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Spun: Lost - The Initiative & The New Man In Charge!

Every now and then, a successful TV show creates a spinoff that fans fall in love with (Frasier, Daria, even The Simpsons, believe it or not). Unfortunately, these gems are heavily overshadowed by the worst of the worst (Joey, Joanie Loves Chachi, Saved by the Bell: The College years). The term “spinoff” is now met with rolling eyes and groans, when its full potential hasn’t even been tapped. In the new Golden age of television, the fields are ripe for harvest! Sick of waiting for Hollywood to hurry the hell up, we’re just going to do it ourselves. Your favorite shows are about to be Spun. 

Let’s set the stage. Carlton Cuse just signed a new 4 year deal with ABC. Hulu just scooped up all 6 seasons of Lost, after it’s deal with Netflix expired. In random corners of the internet, this headline is suddenly making the rounds this past month “No plans for a Lost Revival at ABC…yet”. 

“[Co-creator] Carlton [Cuse] and I always said that we welcome any future crack at the [intellectual property]. Lost was bigger than us and bigger than JJ.” -Damon Lindelof

Come back to twitter so I can send you this article directly.

This is what Damon Lindelof told Cinema Blend a year ago. “Clearly, if one were to take a crack, we’d need to go into it knowing that it needs to be a new story for a new cast”. The characters of Lost had their stories told in a form which was new to television in the mid 2000’s, showing us what they went through in the present, how that tied to their pasts, and how it would affect their futures (a hurdle I expected This is Us to jump, and they just did). Lost even had their characters reunite in the afterlife. That’s a whole new level of narrative exposition! You don’t see Dexter meeting his victims in Heaven (a Showtime Original Film?) or the cast of Full House being condemned to Hell (whatever happened to predictability?). Say what you’d like about the questions you were left with, Lost told you more than you needed to know about its characters, because honestly, it was always about the characters. So a new cast and a new story is necessary, but it should have significant nods to the story and the mythology that made the original series so iconic. So...a future crack at the intellectual property?? Don’t mind if I do, Damon. 

Title: LOST: The Initiative

The Pitch: Season 5 of Lost threw fans a huge curveball by moving away from flashbacks and flash-forwards, and instead giving them timeline flashes, transporting many of our characters through time and showing them everything from an Egyptian like statue from before the 1860’s (first teased in season 2), to an airlines water bottle in 2007, to a nuclear warhead sometime in the 50’s. These flashes eventually ended with our characters being stuck in the 70’s, when the Dharma initiative was inhabiting the island. The “record stopped spinning” and they stayed there for a decent amount of time compared to the times of the other flashes, and that time introduced us to a number of new people. The characters we’ve been familiar with ended up under the employment of the Dharma Initiative. It was here that fans finally got answers to many of their burning questions over the last few seasons (what was the swan station for, why did the clock need to be reset every 108 minutes, why are there polar bears on the island, etc.). So it is here that a spinoff presents itself. 

"Lost: The Initiative" would introduce us to a few new, unnamed characters as they journey to the island to begin orientation at the start of the Dharma Initiatives inhabitance, sometime between 1970 and 1972. It should be noted that the Dharma Initiative didn’t encounter hostiles on the island until 1973. They practically handed me a Season 1 finale. 

The Characters: 

The new recruits look like a fun-loving gang!

First off, it needs to be established up front that the familiar faces from Dharma shouldn’t be the main characters…at all. Cameos of those characters? Sure, why not? But this is a different story that happens to take place in the same location at a time we’ve only seen glimpses of. 

The formula for our main characters should be the same for this show as it was for the original series. A very diverse cast, multiple religious backgrounds, from different countries, with stuggles unique to them. Why change the formula when it worked so well? I'd like to see a female front the show this time around though, preferably one not as hateable as Kate (Kateable?). There first time meeting, would be on the Island, again, like the original series. Just a little more peaceful this time around (at first, at least).

If we’re going to talk cameos, the first familiar character we’d see should be the first member of the Dharma Initiative we were introduced to. Dr. Pierre Chang. He made his arrival to the island in 1971, which was when construction on the barracks began, and about a year before the recruits arrive. He’s already gotten his hands into plenty of mischief in the year before our new characters arrive. Maybe as the show progresses, we eventually introduce a mysterious antagonist in the form of Alvar Hanso. According to Canon, Hanso was never on the island. As far as our castaways, we already know they ended up in the Dharma years in Season 5. 1974 if we’re being accurate. Can you imagine that cliffhanger? Our new main characters running into, let’s say Hurley, during the season 2, or season 3 finale? Or maybe Jin? Juliet? Jim LaFleur? Or a 9 year old Ben Linus? Too good...there's...too..many...cameos to list...overwhelmed...the geek have inherited the earth...

Plan B Pitch:

If nostalgia is not your thing, then the only other option is to move the story forward, with some, but very few clever nods to the original. Meaning our story would have to focus on Hurley, and his veteran partner Ben Linus, with a few appearances from a Young Adult Walt. It’s sounds like a Lethal Weapon, buddy cop kind of deal., I know. But the advantage to doing this story is it gives us an opportunity to revisit the mythology of the island not long after the original series, and plug up any plot holes that we may have been left with. But what drives the story? What is the reason to tune in? What is the title?? 

How about LOST: The New Man in Charge. Named after the bonus scene on the final season DVD, this story would follow Hurley and Ben finally recruiting Walt to go back to the island. Why? Because he’s special. There’s been something special about him his whole life that people have noticed, but his abilities really showed and were truly noticed when he was on the island. It’s no wonder Hurley wants him back. 

Speaking of Hurley, his lottery winnings are what’s funding this new age of the island. When the bonus scene ended with all three characters driving away in a Dharma Volkswagen van, what if that wasn’t a mistake? What if Hurley and Ben are rebuilding the Dharma Initiative? 

Music Builds. 

Cut to black. 

What do you schmoes think? Should ABC take a risk on another revival, in the midst of a season of revivals? Could they already be working on this with Carlton Cuse? Would you even want to see Lost revisited? Be brutally honest by sounding off in the comments!

Source: JoBlo.com
Tags: column, dharma, Lost, Spun, TV

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