(the inaugural writing and support staff of Lost in a gag poster made to commemorate our premiere - from left to right, brent fletcher, matt ragghianti, lynne litt, monica macer, rachael mellon, damon lindelof, jennifer johnson, christian taylor, david fury, dawn kelly, kim clements, yours truly, paul dini, oliver coke, 9/22/04)
At the risk of extreme arrogance, I would put the first season of Lost alongside any accomplishment in television drama, including those of the idols who made me want to work in the medium.
Even though I quit the show after its second season -- never to watch it again until the series finale -- I have never ceased to be fiercely proud, and defensive, of our accomplishments as a writing staff, and those of the show's creators.
If you are reading this, it might be because you asked me how it all began and I sent you here. Or it might be because -- as still happens with depressing regularity -- one of the show's detractors, be that a critic, or, more vexingly, someone who has just created a show and wants to make sure the media realizes that they are above making the mistakes we made (all the while cribbing our best moves) has come out purporting yet again to have some sort "proof" that "the writers of Lost did not know what they were doing."
Eleven years on, even with all the media coverage, pre- and post-mortem interviews, reviews, critiques, tributes, lookbacks, and “oral histories”... even though Lost might as well hold a record as the most over-documented series in the history of television, many still feel like a definitive version of how we made the show has yet to be told.
This is not that.
I'm writing down my recollections of the early days of Lost for profoundly selfish reasons. After eleven years, the story I am about to tell, hopefully for the last time, continues to hold fascination for many. While I have been happy to tell it, and strive to do so with joy and gratitude for all that Lost did for me, there comes a time when the memories fade, and the instinct to embellish -- to make oneself the hero of every encounter, and, to borrow a term, to "retcon" -- takes over where reasonably factual recollection once stood.