Monday, February 12, 2018

A BAD MAIN THEME

There is one bad theme that ran throughout the LOST story lines.

Bad parents.

The affect of parents' treatment of their child had a dramatic effect on how that character was as an adult.

Jack's father never gave him the praise or encouragement Jack needed in order to complete his socialization process. As a result, Jack was not capable of having strong relationships with other people. His displeasure for his father's treatment of him was transferred onto other people he cared about when he was an adult.

Sayid was pushed into being a man as a child. He had to kill the chicken when his older brother could not do it. Sayid was trapped into following authoritative directions. He lost his own free will to serve his superiors (his father, his army commander). As a result, he did things he did not want to do (torture people) and to give up any dreams he had for his future (Nadia).

On the other hand, Hurley's dad's abandonment of him caused Hurley to develop a severe introversion with other people. Even when he had the courage to socialize, it was with the fear of rejection and abandonment. When the store clerk he liked ditched him for his best friend, Hurley's only escape was into his own dream world, a safe place where he could not get hurt.

Sawyer's mother and father ruined his life. His mother was conned out of the family savings, and his father went nuts by a murder-suicide with his wife instead of trying to rebuild his family trust and savings. That led Sawyer to a life of crime and revenge that de-humanized him to become the person he hated the most in the world, the con man Cooper.

Kate's parents divorced when she was a baby. Her mother fooled her into believing her second husband was her father. This deception led Kate not to trust men but to use them as puppets in her own bizarre rebellion. Kate's situation led her to a life of refusing to take responsibility for her actions, and to run away from her problems like her parents did when they divorced.

Jin and Sun were opposites tied together by their hatred for their family class status. Jin fled his poor fishing village life to vow that he would become a rich man. Sun rebelled against her strict, patronizing industrialist-criminal father. She would never get the status or position in the family business because of her gender. She took satisfaction that her father could not stand her taking a poor man like Jin as her lover. But she mistook Jin's desire for wealth over true love when he turned into her father's lackey. There relationship was based more on fighting back against their parentage than true feelings for others. In a way, there childish selfishness against being like their parents was their demise. No one can believe that one parent would orphan their child by drowning in a submarine; death was better than being a single parent?

Locke's traumatic childhood was the deepest cut of all. He could not find the family that he was searching for. He was blinded by the thought of a perfect, suburban picket fence reunion with his real parents. But their loathsome self-absorbed personalities destroyed Locke for a second time. Locke was so beaten down by his upbringing that he could not see the one woman who truly cared for him. He was so bent on his past he could not live in the present. He lost his family and the one woman who loved him. He created his own destiny of being a poor, miserable, bitter man because of his parents abandonment of him as a baby.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

RELATIVE

Scientists have used Einstein's Theory of Relativity to calculate how time is measured in deep space flights. The conclusion is itself a paradox. For a deep space mission, the astronauts may age much more slowly traveling at the speed of light. For example, they may age 28 years on a light speed travel across the universe, but return to Earth 1,300 years later.

The fact that deep space travel can cause a return trip to take 1,300 years in "local" time explains why aliens have never returned to Earth.

Another factor in deep space travel is that human beings do not do well with forces over 1 g. We are basically water bags that can pop under pressure. Scientists think the best deep space travelers would be spiny, thin, small alien grays.

As private space firms have advertised in their speculative missions to colonize Mars, even solar system space travel is a one way street.  If you plan to go out into deep space, the chance of your returning home is near zero.

Which brings us to a hypothesis in LOST.

Some believe the island may have been some lost alien space craft. If true, then Jacob, the island guardian would have been the alien pilot and his brother his co-pilot. If these space aliens came from a distant solar system with advanced technology, they could have crash landed on Earth without the means of repairing their ship.

The clues of being space aliens comes in the form of their physical presence. Jacob and especially MIB appear to be shape-shifting smoke monsters. They can change their physical structure, morph into human beings or monsters. This would make sense for deep space travelers to avoid the pitfalls of human bodies. If these alien travelers were not humanoids but energy beings, they could survive deep space flight.

A further clue on the island aliens is that Jacob's narrative that people who come to the island are from "shipwrecks."  This mirrors his own situation. By bringing people to the island looking for a solution to his problem, Jacob cleverly puts the humans in the same position he is in: lost, looking for a way "home."

