Perhaps more than any other show in the modern era, LOST was rooted in painstakingly complex mythology, cryptology, and attention to detail-ology. The vast and uncertain web of plotlines and character arcs was what made the show unforgettable, be that permanence positive or otherwise.
All of this factored into LOST being a very specific television experience, one that we’ll probably never have again — as Alan Sepinwall notes in his solid book, it was the first show that dealt with the internet — its rumor mill, rabid fandom and plothole exposure, and inevitable backlash. Had LOST came to be in 2009, we’re probably looking at a very different show.
Now that you’ve mentally revisited The Island, here are a few interesting facts you may not have known about the adventures of Jack Shephard and the time traveling landmass:
1. Jack was originally intended to be killed by the black smoke monster in the pilot, with Kate becoming the leader of the group. ABC executives, however, convinced the writers and producers to keep him alive — reasoning that Jack was too likeable and noble of a character to be outed so abruptly.
The role of Jack was to originally be played by Michael Keaton, though the casting fell through after it was decided Jack was to survive the pilot episode.
2. The most watched episode of the series was the season 2 premiere, “Man Of Science, Man Of Faith” — the episode, which opens to reveal the mysterious Desmond inside the hatch, drew an outrageous 23.4 million viewers.
Five years later, the series finale drew in 15.3 million viewers. Note that part of this probably has to do with the rise of #streaming and the like.
3. Evangeline Lilly was very close to being unable to play the role of Kate Austen. Lilly is a Canadian citizen, and had a multitude of problems with her visa and Screen Actor’s Guild Paperwork. She barely arrived in time for fliming, and was nearly recast.
4. According to a 2010 E! Online article, Mr. Eko turned down a guest spot in the series finale, after a contract dispute. Eko, played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje was originally intended to have a larger role, but was written off in the third season after Akinnuoye-Agbaje grew uncomfortable living in Hawaii, and sought to return to London.
5. Jack is not in every episode, nor is he the character in the most episodes. That honor goes to Mr. Cluck’s owner Hugo Reyes, who appeared in 118 out of 121 episodes. According to IMDB, Sayid, Jack, Kate, Jin, Sun, and Locke all appeared in 117 episodes.
6. Vincent, Walt’s dog, was actually played by a female dog named Madison. In 2001, Madison was ranked eighth amongst the best obedience dogs in Hawaii — an honor that exists.
7. Although Kate’s on screen love life was devoted to Jack and Sawyer, off screen she spent quite a bit of time with Charlie. Evangeline Lilly and Dominic Monaghan dated from 2004 – 2009, and were at one point engaged.
8. Illana Verdansky, the woman on Season 5’s Ajira Airways Flight 316 who apprehends Sayid after Jacob visits her in the hospital and asks her to help protect the six candidates and bring them back to the Island, was intended to be Jacob’s daughter. However, it was deemed there was not enough screen-time remaining to develop her story without taking away from the main plot. Instead, she was abruptly killed.
9. In the final episode of season 3, Jack visits a funeral parlor to pay his respects to a man named “Jeremy Bentham,” who is later revealed to be John Locke. The funeral parlor is called “Hoffs/Drawlar,” which is an anagram for “Flash Forward”; at the end of the episode, the big reveal is that what’s believed to be a series of flashbacks are actually flash-forwards.
10. The last word in the series is “you,” uttered by John Locke to Jack after he arrives at the chapel, telling Jack “We’ve been waiting for you.”