As I reported last week, ABC’s TV series “Lost” has a new character named Charlotte Staples Lewis. The name is obviously derived from Clive Staples (C.S.) Lewis, the author of The Chronicles of Narnia series of seven children’s books. Disney released the movie The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in 2005 based on the first published book in the series. Prince Caspian, the second book to be published, will premiere as a Disney movie this May.
C.S. Lewis was called “Jack” by his friends, and it has been speculated that the character Jack in “Lost” somewhat represents C.S. Lewis’s journey from Atheism (man of science) to Christianity (man of faith).
The first episode of Season 4 (“Confirmed Dead”) was aired on February 7, and was rebroadcast February 14 in an “enhanced” version with clues and tidbits added to the bottom of the screen. This enhanced version is available online. (See below.) Starting at 23:56 in the episode, we receive confirmation that Lost’s C.S. Lewis is indeed related to both the author and his books:
This is Charlotte Staples Lewis… she is an anthropologist. Her name is inspired by C.S. Lewis… author of The Chronicles of Narnia… a story of an unlikely passage… to a most unusual place.
Charlotte is seen in a flashback in a desert in Tunisia. She has learned about an archaeological dig there, and identifies some bones as that of a polar bear.
We’ve seen polar bears on the island… now here’s evidence of the furry creatures… in another unlikely location.
Charlotte does some digging through the sand near the bones and finds a leather strap.
A DHARMA logo form the Hydra Station… the discovery is very important to Charlotte.
Polar Bears also come into play in Lewis’s first Narnia book, pulling the White Witch’s sleigh.† It is also interesting to note that another of the “rescuers” is named Miles Straume*, which is a reference to “Maelstrom.” “Maelstrom” originally referred to the tidal waters around Norway, and is important in their mythology. (In English, Maelstrom can refer to any Whirlpool-like phenomenon. The Asteroid Belt, which was thought by some scientists to be impassible, is often referred to by that name.) I mention this because the Disney Epcot Center ride “Maelstrom” in the Norway exhibit also has polar bears. Another inspiration?
To view the enhanced version of “Confirmed Dead” online click here, then select either ‘Lost Season 4″ or ‘Lost Season 4 in HD Streaming” from the left-hand menu. Then click ‘watch now” for “Confirmed Dead-Enhanced 02/15/08.” (The date refers to when the episode was put online.)
*Spelling of name corrected 20Feb., 2008. I am told Straume is the name of a town in Norway.
†UPDATE (28 January, 2010): This is an error on my part. Polar bears are not found in the book. In the Walden/Disney movie, polar bears pull the White Witch’s chariot in the battle; reindeer pull the sleigh, as in the book.