And the human beings brought to the island have been a clever bunch. Dharma and the military brought vast resources including nuclear technology and experimentation on electromagnetic properties including time travel. Perhaps these Earth technologies were being used to try to re-boot the space craft island so Jacob could indeed return "home" as MIB kept saying to the castaways. But MIB continues to get frustrated with the humans who want to take their advanced technology and use it to increase their own power on Earth. In order to control them, Jacob and MIB use human history of "gods" including borrowing ancient Egyptian rites, to control the humans on the island.

In essence, the series concludes not with the humans getting home, but the aliens finding a way to end their existence on a distant planet far away from their home. After centuries of failed attempts to get their ship technology working, Jacob and MIB apparently release themselves from their species protections (the immortality we saw during the show) in order to cease to exist. In that way, their alien technology does not corrupt the Earth society as they had found humans to be barbaric and crude in their emotional states.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

MANIFEST DESTINY?


From the Hollywood Reporter and the web, there is news that NBC has ordered a pilot for a series which contains some initial traits of LOST. The synopsis is as follows:

A plane mysteriously goes missing mid-flight. Later, it reappears. For the passengers on board, it’s like it never happened. For everyone else, years have passed with the assumption that everyone on board was dead.
That’s the plot of Manifest, a new TV pilot ordered by NBC that’ll be produced by Robert Zemeckis. Jeff Rake (executive producer of The Mysteries of Laura) wrote the show, which will focus on how that passage of time changes the lives of the people on board as well as why it happened in the first place.

The show's premise is set up as a plane disaster to spawn dramatic mysteries which harks to LOST and the genre of castaways like Robinson Caruso. But this series seems to have no beaches, no smoke monsters—just one massive, unfathomable event, a long passage of time, and the fallout from it.

Zemeckis was the director and co-creator of Back to the Future.  He won an Oscar for directing Forrest Gump. He’s produced a few TV series over the years, but nothing in several decades.

This show will investigate maybe not the reason why the plane disappeared (any science fiction reason would probably suffice) but what happens to the characters who suddenly land 5, 10, 15 years later?  Of course their normal lives would have changed. Characters who were married probably no longer have spouses (since one can be declared dead after 7 years). Spouses who have remarried with children would want little to so with the returning spouse (or maybe not - - - that could be a point of conflict.) Characters would be coming home to find they have no job, no home, or lost family members who may have died without knowing their lost family member was still alive.

We could see the use of "flashbacks" to narrate the back stories of the airplane passengers as they try to navigate through a new world which forgot about them.

The pilot episode needs to hit hard and grasp the viewers immediately to avoid the curse of LOST strong start and weak finish.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

ONE IN A DECADE

Pop culture website io9 is ranking the top 100 events in its first 10 years of existence.

93) The Lost finale

Lost was the first modern genre show that had the ability to turn almost anyone who watched it into a fan. People of every age, gender, race, and level of nerdiness could be heard talking together about about smoke monsters, time travel, and frozen donkey wheels over the course of its 2004-2010 broadcast. When the appropriately titled “The End” aired on May 23, 2010, people all over the world were rapt, waiting for the answers they’d been hoping for all along. That… didn’t happen. But the collective discourse about it—the frustration, the confusion, the anger, even enjoyment—was a singular moment in the expansion of nerd culture to the mainstream, and one not truly replicated until Game of Thrones.

LOST's continuing legacy is its popularity and its enigma.

Some fans liked the series and loved the ending.
Some fans liked part of the series then left it before Season 6.
Some fans liked the series but hated the ending.
Some fans liked the series and hoped it would return.
Some fans liked the series and hoped for more answers.
Some fans liked the series but would hate to see a re-boot.
Some fans liked the series but no longer dwell upon it.
Some fans liked the series and still talk about it fondly.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

GHOSTS

There will always be a debate on what the characters were on the island: human or spirits (souls).

But a subset of this debate can be the theory that the main characters did not know they were ghosts or spirits, so they lived a continuation of their lives as humans. Another tangent would be that they were spirits but were on the island to redeem their souls to become human once more.

The latter would be an interesting concept. One of the themes were "second chances."  What if there newly deceased had a second chance to reclaim their human life?

How would one go about reclaiming one's humanity?

If you were an evil person, would you have to do something "good" as in sacrificing yourself to save another?

But if you were a normal person, would you have to do something different, to erase a haunting "regret" in order to be saved?

