On Friday afternoon during the EW Showrunners panel at Comic-Con, I had the opportunity to ask Damon and Carlton a question during the Q&A. For weeks I had been formulating an intelligent inquiry just in case, and one which I wished to actually verify from the source, if possible.
[Belated apologies to the guy who asked the question; apparently he studied Bentham in college and had a legitimate inquiry which just happened to mirror mine from the previous day. You can listen to his similar question here at the Jay & Jack Lost Podcast panel later that day...]
On Saturday during the official Lost panel, someone pilfered my question and offered it up as his own to Damon and Carlton in front of 6,500 fans and national media. There are hundreds of lingering questions one might ask the producers about; mine was very specific.
The following are my exact words. Special thanks to The Transmission podcast, who were nice enough to share the audio from that panel with everyone. My question appears at about the 21 minute mark:
"I have a very specific interest in Jeremy Bentham, and I know that you've chosen philosophers in the past that obviously (like John Locke and David Hume)...I'm wondering, I have two questions. One, who chose the name Jeremy Bentham, and b, was he chosen because of his creation of the Panopticon prison, where an entire society is being watched but they don't know it?"And because Damon and Carlton weren't able to provide an answer to the guy at the Lost panel due to the Dharma interruption, here is the very satisfying response I received from Damon at the EW panel (thanks to TheODI, here is the video as well):
"At the end of Season 3, we see a piece of this obituary that Jack hands to Kate. And you see, you know, his thumb is obscuring certain parts of the name. I think you see the J and everything up until the THAM. So, we had chosen Jeremy Bentham a year ago together. We basically have a list of philosophers' names to be employed, and as soon as we knew that Locke was going to using an alias, it was sort of a given. And the panopticon is obviously, among other things, why we selected that name."So why do I care? Because I just spent a month of my life online as Jeremy Bentham, based entirely on my belief that the island is a panopticon...which is why I asked that question in the first place.
But it's now water under the bridge. Mystery solved. So moving on.