March 2, 2009
The Lost Dawn Treader?
Peter reported earlier this week that The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage Dawn of Treader film is currently undergoing much rewriting. Ironically, some TV viewers have noticed in recent weeks that this Narnia book may actually be getting a rewrite in a different way - on ABC's Lost.
C.S. Lewis' influence on Lost isn't anything new. After all, last year saw the addition of a character named Charlotte Staples Lewis (pictured). Her arrival on the island clearly rang of Prince Caspian. And when I wrote my recent Christianity Today review of the show, I was tempted to include my observations about the show's parallels to The Great Divorce (a group of characters visit heaven - symbolically in Lost, literally in Divorce - but cannot be happy there because of their stubborn and selfish attachment to selfish sins and thus rush back to hell.)
Only recently has the show begun to overtly connect its island to the magical, mythical land of Narnia. While some examples of this would be spoilers to those not fully caught up, suffice it to say that the episode two weeks ago introduced an important place called "The Lamp Post" - which stands figuratively at the Island's entrance, much like the one that welcomed Lucy to Narnia in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.
Entertainment Weekly's resident Lost writer, Jeff Jensen, recently devoted a whole column to Narnia-Lost connections. While much of the article will read like ancient hieroglyphics to the uninitiated (and spoiler-heavy to fans not absolutely caught up), he had some thought-provoking observations - especially regarding Dawn Treader.
Here's a spoiler-free rundown of Jensen's Dawn Treader comparison:
Jensen writes: "Edmund, Lucy, and King Caspian discover yet another mysterious Narnia island that's home to a dormant volcano and a once-glorious civilization that has fallen into ruin." Lost connection: A season 3 episode confirmed a dormant volcano on the show's island and we've seen substantial evidence of a once-glorious civilization there (the giant foot statue seen in season 2 and the ancient temple glimpsed for the first time only recently).
Jensen continues: "The island seems to be imbued with great power. Caspian gets greedy. He wants to exploit this ? to bolster his royal power. He demands that Edmund and Lucy keep the island a secret. Edmund refuses, but his motivations aren't wholly virtuous, either." Well, Lost's island certainly has some sort of power, what with all the dead people walking around and the big smoke monster. Could Edmund and Caspian's argument relate to the ongoing war between Charles Widmore and Benjamin Linus? And who is who?
The final comment Jensen offers up on Dawn Treader is to quote Reepicheap in saying, "This is a place with a curse on it. And if I might have the honour of naming this island, I should call it Deathwater." In a recent episode, Charlotte Staples Lewis yelled, "This place is death!"
Of course, Lost is full of literary allusions from Ulysses to Ambrose Bierce. So exactly how much bearing the work of C.S. Lewis--or Christianity, which has been popping its head up this season--really has on the show's end-game won't be known until it all wraps up. But for fans of both Narnia and Lost, it certainly is a television delight (not to be confused with a turkish one).