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LOST
LostLogo
Name LOST
Genre Drama, Adventure, Mystery,
Thriller, Science Fiction
Created by Jeffrey Lieber and
J.J. Abrams & Damon Lindelof
Country United States
Seasons 5
Episodes 69
Running Time 43 mins. (approx)
Channel ABC
Original Run September 22, 2004 - Present

Gallery of ImagesTheoriesMain Discussion

Lost is an Emmy Award and Golden Globe-winning American serial drama television series that follows the lives of plane crash survivors on a mysterious tropical island, after a passenger jet flying between Australia and the United States crashes somewhere in the South Pacific. Each episode typically features a primary storyline on the island as well as a secondary storyline from another point in a character's life. The show was created by Damon Lindelof, J.J. Abrams and Jeffrey Lieber, and is filmed primarily on location in Oahu, Hawaii. The pilot episode was first broadcast on September 22, 2004. Since then, five seasons have aired with the final sixth season startin 2010. The show is produced by ABC Studios, Bad Robot Productions and Grass Skirt Productions and airs on the ABC Network in the United States. Its incidental music is composed by Michael Giacchino. The current executive producers are Abrams, Lindelof, Carlton Cuse, Jack Bender, Jeff Pinkner and Bryan Burk. Because of its large ensemble cast and the cost of filming in Hawaii, the series is one of the most expensive on television.

A critical and popular success, Lost garnered an average of 15.5 million viewers per episode on ABC during its first year, and won numerous industry awards including the Emmy Award for outstanding drama series in 2005, best American import at the British Academy Television Awards also in 2005, and the Golden Globe for best drama in 2006.

Reflecting its devoted fan base, the show has become a staple of American popular culture with references to the story and its elements appearing in other television shows, commercials, comic books, webcomics, humor magazines and song lyrics. The show's fictional universe has also been explored through tie-in novels, board and video games, and an alternate reality game, The Lost Experience.

In May 2007, it was announced that Lost would continue for a fourth, fifth, and sixth year, concluding with the 117th produced episode in May 2010. The three final seasons would consist of 16 episodes each, running weekly in the spring uninterrupted by repeats.

ProductionEdit

ConceptionEdit

The series began development in January 2004, when Lloyd Braun, head of ABC at the time, ordered an initial script based on his concept of a cross between the movie Cast Away and the popular reality show Survivor. Jeffrey Lieber was hired, based on his pitch to write the pilot. Unhappy with the result and a subsequent re-write, Braun contacted J.J. Abrams, creator of the TV series Alias, to write a new pilot script. Although initially hesitant, Abrams warmed up to it on the condition that the show have a supernatural angle to it, and collaborated with Damon Lindelof to create the series' style and characters. The development of the show was constrained by tight deadlines, as it had been commissioned late in the 2004 season's development cycle. Despite the short schedule, the creative team remained flexible enough to modify or create characters to fit actors they wished to cast.

Lost's two-part pilot episode was the most expensive in the network's history, reportedly costing between US $10 and US $14 million, compared to the average cost of an hour-long pilot in 2005 of US $4 million. The show, which debuted on September 22, 2004, became one of the biggest critical and commercial successes of the 2004 television season. Along with fellow new series Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy, Lost helped to reverse the flagging fortunes of ABC. Yet, before it had even aired, Lloyd Braun was fired by executives at ABC's parent company, Disney, because he had greenlighted such an expensive and risky project.

The world premiere of the pilot episode was on 24 July 2004 at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

Episode formatEdit

Eyes - JackPilot

Jack's eye as seen in the Pilot

Episodes have a distinct structure: following a recap of events relevant to the upcoming narrative, each show begins with a cold open. Often a close up of a character's eye will follow. At a dramatic juncture, the screen cuts to black and the title graphic, slightly out-of-focus, glides towards the viewer accompanied by an ominous, discordant sound. The opening credits generally appear alphabetically by last name over the scenes that immediately follow. While there is a continuous story arc, each episode relates events concurrently with off-island flashbacks or, as the third season finale revealed - "flashfowards", centered on a particular character. The majority of episodes end with a suspenseful twist or cliffhanger, revealed just seconds before a smash cut to black and the title graphic. Others, following a plot resolution, will finish with a reflective closing scene that precedes a simple fade to black, and in particularly tragic or heart-felt closing scenes, the booming noise that accompanies the title graphic will be silenced, amplifying the impact of the event.

