Lost In The Twilight Zone Update 04/27/2010
There is no new Lost episode tonight offering the perfect opportunity to publish my final ABC Lost / Twilight Zone correlation update. The ABC Lost finale airs Sunday evening May 23rd.
Some Background Before We Proceed:
The Twilight Zone was a classic science fiction television series created by Rod Serling that aired from 1959 to 1964. Each episode intertwined the supernatural with topical moral events in today’s society ending with a twist convoluting the outcome. I argue that the same can be said about ABC Lost. The castaways are more than just stranded on an island. There are mysterious forces at work of powers unknown. And just like the Twilight Zone, a twist is inserted in the story convoluting the outcome.
The Twilight Zone had a standard format. Each episode began with a prologue, usually with the host, Rod Serling doing the voice over introducing the characters and setting. At the end of the show, Serling would offer up a final narration of what the viewer just witnessed.
Tonight's format will be different than previous updates. Instead of intensely comparing a single Twilight Zone episode to Lost, we will lightly review seven episodes. Instead of a lengthy comparison of all seven episodes, I will leave judgment in the hands of the viewers only pointing out the obvious.
Tonight's Offerings Are:
The Odyssey Of Flight 33 - Original Airdate - 2/24/21961
Shadow Play - Original Airdate - 05/05/1961
It's A Good Life - Original Airdate - 11/03/1961
Queen Of The Nile - Original Airdate - 03/06/1964
Stopover In A Quiet Town - Original Airdate - 04/24/1964
Little Girl Lost - Original Airdate - 03/16/1962
The Bewitching Pool - Original Airdate - 06/19/1964
Once you see the similarities of both programs, you will quickly realize that Lost is a modern-day Twilight Zone.
The Odyssey Of Flight 33
You're riding on a jet airliner en route from London to New York. You're at 35,000 feet atop an overcast and roughly fifty-five minutes from Idlewild Airport. But what you've seen occur inside the cockpit of this plane is no reflection on the aircraft or the crew. It's a safe, well-engineered, perfectly designed machine, and the men you've just met are a trained, cool, highly efficient team. The problem is simply that the plane is going too fast and there is nothing within the realm of knowledge or at least logic to explain it. Unbeknownst to passengers and crew, this aeroplane is heading into an uncharted region well off the beaten track of commercial travelers. It's moving into the Twilight Zone. What you're about to see we call The Odyssey of Flight 33.
Global Airlines flight 33, typical flight from London to New York. An hour into the flight the Captain and crew notices the plane is acting strange. Its picking up speed and they cannot stop it. They fly into some sort of barrier and are thrown back in time. They spot dinosaurs on the ground that confirms their belief. The captain attempts to repeat the incredible speed increase in hopes of returning to the present. The captain succeeds but finds they didn't travel far enough and find themselves looking down over the 1939 New York Worlds Fair. Being low on fuel, the captain informs crew and passengers that he is going to attempt one more time to reach home and for everyone to remain as calm as possible.
A Global jet airliner, en route from London to New York on an uneventful afternoon in the year 1961, but now reported overdue and missing, and by now searched for on land, sea, and air by anguished human beings fearful of what they'll find. But you and I know where she is, you and I know what's happened. So if some moment, any moment, you hear the sound of jet engines flying atop the overcast, engines that sound searching and lost, engines that sound desperate, shoot up a flare or do something. That would be Global 33 trying to get home — from the Twilight Zone.
Lost began, or perhaps ended on a fateful plane ride. We all know what happened. The plane crashed, bizarre events happened to them, including time travel and so far just like in the Twilight Zone, they are still searching for home.
Adam Grant, a nondescript kind of man found guilty of murder and sentenced to the electric chair. Like every other criminal caught in the wheels of justice he's scared, right down to the marrow of his bones. But it isn't prison that scares him, the long, silent nights of waiting, the slow walk to the little room, or even death itself. It's something else that holds Adam Grant in the hot, sweaty grip of fear, something worse than any punishment this world has to offer, something found only in the Twilight Zone.
Adam Grant was a man convicted of murder who tries to convince the judge and jury that he is living a nightmare, that everything around him is just an illusion that keeps repeating over and over. He states that the judge, attorneys, and jury are merely players in his dream. The judge asks why he is so concerned of dying if its only a dream and Grant says because since having this nightmare, he hasn't been able to get any sleep because he always wakes up screaming. He tells his attorney to go home and what he originally thought was for dinner will be something else. What Grant said is true, and the attorneys friends discuss the matter and perhaps get a stay of execution on the lines of insanity. Alas, the call to the governor arrives to late and Adam Grant is electrocuted. The next day, the same events occur once again, Grant in court going through the same motions, except the characters have assumed different roles.
