Sorry for the poor quality of sound while I read this letter from JB. Here it is so that you can read it yourself. It is a great LOST Mirror Moment! 🙂
Lost Mirror Moment : A Brief History Of Time
Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History Of Time is one of the many literary references in Lost.
Hawking’s popular work for an accessible explanation of the origin and the future of our
universe has been seen in a few Lost’s bookshelves (the name of the character Eloise
Hawking being also a nod to the brilliant author).
I read A brief History of Time a first time before Lost ended. I’ve been blown away by the
fascinating account of Hawking but did not see the exact connections with the show, besides
the obvious time/space problematic that Daniel Faraday brought with him on the Island in
Once the series ended, I skimmed through the book again, and I almost felt like the book
had served as a template for the complete narrative of Lost. You could almost take every
instance of “the universe”, replace them by “the Island” and read a cohesive study of
show’s “main character”. How people tried to understand it for centuries, and how, despite
progress, nobody really knows how it started and where it goes.
Let’s put things this way: Lost was a show fueled by questions. So many questions that, in
season 6’s crucial episode Across the sea, the writers addressed the show’s question mark
overdrive through the voice of Mother, making her say (to the viewers?) : “Every question I
answer will simply lead to another question.” And that’s basically what scientists face when
they have to deal with the origins of our universe: if the universe had a beginning, who
created it? And if someone created it, who created the Creator? This is endless, just like the
questions surrounding the Island.
In France, Lost’ finale has been heavily criticized for its religious message – a real American
cliché, for some French people. I guess these people never read A brief History of Time,
because otherwise, they would have known that once you come close to the most burning
questions about our universe, you HAVE to ask the question of God – it’s no coincidence
that the word “God” ends the last sentence in Hawking’s book, just like the image of Christian
entering in the Light bring Lost to its ultimate seconds.
To me, Lost writers made a very smart choice: they could have come up with a God-like
figure to explain it all. Instead, they presented Jacob, his brother and his Mother as flawed
human beings. While this resolution frustrated a lot of viewers, it was the most humble
and honorable choice for the show runners: they hit the same inevitable dead-end as any
scientist who would try to understand the origin (and the meaning) of our universe, but they
acknowledged their own ignorance, they embraced the possibility of a spiritual world and
showed that science and faith are two sides of the same coin. Stephen Hawking can be
JB from Paris, France.
Creator of the website http://mylostmoment.net