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Entertainment :: Chronologically LOST
  submitted on April 23, 2010, 9:49 AM

A much wiser man than myself speculated during Season 5 about what it would be like to watch LOST in chronological order. Think about it.

The show would open up with a flash of light, and a man, John Locke, is falling in a cave, injuring his leg. Above him, a group of people are standing around, trying to get their bearings, and noticing a very large Egyptian-looking statue. Elsewhere a man, Faraday, comforts a dying woman, Charlotte. Back in the cave we see John Locke turn the frozen wheel, giving us another flash of white light and then...we're off to the Canary Islands, where we see Richard trying to save his wife. He kills a man and is arrested and then sold to a slave ship. Next we go back to the island where we see a man, Jacob, weaving, fishing, going about his life. He's sitting on the beach, with another man, his Nemesis, talking about the very same slave ship that Richard is on. The slave ship crashes on the island, we see Richard meet the Nemesis, then Jacob. Richard is employed by Jacob to act on his behalf to those that come to the island, and in return he is given eternal life. Then we fast forward far into the future, to 1954, where the Oceanic survivors are disoriented on the beach and trying to figure out what to do. But many are killed in a flaming arrow attack, and the remaining survivors are captured by the indigenous (well, relatively speaking) people of the island, the Others. John Locke "meets" Richard, we are introduced to a leaky hydrogen bomb that the US Army brought to the island before being killed by the Others, and then we have another flash of light. Now, we're taken to 1956, and a hospital, for the birth of John Locke. Richard Alpert is present for his birth, because a grown up John Locke told him to go there two years prior.

And so the story goes on. We see Ben born, Locke as a child, Ben arriving on the island as a child, Sawyer, Juliet, and everyone else appearing on the island in 1974 and joining the Dharma Initiative. We watch the Incident play out, see some of our LOSTies grow up, and watch as decisions in their life drive them all towards a trip to Australia, and a spot aboard Oceanic 815. The bulk of our story takes place on the island in 2004. Our survivors leave the island, and their lives play out for three years before they return. In 2007, back on the island, is where the story finally winds down, with Jacob dying, the Nemesis trying to escape, and all of our characters aligning themselves accordingly.

It's certainly a different way to view the show. Perhaps in the eyes of a newcomer, it would be a difficult show to take in, with too many unknown variables and too much uncertainty. But in our eyes, the established viewer, it's simply a new way to watch the show. Now, some of you may have no interest in rewatching the show, it could be something where you just sit through the show, it's done, and you won't revisit it again. But I think there are a fair number of you that are like me, and enjoy rewatching the show, going back and watching old seasons, playing audio from the episodes on your iPod while you sleep at night. Okay, maybe I'm the only person that does that last one. But that second group, that's the group that this post is directed towards.

When Julius first threw the idea out there, I thought it would be a really cool way to watch the show. So I got to thinking a bit about whether or not it was even possible to do. I mean, let's face it, this isn't exactly a short series. 120 episodes when it's all said and done, 90 hours of television, spanning hundreds of years over the LOST timeline. That's a big story to tell.

Over the past few months, I've been taking all of my LOST DVDs, transferring them to my computer, and cutting each episode up, making note of what year, what date every flashback, flash forward, and present day scene takes place in, and slowly but surely, organizing everything into chronological order. Two things have made this project possible. One is Lostpedia which has put countless hours into creating a fairly comprehensive timeline that gave me a guideline to use when putting everything into order. The other is DePaul University, which is currently holding my wife hostage in their MBA program, meaning that aside from working 40 hours a week, she also has class twice a week, and if she's not in class she's spending much of her free time studying or doing homework for class. That has given me a lot of time to myself, time which I have been able to use working on this project instead. So I've been spending most of my free time over the past four or five months working on this, because video editing is what all the cool kids are doing these days.

I've been holding off on really sharing any details about it, because I didn't really want to talk about it and then have it not work for some reason, or run into some limitations that would make it impossible to complete. But as we near the end of the series, and I near completion of the project, I think we're at the point where I can tell everyone what I've been working on.

So basically, I've taken the entirety of LOST, and rearranged everything into chronological order. From beginning to end. I took all five seasons of my DVDs, and TV captures of Season 6, and split and spliced everything back together into a new timeline. My plan is to share this with as many people as I can to give you all a new way of experiencing LOST. For the sake of convenience, I plan on grouping the timeline into 45 minute (or so) "episodes", when they are created. I'm still working out the best way to distribute this to everyone, since this is a LOT of video to deal with, so more to come on that later. I will be keeping all updates and relevant information on the project on a different site, (Which is currently just a blank blog template), although I will probably make the occasional post about it here.

That's the long and the short of it. I'm hoping to get everything going as soon after the series finale as possible. I don't know how long it will take to release each episode, I'm hoping not too long since most of the leg work is done, it's just a matter of actually converting and uploading the episode. I haven't actually started creating any episodes yet, since it's entirely possible that we're not done with our flashbacks yet and something else could show up that will need to be inserted into the timeline.

I hope some of you are as excited about this as I am (in my experience working on this so far I'm very happy with how it looks and flows together), and if you have any questions about any of this, or any suggestions on distribution methods, please leave me a comment or drop me an e-mail. More to come on this later.

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