Saturday, August 27, 2005

Lost - Channel 4

I've recently been hooked on the latest television sensation to grace our screens from America (they do produce a heck of a lot of bad TV, but this one seems pretty well written).

It is set on an island where a group of airline passengers have crash landed. Their backgrounds are as shrouded in mystery as the secrets of the island itself. Each episode so far has brought about surprising revelations. There is some kind of "monster" that stalks the island.

It's the kind of show where you build theories and then have to change them as the plot thickens, which I love. It's good for the brain... you have to use it to enjoy the show.

Locke, is by far my favourite character to date. Apart from the fact he seems to have a mysterious anthropomorphic relationship with the island itself, this week we discovered before being stranded on the island... he was wheelchair bound; yet now he runs about like a commando.

One theory that is popular at the moment, is that they are all dead... and the island is actually purgatory. Although as a Christian I cannot subscribe to the theology of purgatory (something I may speak about soon), the scenario would make sense.

I think their are influences of Shakespeare's "Tempest" and the film "Forbidden Planet" in the show too. In the latter there were also invisible monsters known as "Monster's from the Id". In psychology, the Id is our baser nature, our animal instincts... what would lead us to kill or act solely on passion without moral or ethical restraint. Our ego and super ego counterbalance and override this. Anyway in the film, the Id monsters are manifestations of a character's Id... I think this is what is going on in Lost too! Again, it would fit the purgatory idea. One of the key themes, is that life on the island is a blank slate/second chance. If they had to make payment for the less savoury parts of themselves, what better way then to be forced to confront a manifestation of it? In Wednesday's episode, Locke faces one... and survives, nobody else who has messed with one has.

That episode was called "Walkabout". Walkabout is a kind of aboriginal pilgrimage where the participants get in touch with nature. However, it is more than that... on walkabout you are supposed to "meet yourself" as well. So that fits with my Id theory. Locke met his own negativity and somehow overcame it.

There was an English philosopher who shared his name "John Locke". He believed firmly that every man had the right to pursue his own liberty and happiness and that the state should only have so much sovereignty in our lives. He advocated rebellion, if a Government was corrupt. His writings, after his death are said to have influenced both the French and American revolutions. The pursuit of liberty fits Lost's Locke as well. Despite the limitations of a wheelchair, he wanted to go on a Walkabout holiday. They wouldn't let him. He argued "Don't tell me what I can't do!" (which is probably a reason why I like him... he hates the idea that mortal men can constrain him from attaining his goals in life, and resists their attempts to do so). Some have argued that Locke the philosopher was not overly keen on imagination and passion (arguing that the former separated people from reality and the latter led people to act without morality). That would be ironic, because if the island in Lost is a fantasy, then the character John Locke is embracing the imaginary and passionate on it.

But in two weeks time my opinion could be totally different, what do you think about what I have come up with so far.

Let me know your theories if you watch the show yourself!

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