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15 Behind-the-Scenes Facts About Lost

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ABC

There are countless untold tales and hilarious mishaps from behind the scenes of LOST, which debuted in 2004—and lucky for us, some of the former cast, crew, and creative team were kind enough to share a few tidbits from their experiences working on the show with mental_floss. Enjoy!

1. According to Executive Producer Carlton Cuse, there was a time during the filming of the show when it rained for 42 consecutive days on Oahu. “[The crew] had an incredibly hard time shooting because everything was so wet and the mud was thigh-deep," he says. "Producer Jean Higgins was scrambling to figure out how to put a shooting schedule together to get anything shot in that weather. They had a truckload full of wader boots that people had to put on to shoot in the mud, because you couldn’t go out there in regular gear.”

2. The day before filming at the under-construction Swan hatch for the Season 5 episode “Some Like it Hoth," the entire set was flooded due to heavy rain, in spite of drainage precautions they built into the location. “[There was] so much rain that the drainage area filled up and flooded back into the set," Production Designer Zack Grobler explains. "The construction and SFX crews rushed out and pumped water out, and they still managed to have the set ready for shooting the very next day.”

Zach Grobler

3. The Swan hatch drill and derrick featured in Season 5 of LOST were actually made of plastic, because everything had to collapse into the hole with Juliet in “The Incident, Part 2." "The production crew created the machinery using PVC pipes, plastic pumps, vacuum cleaner motors and various lightweight plastic pieces to make the parts resemble a drill," Grobler says. "The painters then did their magic to simulate real metal.” 

Zach Grobler

4. According to actor Eric Lange, who played DHARMA Initiative member Stuart Radzinsky, one of the jungles where they filmed LOST was located downhill from a pig farm. “After it rained, no one dared to touch the ground and sanitary wipes were passed around!” he says.

5. Grobler enlisted his wife Kristina and her sister—who both have degrees in physics—to help him create the equations on the chalkboard in the off-island Lamp Post station featured in the Season 5 episode “The Lie.” According to Grobler, the chalkboard “contains physics and mathematical formulae, which predict the position of the island by calculating magnetic anomalies around the globe—so that it may be predicted at which point the flight path of the plane might intersect with the position of the island. The calculations even take the Coriolis effect into account, which is caused by the earth’s rotation.” 

Zach Grobler

6. Were there more Dharma stations than what we saw on the show? Cuse says that “we definitely talked about other (Dharma) stations. We discussed a lot about the Dharma Institute’s relation to the Hanso Foundation, what the projects were, what their goals were. The metaphor for the show was always the iceberg; you have to construct the whole iceberg but only the top 20 percent is above the water line.”

7. Cuse, Damon Lindelof, and the writing staff contemplated many possible romantic pairings while creating the world of LOST—including Sawyer and Shannon for an on-island relationship!

8. When it comes to exactly which characters were in the LOST series finale church scene and why, Cuse admits that “there were a couple of people that we might have included in the church that just weren’t available when that scene was getting shot.” But he added that choosing and excluding certain characters for that scene was very strategic for the type of theorizing that fans lived for.

9. Everyone knows that they filmed two alternative deceased characters in Locke’s coffin—Sawyer and Desmond—for the Season 4 finale, “There’s No Place Like Home, Part 3,” in order to throw off potential spoiler seekers. But Cuse and Lindelof forgot to let Josh Holloway (Sawyer) and Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond) know that they were merely fake-out scenes, and that their characters were NOT going to be killed off! Holloway called them to ask about it, and then they called Cusick immediately to reassure him. “I think for two minutes, when Josh was told that he had to get in a coffin and play dead—he thought he had been killed. We’d never be so callous as to kill a character without telling them ahead of time!” Cuse recalls with a laugh.

10. Daniel Roebuck, who played Dr. Arzt, says that while filming his infamous death scene in the Season 1 finale, “the dynamite in my hand had an actual charge. They needed to know where the explosion would emanate from, so the stick was wired up my arm and down my leg. It went off with a pop!”

11. In the Season 3 episode “Expose,” Roebuck had to work with a live centipede. “It took two entomologists to keep the centipede from ripping off my face," he says. "They had to restrain it between takes!” 

12. The cast and crew filmed the “Dr. Linus” Season 6 flash-sideways high school teacher’s lounge scene with Arzt, Ben, and Locke on Halloween. Roebuck remembers it fondly because the entire crew was dressed up for the occasion.

