By Mark Traphagen on June 12, 2010
The success of Gilligan’s Island inevitably led to a slue of castaways-on-an-island imitators over the years, most of which never got beyond their pilot episodes. I actually remember seeing a couple of the ones featured in the video below. Perhaps that explains why I passed on LOST when it first came around. From what I could tell about the show from the ads hyping the pilot, it was just another in a long line of attempts at the desert island genre.
I was, of course, so wrong.
I didn’t find that out until the summer following the first season, when my online friends as well as my seminary classmates couldn’t stop talking about “what’s in that hatch?” and “who is this Locke guy, really?” My wife and I began to realize that there might be more to this show than Skipper and Gilligan had running under their always-bleached-white caps. We bought season one on DVD and ended up staying up to 3 a.m. for several successive nights, always needing to watch “just one more episode.”
Looking back at the whole series now, many of us are amazed that something this daring and different lasted on TV all the way to its completion. But viewing the video before, which highlights some of the many attempts at the genre prior to LOST, we should be even more amazed that LOST even got on the air at all.