Pilot (Lost)

Pilot (Lost)

Infobox Television episode
Title = Pilot
Series = Lost
Season = 1
Episode = 1 & 2
Guests= Fredric Lane
L. Scott Caldwell
Kimberley Joseph
Jon Dixon
Michelle Arthur
Dale Radomski
Geoff Heise
Barbara Vidinha
Greg Grunberg (uncredited)
Airdate =September 22, 2004 (Part 1),
September 29, 2004 (Part 2)
Production = 100
Writer = Story by Jeffrey Lieber and J.J. Abrams & Damon Lindelof, Teleplay by J.J. Abrams & Damon Lindelof
Director = J.J. Abrams
Episode list = "Lost" (season 1)
List of "Lost" episodes

Caption = Flight 815 after the crash
Prev =
Next = Tabula Rasa

"Pilot" constitutes the first and second episodes of the first season of "Lost", that premiered on September 22, 2004 (Part 1) and September 29, 2004 (Part 2) at ABC . The episodes were directed by J.J. Abrams, and written by Abrams along with Damon Lindelof, based on story by them and Jeffrey Lieber. The pilot introduces the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815, who suffer a plane crash and end up on a mysterious island. Three of the characters, Jack Shephard, Kate Austen and Charlie Pace, are featured in flashbacks to their experiences as the plane breaks apart in midair; these scenes established "Lost"'s distinctive use of flashbacks.

This episode was the most expensive pilot in television history, [cite web|url=http://www.wizarduniverse.com/television/lost/004036830.cfm|title= TV Q&A: ‘LOST’—JACK BENDER|publisher=Wizard|date=2007-03-27|accessdate=2007-10-03] primarily due to the expense of purchasing, shipping, and dressing the actual decommissioned aircraft body used to represent the wreckage. It cost between $10 and $14 million. [cite news|title=New series gives Hawaii 3 TV shows in production| last=Ryan|first=Tim|url =http://starbulletin.com/2004/05/17/news/story7.html| publisher=Honolulu Star-Bulletin|date=May 17, 2004] Both parts of the pilot earned high ratings, and the episode would later win many awards.


"Part 1"

Jack Shephard awakens in the jungle, disoriented, battered and bruised, noticing for a fleeting moment a yellow Labrador retriever darting through the bamboo forest. As he attempts to gather his thoughts, he discovers a small bottle of vodka in his suit pocket. Finally able to stand, he crashes through the jungle vegetation and emerges onto an expansive beach, where he is confronted by the carnage of the airplane crash of Oceanic Flight 815. Jack, a distinguished surgeon, darts from one survivor to the next, organizing the survivors, giving orders and administering medical aid. In quick fashion, he rescues a man pinned under wreckage, assists the pregnant Claire and enlists Hurley to watch her, and administers CPR to Rose, saving her life.

After the initial shock of the crash passes, Jack retreats to a quiet area beyond the beach to tend to his own minor injuries when he notices Kate watching him. He asks for assistance, which she reluctantly gives, and helps suture the wound on his back. During the procedure, Kate reveals that their plane had broken apart in mid-air. Hours later on the beach, while Kate curiously observes Jack tending to a critically-injured unconscious passenger, survivors Michael and Walt discuss what to do with the bodies in the wreckage, while an uninterested Sawyer looks on. Sayid organizes a clean-up crew, while Hurley salvages meals from the plane's galley and distributes them to the survivors. Shannon refuses chocolate offered by her brother Boone, believing that rescue is imminent.

That night, the peacefulness of the camp is disturbed by loud roaring noises and crashing trees emanating from the nearby jungle. In the morning, Jack decides that the survivors need to send a distress signal to have any hope of rescue, and he believes the best solution is to use the plane's transceiver, located in the cockpit of the plane. Kate claims to have seen smoke from somewhere within the jungle and asks to come with Jack to find what is hoped to be another part of the plane's wreckage. With Kate and Charlie, Jack sets off into the jungle to find the cockpit. As they move deeper into the jungle, they encounter a sudden rainstorm. When the trio finds the plane, resting against a tree, they are forced to climb through the rows of seats to reach the cabin. Inside, they find the pilot still in his seat. Charlie disappears into the bathroom while Jack and Kate find the pilot awaking with a start from a concussion. He tells them that the plane had lost radio contact six hours after take off, where it turned back for Fiji and hit turbulence. The plane was a thousand miles off course when it crashed.

