In the autumn of 1969, the ABC Network premiered a unique youth-centric prime time TV program called The New People. Developed for television by Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling and producers Aaron Spelling and Larry Gordon, this singular genre series -- aimed straight at the under-thirty demographic -- was a direct response to the dramatic social turbulence and strife of 1968.
Civil Rights issues were also boiling over, and there were protests held in South Carolina (over a whites-only bowling alley), and all across the country. College students demonstrated for peace at Columbia University, and at the Democratic National Convention that summer.
For the marooned, it is now essentially "Year One," and thus an opportunity to make a clean break with the failed policies, bigotries, and inequalities of the past and previous generations of mankind.
At least that's the hope...
Nine people die in the crash, and Hannachek himself is badly injured. He suggests that the youngsters should immediately set about the business of survival, exploring the island.
"You're the ones who are going to inherit the Earth?," Hannachek asks at one point.
Ultimately, Hannachek convinces Bones that killing Bull ("an All-American yo-yo") is morally wrong, the equivalent of a racial lynching. Understanding -- and sick to death of violence and anger -- Bones relents. Bull escapes punishment.
In other words, their efforts to craft a new culture are balanced constantly with visual reminders and objects of the world that failed.
One can detect, watching this pilot episode, how Serling and his fellow writers had created an ideal set-up for a multi-layered continuing adventure: one that could concern both survival and the social issues of the day. The island itself was a microcosm for 1969 America. The inhabitants were racially, politically and geographically diverse. Would the denizens of the island be united and succeed? Or fall, divided?