We know that a dream can be real, but whoever thought that reality could be a dream? We exist, of course, but how, in what way? As we believe, as flesh-and-blood human beings, or are we simply parts of someone's feverish, complicated nightmare? Think about it, and then ask yourself, do you live here, in this country, in this world, or do you live instead in the Twilight Zone?
This connects to my virtual reality theory precisely. Men and women in a captured audience, going through the motions of an execution hearing. One man (Desmond) realizes that everything is an illusion and tries to convince the rest of the people (Castaways) the same. Grant is not completely successful and the pattern repeats itself yet again in hopes that finally someone will come to his aid and rescue him from this nightmare.
Sound like Desmond!!! Desmond is living this nightmare. He now realizes that it is some sort of dream, an illusion, or virtual reality, and he sets off to help not only himself, but the other castaways to help them all wake up from the same shared nightmare.
Its A Good Life
Tonight's story on The Twilight Zone is somewhat unique and calls for a different kind of introduction. This, as you may recognize, is a map of the United States, and there's a little town there called Peaksville. On a given morning not too long ago, the rest of the world disappeared and Peaksville was left all alone. Its inhabitants were never sure whether the world was destroyed and only Peaksville left untouched or whether the village had somehow been taken away. They were, on the other hand, sure of one thing: the cause. A monster had arrived in the village. Just by using his mind, he took away the automobiles, the electricity, the machines - because they displeased him - and he moved an entire community back into the dark ages - just by using his mind. Now I'd like to introduce you to some of the people in Peaksville, Ohio. This is Mr. Fremont. It's in his farmhouse that the monster resides. This is Mrs. Fremont. And this is Aunt Amy, who probably had more control over the monster in the beginning than almost anyone. But one day she forgot. She began to sing aloud. Now, the monster doesn't like singing, so his mind snapped at her, turned her into the smiling, vacant thing you're looking at now. She sings no more. And you'll note that the people in Peaksville, Ohio, have to smile. They have to think happy thoughts and say happy things because once displeased, the monster can wish them into a cornfield or change them into a grotesque, walking horror. This particular monster can read minds, you see. He knows every thought, he can feel every emotion. Oh yes, I did forget something, didn't I? I forgot to introduce you to the monster. This is the monster. His name is Anthony Fremont. He's six years old, with a cute little-boy face and blue, guileless eyes. But when those eyes look at you, you'd better start thinking happy thoughts, because the mind behind them is absolutely in charge. This is the Twilight Zone.
A 6-year-old boy named Anthony normal looking in every way, but looks are deceiving. Anthony is a monster with supernatural powers. Whatever he wishes, happens. All he has to do is think of something and it happens. The townsfolk walk on egg shells in hopes of not angering Anthony. They don't know if he destroyed the state of Ohio or the entire world. Anthony made cars go away, makes the townsfolk live without electricity and television programs. He controls the weather and even what supplies can be found at the local grocery and supply store.
The townsfolk are frightened of Anthony and keep telling him that he is good because if Anthony is displeased, he will wish that person away to the cornfield never to be seen again. Anthony hears a dog barking, and he doesn't like, and sends the dog to the cornfield.
Life continues like this for some time until a birthday party where Dan, who is drunk, can't take Anthony anymore and stands up to him. He calls Anthony a monster and tells the other adults to stand up and kill Anthony from behind. No one acts. Dan is sent to the cornfield.
Because Anthony is angry at what has happened, he makes it snow outside. His father tells Anthony that the snow will kill off half the crops. But as the adults look on, worried smiles on their faces, his father smiles and tells Anthony in a horror-tinged voice, but it's a real good thing you did Anthony. A real good thing. And tomorrow.... tomorrow's gonna be a... real good day!"
No comment here, no comment at all. We only wanted to introduce you to one of our very special citizens, little Anthony Fremont, age 6, who lives in a village called Peaksville in a place that used to be Ohio. And if by some strange chance you should run across him, you had best think only good thoughts. Anything less than that is handled at your own risk, because if you do meet Anthony you can be sure of one thing: you have entered the Twilight Zone.
Ok, everyone sees that the Smoke Monster is Anthony. Old Smoky has supernatural powers just like Anthony. he has his people frightened to death just like Anthony. Anyone that displeases Smoky, gets destroyed, sort of like getting sent to the cornfield. People rise up and revolt against Smoky, only to get destroyed.
The Lost island, an island that cannot be seen and is in unknown waters, sounds a lot like Peaksville, Ohio. Only Peaksville exists to the townsfolks. There is nothing beyond the city limits.
I hope you are beginning to see the similarities of Lost and the Twilight Zone and how the writers used these scenario's to write and feed off for their show.
