Why Isn't Disney+ Doing A 'Lost' Spin-Off Series?

Post by: Rick Ellis 18 November, 2020

The Borg-like content factory that is the Disney Corporation is doing everything it can to make Disney+ a success. Including ordering a bunch of spin-off series or refreshed reboots of many of its familiar properties. There are new Star Wars-inspired TV shows, new Marvel programs, and even a new Phineas & Ferb movie. Every possible piece of intellectual property owned by the massive media company is being considered as the starting point for new projects that will be produced specifically for Disney+. So given that, why isn't Disney considering a spin-off series of one of its most iconic television shows?

Lost aired for six seasons between 2005 and 2010, and while the audience for the series had dipped significantly by the final season, it is a show that continues to a large base of passionate fans. Even better for our purposes, it has a large pool of dedicated fans who are equally split over their happiness/unhappiness about how the show ended.

If you're not super familiar with the series, here's a quick overview. The series centers around the survivors of a plane who survive after it crashes on a mysterious island somewhere in the South Pacific Ocean. Over the course of the six seasons, a mind-numbing collection of supernatural and sometimes just odd people and situations are introduced. Including a mysterious Dharma Initiative, which seems to have been conducting experiments on the island for decades. By season six, there are dual timelines and mysterious battles between good and evil that will impact the future of the island. The series finale ends with some of the survivors and other characters from the island "moving on" to what is apparently the afterlife.

Not surprisingly, this ending did not please many of the fans who were more interested in the mythology than in seeing the island as some metaphor for purgatory. I think it's fair to say that for better or worse, there are a lot of Lost fans in the #TeamMythology camp who would like to see the world of the Island explored in more detail. And that's where a new show would come into the picture.

So what would a Lost spin-off series look like? Well, one possibility would be the storyline that the Lost co-creator/executive producer Damon Lindelof and executive producer Carlton Cuse laid out in the 12-minute long epilogue "The New Man in Charge," which was released on the season six DVD collection. The short contained two storylines and both of them build on the backstory of the original series. In segment one, Ben Linus (Michael Emerson) visits two Dharma Initiative workers in a warehouse in Guam. He shuts down their operation, which had been shipping packages and food to the Island. He tells them the Dharma Initiative has not been in existence for over twenty years. And before he shuts down the warehouse for good, he shows them a DVD presentation from the Dharma Initiative that explains some of the events that took place on the Island (including the reason for the polar bears).

Segment two has Ben visiting the Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute, where he convinces an institutionalized Walt to leave with him. Once they reach Ben's van, they find Hurley and he tells Walt it's time for them to return to the island. As the three men drive off, Hurley also Walt he might have a job for him.

Some of the footage was apparently originally set to air as part of the television series, but regardless of why it never aired, it's clear Lindelof and Cuse had at least considered what Lost might have looked like had it continued past "The End." And Disney+ could certainly try and lure back some of the original cast, in an effort to cobble together some faux Lost sequel series.

But I'd like to see any potential spin-off series be as ambitious as the original incarnation. Create some new characters and storylines that would fit into the familiar "Lost" mythology while not trying to just update the original classic. It's the difference between Enterprise and Star Trek: Discovery. Both of those shows cover some of the same ground, but Discovery reinvented the mythology in a way that respected the original while not simply being a cover band version of the source material. I have my ideas of what that might look like, but my theories about the show don't matter. What does matter is that a confident writer with stones the size of Buicks can successfully bring back The Island while still dealing with the inevitable friendly fire that will be headed their way for daring to take on the project.

That passion is why bringing back the Lost universe makes sense for Disney+. Like some other familiar Disney-owned properties, Lost already has a built-in fanbase and one that is passionate and often pushy. In other words, these are exactly the people who would obsess over every episode of a new Lost series and would write (or rant) about every new episode. The only thing that would more controversial than a Lost-inspired series would be one featuring Jar Jar Binks as a secret Sith Lord. And given the latter will likely never happen, let's go with some more adventures on The Island.

Have some feedback on this idea? Email the author at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and follow him on Twitter at @ayrick.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 18 November 2020 13:18