MusicEdit

Main article: List of songs featured on Lost

Lost features incidental music performed by the Hollywood Studio Symphony Orchestra and composed by Michael Giacchino, whose score is primarily orchestral, incorporating several recurring themes for events and characters. Giacchino achieved some of the sounds for the score using unusual instruments, such as striking suspended pieces of the plane's fuselage.

On March 21, 2006, the record label Varèse Sarabande released the original television soundtrack for Lost's first season. The soundtrack included select full-length versions of the most popular themes of the season and the main title, which was composed by series creator J.J. Abrams. Varèse Sarabande released a soundtrack featuring music from the second season of Lost on October 3, 2006.

HurleyCDPlayer

Hurley listening to his CD Player

Pop culture songs have been used sparingly in the series, given the mainly orchestral score. When such songs are featured, they usually originate from a diegetic source, meaning that they are usually generated by an action of one of the characters. Examples are the various songs played on Hurley's portable CD player throughout the first season (until it finally broke in ...In Translation) or the use of the record player in the second season, which included Cass Elliot's "Make Your Own Kind of Music" in the second season premiere and Petula Clark's "Downtown" in the third season premiere. In two episodes, Charlie is shown on a street corner playing guitar and singing the Oasis song "Wonderwall". In the third season's finale, Jack is driving down the street listening to Nirvana's "Scentless Apprentice," right before he arrives to the Hoffs/Drawlar Funeral Parlor. The only pop song that has ever been used without a source is Ann-Margret's "Slowly," in the episode I Do.

In some international broadcasts, alternate music is utilized. For instance, in the Japanese broadcast of Lost, Season 1's theme song is "Here I Am" by Chemistry and Season 2's theme song is "Losin'" by Yuna Ito.

Filming locationsEdit

Lost is filmed in 35 mm, on Panavision cameras, almost entirely on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The original island scenes for the pilot were filmed at Mokulēʻia Beach, near the northwest tip of the island. Later beach scenes take place in secluded spots of the famous North Shore. Cave scenes in the first season were filmed on a sound stage built at a Xerox parts warehouse, which had been empty since an employee mass shooting took place there in 1999. The sound-stage and production offices have since moved to the Hawaii Film Office-operated Hawaii Film Studio, where the sets depicting Season 2's "Swan Station" and Season 3's "Hydra Station" interiors were built. Various urban areas in and around Honolulu are used as stand-ins for locations around the world, including Los Angeles, New York, Iowa, Miami, South Korea, Iraq, Nigeria, England, France and Australia. For example, scenes set in a Sydney airport were filmed at the Hawaii Convention Center, while a World War II-era bunker was used as an Iraqi Republican Guard installation. Extensive archives of filming locations are tracked at a repository at Lostvirtualtour.com.

Online distributionEdit

In addition to traditional terrestrial and satellite broadcasting, Lost has been at the forefront of new television distribution methods. It was one of the first series issued through Apple's iTunes Store service for playback on an iPod or within the iTunes software. Since October 2005, new episodes, without commercials, have been available for download the day after they air on ABC, to American audiences only (restriction based on credit card billing address).

In April 2006, Disney announced that Lost would be available for free online in streaming format, with advertising, on ABC's website, as part of a two-month experiment of future distribution strategies. The trial, which ran from May to June 2006, caused a stir among network affiliates who were afraid of being cut out of advertising revenue. The streaming of Lost episodes direct from ABC's website was only available to viewers in the United States due to international licensing agreements.

The UK's Channel 4 has also allowed access to the series online. Both parts of "Pilot" were available to watch for free, and other episodes cost GB£0.99 each. Season two installments are made available two weeks after their Channel 4 debut, and the episodes expire after several months. Due to licensing agreements, the service is only accessible in the UK. Channel 4 have now teamed up with Virgin Media's On Demand function, allowing viewers to watch episodes from Season One and Season Two at any time in HD. A 24-hour rental costs £0.99 per episode. They are also available in Standard Definition as part of a subscription to the TV Choice on Demand Service.

As of third quarter, 2006, France's TF1 has allowed online access to the French version of Season Two; episodes cost €1.99. Each episode is issued online just after being broadcast.

