Monday, October 24, 2011

LOST Tour: The Hydra Island Cages

I've just learned within the last few days that ABC is planning to tear down the remaining Lost sets in Oahu, including the Jughead structure, the Orchid Station, the Temple, and the Hydra Island cages. This would be a terrible loss not just for Lost fans but for Oahu tourism as well. Hopefully ABC can be convinced otherwise.

The Hydra Island cages are located just a few steps away from the Orchid Station in Pleasant Park. My understanding is that the buildings and walkways near the cages were already in place but the two main cages were built by the Lost crew.

The next two screencaps show the location as it appeared early in season three, followed by its appearance in season 6.

Again two similar screencaps, the first from season 3 and the second from season 6 after Widmore's people had set up shop.

The Hydra Station emblem was just barely visible on the walkway canopy during our visit; in fact it wasn't until our guide explicitly pointed it out that we noticed it at all.

As with the Orchid, the cages have seen better days. However, the Orchid set we visited had always been shown on-screen in a dilapidated state so the additional decay wasn't overly jarring. The state of the cages was a bit more shocking, particulary considering that they must have been touched up in early 2010 to shoot the scenes with Widmore's team.

I seem to be in the minority, but I really love the cage scenes during the early part of season 3. The whole bit with Sawyer puzzling out the water and biscuit reward system was very entertaining. That mechanism has been removed, but one can still see the troughs into which the water flowed.

Although Sawyer is its most frequent resident, Jack also spent time in the larger of the two cages following his intentionally botched surgery on Ben's tumor.

Kate's cage is in even worse shape, with only two partial walls left standing.

Alas, Kate's cage-climbing days would seem to be over.

Is it just me, or did Kate never look lovelier than she did sans makeup in a dirty sundress sitting somberly in her cage?

For your consideration ... we all sat in hushed reverent silence as @kiwilostie re-enacted Kate's cage scenes.

However, I had a somewhat negative reaction when he asked me to help recreate the scene from I Do -- you know the one.

There are several covered walkways in the area. Some make appearances in a few season 3 episodes.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

LOST Tour: The Bamboo Jungle

After the overwhelming awesomeness of The Orchid Station we needed to lighten things up a bit. Here is my interpretation of an alternate reality in which that bamboo pole that grazed Jack in the pilot was about one foot to the right....

The shot was taken in a patch of bamboo near The Orchid but as far as I know it didn't make an on-screen appearance.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

LOST Tour: The Orchid Station

Aside from Kualoa Ranch, Paradise Park seems to have the highest concentration of LOST locations. Our tour of this area began with a highlight of our trip, a visit to the Orchid station.

Much like Ben, Locke and Hurley, our first glimpse of the Orchid was partially obscured.

Drawing closer, we marveled at the distressed columns and walls jutting out from the forest foliage.

What a thrill to actually step into the Orchid! This is where Ben surrendered to Keamy; where Locke searched in vain for anthuriums; where Jack and Locke had their final on-Island confrontation! (Not to mention the time travelling bunnies!)

Although much of the set is still present, the plant holders are now mostly empty.
Below photo courtesy @kiwilostie

These set photos taken from LOST magazine issue #18 show what it was like during shooting of There's No Place Like Home.

"There's no such thing as miracles"

"You know, Jack. You know that you're here for a reason. You know it. And if you leave this place, that knowledge is gonna eat you alive from the inside out...until you decide to come back."

We lingered inside for quite some time, trying to explore every corner and absorb every echo of what had gone before.

Keamy, how can you not be happy -- you're in the f'ing Orchid, man!

Some of the props within the Orchid seem to have been moved around a bit, but as the two photos below show (the first taken during our tour and the second from LOST magazine) many of them are still present and in their original condition.
The "stone" staircase appeared in several key scenes. It and several other parts of the set are made from fibreglass; we had to tread carefully lest we fell through.

@kiwilostie was pleased as punch that, unlike Locke, he had no problems finding the elevator door.
Below photo courtesy @kiwilostie

The door was one of the set pieces that seems to have been moved following the There's No Place Like Home shoot.
Below photo courtesy @kiwilostie

As this behind-the-scenes shot from LOST magazine shows, the door was originally hooked up to a mechanism to provide vertical motion.

This view through the Orchid elevator door was Locke's last of Jack until they met up for a final time three years later.

A few view of the awesome Orchid walls from our 2011 tour...
... from There's No Place Like Home ...
... and from LOST magazine.

One unfortunate fact became clear ... those LOST sets that have been left up in the outdoors aren't going to last for long without a little TLC. One of the Orchid walls has fallen and several other sections are in varying states of disrepair.

Reluctantly we made our way out of the Orchid. Fortunately Pleasant Park had a few additional LOST treasures in store for us just around the bend.