09/21/2013 12:47 pm ET

'Lost' Outline Shows What ABC Wanted The Show To Look Like From Start To Finish


The truth will set you free, right? Not in Damon Lindelof and J.J. Abrams' case.

In a recent interview with /Film, series creator Lindelof admitted that a "Lost" outline -- which was presented to ABC before the show was picked up -- had little to do with what they actually had planned for the series.

"ABC picked up the show, which never would have happened without this document," Lindelof explained. "However, once those writers got to writing the actual series, many of these ideas got thrown away."

Check out a few excerpts from the outline below:

True to our commitment to provide rational, real-world explanations for the seemingly bizarre, our castaways will make a series of discoveries in the first few episodes that indicate the "monster" may indeed have man-made origins which offers a variety of possible explanations illuminating its true nature. Perhaps the result of the experiments performed by the island's past inhabitants or simply a small part within an elaborate security system designed to protect yet undiscovered facilities, the beast is almost as scary when it's NOT there.

Our idea is to build a jungle inside a soundstage. And in this patch of jungle, our characters will begin to build their own "mini" sets. Call it a primitive "Melrose Place."

Our mandate is to give LOST the same treatment as a Michael Crichton novel. Every time we introduce an element of the fantastic, we approach it from a real place. If we do it right, the "paranormal" will always be coupled with a logical explanation to remind the audience that this is the real world.

Luckily, Lindelof and Abrams' ideas took off. So much so, in fact, that they had to push ABC to have the series come to an end.

"We knew very early on that we really wanted to end the show," showrunner Cartlon Cuse said in Interview, referring to the fact that most shows -- especially on ABC -- rarely have end plans. "Of course, that was a complete anathema to everyone at ABC, because that wasn't how television was done -- it was more like the Pony Express, where you ride the horse until it drops dead beneath you. So we really had to threaten to quit and walk away from the show in order to get them to take us seriously and actually engage in negotiation."

Check out the full leaked "Lost" outline here.

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