Some interesting yet conflicting details

Being the obsessive little person I am, the post on what Dharmaville (DV) looks like in 2007 got me back looking at past episodes with DV in them. There are some really interesting things to note that have me a bit stumped.
1. The room that Frank and Sun go into first, where Christian shows them the picture, is the same room as the one where Kate is held prisoner, and where the 1977 Losties get their jumpsuits (doors, windows and light switches in same places). Yet, in 2004 there is no inoculations sign or Dharma pictures on the wall, but they are back in 2007.
2. There is a really obvious shot of a Dharma logo on one of the doors when Frank and Sun walk past in 2007, yet in all the footage of DV while the others are there — no logos.
3. When Ben and Locke go into Ben’s house in 2007, there is no furniture all over the place- when they left it in 2004 there was stuff everywhere from barricading the windows and doors.
4. The Risk board — being used to say that DV is how they left it in 2004 BUT, the 2004 game had 2 red mugs, a glass of orange juice, 1 red plate and the die were on the board. In 2007 there were 2 red plates, 1 red cup and the die were off the board. Yes I know it may just be a set dressing issue, but they made a really obvious point of showing a perfectly framed shot of the board and table — if they were doing that to show how things were the same, wouldn’t they have made an effort to get it right. Or was it there to trick us into just accepting it was the same?
Here is my big problem
5. Ben’s house in 2007 was decorated the same as Ben’s house in 2004, Alex’s room in 2007 seemed like it was for a 16yr old girl (I can’t recall whether we have seen her room 2004 ish).
It doesn’t make sense to me that most of DV is how it was in the 70s with the DI, yet Ben’s house seems to be Ben’s house but NOT the same as when they left it in 2004.

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13 thoughts on “Some interesting yet conflicting details

  1. 1977 is not the end of dharma. the purge doesnt happen till much later. buildings do not stay the same over decades. bens house is the same because it has been lived in recently.

  2. Yes, but Dharma weren’t around in 2004 – so why are the buildings in 2007 the same as in Dharma times, different to when The Others lived there? Also Ben’s house, even though decorated the same way is still different in 2007 to when they left in 2004. I can’t see the others coming back after they left and the frieghter guys blew it up to tidy away the furniture in Ben’s house, and play some Risk then not pack it up. They specifically showed us 2007 DV in Namaste so a direct comparison to Dharma times could be made, they made very specific shot choices to show us that things were different – why? and how?

  3. Tas, really interesting ideas! I look forward to rewatching these episodes (I’m pacing myself for the 2/2 premiere).

    To me, something definitely doesn’t “feel” right about The Island in 2007. It feels more abandoned and empty. That sort of “vibe” can be conveyed only in subtle, cumulative atmospheric ways, I think.

    Atmospherically, I completely agree that DV in 2007 doesn’t feel like DV in 2004. Yet, enough of it is broadly the same. Ben’s stuff is still in his house and in his Hydra-station office. The runway had still been built on Hydra island.

    In the same way we fans are divided by “can you change the past,” we wonder whether we already have seen hints that the timeline is changing, or if we’re overanalyzing set dressing and production design choices.

    Best example I can think of is the photo frame on Mrs. Gardner’s wall. (link)

    Can you take you idea a step further — _given_ that DV 2007 has changed, can we think of a a plausible narrative for explainaing why there’d be a change? Beyond the general answer of “Losties in 1997”. 🙂

  4. Tas, freakily I looked at this same issue last night. Agreed on all points.

    I guess it comes down to a question of how accurate the set dressing is vs. how much of a tight leash Darlton have on them…

  5. I am currently working on a theory that this totally helps!

    My idea is that Ajira 316 crash landed on the island in 2007, however they crashed in a separate reality (a separate reality is the name of the book young ben gives to Sayid while he’s in Dharma jail). I need to flush this idea out before posting it as a theory, but someone just made a post long these lines. I think season 6 will reveal that from the moment the bomb went off two realities were created, one where the 815ers went into the past, and another where they didn’t.

  6. I think a possible explanation could be part of yojimbo’s theory. I had been a separate realities skeptic but that theory made sense to me and it wasn’t about time going round in a loop. Rick, when you get tothese episodes again you’ll see it’s even more than a vibe, they showed things in a reallyspecific way that I don’t think was just a production design choice. But it doesn’t all quite gel and I can’t quite seem to get my head around two timelines both having physical evidence on the island at the same time

  7. another way to think about it (following my stubborn train of thought) is that they changed the past slightly…so little things like the appearance of buildings changed but nothing important changed.

    like how when eloise tells desmond that they can change how the guy in the red shoes is going to die. but he is going to die nonetheless.

    so perhaps they have made enough little changes to affect something bigger in the future just enough, just past the tipping point.

    i feel like im fighting a losing battle.

  8. @ Eko, I had a thought on similar lines – what if the loophole is MIB making small changes that the universe doesn’t correct but that accumlate into a huge change over time. The loophole is getting past the power of course correction to change what has happened.

  9. Yes, Yojimbo’s theory “Alt Timeline Started with Ajira” seems to explain all the differences but not why the differences in Ben’s house were not larger than they were.

    Or is it possible that Ben grew up in the same house regardless of whether the incident occured or not, and that he kept it looking pretty much the same as when he was a child? Does someone remember?

    PS. Weren’t some of the losties playing Risk in Dharmaville at some point?

  10. Or rather, if the incident didn’t happen, is it possible that it was Ben’s father Roger who was still living in “Ben’s house”. Of course it seems a bit strange that Roger and Ben kept the interior of the house so similar, in their parallel time lines. Someone who can remember all these houses need to step in here. 🙂

  11. Art Directors for television take copious numbers of polaroid pictures (or digital pictures) of each and every set from every conceivable angle in order to reproduce them with exacting detail. I do not believe that the art department in LOST are lazy or sloppy (overworked, perhaps…)

    I read a lot of theories or speculations here that suggest that maybe there is a randomness to their work. I do not believe so. I do believe there could be mis-communication or that the intentions of the producer-writers either change en-route or do not get through to the departments.

    This would account for weird little details not seeming “right” to fans when they stick to every little digital frame capture. Like the wrong Dharma station logo on the shark in season 2 (accounted for by the fact that the Hydra logo had not yet been drawn).

  12. Andre7, I agree and disagee. I think the art directors and continuity guys on Lost need to be some of the best, the attention to details is impressive, and I agree that they know how to keep everything consistent. Yes they have made some little mistakes but I think the difference seen in 2007 Dharmaville are very intentional. I’m just not sure why yet.

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