Queen Of The Nile
Jordan Herrick, syndicated columnist whose work appears in more than a hundred newspapers. By nature a cynic, a disbeliever, caught for the moment by a lovely vision. He knows the vision he's seen is no dream; she is Pamela Morris, renowned movie star, whose name is a household word and whose face is known to millions. What Mr. Herrick does not know is that he has also just looked into the face--of the Twilight Zone.
Noted cynic columnist Jordan Herick prepares to interview the famous actress Pamela Morris known for her extreme beauty and vitality. Many ask her what her secret to staying young is. The interview takes place at the home of Pamela Morris. Jordan meets an old woman and assumes it is Pamela's mother. The old woman speaks up and claims she is the daughter of Pamela. Jordan thinks the old woman is senile.
Pamela comes down and Jordan sees her and falls in love with her. During the interview which turns into flirtatious conversation, where Pamela reveals her dark secret. She produces a small Egyptian scarab beetle. She claims it has the power to drain the life force from other people and transfer the life force to herself enabling her to stay young and healthy forever.
Jordan finds this ridiculous but wonders why she told him this information. He suddenly realizes that he has been poisoned and attempts to escape but to no avail. He falls dead in the house. Pamela uses the scarab to suck the life force from Jordan reducing Jordan to a pile of dust.
The episode ends with another young columnist arriving to interview Pamela, starting the cycle once again. It is implied that Pamela is actually Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, and that she has been existing this way for centuries.
Everybody knows Pamela Morris, the beautiful and eternally young movie star. Or does she have another name, even more famous, an Egyptian name from centuries past? It's best not to be too curious, lest you wind up like Jordan Herrick, a pile of dust and old clothing, discarded in the endless eternity of the Twilight Zone.
In this episode, we have the Egyptian mysticism that is so prevalent on Lost. And a woman who doesn't age that goes by another more famous name, Cleopatra. Richard Alpert from Lost doesn't age. And if you take the initials from his first and last name, RA, you get the Egyptian Sun God, Ra. Coincidence, we think not.
Stopover In A Quiet Town
Bob and Millie Frasier: average young New Yorkers who had attended a party in the country last night, and on the way home, took a detour. Most of us, on waking in the morning, know exactly where we are; the rooster or the alarm clock brings us out of sleep into the familiar sights, sounds, aromas of home and the comfort of a routine day ahead. Not so with our young friends. This will be a day like none they've ever spent, and they'll spend it in the Twilight Zone.
A married couple wake up in a strange house. They only remember that they both drank too much at a party the night before. On the way home, a large shadow had appeared over their car and followed them. As they explore the house, they find its fake, cabinets glued, the appliances mere props, sort of like a doll house. All of a sudden they hear a child's laugh. They go to explore and find the town is all fake as well, right down to the trees on the lawn. They are the only people in town.
The couple become nervous and begin questioning where they are and thinks that perhaps they are in Hell dying in a car crash the night before. Just then they hear a train whistle and rush to the train station thinking they finally found a way out of the town. Smiling, they board the train and are relieved when the train starts moving and heading out-of-town. After a few minutes the train comes to a stop and they realize it went in a circle and they are back where they started.
Rejected, they leave the train and head back into town and are pursued by the large shadow that followed them into town and again they hear the child laugh. Its revealed that the shadow is a giant alien child who abducted the couple from Earth to be pets.
The moral of what you've just seen is clear: if you drink, don't drive. And if your wife has had a couple, she shouldn't drive, either. You might both just wake up with a whale of a headache, in a deserted village, in the Twilight Zone.
This episode introduces the alien influence to the castaways of Lost. The child is playing with them, putting them in multiple scenario's at her whim. They appear to be in control, but they are not. They are trapped in the virtual reality lab.
When the couple tried to escape, they failed, just as the castaways have attempted to escape the island. They always wound up back on the island where they began.
And the twist, as I have been stating for six years, is the introduction of the aliens at the very end of the series, pulling the strings, running the show.
Little Girl Lost
Missing: one frightened little girl. Name: Bettina Miller. Description: Six years of age, average height and build, light brown hair, quite pretty. Last seen being tucked into bed by her mother a few hours ago. Last heard--aye, there's the rub, as Hamlet put it. For Bettina Miller can be heard quite clearly, despite the rather curious fact that she can't be seen at all. Present location? Let's say for the moment--in the Twilight Zone.
A couple, Chris and Ruth, are awoken by the distant whimpering of their little girl, Tina. The couple get up to investigate when they hear their dog barking. They find Tina's bed empty but they can hear her crying. The parents look everywhere for Tina but can't find her.
The father can hear Tina crying and her voice has a strange echo sound to it. He tells his wife that although they can hear Tina, she is no longer with them. All the while the dog is barking wildly in the back yard. The father calls his friend who happens to be a physicist to help find Tina. He lets him in the house and the dog follows. The dog (Vincent) runs to Tina's room and under the bed. In an instant, they dog is gone as well but can still hear it barking.
