Wednesday 6 March 2013

Lost: A Puzzle Boxed In A Mystery...


From the very first episode, Lost is exactly what I was. To me it was a Puzzle Boxed In A Mystery, wrapped in an Enigma, hidden in a secret room, in a house on the corner of Question Mark Lane and Haven't A Clue Circle in the city of Timbuk3. In truth, as a writer at that time working on a screenplay, I really hadn't the time nor the inclination to engage in any of the hundred new shows that are released year after year (to which my fiance had excited initial interest in 75% of them, Sci Fi or not)

As stated in previous posts on Sci Fi TV, I rarely get on board with new shows earlier than the second season, partially to give all involved the time to work out all the details with characters, story and the magic that keeps viewers coming back week after week, although mainly, I don't want to waste time investing in a series that won't see beyond season three to the comfortable (and fair) season seven (I am of the opinion shows should at least have seven seasons before a solid wrap up, but it seems these days, TV can't even do that right (as a matter of fact, that will be my next post)

Lost did manage six seasons without being moved to the Friday night death slot (although the routinely scheduled disruptions of the regular schedule left many wondering if our beloved show was being prepped for cancellation due to low viewership) it weathered Presidential addresses, playoff games, reality TV season finales, premiers of new shows, and lengthy between season hiatuses, but in the end they managed to reach the end.

                                                             *SPOILER ALERT*


Coupled with the cost of filming primarily on location in Oahu, Hawaii, the enormity of the cast made Lost the most expensive series on television. The size of the cast is also why I'm not going to be discussing them much at all, at this point I'm not inclined to do multiple parts of this post and I've been trying to make my posts smaller, so we'll discuss the show' mythology and interpretations.


 At a time when interest in African History had been rekindled by the Internet and advanced through social media, the inclusion of the Egyptian goddess Tawaret was a no brainer. Like Transformers 2's use of the Pyramids to expand their demographic, Lost takes it's place among the many shows doing the same since the start of the 21st Century

In a Lost Podcast, it was revealed the Egyptians on the Island built the statue sometime well before 1867, leaving behind many other signs of their culture on the island, including hieroglyphs and other structures. Considering the end of the show and the fact that all who had ended up on the island were actually dead, or spirits or physical beings existing on another dimensional plane, the use of the crocodile headed Tawaret, the Egyptian goddess of childbirth and fertility was very appropriate.

The name "Taweret" means, "she who is great" or simply, "great one". She is the wife of Apep, the serpent god and deification of darkness and chaos, and although the ancient Egyptians essentially treated Taweret as a benevolent figure, She has been linked with the fierce, soul devouring goddess Ammit.

Taweret became seen, very early in Egyptian history, as a deity of protection in pregnancy and childbirth. As a protector, she often was shown with one arm resting on the sa (symbol of protection) and on occasion she carried an ankh (the symbol of life)

Episodes of Lost included a number of mysterious elements ascribed to science fiction or supernatural phenomena, using these elements to compose the mythology of the series forming the basis of widely demographic fan speculation.

Among the show's mythological elements are included a killer smoke "Monster" that roams the island, a mysterious group of inhabitants the survivors called "The Others," a scientific organisation called the Dharma Initiative that placed several research stations on the island, a sequence of numbers that frequently appears in the lives of the characters in the past, present and future, and a kind of synchronicity between the characters they are often unaware of.

The heart of the series is it's complex and cryptic storyline, which spawned numerous questions and discussions among viewers. Encouraged by Lost's writers and stars, who often interacted with fans on line, viewers and TV critics alike took to theorizing in an attempt to unravel it's mysteries.

Theories mainly concerned 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 were discussed and rejected by the show's creators, the most common being that the survivors of Oceanic flight 815 are dead and in purgatory, lol. (*note, I would like to say I understand wanting to keep the truth about the show from the audience till the end, but a lie is still a lie, and that's why many felt ripped off with the explanation that, oh everyone on the island is already dead)

Lindelof rejected speculation that spaceships or aliens influenced the events on the island, or that everything seen was a fictional reality taking place in someone's mind. Carlton Cuse dismissed the theory that the island was a reality TV show and the castaways unwitting housemates.

Lindelof many times refuted the theory that the "Monster" was a nanobot cloud similar to the one featured in Michael Crichton's novel Prey (which happened to share the protagonist's name, Jack) I wonder why?
 Perhaps the fact that from inside the black smoke face to face with Echo looked like what appeared to be some kind of "light based" circuitry performing analysis on Echo... (sorry, couldn't find the exact image but take my word for it) why would fans assume nano tech? LOL.

Throughout the consistent elements representing duality (ie. the colours of black and white symbolic of good and evil) The show touched on youth in revolt/rebellion, power struggles among the assumed leadership, morality from a certain point of view (Ben Linus remarked on his position that he and the others despite their nefarious actions are actually the "good guys") retribution, and resolving past issues all made Lost a great show. Again, I didn't get into the show until the end of the first season, mostly because what little I did see in earlier shows that my fiance was watching (I was too busy tweeking my screenplay) left me with the annoyed feeling Lost was a Puzzle Boxed In Mystery.

1 comment:

  1. I loved that show and am still bitter about how badly it went off the rails. I loved the idea that the show had crafted an intricate puzzle to solve. In the end, it turned out they just made it up as they went along and abandoned any hope of explaining everything. Still a great show, though, mystery aside