13. “Dr. Arzt and Hurley formed a friendship beyond that island,” Roebuck says. Of the many actors that Roebuck had the opportunity to work with over six seasons of LOST, he truly bonded with Jorge Garcia—primarily due to their shared love of the horror and monster genres. Garcia is the narrator of Roebuck’s Monstermaniacs Shockumentary on his “Dr. Shocker’s Vault of Horror” documentary DVD.

14. When Jack Shephard mentioned that he had taken flying lessons in the pilot episode, many fans remembered his comment and speculated that it was a hint about a possible future plot point (i.e., flying the Ajira plane off of the island). But Cuse says that it was a “non sequitur” that they wrote into the script simply because Matthew Fox had taken up flying on his own.

15. According to Sterling Beaumon, who played the young Benjamin Linus, while filming the Season 5 episode “He’s Our You,” Matthew Fox and Jorge Garcia decided to surprise a family of four who had been standing on the edge of the road watching the action all day. “They were talking about how crazy it was that people stand there so long, and thought it would be fun to surprise the family by going out to see them," Beaumon says. "Of course they weren't supposed to because they were in their Dharma jumpsuits! The family first looked like they were in trouble, and then when Jorge and Matthew took pictures with them—they were so excited.”

Special thanks to Executive Producer Carlton Cuse, Production Designer Zach Grobler and his wife Kristina, and actors Eric Lange, Daniel Roebuck, and Sterling Beaumon!

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10 Things You Might Not Know About Love Connection
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Between September 19, 1983 and July 1, 1994, Chuck Woolery—who had been the original host of Wheel of Fortune back in 1975—hosted the syndicated, technologically advanced dating show Love Connection. (The show was briefly revived in 1998-1999, with Pat Bullard as host.) The premise featured either a single man or single woman who would watch audition tapes of three potential mates discussing what they look for in a significant other, and then pick one for a date. The producers would foot the bill, shelling out $75 for the blind date, which wasn’t taped. The one rule was that between the end of the date and when the couple appeared on the show together, they were not allowed to communicate—so as not to spoil the next phase.

A couple of weeks after the date, the guest would sit with Woolery in front of a studio audience and tell everybody about the date. The audience would vote on the three contestants, and if the audience agreed with the guest’s choice, Love Connection would offer to pay for a second date.

The show became known for its candor: Couples would sometimes go into explicit detail about their dates or even insult one another’s looks. Sometimes the dates were successful enough to lead to marriage and babies, and the show was so popular that by 1992, the video library had accrued more than 30,000 tapes “of people spilling their guts in five-minutes snippets.”

In 2017, Fox rebooted Love Connection with Andy Cohen at the helm; the second season started airing in May. But here are a few things you might not have known about the dating series that started it all.

1. AN AD FOR A VIDEO DATING SERVICE INSPIRED THE SHOW.

According to a 1986 People Magazine article, the idea for Love Connection came about when creator Eric Lieber spied an ad for a video dating service and wanted to cash in on the “countless desperate singles out there,” as the article states. “Everyone thinks of himself as a great judge of character and likes to put in two cents,” Lieber said. “There’s a little yenta in all of us.”

2. CONTESTANTS WERE GIVEN SOMETHING CALLED A PALIO SCORE.

Staff members would interview potential contestants and rate them on a PALIO score, which stands for personality, appearance, lifestyle, intelligence, and occupation. Depending on the results, the staff would rank the potential guests as either selectors or selectees.

3. IN 1987, THE FIRST OF MANY LOVE CONNECTION BABIES WAS BORN.

John Schultz and Kathleen Van Diggelen met on a Love Connection date, which didn’t end up airing. “They said, ‘John, she’s so flat, if you can’t rip her up on the set, we can’t use you,’” he told People in 1988. “I said, ‘I can’t do that.’” However, they got married on an episode of Hollywood Squares. As the article stated, “Their son, Zachary, became the first baby born to a Love Connection-mated couple.”

4. IT LED TO OTHER DATING SHOWS, LIKE THE BACHELOR.

Mike Fleiss not only created The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, but he’s also responsible for reviving Love Connection. “I always had a soft spot for that show,” Fleiss told the Los Angeles Times in 2017. He said he was friends with Lieber and that the show inspired him to “venture into the romance TV space.” “I remember it being simple and effective,” he said about the original Love Connection. “And I remember wanting to find out what happened on those dates, the he said-she said of it all. It was intriguing.”

