which I found in quiet_moment's journal (thank you!):
From Zap2It as originally posted in lost_tv by voodoo_in_tx.
'Lost' Castaways Face Their Darkest Fears
(Friday, September 17 12:04 AM)
By John Crook
Here's the first thing anyone should understand about "Lost," ABC's high-profile new adventure drama premiering Wednesday, Sept. 22: It's not really about a hungry monster chasing a bunch of plane crash survivors around a remote desert island.
The ill-tempered, huge but largely unseen beastie plays an unnerving role in the first hour of this promising new series from J.J. Abrams ("Alias") and Damon Lindelof ("Crossing Jordan"), but the show's stories remain tightly focused on the diverse human beings who find themselves thrown together by an air disaster.
Of those 48 survivors, a dozen or so begin to establish themselves as principal characters, among them Jack (Matthew Fox, "Party of Five"); Kate (Evangeline Lilly, "Kingdom Hospital"), an enigmatic beauty; Charley (Dominic Monaghan, "Lord of the Rings"), a young rocker with a painful secret; and Sawyer (Josh Holloway), a wary and possibly violent alpha-male type.
And, in short order, they discover something big and hungry is lurking in the jungle that lines their crash site on the beach.
While emphasizing -- again -- that the monster will figure more as a source of menace that an actively recurring "character" on the show, Abrams says he and Lindelof felt they had to indicate it was on the island from the very first episode.
"If we introduced it in episode nine or 10, you'd feel like, 'What? There's this freaking monster?' It wouldn't make any sense," Abrams explains. "In upcoming scripts, the monster is referenced, but it is in no way in the spotlight of the show."
"I think the monster itself actually represents what we're all scared of," suggests Monaghan, making his U.S. TV series debut here. "For me, 'Lost' is a character study of 13 or 14 people who find themselves thrown together in a situation where, through no fault of their own, they are called upon to face their personal demons."
"If you call it a monster," Abrams says, "it comes kind of disposable and silly and it feels kind of irrelevant or gimmicky. But if you have something that represents terror and represents fear and the darkness of this place, that to me is incredibly valuable."
And "this place," the remote island throbbing with both peril and possibilities, quickly becomes a supporting character in its own right, Fox says.
"'Lost' is about the people, the characters and their relationships," he says. "The title has dual meanings. These people are obviously lost in a physical sense, but they're also personally lost and spiritually lost as individuals -- what they brought, who they were before this crash.
"Each episode will use flashbacks to go back into a character's past and you will learn their history, some of the baggage they may be hoping to leave behind, all within the context of what is happening on the island.
"In many ways, I think this is the story of these characters becoming the people they really want to be. But the island also frees them from a lot of constraints they might face back at home, so some may start going down some pretty dark paths. It's going to be interesting."
Just as viewers will be learning new facets of these characters on a weekly basis, so the actors themselves are not being made privy to any advance revelations unless their characters already would know about them within the context of the story. And the cast also has been instructed not to let any of their co-stars know of personal secrets their character is keeping under wraps.
Thus Monaghan, for example, knew Charlie's secret from square one, although his castmates did not -- and while viewers are let in on the secret early on as well, its nature is such that the young actor admits he has no idea whether Charlie ultimately will turn out to be a good guy or a bad guy.
"Charlie has been in a couple of places in his life that have sent him over the edge, whether because people have badly mistreated him or perhaps his family hasn't given him the respect or support he really needed," Monaghan reveals cautiously.
"I've always enjoyed playing people who appear to be one thing but are actually something else. The Charlie that he puts out there and shows the other characters isn't really the Charlie that he is comfortable with. He is still playing to [the others] as an audience. As an actor, I have to play him right now in a way that I hope will keep the options open for him to go in any direction we need to take.
"That means I can't hit any clear 'good guy' beats or 'bad guy' beats, because soon Charlie is going to need to confide in someone to help him through the bad times and if he makes the wrong choice, that person could use his secret against him, so Charlie is actually a little more cynical and suspicious than he might want to be ordinarily."
Lindelof cautions that viewers simply have to buy into the central conceit of this mysterious island without expecting that an upcoming episode will deliver some sort of concise explanation. "Lost" isn't about why this island is such a strange place, but how its unwilling new inhabitants cope with that strangeness.
And, as "Alias" fans know, Abrams isn't above an occasional shocker of an episode in which the perceived reality undergoes a shattering shake-up. That extends to the whole notion of which players in this huge cast are permanent regulars and which are faceless extras, Lindelof says.
"There are 48 survivors, and the non-regulars are definitely not there just to be eaten," he says firmly. "J.J. and I have already talked about this idea we really love where you get 10 or 11 episodes into the show and one of our regulars goes off into the jungle with one of the more anonymous castaways none of us has really seen before, but against your expectations, the series regular gets killed and the other castaway becomes sort of the new series regular.
"You don't just do that arbitrarily, but you do it to remind the audience that anyone could go at any time."
Can I just say that Abrams is sounding so much like JMS, the creator/writer of Babylon 5 and Jeremiah (the good episodes - *G*)? That gives me great hope, since I haven't seen Alias and don't know much about its quality. But they both are willing to take risks, have deeper levels to their shows, and have visions. Hopefully Abrams writes dialogue as well as JMS - that would be wonderful. I've already gotten to hear great dialogue (and seen great scenes) with Sean Astin as Mister Smith in Jeremiah; if we get the same here with Dominic - *dies*. *S*