It’s been more than four years since Lost, one of the most successful and popular TV series of the 21st century, ended its six-season run.
But one series on TV isn’t afraid to revisit and pay tribute to a show like, and it should surprise none of its fans that that show is Disney XD’s Phineas and Ferb.
The long-running animated series pays tribute to Lost with an episode titled “Lost in Danville,” which features a story by Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof and airs Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on Disney XD.
The project began when Lindelof’s wife, Heidi, and son Van got him hooked on the show.
“One of the really wonderful things about the show is you can enter the show at any point and follow the plot,” says Lindelof at a recent event at Disney TV Animation promoting the episode. “The show invites newcomers but it also rewards people who are looking at details. There are so many Easter Eggs packed into each episode!”
The creators and executive producers of Phineas and Ferb, Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh, were thrilled to learn Lindelof was a fan and more than happy to invite him to develop an outline for the episode.
“We just kicked around some fun ideas and then I banged out an outline and was invited back to look at the animatic,” says Lindelof. “I sort of came up with a number of conceptual ideas for it, but all the big laughs in the show is generated by their team.”
Going for a Lost theme was an obvious idea, says Povenmire.
“We assumed there would be people who watched the episode specifically because of Damon,” he says. “So we sort of we put the capsule in, which is a reference to the Lost capsule; there’s the whole ‘something strange is going to happen if this doesn’t continue’ thing. There’s a lot that he just threw in to let us have fun with.”
Being in someone else’s writers room was an unexpected thrill for Lindelof, he says.
“One of the most exciting times in my career was being in a place where I felt slightly uncomfortable and had to please my bosses,” he says. “I think that when you’re running your own show, you lose the thrill of the pitch, and you’re just being pitched to. And whenever you pitch somebody, sometimes the room has to nod and grit their teeth as if your idea was great.”
The plot of the episode features a mysterious locked capsule that falls into Phineas and Ferb’s back yard. They struggle to open it, only to discover they have unleashed something they cannot control. Meanwhile, Perry learns that Dr. Doofenshmirtz has been abducted and tracks him to Seattle where another evil scientist, Professor Mystery, has his own sinister plan.
Adding to the Lost connection is a guest voice by Terry O’Quinn, who played John Locke on the long-running series.
“He was another one of those people where when you get him in there in the booth and you realize how cool he thought it was to be there doing voices,” says Marsh.