On Lost

Introduction: Getting Lost

By Orson Scott Card

Back in 1998, my son Geoffrey and I came up with a group of proposals
for television series to pitch to various producers and networks.
At the time, Geoffrey was writing under the name “Rob Porter” to
try to avoid son-of-better-known-author syndrome. One of Geoffrey’s
ideas was expressed in a mere two paragraphs:

Lost – Rob Lee Porter and Orson Scott Card

One hour drama series (fantasy adventure): Survivors of the crash of
an L.A.-to-New-York flight soon realize that they are not where they
ought to be–maybe not even on Earth. Jungle, desert, medieval villages,
modern towns where people have never heard of America–they
want only to go home, but it’s the one place they can’t find. Robinson
Crusoe in Oz.

This idea is dangerous–it could easily degenerate into Gilligan’s Island
or Lost in Space. But if properly developed, this story would allow
an ensemble of characters to grow, develop relationships with each other,
and face important moral dilemmas as they struggle to understand where
they are each week and how to get back to reality. Star Trek with civilians–and without having to fake any space stuff.

We even copyrighted this little prospectus, back in 1997.

No, I’m not claiming that we had even a trace of influence on the
Lindelof/Lieber/Abrams TV series that this book explores and celebrates;
nobody’s going to get sued. My point is merely that what
makes this series work is not the idea–or at least not just the idea.
Because the idea was “in the air.” Indeed, one might  …

More from Orson Scott Card

Stay Updated

on our daily essay, giveaways, and other special deals

Our Books

On Our Blog

We Can’t Get Enough of Fifty Shades of Grey

FiftyWritersonFiftyShadesofGrey_Revised_FrontCoverThe movie may have been released in February, but we still can’t get...

Posted April 28th

The Big Bang Theory: A Writer’s Panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2014

Coming just in time for the holidays, Smart Pop is working with George Beahm on an updated edition of Unraveling...

Posted August 14th

San Diego Comic-Con 2014 Recap + Giveaway

A couple weeks ago we headed to San Diego for our fourth year of exhibiting at Comic-Con. It was equal...

Posted August 5th | 13 Comments »

Subscribe via RSS