Since August 6, 2007, Virgin Media started to show every previously aired episode on its Virgin Central portal, available to all Virgin Media TV subscribers. The first three episodes were made available on this date.

DVD releasesEdit

Main article: Lost DVD releases

Lost - The Complete First Season was released as a widescreen seven-disc Region 1 DVD box set in the USA on September 6, 2005, two weeks before the premiere of the second season. It was distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment.

In addition to all the episodes that had aired, it included several DVD extras such as episode commentaries, behind-the-scenes footage and making-of features as well as deleted scenes, deleted flashback scenarios and a blooper reel.

The same set was released on November 30, 2005 in Region 4, and on January 16, 2006 in Region 2. The latter was titled Lost: The Complete First Series. As has become standard for Region 2, the series was first released split into two parts: the first twelve episodes of series 1 were available as a widescreen four-disc Region 2 DVD box set on October 31, 2005, while the remaining thirteen episodes of series 1 were released on January 16, 2006. The DVD features available on the Region 1 release were likewise split over the two box sets.

Lost DVD 3

Season 3 DVD

The second season was released as a widescreen seven-disc Region 1 DVD box set in the USA on September 5, 2006 and on Region 2 DVD on October 2, 2006, retitled as Lost: The Complete Second Series. Each of these releases also contained DVD extras, including Behind the Scenes Footage, deleted scenes and a "Lost Connections" chart, which shows how all of the characters on the island are inter-connected with each other.

Again, the series was initially delivered in two sets for Region 2: the first twelve episodes were released as a widescreen four-disc DVD box set on July 17, 2006. The remaining episodes of series 2 were released as a four-disc DVD box set on October 2, 2006. The set was released in Region 4 on October 4, 2006.

Both Seasons 1 and 2 of Lost have sold successfully on DVD. The Season 1 boxset entered the DVD sales chart at number two in September 2005, and the Season 2 boxset entered the DVD sales chart at the number one position in its first week of release in September 2006, believed to be the second TV-DVD ever to enter the chart at the top spot. First day DVD sales for Lost Season 2 are thought to have been as high as 500,000 copies sold.

The third season is due to be released in region 1 on December 11, 2007. In the UK it is due to be released on October 22, 2007. In Australia, it is due to be released on October 17. 2007. A Blu Ray release for the third season DVDs was commissioned by Disney in July and will cost $124.99. As with seasons one and two, the third season release will include audio commentaries with the cast and crew, bonus featurettes, deleted scenes, and bloopers.

Cast and charactersEdit

The opening season featured 14 regular speaking roles, making it the second largest cast in American primetime television behind Desperate Housewives. While a large cast makes Lost more expensive to produce, the writers benefit from more flexibility in story decisions. According to series executive producer Bryan Burk, "You can have more interactions between characters and create more diverse characters, more back stories, more love triangles."

The initial season had 14 major roles getting star billing. Naveen Andrews portrayed former Iraqi Republican Guard Sayid Jarrah. Emilie de Ravin played the pregnant Australian Claire Littleton. Matthew Fox acted as the troubled surgeon and protagonist Jack Shephard. Jorge Garcia portrayed Hugo "Hurley" Reyes, an unlucky lotto winner. Maggie Grace played Shannon Rutherford, a former dance teacher. Josh Holloway acted as con man James "Sawyer" Ford. Yunjin Kim played Sun-Hwa Kwon, the daughter of a powerful Korean businessman and mobster, with Daniel Dae Kim as her husband Jin-Soo Kwon. Evangeline Lilly portrayed fugitive Kate Austen. Dominic Monaghan acted as an ex-rock star drug addict Charlie Pace. Terry O'Quinn played the mysterious John Locke. Harold Perrineau portrayed construction worker Michael Dawson, while child actor Malcolm David Kelley acted as his young son, Walt Lloyd. Ian Somerhalder played Boone Carlyle, chief operating officer of his mother's wedding business and step brother of Shannon.

During the first two seasons, some characters were written out to make room for new characters with new stories. Boone Carlyle was the first major character to be written out in season one. Walt became a guest star after the events of the first season's finale, making rare appearances throughout season two. Shannon's departure eight episodes into season two made way for newcomers Eko, a Nigerian Catholic priest and former criminal played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ana-Lucia Cortez, an airport security guard and former police officer played by Michelle Rodriguez, and Libby, a purported clinical psychologist portrayed by Cynthia Watros. Ana Lucia and Libby were written out of the series toward the end of season two, as were Michael and Walt.