Meanwhile, on the beach during the rainstorm, a group of survivors takes refuge in the wreckage. While huddled there, a young Korean man, Jin, tells his wife, Sun, that she should remain close to him at all times. Even though most of the survivors have taken shelter, John Locke remains outside and sits alone in the rain on the beach with his arms outstretched and seems to enjoy the moment. Back in the plane's cockpit, the conversation is interrupted when the strange roaring noise that the group heard from the jungle the previous night returns. When the pilot investigates, he is seized by something outside, which drags him through the cockpit window, prompting the trio to grab the transceiver and flee. During the escape, Charlie falls. Jack returns to help him, while a terrified Kate runs on. After the monster disappears, Kate, Charlie and Jack reunite and find the pilot, his bloodied corpse suspended in a tree top.

"Part 2"

Jack, Kate, and Charlie head back to the beach. Kate asks Charlie what he was doing in the bathroom, and he says he was sick, but "in a flashback, it is revealed that Charlie had been doing drugs in the bathroom, and attempted to flush his stash but had been prevented by the sudden onset of turbulence."

On the island, while looking for his dog Vincent, Walt discovers a pair of handcuffs. After he shows Michael the cuffs, Sawyer attacks Sayid who he believes is an Iraqi terrorist who blew up the plane. They are soon stopped by Michael and then returned Jack. Sayid manages to repair the transceiver, but it does not have a signal or much battery life. While working on it, he reveals to Hurley that he was a communications officer with the Iraqi Republican Guard in the Gulf War. While reading a letter sadly Sawyer decides to go with Sayid and the group (Kate, Charlie, Shannon and Boone) to bring the transceiver inland in an attempt to reach higher ground and get a better signal. Along the way, they are attacked by a charging polar bear, which Sawyer shoots and kills. He then explains that he got the gun from the body of a dead U.S. marshal. Sayid accuses Sawyer of being the marshal's prisoner. Kate takes the gun from Sawyer, and Sayid instructs her on how to dismantle it.At this point, Sawyer becomes relatively disliked by the other survivors.

"A flashback shows the final moments of the flight. Kate is talking to the marshal, the same injured man to whom Jack had been tending, on the beach. On the plane, it can be seen that Kate is wearing the handcuffs that Walt found in the jungle. As the turbulence hits, the marshal is knocked unconscious by a falling suitcase. Kate uncuffs herself, and puts the marshal's oxygen mask on him before attaching her own, at which point the tail end of the plane suddenly breaks off and falls away."

Back at the beach, the marshal wakes up during the operation and asks Jack, "Where is she?" Inland, Sayid turns on the transceiver and it has a signal. However, it is being blocked by a transmission in French that has been repeating for over sixteen years. Shannon translates it: "I'm alone now, on the island alone. Please someone come. The others are dead. It killed them. It killed them all." The group gives each other meaningful looks before Charlie says "Guys, where are we?".


In January 2004, Lloyd Braun, head of ABC at the time, ordered an initial script based on his concept of a cross between the movie "Cast Away" and the popular reality show "Survivor". Jeffrey Lieber was hired to write the script for "Nowhere", described by Lieber as a "Lord of the Flies"-inspired realistic show about a society putting itself back together after a catastrophe." Unhappy with the result and a subsequent re-write, Braun contacted J. J. Abrams, creator of the TV series "Alias", to write a new pilot script.cite news|title=Cast Away| last=Bernstein|first=David|url=http://chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/August-2007/Cast-Away/index.php?cp=2&si=1#artanc| publisher=Chicago Magazine|date=August, 2007] Although initially hesitant, Abrams warmed up to it on the condition that it, "not be a normal island", and eventually collaborated with Damon Lindelof to create the series' style and characters.cite news| last=Craig| first=Olga| title=The man who discovered 'Lost' - and found himself out of a job| url=http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/08/14/wlost14.xml| publisher=The Daily Telegraph|date=14 August 2005] The development of the show was constrained by tight deadlines, as it had been commissioned late in the 2004 season's development cycle. Despite the short schedule, the creative team remained flexible enough to modify or create characters to fit actors they wished to cast.Abrams, J. J and Lloyd Braun, "Lost Season 1 DVD" (extras), Buena Vista Home Entertainment, 6 September, 2005.]

The pilot was shot in Oahu, Hawaii, except the studio scenes set inside the flight, shot in Los Angeles.cite video|title=Welcome to Oahu|location="Lost, the Complete First Season"|medium = Documentary |publisher=Buena Vista Home Entertainment] The wreckage of Flight 815 was made with a Lockheed L-1011 built in 1972 and previously used by Delta Airlines until 1998, that after being purchased by ABC was broken up and sent to Hawaii by ship. [cite video|title=Designing a Disaster|location= "Lost, the Complete First Season"|medium = Documentary |publisher=Buena Vista Home Entertainment]

Many special effects were used, especially bluescreen. One was made just before Part 2 was broadcast, since a scene involving a stuffed polar bear was freeze framed and mocked on the internet, prompting ABC to replace it with a CGI bear.