The island whispers were said to have been trapped souls, such as Michael, after he died. Trapped souls infer that the island was some kind of purgatory where spirits could not move on unless something changed or they were released from their bondage.

If the island was merely a series of "humanity tests," who were the people that passed - - - and left the island as humans? It is noteworthy that Ben and the Dharma group both had a keen interest in island pregnancies. What is human life more than a fetus? It is the start of human life. But children could not be born on the island because their mothers were not human. But the experiments tried to create humans from ghosts in order to find the key to transform back into their human bodies.

Frank survived the submarine explosion and was found by Alpert and Miles, who had decided to continue as planned without Ben who had joined up with Flocke. Frank suggested that they escape the Island in the Ajira plane instead of destroying it. Upon reaching the plane, they repaired its broken windshield and damaged hydraulic systems. This brought the plane into good working condition, allowing Frank to prepare for takeoff. As the plane was taxiing down the collapsing Hydra Island runway, it managed to slow down so that Ford, Austen, and Claire could be pulled aboard. The Ajira plane safely took off just as the runway began to crack; its occupants managed to escape the initially self-destructing Island.

Who were the final survivors? Frank was an alcoholic pilot who should have died in the original 815 crash. Miles was a mystic con man who befriended Sawyer. Sawyer was a vengeful con man who killed the man who ruined his life. Kate was a troublemaker who killed her father and fled from responsibility and justice. Claire was bad daughter (her negligence killed her mother) and bad mother (she abandoned her son and went crazy). None of these characters had any major revelations or changes in their personality or morals to deserve to be "re-born" as humans to travel back to their past lives.

Jack was the one who sacrificed himself so the others could flee the island. He took on the guardian role to defeat Flocke (even though it was Kate's bullet that downed the smoke monster human form.)

The Ajira survivors all had deep rooted mental issues tied to self-esteem problems from events early in their lives. They had a sense of abandonment by one parent; they had family secrets which made their skin crawl. They did not want to take full responsibility for their actions. They wanted to escape in their own fantasy image of themselves.

But everyone dreams about their perfect self. Hurley wanted to be a confident, witty, popular and successful businessman with a charming wife and adoring family. But in the end, he did not achieve that self-image.  The same is true with Locke. He also had a strong longing to have a sense of "family" but he had a hard time gathering the trust of even friendships. In the end, he was alone in the church. He never did find the family he was looking for through all the hardships of the island.

What was the greatest "asset" the Ajira survivors maintain during their island ordeals to gather their ticket home? Frank, Miles, Kate, Claire and Sawyer all kept away from making leadership decisions. They were soldiers not generals. They did not want to seize power or control. That fit into their plan of self-survival - - - but in reality, the thing that tied them all together was being selfish.  They generally lacked consideration for others; they were concerned chiefly with their own personal profit, pleasure or safety.

If true, then "self-sacrifice" was a death sentence on the island. It would be the opposite of common sense or a normal story trope. If only the selfish survived, that would be a bad moral to the story.

But LOST was never really about morals. Characters did dubious things for strange reasons.

If Frank, Miles, Kate, Claire, Alpert and Sawyer were ghosts who passed the island test to regain their humanity, what actually was the test?

They all did survive the judgment (and destruction) by the smoke monster(s). None of them really wanted to seize the island's magic powers away from the guardian. Some of them did kill other people while on the island so a good-evil, right or wrong judgment seemed not to apply. But all of them really had no one waiting for them when they returned home (except for Claire and her son who may be of the age to know his mother had abandoned him in order to reject her). The LOST main story could have been told without any of these five characters. So why did they get special treatment at the climax of the show?

Unless they were always humans trapped in a spirit world. All the other characters on the island were spirits. We know Alpert, who left with them, was a spirit. He became immortal by the gift (or curse) of the guardian to serve him as a go-between with the people he brought to the island. But once Alpert cleared the confines of the island, he began to age. He regained his humanity not by serving the new island guardian or fighting for the black smoke monster - - - he got lucky enough to find himself with an opportunity to leave the island.

And this is why LOST will always have mixed commentary and two sides to any issue. There was no clarity in character traits and story line answers. The ambiguity weaved throughout the series fed the imaginations of the viewers to the point where fan theories were more canon than the show runner's scripts. The stories themselves cast ghosts into the mythology of the series.

The idea that no one survived Flight 815 break up and crash was probable. The idea that the deceased souls could not pass over in the after life because of unresolved personal issues was plausible. The idea that the island ghosts could have a chance to reclaim their humanity is possible.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

PITCH

Could LOST have been pitched to network television today?

