor, Taylor likes Jackson. Melissa and Jackson are implied to end up together in the The Movie though.
  • Mood Whiplash: The episode "Good Luck Abby" which switches from Abby's trials in search of the others to the more lighthearted group at camp to brutal levels.
  • The Movie: The made for TV movie that ended the series, called The Hotel Tango.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Daley has this reaction when Jackson, of all people, makes her realize that she's forgotten her little brother's birthday.
  • Never My Fault:
    • Taylor attempted this when she damaged the Solar panel that provided them power, but she then stops and admits she's at fault.
    • Upon her second return to the beach group, Abby is angry over the fact that they've managed to making survival "a piece of cake", thinking they're not taking being stranded seriously and that her near death in the jungle is an example of how horrible everything can go. She doesn't acknowledge the fact that the only reason she suffered as she did was because she chose to go back into the jungle alone against the wishes of the others to search for the missing members of her group.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Genius Ditz Taylor wears pink a good deal of the time and is the girliest of the main cast.
  • Plot Allergy: One episode featured Eric getting very lethargic and eventually collapsing. Up until the collapse, everyone thought he was just being his normal self. It turns out that he's allergic to the oysters the group had collected and eaten earlier in the episode and Melissa barely manages to dose him with an epi-pen in time.
  • Punny Name: "Abby Normal" = Abnormal, which is how Abby behaves when she returns to the group in her first eponymous focus episode.
  • Put on the Bus: Captain Russell and the group that goes searching for help in the jungle. None of them but Abby makes any significant appearance in the show until the finale.
  • Sanity Slippage: Captain Russell in the finale movie. A head injury he suffers causes him to become irrationally obsessed over a boat his group found, believing it to be their only hope of escape and rescue from the island. After Eric accidentally sets fire to the boat, Russell attempts to get revenge by torching the beach camp. Luckily, the teens manage to stop him and his sanity returns when the rescue plane arrives.
  • Ship Tease: Of the three main core couples, Jackson/Melissa, Nathan/Daley and Eric/Taylor. Taylor having moments with Jackson at times leads to ship warring, since it's pretty clear to everyone that Jackson/Melissa and Nathan/Daley are endgame but the writers can't resist the teases.
  • Tagalong Kid: Lex is a zig-zagging example. He's much younger than everyone else and is the younger brother of a major character but is highly intelligent and very useful.
  • Take a Third Option: When the kids try to decide whether the leader should be Daley or Nathan, Jackson wins.
  • Took a Level in Badass/Took a Level in Jerkass: Abby, after getting separated from her group, getting severely injured and nearly dying. She abandons her formerlypeaceful demeanor and becomes a hardened survivalist. She also becomes bitter and resentful towards beach group for them being able to survive comfortably, believing that they should be living as if everything could go wrong at any moment.
  • True Companions: "Club 29 Down." They'll bicker and fight, but they would and do risk their lives for each other.
  • UST: A pervasive element in any of Jackson and Melissa's interactions with each other. Adding Jackson's UST with Taylor into the mix only makes things worse at times.
  • Will They or Won't They?: During the beginning of the second season, Nathan and Daley are hit with this as the show keeps interrupting him trying to talk to her about his feelings. Also, Melissa/Jackson could fit this trope, since it's not until the show's ending that it's implied they end up together.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Lex is the group's youngest member and has a notably large amount of knowledge about science, history, agriculture and construction.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Corbin Bleu, who starred in High School Musical while filming the series, is the cast member most prominently featured on the DVD covers.