Originally, Jack was conceived as a supposed leader that would end up killed in the ending of Part 1, leaving Kate to take leadership of the survivors. The role was offered to Michael Keaton, but later on it was decided that the character of Jack was to stay, making Keaton give up the job. After Matthew Fox's casting as Jack, the character was established as a leader, and the airplane pilot was introduced to take Jack's place as the Monster's first victim.

Evangeline Lilly and Yunjin Kim auditioned for Kate, with the former being chosen (despite troubles with passport that almost made her lose the test), but the producers were impressed with the latter's performance and wrote her the character of Sun, with also the addition of her husband Jin, portrayed by Daniel Dae Kim.

Matthew Fox, Dominic Monaghan and Jorge Garcia auditioned for the role of Sawyer, who at the time was supposed to be a suit-wearing city con man. The part of Hurley was written for Garcia, and due to the producers enjoying Monaghan's performance, the character of Charlie, originally a mature former rock star, was changed to fit him. When Josh Holloway auditioned for Sawyer, the producers liked the edge he brought to the character (he reportedly kicked a chair when he forgot his lines and got angry in the audition) and his southern accent, so they changed Sawyer to fit Holloway's acting.

The character of Sayid was created after seeing Naveen Andrews's work. Locke and Michael were written with Terry O'Quinn and Harold Perrineau in mind.cite video | title = Before They Were Lost | medium = Documentary | location = "" | publisher = Buena Vista Home Entertainment]


"Part 1" earned a ratings record for a pilot episode, with 18.6 million viewers, [cite news|first=Rick|last=Kissell|title=ABC, Eye have quite some night|url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117910869?categoryid=14&cs=1|publisher=Variety|date=September 25, 2004] and "Part 2" scored 10.5/17 on the Nielsen Ratings, being seen by 17 million viewers. [cite web|url=http://www.lost-media.com/modules.php?name=News&file=print&sid=10|title=Struggling ABC May Have Found a Hit in 'Lost'|publisher=Lostmedia.com|work=Reuters|date=2004-10-01|accessdate=2007-09-22]

Reviews were favorable upon release. IGN gave it a 10/10 score declaring that "Lost" "delivers on every promise it makes to its audience", [cite web|url=http://tv.ign.com/articles/550/550214p1.html|title=IGN: Pilot, Part 1 Review|publisher=IGN|date=2004-09-22|accessdate=2007-09-22] "Entertainment Weekly" gave an A stating that even non-science fiction and fantasy fans can like it, [cite web|url=http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,697505,00.html|publisher=Tucker, Ken|title=TV Review: Lost (2004)|publisher=Entertainment Weekly|date=2004-09-24|accessdate=2007-09-22] and USA Today gave it 4 stars praising the cast. [cite web|author=Bianco, Robert|url=http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/reviews/2004-09-21-lost-review_x.htm|title='Lost' finds fresh adventure in familiar story|date=2004-09-21|accessdate=2007-09-22] The Futon Critic later chose the pilot as the fifth best TV episode of 2004. [cite web|url=http://www.thefutoncritic.com/rant.aspx?id=20050121|title=The 50 Best Episodes of 2004: #10-1|author=Sullivan, Brian Ford|publisher=The Futon Critic|accessdate=2007-09-22]

At the 2005 Emmy Awards, J.J. Abrams won Directing for a Drama Series for the pilot, with Mary Jo Markey winning Editing for a Drama Series, and additional nominations to Sound Editing and Writing for Drama Series. Casting director April Webster won an Artios Award for her work in the pilot. The pilot also won two Golden Reel Awards for Effects & Foley, and a VES Award for visual effects. The episode was also nominated for an Hugo Award and the awards of the American Society of Cinematographers, Art Directors Guild and Directors Guild of America. [cite web|url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0411008/awards|title=Awards for "Lost" (2004)|publisher=IMDb|accessdate=2007-09-22]


External links

Part 1

* [http://abc.go.com/primetime/lost/episodes?pn=episodes&s=1&ep=101&pg=1 Summary at official website]
*imdb title|id=0636289|title=Pilot: Part 1
* [http://www.tv.com/lost/pilot-1/episode/334467/summary.html?tag=ep_list;ep_title;0 Profile] at TV.com

Part 2

* [http://abc.go.com/primetime/lost/episodes?pn=episodes&s=1&ep=102&pg=1 Summary at official website]
*imdb title|id=0636290|title=Pilot: Part 2
* [http://www.tv.com/lost/pilot-2/episode/334468/summary.html?tag=ep_list;ep_title;1 Profile] at TV.com

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