The physicist examines the ball behind the bed and discovers a portal to another dimension. A dimension that sometimes runs parallel together with their own. They plan on using the dog to guide Tina back to the portal and to safety but it doesn't work. The father then leans into the portal and falls into the other dimension. He lands hard and he sees a bizarre place, quite unlike his own, where things are turning upside down and inside out at the same time.
The father sees the dog and Tina and tries to guide them back to where the portal is. He is afraid to move an inch in fear of not finding the portal again. He hears the physicist tell him to hurry up. Finally, after a tense few minutes, he grabs Tina and the dog and is pulled back to the other side.
The physicist explains that he was telling the father to hurry because the portal was closing in on him and he was actually between dimensions and if he would have stayed a few more seconds, he would have been caught in both dimensions.
The other half where? The fourth dimension? The fifth? Perhaps. They never found the answer. Despite a battery of research physicists equipped with every device known to man, electronic and otherwise, no result was ever achieved, except perhaps a little more respect for and uncertainty about the mechanisms of the Twilight Zone.
Another dimension, a portal to another place. That is right up the Lost castaways alley. The Lost crew has been tossed through time and space countless times ending up who knows where.
About the father in between dimensions. This depicts Desmond. He is living in both dimensions, this is how he can see what is happening in the other time lines and seems to know what is happening in the future.
The Bewitching Pool
A swimming pool not unlike any other pool, a structure built of tile and cement and money, a backyard toy for the affluent, wet entertainment for the well-to-do. But to Jeb and Sport Sharewood, this pool holds mysteries not dreamed of by the building contractor, not guaranteed in any sales brochure. For this pool has a secret exit that leads to a never-neverland, a place designed for junior citizens who need a long voyage away from reality, into the bottomless regions of the Twilight Zone.
Introduction to a perfect setting: Colonial mansion, spacious grounds, heated swimming Pool, all the luxuries money can buy. Introduction to two children, brother and sister: names: Jeb and Sport, healthy, happy, normal youngsters. Introduction to a mother: Gloria Sharewood by name, glamorous by nature. Introduction to a father: Gil Sharewood, handsome, prosperous, the picture of success, a man who has achieved every man's ambition: beautiful children, beautiful home, beautiful wife. Idyllic? Obviously. But don't look too carefully; don't peek behind the facade. The ideal may have feet of clay.
Sport Sharewood and her brother Jeb live in a big, expensive house, but their mother is cold, insensitive and self-centered; their father is kinder, but still a distant and preoccupied businessman.
While Sport and Jeb are sitting by the pool, a young boy that looked like Huckleberry Finn pops up from the deep end of the pool and invites them to follow him. Scout and Jeb do indeed follow him diving underwater. When they surface, they find themselves in a simple rustic homestead. They see kids swimming. laughing, having fun, and playing. It is the complete opposite of their real home life. It is considered the ultimate paradise, where the children are always loved.
A woman appears, calls herself Aunt T, and explains that there are many children whose parents don't deserve them. But soon, sport and Jeb return home to find their parents didn't even notice they were gone and are divorcing. They race back to the pool, dive in, and escape back to Aunt T and the other children.
A brief epilogue for concerned parents. Of course, there isn't any such place as the gingerbread house of Aunt T, and we grownups know there's no door at the bottom of a swimming pool that leads to a secret place. But who can say how real the fantasy world of lonely children can become? For Jeb and Sport Sharewood, the need for love turned fantasy into reality; they found a secret place - in the Twilight Zone.
This was the Twilight Zone's final episode. It wasn't planned as the last episode, so there was no build up to a finale as there is with Lost. However, it is an excellent episode to end with.
The pool is an analogy of then island. The escape hatch is the hatch on the island, or perhaps the secret portal Ben uses to travel to and from the island as well through time and space. When the children do escape, they find an idealic scenario, exactly what children want. Laughing, playing, games, fun all day, candy. Almost as if someone read their minds and constructed a perfect play ground for them.
As we first witnessed the others in their cabins and huts living peaceful, with book clubs, cooking brownies, and tossing the football around, the citizens were at peace. When they returned to the real world, they found that they didn't really fit in there anymore and longed to return back to their island. Just as Sport and Jeb did.
Submitted for your approval. A Lost theory formulated six years ago before most of the cast of characters were introduced. A theory that slowly unfolded revealing more and more of its whole as if a puzzle were being pieced together. As season six comes to an end, my theory is laid out in all its glory, in full view, for all to see.
The sign post up ahead, the next stop.....
LURKING ON THE GRASSY KNOLL