5. A FUTURE ACTOR FROM THE SOPRANOS WAS A CONTESTANT.

Lou Martini Jr., then known as Louis Azzara, became a contestant on the show during the late 1980s. He and his date, Angela, hit it off so well that they couldn’t keep their hands off one another during the show. Martini famously talked about her “private parts,” and she referred to him as “the man of my dreams.” The relationship didn’t last long, though. “I had just moved to LA and was not ready to commit to anything long-term," Martini commented under the YouTube clip. "The show was pushing me to ask her to marry me on the show!" If Martini looks familiar it’s because he went on to play Anthony Infante, Johnny Sack’s brother-in-law, on four episodes of season six of The Sopranos.

6. BEFORE THE SHOW WENT OFF THE AIR, A LOT OF CONTESTANTS GOT MARRIED.

During the same Entertainment Weekly interview, the magazine asked Woolery what the show’s “love stats” were, and he responded with 29 marriages, eight engagements, and 15 children, which wasn’t bad considering 2120 episodes had aired during its entire run. “When you think that it’s someone in our office putting people together through questionnaires and tapes, it’s incredible that one couple got married, much less 29,” he said.

7. CHUCK WOOLERY WAS AGAINST FEATURING SAME SEX COUPLES.

In a 1993 interview with Entertainment Weekly, the interviewer asked him “Would you ever have gay couples on Love Connection?” Woolery said no. “You think it would work if a guy sat down and I said, ‘Well, so where did you meet and so and so?’ then I get to the end of the date and say, ‘Did you kiss?’ Give me a break,” he said. “Do you think America by and large is gonna identify with that? I don’t think that works at all.” What a difference a quarter-century makes. Andy Cohen, who is openly gay, asked Fox if it would be okay to feature gay singles on the new edition of Love Connection. Fox immediately agreed.

8. ERIC LIEBER LIKED THE SHOW’S “HONEST EMOTIONS.”

When asked about the show's winning formula, Lieber once said: “The show succeeds because we believe in honest emotions. And, admit it—we’re all a little voyeuristic and enjoy peeking into someone else’s life.”

9. IN LIVING COLOR DID A HILARIOUS PARODY OF THE SHOW.

In the first sketch during In Living Color's pilot—which aired April 15, 1990—Jim Carrey played Woolery in a Love Connection parody. Robin Givens (played by Kim Coles) went on a date with Mike Tyson (Keenan Ivory Wayans) and ended up marrying him during the date. (As we know from history, the real-life marriage didn’t go so well.) The audience had to vote for three men: Tyson, John Kennedy Jr., and, um, Donald Trump. Tyson won with 41 percent of the vote and Trump came in second with 34 percent.

10. A PSYCHOLOGIST THOUGHT THE SHOW HAD A “MAGICAL HOPEFULNESS” QUALITY.

In 1986, People Magazine interviewed psychologist and teacher Dr. Richard Buck about why people were attracted to Love Connection. “Combine the fantasy of finding the perfect person with the instant gratification of being on TV, and the two are a powerful lure,” he said. “There’s a magical hopefulness to the show.”

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New Doctor Who Cast and Crew Are Coming to San Diego Comic-Con
Steve Schofield, BBC Worldwide
Steve Schofield, BBC Worldwide

Though Doctor Who fans got a glimpse of Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor in “Twice Upon a Time,” the iconic sci-fi series’s 2017 Christmas special, it will be a few more months until the first female Time Lord officially commandeers the TARDIS. While the new cast and crew have kept relatively mum on what to expect from the new season, which premieres in the fall, BBC America just announced that they’ll be gathering together in July to take part in their first-ever group panel at San Diego Comic-Con.

While Whittaker will be front and center on the panel, which will be hosted by Chris Hardwick, she’ll be joined by two of her three confirmed companions—Tosin Cole (who’ll play Ryan) and Mandip Gill (who’ll play Yasmin). Bradley Walsh, who is not confirmed to be in attendance, will play Whittaker’s main companion, Graham. Also joining the panel are executive producer Matt Strevens and writer-turned-showrunner Chris Chibnall, who has a long history with the series and with Whittaker (he’s the creator of Broadchurch, which saw former Doctor David Tennant star alongside new Doctor Whittaker).

“With this year’s highly-anticipated season packed full of action, adventure, humor and emotion, the panel will be the cast’s first-ever panel appearance ahead of Doctor Who premiering this fall on BBC AMERICA,” the network noted in a press release.

New faces both in front of and behind the cameras won’t be the only changes coming to the eleventh season of Doctor Who. Instead of 12 episodes, there will only be 10, though they will run slightly longer. While it’s not confirmed, it’s expected that the TARDIS will get a slight upgrade, too. But the most noticeable difference will be in the theme music: In February, the show’s longtime composer Murray Gold confirmed that he would not be returning for the new season. Which means that Whovians should prepare for a whole new look and sound.

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