Those TV show fan sites and discussion boards littering the Internet are meant to be quite separate from mainstream daily newspaper journalism. So sue me. And join me, fellow “Lost” geeks, for a bit of trolling and deciphering.
Visitors to the Lost-TV.com site are by now aware of “the Dharma Initiative Countdown Clock” available for download. This is an imaginative replay of the countdown machine at the heart of the series, which requires the folks stranded on the island to push a button every 108 minutes for 540 consecutive days. Why? That’s among the central mysteries.
The series is intentionally dense, with plot points hidden in previous episodes that the producers won’t address until much later. That makes it ripe for deconstruction. The Internet is the perfect laboratory.
Using the Internet to publicize a show is nothing new. For “Lost,” it becomes a way to enhance enjoyment of a terrific entertainment that is compelling beyond the weekly hour. The series is profound enough to warrant digging.
If you’re like the “Lost” character John Locke, you felt a need to repeatedly watch the instructional film unveiled in the Oct. 5 episode. That film was called “The Dharma Initiative, 3 of 6, Orientation,” and it may contain clues. According to lost-tv.com, “The 108-minute time span, as any ‘Lost’ aficionado knows, represents the sum of the numbers that won Hurley his lottery millions, and seem to have since cursed everything in his path.”
Further analysis of the number 108 flourishes there, focusing on religious (Vedic and Muslim) significance. At lost.cubit.net a body count and survivor census continue.
In lost-tv.com‘s literary mysticism area, fans analyze Irish novelist Flann O’Brien’s “The Third Policeman,” shown briefly onscreen. Over on thelosties.com, a forum is studying the Dharma logo and claiming to have found a copy of it on the crashed plane. (Why trust TV screen grabs recreated as photos on websites?) Yes, the logo was glimpsed on the shark circling the raft too.
The fansite Just Flowers claims to be the only one dedicated to the Jin/Sun relationship.
A site has been created for the Hanso Foundation, named for the supposed founder of the Dharma Initiative. Go to the “active projects” section and click on any topic – life extension, mathematical forecasting, electromagnetic research, cryogenics – and the respose is “access denied.” The sign-off is “Namaste and good luck.” A clever publicity stunt, well-crafted.