''This is an article about the general theme pertaining to the show. For specific dates of events referenced on the show, see Timeline.''

{{I=Watch.jpg=200=right=The Rolex watch. {{crossref}}}}
The passage of '''time''' was a recurring theme in ''Lost''. Characters traveled in time coming and leaving the island, and skipped randomly through time over a series of episodes. Time also serves as a general recurring motif, with frequent references to time and appearances of clocks and watches.

==Non-linear narrative==
''Lost'' consistently played with time by presenting events out of their chronological order. Initially, action alternated between current events on the island and pre-crash flashbacks. Later episodes featured extended flashbacks and and flashbacks to on-island events. {{ep}} and Season 4 featured flash-forwards, and physical time-travel occurred in Season 5. In the Season 6, action alternated between on-island events and events from the characters' Flash-sideways timeline. Characters have also often experienced premonitions of future events. According to Damon Lindelof, LOST "has always been a little bit of a time-travel show" because of this non-linear storytelling. http//www.bullz-eye.com/television/interviews/2009/lost.htm

==Time travel==
{{I=4x05 Des in bed.jpg=200=left=Desmond wakes up in a Royal Scots in 1996. {{crossref}}}}
The show first hinted at time travel in {{ep.}} Desmond's consciousness traveled through time in {{ep}} and later, more explicitly, in {{ep.}} In the Season 4, characters and the entire island travel physically through time.
==Time on the Island==
At Comic Con in '06, the following fan question was asked and answered, somewhat obliquely
{{quote='''Fan 4''' Do you guys have any idea of how long, for the entire series, how many days it’ll take place in? 

'''Carlton Cuse''' You know, days? We never actually counted days. I mean, by the end of the show, hopefully we’ll have covered a lot of history, going back and forth… I mean, obviously, we saw that statue, that statue is kind of old?

'''Damon Lindelof''' At least 50 years old. Crowd laughs
'''Carlton Cuse''' At least… And probably, a little older?

'''Damon Lindelof''' Maybe, maybe. 

'''Carlton Cuse''' And that was sort of… that, that was a signpost that the history of the Island may be a lot of um… more extensive than we’ve already dealt with on the show… so I think, by the time the show is done, we’ll have covered a lot of time. And um… in terms of how many days on the Island specifically, I dunno? 117?

'''Damon Lindelof''' It’s interesting that you should ask about time because… you know… you’re making a basic assumption that they’ve been there, y’know, as long as they think they’ve been there. Crowd murmurs, someone says “Oh, no.” I would say by the end of Season 3… that very different idea…

'''Carlton Cuse''' Stop right there, Damon, stop right there.

'''Damon Lindelof''' Well, I was just…

'''Carlton Cuse''' Stop right there. Nope, nope, no.}}

In an interview, Cuse also dropped additional hints about the significance of timelines {{crossref}}
{{quote=Interviewer What is the meaning or significance of the two skeletons that Jack and Kate found in the cave of season 1?

CUSE The answer to that question goes to the nature of the timeline of the Island. We don't want to say too much about it, but there are a couple Easter eggs embedded in  Not in Portland , one of which is an anagram that actually sheds some light on the skeletons and hints at a larger mythological mystery that will start to unfold later in the season. }}

===Time's insignificance===
Charlie says the survivors are "positively made of time" soon after the crash, and Michael later says "time doesn't matter on a damn island." {{crossref}} Richard tells Juliet she's "gonna be amazed at how time flies" on the island. {{crossref}} When Colleen dies, Jack can't find a clock to mark the time of death. {{crossref}}

A message in the Room 23 film says "Only fools are enslaved by time and space." {{crossref}}

===Time dilation===
Time on the Island appears to pass differently from time elsewhere. In experiments, objects traveling to and from the island have arrived at unexpected times, suggesting either time dilation or time travel. {{crossref}}

