ABC Execs Wanted To Remove One Key Element From LOST Starting With Pilot Episode
Lost has gone down as one of the most iconic TV series in history. The show undoubtedly [...]
Lost has gone down as one of the most iconic TV series in history. The show undoubtedly revolutionized the novelistic era of television, paving the way for the titles to the likes of Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, by creating a grand and overarching story which wasn't always told to completion on a weekly basis.
From the jump, though, Lost built an identity as one of the most mysterious shows at its time. The survivors of Oceanic flight 815 were tossed onto an island, somehow surviving a fall from miles in the sky, and adapting to life with a giant mystical and threatening creature lurking in the distance.
While the island's monster on Lost was one of the most intriguing element's the show's pilot had to offer, it was almost left out of the opening hour and entire series.
The monster -- which was only revealed in the form of its enormity being teased as trees fell a few thousand feet off of the beach -- was originally going to be kept out of Lost's pilot episode, if ABC executives had their way.
Damon Lindelof, who is currently promoting the final season of HBO's The Leftovers, opened up about his and J.J. Abram's pitch reception while talking to CinemaBlend.
"But the main area of concern was the idea that there was this monster on the island," Lindelof said. "In that meeting, present were Lloyd Braun and Susan Lyne, who were the co-presidents of ABC. Before I go on, let me just say, if Lloyd hadn't been the president of ABC, there'd be no Lost, because he believed in this thing from the word go. It was his idea to do a plane crash on an island show, et cetera. But I don't think he wanted the monster. So in this meeting, he says, 'I think this outline is dynamite, but I don't think that there should be a monster in the pilot. If you guys want to work your way up to some of that weird stuff, it's a conversation for another day. But definitely not in the pilot. It's too weird. We don't want to do a Twin Peaks.' I remember Lloyd very specifically saying, 'I don't want to do a Twin Peaks.'"prevnext
So, what did Lindelof and Abrams do? They made this meeting into a Burger King and had it their way.
As Lindelof recounts, his partner Abrams sold the monster to ABC by saying what an honor it would be to be compared to Twin Peaks if audiences are able to find the connection the ABC executives were making.
And then J.J. jumped in and said some version of this: 'It's 2004. Twin Peaks has been off the air for 13 years and you're still using it as a cautionary tale. But even if it is a cautionary tale, we should be so lucky if this show gets to be like Twin Peaks, because how many television shows get remembered the way Twin Peaks is remembered? Twin Peaks was amazing and maybe it didn't end well, but we can learn from its mistakes. We should be so lucky to be compared to Twin Peaks! We should aspire to Twin Peaks!' And Lloyd said, 'Okay, do your monster.'"
Ironically enough, Lost would suffer a similar fate to Twin Peaks. The show's final season and, more specifically, series finale have come under constant scrutiny since airing in 2010. It was, to some extent, the mythical elements which Braun had feared would be unacceptable to audiences which skewed the opinion but also the ending which is often misinterpreted for the characters having been dead for the entirety of the series.prevnext
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The six seasons of Lost are available on blu-ray and DVD, as well as streaming on Netflix.
As for that ending which confused many fans, Benjamin Linus actor Michael Emerson has revealed his take on the show's ending. "The ending is way in the future. Years, centuries, millenia have past," Emerson said. "We're in an anti-chamber to the hereafter, to eternity, if you will. All the characters on the show have come here to celebrate the end of life. They're all gonna pass through to a happy afterlife. Just as in a Shakespeare, everybody goes two by two. It's couples. That's because, I think, by the rules of LOST, you can only pass into heaven (if you want to call it that) with a mirror redeemer. With someone who has loved you without reservation for yourself."prev