Debuting ten years ago as part of the 2004/05 TV season, Lost went on to become a cultural phenomenon. Geek Dave does battle with the smoke monster to bring you 10 things you might not know about Lost.
1. Lost began development in the summer of 2003. The then Chairman of ABC, Lloyd Braun, wanted a new TV show that he envisioned to be a cross between the Tom Hanks film Cast Away and the reality show Survivor. Dozens of pitches came in including one from veteran TV producer Aaron Spelling. Braun hated his script so personally contacted JJ Abrams, who set about putting a treatment together with Damon Lindelof. It would appear that the pair were heavily influenced by a comic book called 'Flight 714', which was the twenty-second volume of Hergé's The Adventures of Tintin series. In the graphic novel, a substitute for Flight 714
is hijacked and taken to a volcanic tropical island, where the
characters discover underground architecture and tunnels. They face
various threatening and surreal situations, and also both take and become hostages. The characters discover hatches, arm themselves with guns, and get into a similar hostage
situations as the one that took place on the show involving the Others. Also, Flight 714 was flying to Sydney,
Australia - the departure of Oceanic Flight 815.
2. Michael Keaton (yes, Batman himself) was originally interested in playing the character of Jack. The plan was that the pilot episode would be very Jack central and end with him being killed off by the black smoke monster, this would then lead to Kate being the hero of the show. Executives at ABC vetoed the idea, because they felt that audiences would not
have bonded with any other character but Jack and wouldn't trust the producers if they
killed the one character who was seemingly so central so soon. So Jack was reworked to survive the pilot, and Michael Keaton, not keen to star in an ongoing series, pulled out.
3. The search was on for a new Jack, and amongst the actors that came in to read for the part was the relatively unknown (at the time), John Hamm.
4. Once Matthew Fox came on board as Jack, and he was made the 'hero' character, Kate's role was completely re-written. Originally she was intended to be a much older business woman who had been separated from her husband in the plane crash. Much of that intended story was incorporated into the character of Rose Nadler, her husband Bernard was in the tail section of the plane.
5. One of the criticisms leveled at Lost was that they made it up as they went along - that was certainly true at the time of casting. Yunjin Kim auditioned for the part of Kate, and both Jorge Garcia and Dominic Monaghan came in to read for the role of Sawyer. All three were liked so much that producers created or adapted additional characters for them. The characters of Hurley and Sun were created especially for Garcia and Kim. After Kate's re-writing the producers did not want another single woman on the island so they also created a husband for Sun, in the form of Jin. Originally the character of Charlie was supposed to be a much older 1960s washed-up rock star, but was adapted for Monaghan.
6. The first person actually cast and signed to contract was Ian Somerhalder as Boone. Ironically he was also the first of the main cast to be killed off.
7. The pilot episode cost $10 million to produce, which was about treble the cost of an average pilot for it's time. A big deal of that money went on the plane - rather than constructing sets they actually bought a real one, flew it out to Oahu, Hawaii and then set about dismantling it to create the crash site. They did such a great job that signs had to be put up around the shooting site to insure locals that there hadn't actually been a plane crash!
8. After being cast as Kate, Evangeline Lilly almost lost the part at the eleventh hour. Lilly is a Canadian citizen and had trouble with her visa and Screen Actor’s Guild paperwork, meaning she couldn't fly out to Hawaii with the rest of the cast and crew. Filming began and all the scenes featuring Kate were pushed back as far as possible, but with no sign of Lilly arriving producer's were considering recasting. Fortunately, her visa was granted on the last possible day before producer's would've been forced to recast the character.
9. You know that famous saying 'Never work with children or animals'? Well what if you've got a child who has an animal? Better make sure both are first class! After casting Malcolm David Kelley as Walt the search was on for his faithful four legged friend, Vincent. After a multitude of dogs were screen tested, one of them stood out. Her name was Madison, and in 2001 she was ranked the 8th Most Obedient Dog in Hawaii - yes, that is a title that actually exists!
10. Despite being the perceived main character of the show, Jack does not hold the honor of appearing in the most episodes. That accolade goes to Hurley, who is credited as appearing in 118 of the 121 broadcast. Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Locke, Sun, Jin and Sayid all appear in 117.
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