Why Lost Fans Should Watch Once Upon a Time

With the premiere of Lost celebrating its 10th anniversary, it’s a stark reminder that no show has been able to truly capture that same frenzied passion. From the memorable characters to its unique style of storytelling, Lost gave TV viewers something fresh and interesting to watch week after week. And in its absence, Once Upon a Time is the best option to fill the void left by flight 815.

While Once Upon a Time has received a lot of attention for its Frozen arc that kicked off season four, we see it as our connection to a series we’re still not finished gushing about. Nothing will replace the brilliant series, but thanks to a number of shared actors and writers, ABC’s fairy tale drama is the best thing to watch to fill those Lost cravings. Here’s why:

Dual Narratives

One of the most compelling elements on Lost was the use of flashbacks to tell the stories of the characters that crash-landed on the island. Eventually the flashbacks caught up to the present timeline, and the show then flipped things on its head with flash forwards and flash sidways worlds. This made things a bit confusing at times, but it also allowed the show to explore its characters in deeper ways than what was available to them on the remote island. Similarly, on Once Upon a Time, the story plays out in two worlds: the “real world,” where fairy tale characters live but were stripped of their original memories, and “storybook world,” which allows viewers to explore those characters’ pasts. Like Lost, the show plays out like a giant puzzle, with each character’s piece eventually fitting into place.

The Show’s Creators, Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz

It should come as no surprise that Lost’s DNA finds its way into Once Upon a Time because the latter was created by two of former Lost writers. Both OUAT’s Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz wrote a number of episodes together, including one of the series’ most poignant deaths in season three’s “Greatest Hits.”

Overlapping Actors

While a number of Lost’s stars have gone on to do other series — most notably Michael Emerson, the star of Person of Interest, and Daniel Dae Kim who plays Detective Chin Ho Kelly on Hawaii Five-0 — many have had major or recurring roles on Once Upon a Time. Emile de Ravin (pictured), who played Claire on Lost, joined Once as Belle while Lana Parrilla, who plays the Evil Queen, appeared on two Lost episodes as Greta. Rebecca Mader, who played the ill-fated Charlotte on Lost, had a recurring role as the Wicked Witch in OUAT season three, and Alan Dale, the evil Charles Widmore, was King George in the first two seasons. Elizabeth Mitchell, one of the Others known as Juliet, is joining the show this season as the Snow Queen. Meanwhile, Naveen Andrews (Lost’s Sayid) played Jafar in the spin-off, Once Upon a Time In Wonderland, but the show was canceled after 13 episodes. The actor has not yet made an appearance on the original series.

Easter Eggs

While the actors and creators are some of the more obvious ties between the two shows, it’s the clues left behind for fans that are the most fun to discover. Among the many items that exist in both universes: Apollo candy bars, two of the airlines (Ajira and Oceanic), and the popular fictional TV series, Expose, which starred Nikki Fernandez (Kiele Sanchez) before she crashed on the island. Of course there are a number of more subtle references to the series, all cataloged by fans here.

Once Upon a Time airs on Sundays at 8 pm ET on ABC.

Watch Lost star Jorge Garcia discuss the show’s unexpected success, below.

[Photos: ABC, Getty]