An Oral History of LOST’s Pilot Episode

Lost was a groundbreaking television show that premiered back in 2004. It was known for its intriguing storylines, complex characters, and often confusing plot twists. The pilot episode of Lost set the stage for what was to come, and it remains one of the most celebrated television pilots of all time. In this oral history, we’ll hear from the cast and crew about the making of the first episode of Lost.

The Concept

Lost was created by J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof and Jeffrey Lieber, who pitched the show to ABC as “the story of a group of people who survive a plane crash and end up on a mysterious island.”

J.J Abrams: “Damon had come up with this idea of a plane crash on a deserted island. I was excited about the characters and the mystery, but I didn’t yet know how it would all come together. It was a leap of faith for all of us.”

The Casting

The casting of Lost was instrumental in bringing the characters to life. The casting team spent months searching for the perfect actors to play each character.

Jeffrey Lieber: “We had a specific look and personality in mind for each character, and we wanted a cast that could bring those characters to life. It was a long process, but we ended up with an incredible group of talented actors.”

Matthew Fox as Jack Shephard

The role of Jack Shephard, the heroic surgeon who becomes the leader of the survivors, was played by Matthew Fox.

Matthew Fox: “When I read the pilot, I knew it was something special. I loved the character of Jack and the way the story was unfolding. I was excited to see where it would take us.”

Evangeline Lilly as Kate Austen

Evangeline Lilly played Kate Austen, a fugitive who finds herself on the island.

Evangeline Lilly: “I was living in Vancouver at the time, and I had just quit my job as a flight attendant. I was looking for my next gig when I got the audition for Lost. I immediately fell in love with the character of Kate and the show itself.”

Dominic Monaghan as Charlie Pace

Dominic Monaghan played Charlie Pace, a former rock star who struggles with drug addiction.

Dominic Monaghan: “I was a huge fan of J.J Abrams and his work. When I got the audition for Lost, I knew I had to be a part of it. Playing Charlie was an incredible experience.”

Terry O’Quinn as John Locke

Terry O’Quinn played John Locke, a mysterious man who seems to have a certain connection to the island.

Terry O’Quinn: “I had no idea what was in store for my character when I signed on for Lost, but I knew I was in good hands. The script was incredible, and the opportunity to play John Locke was too good to pass up.”

The Filming

The pilot episode of Lost was filmed on location in Hawaii over the course of several weeks. The cast and crew faced many challenges during filming, including extreme weather conditions and difficult terrain.

J.J Abrams: “Filming on location in Hawaii was both a blessing and a curse. The scenery was breathtaking, but the logistics of filming on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean were challenging.”

Matthew Fox: “The weather was always unpredictable. It could be sunny one minute and pouring rain the next. But it added to the realism of the show.”

Terry O’Quinn: “Filming in Hawaii was a dream come true. The scenery was amazing, and the people were incredibly welcoming and hospitable.”

The Reception

The pilot episode of Lost premiered on September 22, 2004, and it was an instant hit with audiences and critics alike.

Damon Lindelof: “The response to the pilot was overwhelming. We knew we had something special when we saw people reacting to it.”

Jeffrey Lieber: “I remember sitting in a bar with J.J Abrams and Damon Lindelof, watching the pilot with a group of strangers. The reactions were incredible. That was when we knew we had something special on our hands.”

The pilot episode of Lost set the stage for an epic television series that would go on for six seasons and captivate audiences all over the world. Its impact can still be felt today in the many shows that have been inspired by its groundbreaking storytelling and unforgettable characters.


The pilot episode of Lost was a monumental achievement in television history. It introduced audiences to a world of mystery, intrigue and unforgettable characters. The cast and crew’s dedication to bringing this world to life is evident in every scene of the pilot episode. It is a testament to the power of great storytelling and the enduring legacy of Lost.