Has there ever been a more polarising show than LOST? It seems scarcely believable that the show started over fifteen years ago.
For six seasons, the show weaved between several different stories, taking viewers on a journey featuring flashbacks, flash-forwards, and unfortunately, even flash-sideways.
It is reasonable to assert that the writer’s room must have been an interesting location to be, especially given LOST’s proclivity for creating more questions than answers.
It is therefore understandable that several storylines that were meant to take place, eventually never did. We’ve put these different abandoned storylines into this article. These abandoned storylines heavily affected the entire show.
Needless to say, there are spoilers ahead.
10. Characters of Sawyer and Charlie
Despite a rather shaky start, Sawyer was a very popular character, while Charlie played a key role in the opening three seasons, prior to his tragic death.
However, the characters they became were very different compared to how they were originally envisioned by the writers.
The character of Charlie had intended to be seen as a “has-been” rockstar, before being changed to accommodate actor Dominic Monaghan.
Similarly, the character of Sawyer was originally going to be an older, suit-wearing conman, before being changed, with actor Josh Holloway moulding the character into his own.
Both changes definitely resulted well! While Sawyer was annoying at the beginning, he morphed into one of the most popular characters. An older Charlie surely wouldn’t have appealed to us like the actual Charlie!
9. The Tampa Job
“What could possibly get us even for the Tampa job?” – asks Sawyer in the Season 1 episode “Outlaws”. Immediately, the viewer is intrigued as to what the “Tampa job” was.
In Season 2, it seemed that we would get the answer to that question. We presumed that the episode would include the character of Hibbs incurring the wrath of Sawyer somehow, based off of their discussion in Season 1.
The writers had a backstory pencelled in for an episode to explain the Tampa Job. The angle went as far as the scenes actually being shot, including with guest actress Jolene Blalock.
The scenes were due to appear in “Adrift”, but after the producers objected to the scenes, the episode was switched to be Michael-centric at the last moment. While this didn’t really signal an enormous change in the show, it would’ve at least answered a question that many had.
8. Nikki and Paulo
The characters of Nikki and Paulo are infamous, and their untimely and sudden demise is indicative of how the fans of a show can have a big say in a show.
Nikki and Paulo were two characters who burst onto the scene in Season 3, having not been seen in the first two seasons. Fans had been calling for the show to provide information into the exploits of the rest of those who survived the landing of Oceanic 815.
This also coincided with a time when heavy-hitters Jack, Sawyer and Kate were across the island, leaving just a few main characters at the beach camp.
But in a case of “be careful what you wish for”, reaction to the duo’s rather forced arrival was overwhelmingly negative. The pair were due to have a longer story-arc than we saw, before being abruptly killed off.
Not only did they suddenly die, but they had the ignomy of being buried alive. They weren’t really missed, but it would have been interesting to see how they had fared as time went by.
The character of Caesar was something of an enigma. In the end, the character came and went rather quickly. However, if the writers had had their way, Caesar would have gone on to become a major character in the show.
Caesar first appeared in Season 5, when he was seen alongside the likes of Jack, Kate and Hurley on the Ajira flight. The actor Said Taghmaoui was unable to commit to a full series, so Ben was duly given the honour of killing Caesar in the fourth episode of Season 5.
However, the writers weren’t done with Caesar yet. They approached Taghmaoui again ahead of Season 6, stating that Caesar would have a key role in the flash-sideways element of the show.
Taghmaoui refused the role however, and the character was never seen again after his death. This is the classic case of what might’ve been.
6. Season 4 Flashbacks
Season 4 was a very strange season – it went at such a fast pace that it was hard to keep track of what was going on. This of course wasn’t helped by the fact that the Writers Guild Strike led to only 14 episodes – far shorter than the 24 episode runs of the first three seasons.
Season 4 was therefore meant to feature more episodes, and therefore there would be time for more stories to be told. This would’ve allowed the crew onboard the Kahana freighter to get their own individual flashbacks.
Faraday and Miles would go on to get their own flashbacks in Season 5, but the rest of the freighter folk received very limited air time.
Charlotte’s backstory was somewhat covered during the time travel seen in Season 5, but the likes of Lapidus and Naomi had to make do with tiny segments.
