The Secrets of the 'Lost' Phenomenon

"I said to Damon, 'Look, you gotta tell me something. I'm looking up at something. What am I looking at? Give me a hint.' And he said, 'It's the most beautiful thing that you've ever seen.' "

The monster is the kind of supernaturally flavored mystery "Lost" producers loved in the movies and television shows that influenced them.

Echoes of Hitchcock's style and themes from films like "Rosemary's Baby" run through "Lost," but perhaps the biggest influence is Rod Serling's classic television series "The Twilight Zone."

"He did inspire all of us to tell the best stories that we could tell. And, you know, talk about issues and events that a lot of people like to not talk about," Burk said.

Producers say another reason for the show's appeal is that the series reflects some serious social issues.

"In the sort of post-9/11 world, the sense that we all live with some lurking threat out there -- I think that hangs over all of our lives," said executive producer Carlton Cuse. "And I think that the people on this island have that, too."

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