Lost set a precedent for television when it crashed onto our screens in 2004 and sent a ragtag motley crew into the jungle of a mystery island to try to live together – or die alone. But the series finale confused us last in May 2010 and other shows have come and gone and our lives have moved on. But, what do we actually remember from one of the biggest – and most ambitious - TV shows in history?
Season 2 showed that there was another faction of people already living on the island (spoiler alert for 2005), but many remember the infamous 'others' as named by our gang of survivors. They hid in the trees and terrorised and kidnapped our gang and gave Lost a particularly dark tone for a while. ‘The Others’ had a bit of a pop culture boom and was used to describe people that existed in the same environment, but we didn’t know - e.g. colleagues, students etc. The term has probably lost its trajectory by now, but it was definitely big in 2005.
One of the biggest plot twists in season one was that lovable Hurley (Jorge Garcia) was actually a lottery winner. And even more surprising was the fact that the numbers were actually an integral part of island life, being inputted into a computer every 108 minutes in order to regulate the electromagnetic currents coursing through the heart of the island. Of course, the numbers 4 8 15 16 23 and 42 are ingrained in our brains and in 2011 26,000 fans were proven that a love for TV can pay off when they won a Megamillions draw in the UK using that exact combination. And every time we head down to try to win lottery numbers, we can’t help but think of Hurley’s amazing luck - and how these guys made good use of it.
For many people, this is the pervading memory of Lost. Featuring in the second episode, this was the first and last thing people associated with Lost. The polar bear had a very good reason for being there – he had escaped from an animal psychological testing station located on an adjacent island as used in experiments by the Dharma Initiative. But, it was the first inkling fans had that the show wouldn’t be their standard prime-time TV show.
The Smoke Monster
If you thought a polar bear was weird, wait until you met the Smoke Monster. The jungle harboured a lot of strange things, and early on the big storylines featured people being traumatised by their past when faced with a strange cloud of black smoke that sounded like a New York taxi fare counter. The Smoke Monster was actually one of the more difficult examples of VFX the series had to create and each incarnation of the Smoke Monster differed. By the time we learn what it is, so many other crazy things have happened that we just accept it.
For many, the storylines and characters pale away, yet the glimpses of pure white sand and roaring waves pervade. The island itself – actually Oahu, Hawaii – was beautiful. The jungle itself felt like a secondary character, and for the cast and crew to reside within such a breath-taking landscape could be felt in the way they handled Hawaii on the show. What many don’t realise, though, is that every single scene (bar very few) was filmed in Hawaii. Whether it be set in Scotland, London, Iraq, Germany, or South Korea, the filming took place in Hawaii. Viewing Lost again knowing this gives it an even more awe-inspiring finish, especially given how skillful the set department was.
Lost was a phenomenal show when it aired, and watching it back, has aged well. While these may be the five main things people remember about Lost, there are many, many more worth remembering.