The three main networks grasp on American entertainment has fallen by the wayside. Cable channels took over the edgy content market. Now streamers such as Netflix and Amazon are creating their own content on demand.

Would a concept show like LOST be able to be sold to any major distributor?

Let's check the initial reaction to a network programmer to the elements of the show:

It is about survivors of a high altitude airplane break up who fall to earth to land on an island.

Highly unlikely that survivors would survive such a mid-ocean crash.

It is about airplane survivors who wind up on a dangerous, unchartered island.

Probable. There have been many stories of shipwrecked survivors on unknown islands.

The survivors encounter hostile island natives.

Probable. There have been many stories of people finding dangerous tribes.

The survivors encounter a quasi-military industrial cult that begins to experiment on them.

Strange, but it could be feasible as much of the Pentagon R&D is under black ops.

The island has strange electro-magnetic properties which allow it to change time, disappear and time travel individuals off the island.

Though some elements may contain scientific speculative theory, impossible to accept time travel narrative as being true.

All the characters have secret and troubling back stories which slowly get revealed during the series.

Likely. Everybody has dark secrets or skeletons in their closets which they don't want other people to know about.

There are other characters who are immortal super beings who manipulate the main characters like pawns on a chess board.

The improbable fantasy element brings into question whether there is enough reality in the situation to allow the audience to suspend their disbelief to accept it as a possibility.

Near the end, the show splits into two different realms including a parallel universe or afterlife setting.

Confusing. Stories have a linear time line, but to put a second narrative concurrently with the unresolved story lines of the main plot is an unnecessary mess.

The main characters resolve their most pressing fear, anxiety, regrets in an afterlife reunion.

As most major religions believe in an afterlife, there is acceptance to that premise. Most viewers also want a happy ending to their favorite characters after a long journey during the series.

 So it would be hard to imagine that any network or cable channel would invest in a large ensemble cast shooting a mixed message series at expensive remote locations when overall viewership is in decline.


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

BACK IN TIME

New research by quantum physics infers that it may be possible, in theory, to time travel. However, the scientists believe that one could only go back in time.

LOST had a bad mix of time travel events. Did the frozen donkey wheel create the time travel episodes? Or was it the containment field from the Swan station? Or was it all a red herring by the writers?

The island's "rules" lacked clear continuity. In the Star Trek universe, Gene Roddenberry set down a specific set of rules, including science fiction elements, which carried the series through to today. LOST's showrunners did not take the time or have the patience to forge a realistic, compelling and believable sci-fi doctrine.

The weird science is explained by the strange electromagnetics of the island, inferring that those island experiences are in a different sequence in time and space. When Sayid gets the radio working, they hear a radio broadcast from the 1940s. When Sayid, Frank and Desmond left the island, they experienced events in a different sequence. When Desmond survived the Swan implosion, he began seeing future events. When the freighter doctor's corpse washed up on shore, it was out of sequence with the real time on the freighter (where he was still alive).

In the orientation film for the Orchid station, scientists talked about the island allowing DHARMA to conduct experiments to move rabbits ahead in time and in space. When Ben and Locke turned the frozen donkey wheel under the Orchid station, they found themselves 10 months in the future in a desert halfway around the world.

When the survivors left behind after Ben's wheel turning experienced a time travel change, there was a blinding purple flash (similar to when the Hatch imploded). After Locke fixed the wheel, there was one last flash, but this time the flash was bright white, rather than purple. In all instances, the travelers experienced severe head pain, most likely caused by the extremely loud noise occurring during the flashes. 

People who weren't affected by the time travel appeared to be unaware of the blinding flash and loud noise. For example, Danielle didn't react to or mention the noise or light before Jin disappeared, and when he reappeared in her future, she thought Jin was sick because he disappeared.) It was the inconsistent treatment of people in the same situation which left the story weak and confused. There was no justification for allowing only certain people on the island to time skip while others did not.

For there to be a rational explanation for the differences in time travel on individuals, one must take into consideration that it may not have been time travel at all. How one experiences the passage of time is through consciousness and memory. If one can take an individual and alter, through mind control or neurologic drugs, their consciousness and memories, one could instill false memories including false time. It get backs to the possibility that much of LOST's story is not based in reality, but in the altered mind, memories or subconscious of the characters.