==Clocks and watches==
{{I=Timer normal.JPG=200=right=Countdown timer in the Swan station}}
Clocks form a recurring motif within the show. Mr. Paik sends Jin to deliver a Rolex watch, and Christian gives a Jack an heirloom Jack's watch in the mobisode called {{ep.}} The Swan's countdown timer appears throughout Season 2, and alarm clocks appear in several scenes as character wake up. {{crossref}} Ben consults a watch to see when to kill Roger, and years later, he uses another to decide when to order Sayid, Jin and Bernard's deaths. {{crossref}} Sent back in time, Desmond glances at a clock then visits Mrs. Hawking, whose shop is full of clocks. {{crossref}} The temple uses a large hourglass. {{crossref}}

==Other references to time==
=== Season 1 ===
* Locke tells Walt "Backgammon's the oldest game in the world. Archeologists found sets when they excavated the ancient ruins of Mesopotamia -- 5,000 years old. That's older than Jesus Christ." {{crossref}}
* Sayid tells the group that the distress signal has been repeating for "16 years and 5 months, that's the count."  {{crossref}}
* Charlie updates the bandages to say '''LATE''' instead of '''FATE''' and the camera scans to Claire's belly. {{crossref}}
* Charlie tells Locke that he hasn't played his guitar in "Uh, 8 days, 11 hours, give or take." {{crossref}}
* Jack remarks about Adam and Eve's tattered clothing "It takes 40 or 50 years for clothing to degrade like this." {{crossref}}
* Boone asks Locke whether they will be working on the Hatch for 4 months like Michelangelo on the Statue of David. {{crossref}}
* Locke remarks about the clothing on the skeleton in the jungle "Normally clothing would completely decompose within 2 years, but this is high quality polyester -- could be 2 years, could be 10." {{crossref}}
* Kate's time capsule is her driving purpose in several of her actions as a fugitive.  {{crossref}}
* Hurley says, "Twinkies keep for, like, 8000 years, man."  {{crossref}}
* Hurley nearly missed the plane because the alarm clock in his hotel room stopped working.  Explaining this to an Oceanic Airlines employee, Hurley says "I don't really get the whole time change thing." {{crossref}}

=== Season 2 ===
* Jack says, "I've got time."  {{crossref}}
* Locke organizes shifts of 6 hours to stay in the Swan. {{crossref}}
* The title of episode 7 is {{ep}}. 
* Ana Lucia tells Goodwin "This knife's probably 20 years old. You don't see these anymore, yet here it is, on this island. Weird, huh?" {{crossref}}
* Michael was given three minutes with Walt; this was also the title of the episode. {{crossref}}
* Desmond tells Claire "You're wasting your time, sister. I shot myself with that stuff every 9 days for 3 years." {{crossref}}

=== Season 3 ===

* Ben asked Jack for "3 minutes" since he had only "27 minutes to live". {{crossref}}
* Juliet gives the exact length of her stay on the Island 3 years, 2 months and 28 days. {{crossref}}
* The company name ''Mittelos'' is an anagram for "lost time". {{crossref}} This was confirmed as being the plot-significant anagram to look out for in the Official Lost Podcast transcript/February 12, 2007/12/07 podcast.
* The company that made the red paint that Desmond was using to paint the walls of his flat with was called "FUTURE" paint. {{crossref}}
* Kronos is a fictional company shown in an Easter Egg as an ad in the TV soccer game Desmond is watching. Kronos is a titan in religion and ideologies, generally regarded as the god of time. {{crossref}}

== Literary works ==

FileAbriefhistoryoftime-1998.jpg FileWatchmen.jpg FileWrinkle1.jpg

* ''A Brief History of Time'' - Non-fiction book about astrophysics and theories on how the universe began (seen in ''Lost'')
* ''Watchmen'' - Graphic novel/comic book series that features a character who experiences time in a non-linear fashion (confirmed influence on ''Lost'')
* ''A Wrinkle in Time'' - Fictional book on time travel through tessaracts (seen in ''Lost'')
* ''Slaughterhouse-Five'' - Fictional book with a protagonist 'unstuck' in time
* ''The Chronicles of Narnia'' - Fictional book where there is a time difference between Narnia and the real world


CategoryRecurring Themes