More time in Season 4 would have allowed us to learn more about the freighter folk, and generally helped us to draw breath. Ultimately, we all missed out on something we desperately needed – a Keamy flashback episode.
5. Desmond’s Story
Desmond Hume became one of the mot popular character’s throughout the show’s run – but it wasn’t exactly supposed to be that way!
He played a key role in the later seasons of the show, as well as the flash-sideways world. Desmond was originally meant to just appear in three episodes!
After passing the Hatch torch over to Locke and the gang, we weren’t meant to see him again. Yet he returned at the end of the season – and even got his own flashback.
From Season 3 onwards, Desmond became a key part of the show, which involved the spectacular all-time classic “The Constant” – an episode many consider to be the best of all in the show. Imagining the show without Desmond is difficult.
4. Boone’s Death
Boone was the first major character to die on the show – having been killed off towards the end of Season 1. But it wasn’t originally slated to be this way.
In the Season 1 episode “All The Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues”, Locke, Boone, Kate and Jack all go charging up the island, trying to find Ethan and Claire – who has been kidnapped by Ethan.
After being separated from Jack and Kate, Locke and Boone find the “hatch” – which then becomes the focal point of the second half of Season 1.
The pursuit of opening the hatch was ultimately the end of Boone, as he became, in Locke’s words, “the sacrifice that the Island demanded”.
However, Boone wasn’t originally meant to join Locke. This role was going to be given to two new guest characters – Sullivan and Arthur. Boone would therefore have avoided the drama that ultimately got him killed.
It would’ve been interesting to see how Boone would have done in the following episodes, and even seasons. It was a shame to lose him so soon. His death also sounded the death knell for his half-sister Shannon, who suddenly became rather pointless in the aftermath of Boone’s demise. She soon joined Boone in the camp’s graveyard.
3. Mr. Eko
Mr. Eko was a hugely popular character that was simply taken away from us far, far, too early. Unfortunately, certain circumstances stopped him from playing a major role in the show.
Mr. Eko was meant to have a long run on the show, which would have seen him continue his spiritual journey, helping to advance the mythology of the show too.
But this had to be halted, after actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje wanted to leave Hawaii and return to his native England following the death of his parents. The writers obliged with Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s request.
Some elements of the planned material for Eko were moved to Locke. But a great amount of potential was lost due to Eko leaving the show so soon.
We can only dream of how cool it would have been to have seen Eko travelling through time, or becoming part of the Dharma Initiative!
Mr. Eko was due to return in Season 6 and be part of the flash-sideways world, but unfortunately, this didn’t ever materialise.
2. Ben Linus
Ben Linus became one of the most critically-acclaimed characters of the show, with actor Michael Emerson going on to scoop various awards for his performances.
But like Desmond earlier, Ben was only due to appear in three episodes. Once his stint as a prisoner in the Hatch was over, we weren’t meant to ever see him again.
But the performances of Ben during those three episodes were received so positively that he went on to appear more in Season 2, and ultimately became a series regular from Season 3 onwards.
Ben was made the leader of the mysterious “Others”, and served as the show’s main antagonist for Season 3. It is hard to imagine the show without Ben, who certainly made the show much, much better with his presence.
1. Jack’s Role
Without doubt, the abandoned storyline that made the biggest impact in terms of altering the fate of the show – was that of Jack Shepherd.
Did you know – the character of Jack was actually meant to die in the Pilot episode?! Originally, actor Michael Keaton was due to appear as Jack for the Pilot, but after network executives stepped in and made Jack a character for the whole season, Keaton backed out.
Matthew Fox, who had originally auditioned for the role of Sawyer – was then cast as Jack – a position that he went on to make his own.
Jack went on to be the camp leader. Originally, Kate was meant to be the leader of the castaways. Some of her original storylines were then moved to the character of Rose.
Jack of course became the main character, and had an enormous effect on the show. LOST without Jack Shepherd is difficult to even imagine.
So there we have it – ten abandoned storylines, each of which had varying degrees of an impact on the show. While the demise of Nikki and Paulo and the lack of Season 4 flashbacks didn’t effect things too much, it is hard to fathom LOST without Jack Shepherd leading the charge.
LOST was without doubt a drama that attracted significant discussion, and the show continues to be widely discussed by its legions of fans across the internet.