‘Lost’
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‘Lost’s’ pop culture references

‘Lost’
By Patrick Day, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

More than any other show on prime time, “Lost” delivers a little something for everyone. It’s a little science fiction, a little mystery, a little adventure, a little melodrama and a little comedy -- chances are you connect with certain elements and tolerate the rest. And true to that eclectic mix of genres, “Lost’s” creators have publicly acknowledged the diversity of their inspirations in creating the sprawling series. Did that character’s name sound familiar? Chances are you’ve come across it before, in another form. Here are a few of the series’ more prominent pop cultural forebears. (Mario Perez / Associated Press)
Lost
‘The Wizard of Oz’

The arrival of the survivors on the mysterious island, knocked out of the sky and crashing down into a strange and bizarre new world, is reminiscent of Dorothy Gale’s arrival in Oz. Later in the second season, Others leader Ben Linus introduced himself as Henry Gale and claimed that he arrived on the island in a hot-air balloon, evoking the name of Dorothy’s Uncle Henry and the way the Wizard himself left Oz at the end of the movie. (Film Preservation Foundation)
Stephen King
Stephen King

Several of the horror master’s bestsellers have found a place in the “Lost” narrative, either as influence or as props. The survivor/Other rivalry is reminiscent of the rival groups of survivors in King’s post-apocalyptic “The Stand.” And Charlie (Dominic Monaghan), the heroin-addicted musician, bears a strong resemblance to Larry Underwood, King’s similarly addicted musician in “The Stand.” The Others used “Carrie” as their book club selection and the young girl’s psychic powers may be reminiscent of possible mind powers possessed by Walt and Ben. Additionally, the interconnectedness of the main characters’ pre-island lives recalls the cohesiveness King used in his “Dark Tower” series to draw his literary works together. (Peter Kramer / AP)
‘The Prisoner’
‘The Prisoner’

Patrick McGoohan’s enigmatic sci-fi series from the 1960s casts a long shadow over the island, though it hasn’t been referenced explicitly. But that mysterious smoke monster that roams around the island bears a strong resemblance to the ominous white bubble that served as a deterrent to people trying to escape the Village in the British series. And some of the Others’ experiments recall some of the tortures Number 6 underwent at the hands of his captors. ()
‘Lost’
‘Survivor’

Before it premiered in 2004, most people who heard the premise of “Lost” immediately thought of the hit reality show on CBS. In fact, the ABC executives who commissioned the pilot were looking to re-create that show’s must-watch status of its earliest seasons. “Lost” has since far surpassed the reality show in artistic ambition and scope, but it’s not above evoking some iconic images. Was this picture taken before a showdown with the Others or were they heading into Tribal Council with guns trained on Jeff Probst? The similarities are astounding. (ABC)
Jules Verne
Jules Verne

Two of Verne’s works in particular, “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” and “The Mysterious Island,” have been key influences on “Lost.” Though the submarine the Others used to get on and off the island was nowhere near as exotic as Captain Nemo’s Nautilus, the visual was similar enough to evoke Verne. But more explicit references can be found to Verne’s “Mysterious Island,” which had its main characters arrive on the island on a hot-air balloon. ()
Sawyer
Sawyer’s reading list

James Ford’s assumed name, Sawyer, evokes the main character of Mark Twain’s classic “Tom Sawyer,” but Sawyer has never been seen reading that book. Sawyer’s reading selections, however, go a long way to giving viewers a clue into the philosophy and influences of “Lost” creators Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse and J.J. Abrams. To date, the reading list includes “A Wrinkle in Time,” “Watership Down,” “Of Mice and Men,” “Lancelot,” “Hindsight,” “The Fountainhead,” “Evil Under the Sun” and “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.” (ABC)
Flann O’Brien
‘The Third Policeman’ by Flann O’Brien

For those trying to unlock the secrets of “Lost,” this could be the most important book ever referenced in the series. It’s visible in Desmond’s living quarters in the Swan Station early in Season 2 and the visual cue in the episode caused the cult novel to sell more copies in the weeks following its first airing than it had in the six years previous. But what is it about? The plot involves an unnamed protagonist setting out to murder and rob a rich man, but uncovers a substance called omnium, which exists in a box and can become whatever the user wants it to be. ()
Alice Through the Looking Glass
Lewis Carroll

Many references have been made to the works of Lewis Carroll, including episode titles “White Rabbit” and “Through the Looking Glass,” and the hidden underwater Dharma base known as the Looking Glass. The overall tone of “Lost” emphasizes the sense of disorientation and surprise that Carroll’s books reveled in. ()
‘Myst’
‘Myst’

Lindelof has acknowledged the influence of the mysterious, puzzle-solving video game as one of the main influences on “Lost’s” tone. Without rules or a specific goal, the game allowed players to explore their environment and slowly uncover the real story. This holds true with “Lost,” with the characters ever so gradually revealing the island’s true nature and history. ()
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