Friday, August 18, 2017


Television is a sausage content factory that continues to re-boot old product.

One reason is that it is cheaper to produce if your company already owns the original content.
Second, if the original was popular, the theory is that you have a built in audience.
Third, executives love the concept of "evergreen" shows that continue to sprout spin-offs (like Star Trek).

Damon Lindelof was asked about the possibility that ABC would in the future re-boot LOST.

He understood the concept of the reboot, but he would not want to be part of it. He said his team tried their best to give closure to their characters. Any reboot of the series, he said, should not include the original characters for that reason. He said it would be interesting if another show runner took the mythology of the island and did something with it.

To be honest, a LOST re-boot would be a terrible idea.

For the two ends of the Ending spectrum, those who loved the character finale to those who hated it, those fan bases would have no compelling interest to watch a new LOST with their lasting strong feelings remain from the old LOST.

And if someone really wanted to do something different with the LOST castaway shell, well TBS tried and failed with the comedy, Wrecked.

ABC would like to try to re-mine the series "brand" for some profits. LOST was never a series that lent itself to syndication. As an hour long drama with twisting maze of plot lines, people cannot get into the series if they miss an episode or two. Half hour sitcoms like Seinfeld or MASH are syndication gold because each episode is a self-contained story.

Part of the problem with re-doing LOST is that much of the big premise foundation items are subject to open debate. A new LOST would probably have to answer those basic story elements which in some way would undermine the original series.  For example, if the reboot is about the Island, the new show runners will have to state what exactly is the Island: a UFO, a dimensional riff in time-space, a magical place, purgatory, the afterlife, hell, a military base like Area 51, virtual reality grid, the imagination of a comatose patient, the madness of a mental patient, or something else.

For example, if the new LOST states that the Island is actually an alien base used for centuries  to experiment on human beings (with the guardians as the immortal beings whose technology equates to "magic" to humans), then the themes of free will, self-determination and redemption of the original LOST characters are diminished since they were basically lab rats for superior beings. The "happy" ending may just as well have been a mental image implanted prior to extermination and autopsy.

If the new LOST was to follow the blueprint of the old series, would anyone really watch it? If another plane load of characters crash lands on the Island, what would be different? And the new show would challenge the alleged canon that the Island "was closed down" by Hurley and Ben.

It would be hard to take the DVD extra to create an entire series about Hurley and Ben closing down the island. Where is the drama in that?

Lindelof was clear he did not want his old characters or even any of the actors return to a reboot. He said the writers tried hard to complete each character's journey. Sending them back for another try on the island would lead to confusion between the stories. (In Star Trek universe, different spin offs kept their story lines apart but through the science-fiction manual of the Federation principles and technology. In LOST, there was not a deep set of iron clad rules and sci-fi principles to build a new tangent series.) So a hard reboot with the old characters would not work. And a series that focused in on the early days of the island would be fraught with open questions that were not answered in the original series, like who were Crazy Mother, Jacob and MIB?

Nostalgia for the series is fine. Continuing debates on show theories is fine. But to recast the show into something else seems to be a terrible idea.