Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

LOST and Rifle Trivia

MrsDarwin and I didn't get around to watching the latest episode of LOST till last night, so of course we missed out on the usual discussion thread over on JulieD's blog.

Now, here's what struck me as someone who spends a little too much time reading about military rifles -- and maybe it's just a question of the props deparment not knowing what they're doing or maybe it means something.

The cache of rifles the castaways found in their hatch has in the past appeared to be a mix of AK-47s and bolt action hunting rifles. Michael ran off with a bolt action when he went to chase down the Others. Jack had an AK when he, Sawyer and Locke were surrounded by Zeke and Co. and force to turn in their guns. Now, the AK-47 has been floating around the international arms market on the cheep since the '60s. The Soviety Union and Eastern Bloc countries made literally millions of them, and shipped them off to revolutionary movements around the world. To this day, you can pick one up for 300-400 dollars. They may not be the most accurate things in the world, but they're cheep, rugged, and spray bullets around.

However, when we saw the Others guarding their hatch in Michael's flashbacks, they were carrying what looked like M-14 style rifles. The M-14 was the primary US battle rifle from the late fifties to the late sixties, and they're actually pretty hard to get hold of. The US make a bit over a million of them, but never released them to the civilian market. Some were sold to allies, many were destroyed. There are some civilian models available, but they start at about $1000 used and go up rapidly from there. It's a very high quality, hard hitting, accurate rifle, but getting hold of them takes some work.

However, the Darma initiative was apparently started back in the early '80s. That was before the US gave away and destroyed most of its M-14s. So if the Others have M-14s floating around, that brings up the question of whether perhaps Darma was government connected -- or there is or was some other kind of government initiative going on on the island. If that were the case the M-14 would be an obvious sort of thing for the government to have issued them.

Of course, it could also just be the props people being sloppy...

6 comments:

Father Martin Fox said...

Darwin:

I would place money on the latter theory.

When I was in the seminary, one of my fellow seminarians knew a good deal about military equipment; and he said he couldn't really enjoy action pictures that involved anything military, because they'd have all the wrong equipmment, all mixed up.

The props people count on the vast majority of us not knowing, and not caring.

On the other hand, there was that problem of communists in Hollywood ...

Rick Lugari said...

Funny, I've checked out the weaponery, but not once did I consider the "why?". I'll have to keep that in mind while I watch. There's just too many possibilities in that show for my little brain to keep track of. But my sense about this is like Fr. Fox's. I think they wanted a hodge-podge for the hatch and some uniformity for the Others - and that's what the prop department gave them.

Julie D. said...

I'm not so sure about the props people being sloppy. On the podcast the producers have said that they have to be much more careful than most shows because the fans are more observant than most. Of course, Rose also caught a song playing in a bar when it was supposedly a time before that song would have been out so nobody's perfect. But I'd think the details about the guns would be something they'd think about...

Rick Lugari said...

Is Hanso supposed to be Austalian or American? If it's supposed to be Australian then I would guess the M-14 thing is a mistake. I don't know if Australia had ever adpoted the M-14 or not. It seems to me that the preferred supplier for them would be the UK. That this type of information would have to be researched makes me more inclined to think there is nothing behind it.

Big Tex said...

I'm lost.

Fidei Defensor said...

Darwin I have only seen minutes of the show and I thought I spoted an SKS being used, as you know thats the Soviet Blocs equivlent of the M14.

It is a true testiment to your character that you can't watch a TV show or movie without thinking of the weapons involved, heck I rented the epic Ghandi just to see Lee Enfield rifles!

Anyway during the 1970's a LOT of M14's were given to the Filipino's, if you see footage of their military today it looks like the M14 is still their principle weapon. That might explain things?

Also Hati and Isreal got a lot of them, some are in service in our millitary still, a lot are sitting in warehouses and Clinton paid a company to destroy the rest so they would not have the same fate as the M1 Garand and end up in the hands of private citizens, God forbid!