overthinking the idiot box

June 13, 2005

Rejected Column Titles: "Kirk Wouldn't Stoop That Low", "Tea, Earl Grey, Hot," "Resistance is Futile," and "some sort of Locutus pun?" This one goes out to all the nerds in the hizz-ouse.

Holographic wow
Lost: Sci-Fi After Speculation?

by Alison Veneto

I can't escape the pun: sometimes, while watching Lost, I get... lost. There are so many dangling plotlines I don't know where to start speculating.

Now, Lost has given us exactly zero answers to these multitude of questions. But speculation about the answers would lead one to believe that this very well may be a science fiction show. There has been nothing concrete to point to science fiction yet, but if you look at the dangling plotlines...science fiction seems the most likely answer in most of these cases. So, I present you with....

10 Reasons why Lost might be a science fiction show:

  1. The Polar Bear: Not very native to tropical islands now is it?

  2. Walt: It has been inferred that Walt can makes things happen with his brain. See no. 1.

  3. The Monster: Those black flying do-dads didn't look much like science fact.

  4. The Others: What is their interest in small children anyway?

  5. The Numbers: There is something unnatural about them numbers.

  6. The Psychic: He told Claire what was up, and then sent her on the plane. Fishy.

  7. Locke can walk! What category do spontaneous medical miracles fall under?

  8. They all survived the crash with minor injuries. That's pretty amazing.

  9. "No, we're the survivors of Fight 815": This could have a very obvious answer (there are more survivors) or a very sinister one (time travel?).

  10. How did that pirate ship end up so far on shore? Tsunami? Seems a bit suspicious.

This evidence, despite the fact that their may be very good reasons for them (the others were a circus troop that crashed on the island with their performing polar bear and...um....), would indicate perhaps some science fiction is in the works.

A popular theory online, deemed too obvious, if not too stupid, to be true — but one that solves all mysteries nonetheless.
There is a very easy explanation for everything that's not quite science fiction, which is that they're all dead. A popular theory online, deemed too obvious, if not too stupid, to be true — but one that solves all mysteries nonetheless.

Of course, there are other explanations that don't fall into the realm of science fiction. For one, the answers to the mysteries would have to contain some actual science to be science fiction. They could just as easily be fantasy, not science-based fiction. They could also be religious or belief-based. Who knows? But looking at the top ten again, it does seem there is plenty of opportunity for the answer to be mischievous science.

What would it mean for the show if it did turn out to be science fiction? Hopefully, the drama and mystery would have pulled in the audience so securely that they would not be alienated by the introduction of science fiction. It's possible it would actually bring in the science fiction audience if they're not already watching. And it would certainly lead to the science fiction audience, and perhaps this very writer, taking every little tiny thing in the show more seriously and over-analyzing it.

But if you look around the Internet, you will find people are already doing that: re-watching episodes for more tiny clues. People don't do this for other mystery shows. But they do it for science fiction.

But this last weekend there was an event that proved much that it is in fact a science fiction show. Truly the number one reason why Lost is probably a science fiction show, is that it had its own convention this week. Riddle me this — what mysteries, what dramas have their own conventions? But this past weekend, Lost aficionados lined up and paid good money to get autographs and pictures with mostly minor characters on the show. And by good money I mean $40 a photo and $20 an autograph. These people are going to be $100+ of pissed if this turns out not to be a science fiction show.

They also rolled out the Official Lost Fan Club Merchandise for the first time! This convention was held by and will be followed, I believe in the same location, by Battlestar Galactica and Stargate SG-1 conventions.

So prepare yourselves, if the powers that be at ABC want to keep up this kind of lifestyle, I think we're going to have to see some nanites, governmental testing gone wrong and other vaguely scientific wrongdoing next season. But at the very least, if my speculation turns out to be true, Lost can re-affirm for the television viewing audience a fact I think they've forgotten — good science fiction is always about the characters. They put characters in a scientifically altered situation to find out what is at their cores. And Lost may actually open the door for more quality science fiction to break through.

But still, we don't know for sure if science fiction will be the answer. I guess we'll just have to keep watching to find out what exactly we are watching.

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