In season three, Henry Ian Cusick received star billing as former Scottish soldier Desmond David Hume, as did Michael Emerson in the role of Benjamin Linus (formerly known as Henry Gale), a high ranking member of the "Others." In addition, three new actors joined the regular cast: Elizabeth Mitchell, as Dr. Juliet Burke and Kiele Sanchez and Rodrigo Santoro as couple Nikki Fernandez and Paulo. Eko was written out early in the season; Nikki and Paulo were killed mid-season in their first flashback episode. Finally, Charlie Pace was written off in the season finale.

Numerous supporting characters have been given expansive and recurring appearances in the progressive storyline. In the second season, Rose Henderson played by L. Scott Caldwell and tail section survivor Bernard Nadler played by Sam Anderson were featured in a flashback episode after being reunited. Mira Furlan as Danielle Rousseau, the shipwrecked Frenchwoman, appears throughout the series. Some of the "Others," including M.C. Gainey as Tom, William Mapother as Ethan Rom, Tania Raymonde as Alex Rousseau and Nestor Carbonell as Richard Alpert, have been shown in both flashbacks and the ongoing story. Similarly, Jack's father Christian Shephard (John Terry) has appeared in multiple flashbacks of various characters.

CastingEdit

Many of the first season roles were a result of the executive producers' liking of various actors. The main character Jack was originally going to die in the pilot, and was hoped to be played by Michael Keaton, however ABC executives were adamant that Jack live. Before it was decided that Jack would live, Kate was to emerge as the leader of the survivors; she was originally conceived to be more like the character of Rose. Dominic Monaghan auditioned for the role of Sawyer, who at the time was supposed to be a suit-wearing city con man. The producers enjoyed Monaghan's performance and changed the character of Charlie, originally a mature former rock star, to fit him. Jorge Garcia also auditioned for Sawyer, and the part of Hurley was written for him. When Josh Holloway auditioned for Sawyer, the producers liked the edge he brought to the character (he reportedly kicked a chair when he forgot his lines and got angry in the audition) and his southern accent, so they changed Sawyer to fit Holloway's acting. Yunjin Kim auditioned for Kate, but the producers wrote the character of Sun for her and the character of Jin, portrayed by Daniel Dae Kim, to be her husband. Naveen Andrews, who plays Sayid, was also not in the original script. Locke and Michael were written with their actors in mind. Emilie de Ravin who plays Claire was originally supposed to be a recurring role. In the second season, Michael Emerson was contracted to play Ben ("Henry Gale") for three episodes. His role was extended to eight episodes because of his acting skills, and eventually for the whole of season three.

Season synopsesEdit

Season OneEdit

Main article: Season 1

Season 1 began airing in the United States on September 22, 2004 and featured 24 episodes that aired Wednesdays at 8:00. A plane crash strands the surviving passengers of Oceanic Flight 815 on a seemingly deserted tropical island, forcing the group of strangers to work together to stay alive. Their survival is threatened by mysterious entities including polar bears, an unseen creature that roams the jungle, and the island's malevolent inhabitants known as the "Others." They encounter a Frenchwoman who was shipwrecked on the island over 16 years earlier and find a mysterious metal hatch buried in the ground. An attempt is made to leave the island on a raft.

Season TwoEdit

Main article: Season 2

Season 2 featured 23 episodes aired in the United States and Canada on Wednesdays at 9:00 starting September 21, 2005. Most of the story, which continues 45 days after the crash, focuses on the growing conflict between the survivors and the Others, with the continued clash between faith and science being thematic in certain episodes. While some mysteries are resolved, new questions are raised. New characters are introduced, including the tail-section survivors and other island inhabitants. More island mythologies and insights into the survivors' pasts are divulged. The hatch is explored and the existence of the DHARMA Initiative and its benefactor, the Hanso Foundation, are revealed. As the truth about the mysterious Others begins to unfold, one of the crash survivors betrays the other castaways, and the cause of the plane crash is revealed.

