It’s been ten years since the hit ABC series Lost went off the air after six seasons, and it’s safe to say that the ending of that show remains one of the most divisive television finales of all time. For a show that was dropping new mysteries and questions seemingly every episode, it was pretty clear by the end that a lot of those mysteries were never going to be paid off in any meaningful way.
One of those tantalizing mysteries dropped in the show’s third season was that of an active volcano on the island, which the viewers saw images, and even a model of, in a Dharma Initiative classroom. It turns those hints were planted there on purpose, because that volcano would have played a big part in the series finale. In the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, former Lost producer Carlton Cuse says he came up with the notion of a volcano playing an active role in the show’s endgame while taking a volcano tour of the Big Island in Hawaii early in the show’s run.
So what happened? It seems it was budgetary concerns that forced the show’s producers to switch gears. ABC decided they couldn’t afford a big volcanic finale for the end of their #1 hit series, and plans were altered. But originally, producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse’s big finish had series protagonist Jack (Matthew Fox) and the Smoke Monster, who took the form of John Locke (Terry O’Quinn), literally fighting amidst an active volcano, Revenge of the Sith style.
Damon Lindelof explained, “The volcano had been dormant for the duration of the series, but based on moving into this endgame, the island had become unstable and the volcano was going to erupt. We were going to have lots of seismic activity, and ultimately, there was going to be this big fight between the forces of good and the forces of evil, which ended up in the series manifesting as Jack and The Man in Black, in the midst of magma. Magma spewing everywhere!” It might have broken the bank, but it would have made for a more memorable finale than what we got in the end.
For more on the Lost finale that never was, be sure to read the full story at Entertainment Weekly.
Images: ABC Television