A long, long time ago in a faraway land filled with TV pilot ideas, writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz dreamed up a concept for a show filled with beloved fairy tale characters. The two young men got sidetracked though by another little show called “LOST”, where they spent many years honing their writing skills and weaving intriguing mysteries for their viewers. All good stories, even ones told on TV, must eventually come to an end and after they closed the final chapter of “LOST”, a new saga was born in the form of ABC’s “Once Upon a Time.”
“LOST” and “Once Upon a Time” are very different shows, but as a fan of both , I can’t help but notice themes and parallels between the two. Probably the most obvious observation a casual viewer of both shows would make are the shared cast members. Emilie De Raven: Clair on “LOST”/Belle on “Once”, Alan Dale: Charles Widmore on “LOST”/King George on “Once”, Jorge Garcia: Hurley on “LOST”/Anton the Giant on “Once” and the most recent casting addition, Rebecca Mader: Charlotte on “LOST”/Wicked Witch on “Once”.
Similarities don’t end there, though. Kitsis and Horowitz seem to be fans of villainous smoke and fog – The Smoke Monster was a huge “character” on “LOST”, protecting the island, seizing people and killing at the bidding of whoever controlled it. “Once” has seen it’s share of smoke and fog too – Regina’s curse came in the form of a thick, purple fog. The smoke of the true love potion was also purple and green smoke covers Storybrooke after a spell is cast by Peter Pan. The Evil Queen can even transform herself into black smoke like The Man in Black on “LOST.”
And then there’s all the flashbacks, time travel, parallel universes in “Once” that are much like the flash backs/flash forward/flash sideways storytelling timeline on “LOST.” It’s just a little easier to keep track of on “Once”, though. Some of the Storybrooke characters even travel to an island (Neverland) in season 3. Coincidence? Probably not.
But wait, there’s more! If you’re not a die hard of both shows, you probably haven’t noticed any of the “LOST” Easter Eggs that pop up all over the place. Here’s just a few:
- The time on the Storybrooke clock is frozen at 8:15 which is a reference to Oceanic Flight 815 that all the characters of “LOST” were on when the plane crashed on the island.
- An Apollo candy bar from “LOST” pops up all over the place on “Once.”
- Numbers, numbers, numbers! The numbers John Locke was so obsessed with punching in the computer in the hatch on “LOST” show up on “Once” on clocks, road signs, license plates and house numbers (just to name a few).
- Oceanic flight 815 flies overhead and startles Pinocchio when he arrives in the land without magic.
- The heart of the island in “LOST” looks very much like the Neverland spring and serves a similar purpose on the show.
For fans of both shows, throwing in all the hidden references to “LOST” makes watching “Once” an even more enjoyable experience. Some of the plot stylings and similarities might be conicindences simply because the shows share writers, but I like to think of it as a gift from Kitsis and Horowitz. “LOST” might be gone, but it lives on through blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments scattered among the seasons of “Once Upon a Time.”