Season ThreeEdit

Main article: Season 3

Season 3 featured 22 episodes that began airing in the United States and Canada on October 4, 2006 on Wednesdays at 9:00 pm. The series returned from hiatus on February 7, 2007 and aired at 10:00 pm. The story continues 67 days after the crash. New crash survivors and Others are introduced, as the crash survivors learn about the Others and their history on the island. One of The Others and a new island inhabitant join the survivors while a survivor defects to The Others. A war between The Others and the survivors comes to a head, and the survivors make contact with a rescue team.

Season FourEdit

Season 4 will feature 16 episodes that will begin airing in the United States and Canada sometime in February, 2008. The season will run all of its episodes consecutively without repeats. More of the Island's secrets will be revealed as the survivors continue to seek rescue after making contact with the freighter. Season 4 will feature both flashforwards and flashbacks. Production is expected to begin in late August.

Future seasons and end dateEdit

On May 7, 2007, ABC Entertainment President Stephen McPherson announced that Lost will end during the 2009–2010 season with a "highly anticipated and shocking finale." "We felt that this was the only way to give it a proper creative conclusion," McPherson said. Beginning with the 2007–2008 television season, the final 48 episodes of Lost will be aired as three seasons with sixteen episodes each. Thus, Lost will conclude with its sixth season. These seasons are to air uninterrupted in the first half of those years.

The announcement by ABC was called "bold and unprecedented" by Lost's executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. Lindelof and Cuse also stated that they "always envisioned Lost as a show with a beginning, middle, and end," and that by announcing when the show would end that viewers would "have the security of knowing that the story will play out as we've intended." Co-creator J.J. Abrams also praised the decision, remarking, "It is the right choice for the series and its viewers. It takes real foresight and guts to make a call like this. I applaud ABC and Touchstone for making this happen."

MythologyEdit

Main article: Mythology of Lost

In parallel to its character development, episodes of Lost include a number of mysterious elements that have been ascribed to science fiction or supernatural phenomena. The creators of the series refer to these elements as composing the mythology of the series, and they form the basis of fan speculation.

Among the show's mythological elements is a "monster" that appears to roam the island; a mysterious group of inhabitants whom the survivors refer to as "The Others"; an organization called the "DHARMA Initiative" that has placed several research stations on the island; a sequence of numbers that have made frequent appearances in the lives of the characters, in both the past and present; and personal connections between the characters, of which they are often unaware.

Discredited theoriesEdit

At the heart of the series is a complex and cryptic storyline that spawns numerous unresolved questions. Encouraged by Lost's writers and stars, who often interact with fans online, viewers and TV critics alike have taken to widespread theorization in an attempt to unravel the mysteries. Theories mainly concern the nature of the island, the origins of the "monster" and the "Others," the meaning of the numbers, and the reasons for both the crash and the survival of some passengers.

Several of the more common fan theories have been discussed and rejected by the show's creators, the most common being that the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 are dead or in purgatory. This was specifically denied by J.J. Abrams. Damon Lindelof also discredited the theory that the survivors will experience, or have experienced time travel, although has since allowed for the possibility with regard to Desmond Hume. Furthermore, Lindelof has rejected speculation that spaceships or aliens influence the events on the island, or that everything seen is a fictional reality taking place in someone's mind.

Carlton Cuse dismissed the theory that the island is a reality TV show and the castaways unwitting housemates and Lindelof, many times, refuted the theory that the "monster" is a nanobot cloud similar to the one featured in Michael Crichton's novel Prey.

Thematic motifsEdit

There are several recurring thematic motifs on Lost, which generally have no direct effect on the story itself, but expand the show's literary and philosophical subtext. These elements include frequent appearances of the colors black and white, which reflect the dualism within characters and situations; eyes, which often appear in close-up at the start of episodes; dysfunctional family situations, as portrayed in the lives of nearly all the main characters; coincidence versus fate, revealed most apparently through the juxtaposition of the characters Locke and Mr. Eko; the conflict between science and faith, embodied by the leadership tug-of-war between Jack and Locke, and references to numerous works of literature, including mentions and discussions of particular novels. There are also many allusions to philosophy, demonstrated most clearly in the distinct naming of certain characters after famous historical thinkers, such as John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, David Hume, Edmund Burke, Mikhail Bakunin and Richard Alpert.

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