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15 Behind-the-Scenes Facts About Lost

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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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The 10 Best TV Shows on Amazon Prime Right Now
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If you’re a subscriber to Amazon Prime, you’re entitled to free expedited shipping, free Kindle downloads, and lots of other perks. But some customers are perfectly content to relegate their use of the service to the company’s considerable streaming video options.

If you’ve already explored their extensive library of HBO classics like The Sopranos and The Wire, don’t worry—there’s plenty of binge-watching left. Check out our picks for 10 of the best TV shows on Amazon Prime right now.

1. HANNIBAL (2013-2015)

At first glance, Bryan Fuller’s (Pushing Daisies) take on the Thomas Harris novels featuring the gastronomic perversions of Hannibal Lecter seems like a can’t-win: How does anyone improve on The Silence of the Lambs and Anthony Hopkins’s portrayal of the diabolical psychiatrist? By not trying. Mads Mikkelsen’s Lecter is a study in composure; FBI agent Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) is the one who seems to be coming unhinged. While Fuller has time to explore the finer details of Harris’s novels, he also has the temerity to diverge from them. Hannibal’s brief three-season run is a tragedy, but what’s here is appetizing.

2. GOLIATH (2016-)

David E. Kelley (The Practice) wrote this eight-episode limited series about a downtrodden lawyer (Billy Bob Thornton) who brushes up against his former law firm when he tackles an accidental death case that turns into a sprawling conspiracy. Thornton won a Golden Globe for his performance; William Hurt should've won something for his portrayal as the diabolical firm co-founder who keeps pulling Thornton's strings from afar. A second season is set to premiere in 2018.

3. THE AMERICANS (2013-)

If Stranger Things stimulated your appetite for ‘80s paranoia, FX’s The Americans—about two Soviet spies (Matthew Rhys, Keri Russell) embedding themselves in suburban America—is bound to satisfy. As Russell and Rhys navigate a complex marriage that may be as phony as their birth certificates, their allegiance to Russia is constantly tested. Prime has the first four seasons, with the recently-aired fifth season due soon; the show's sixth and final season will air in 2018.

4. SIX FEET UNDER (2001-2005)

A celebration of life under the watch of death: Alan Ball’s Six Feet Under chronicles the Fishers, proprietors of a Los Angeles funeral home who struggle to carry on following the abrupt death of their patriarch. Darkly humorous and emotionally charged, it’s also got one of the most talked-about (and gut-wrenching) finales in television history.

5. JUSTIFIED (2010-2015)

Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) makes his intentions clear in the opening moments of episode one: If he draws his weapon, he’s shooting to kill. That’s more or less what transpires in six seasons of this FX series, which ambles along like a modern-day Western but is transformed by the lyrical dialogue inspired by novelist Elmore Leonard. And like any good white hat, Givens needs his foil. He gets it in the form of Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), who stole the show on another FX series, The Shield, and does the same here. When the two finally face off after years of circling, it’s nothing you’ll have seen coming.


“Social assassin” Larry David is returning from a six-year sabbatical for a ninth season of Curb Your Enthusiasm in October. In the meantime, you can relive every awkward moment from the first decade of his loosely-improvised show. Ambling through Los Angeles, the selfish, abrasive David rarely encounters a situation he can’t make worse.

7. OZ (1997-2003)

Oz, HBO’s first hour-long drama, set the stage for a Golden Age of television, pulling no punches in its depiction of the fictional Oswald State Correctional Facility and its cast of scheming, volatile prisoners trying to survive in an experimental ward. Twenty years later, it might still be the most boundary-pushing series ever to air. 

8. MAD DOGS (2015-2016)

An Amazon original limited series that flew under the radar, Mad Dogs plays like a travelogue for a trip you never want to take. Friends gather in Belize at the behest of a friend (Billy Zane), whose connections with the country’s criminal element wind up being problematic for everyone involved.  

9. MR. SHOW WITH BOB AND DAVID  (1995-1998)

Bob Odenkirk and David Cross’s HBO series mixes surrealism with intricate plotting to produce some of the most inventive sketch comedy on television. If you don't believe us, check out "Pre-Taped Call-in Show" from the 10th episode of season three.

10. THE JOY OF PAINTING (1986-1994)

Happy trees and clouds await viewers of legendary painting instructor Bob Ross, whose canvases beam into your living rooms like digital Prozac.

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YouTube // Surf's Up Studios
Disneyland Opened Today in 1955
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YouTube // Surf's Up Studios

On July 17, 1955, Disneyland opened to the public, complete with a 90-minute live TV special aired on ABC. With hordes of press on location, the affair was a media circus. For people attending the park in person, the launch was a real mess, as thousands of people crashed the party using counterfeit tickets.

Despite the launch troubles in person, the TV coverage was great fun, and it was cohosted by Ronald Reagan alongside Art Linkletter and Bob Cumming. It was a major television event, and you can tell from watching it that such a big show had a lot of moving parts—at one point Linkletter introduces Davy Crockett as "Cinderella." The special aired 61 years ago today, and in a minor coincidence, Reagan accepted the Republican nomination for US President on the same date in 1980. Anyway, strap on your Mickey Mouse wristwatch and go back to 1955 for a wild ride:

(If you'd like to save a copy for later viewing, the Internet Archive lets you download the whole special.)

In 1990, Disney held a 35-year anniversary bash. Here's some TV coverage (again featuring Reagan) from that event, including a sort of blooper/highlight reel of the 1955 event starting just past the 2:00 mark.


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