Franco Moretti writes that in literary works “each space determines, or at least encourages, its own kind of story…What happens depends on where it happens…specific stories are the product of specific spaces…without a certain kind of space, a certain kind of story is simply impossible.” Lost is Oahu. In securing the show as a local production, the Hawaii Film Office ensures its competitive status as what Michael Curtin terms a “media capital” by acting as a full-service production centre rather than merely a location backdrop. It has been estimated that 70 per cent of the budget of the first series was spent on location costs – an expensive form of product placement by anyone’s standards. If you’re making a TV show in Hawaii, it makes sense to draw inspiration from all of the materials conveniently to be found all around you. In narrative terms, Lost unravels as an allegory of Oahu, and it conforms to one simple and overarching dramatic principle: as the mysteries deepen and the characters’ pasts unfold, the island gradually opens up. Season one thus allows us tentatively to explore Oahu’s stupendous landscapes – golf, anyone? – while season two travels to the ‘North Shore’ and symbolically brings the two parts of the island ( the ‘windward’ and the ‘leeward’) together. Season three incorporates a story arc involving submarines because location destination Pearl Harbor is situated just outside Honolulu: at this point, Lost demonstrates that Oahu encourages stories involving submarines, or that without Pearl Harbor as a location backdrop, stories involving submarines may never have found their way into Lost in the first place. Based on these principles, can we make any predictions for season four? Logic decrees that Lost’s scriptwriters may in the future feel compelled to make creative use of one of Oahu’s greatest natural resources – volcanoes (see ‘The Man Behind the Curtain’). This particular Hawaiian island is known locally – and aptly as far as Lost is concerned - as ‘the Gathering Place’. Sensing their cue, the show’s producers long ago found Lost’s ultimate meaning and purpose. Oahu.