Wacky Places the Oregon Coast Has Shown Up on TV, Movies

Published 11/10/2015 at 4:55 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

(Oregon Coast) – These beach towns are periodically used as locations for actual filming, but the more fun surprises lay in how they are sometimes mentioned as the center of action with no cameras actually being used here. Some parts of the Oregon coast – or close to – have popped up in some unexpected and amusing ways. (Above Lincoln City's Siletz Bay at night and the Salishan Spit in the distance).

The X Files. That huge '90s phenomenon used Oregon locations for the stories periodically during its run, but always using fictional names. Unlike the current, long-running show Supernatural, which drops the name Oregon as its center of action now and again, but sometimes uses fake names and sometimes not.


X Files started things off in an Oregon forest, which could've been more inland – or it could've been on the coastline. Either way, the setting for the pilot episode of X Files was the fictional Collum National Forest. Being filmed in British Columbia, it easily looked like a coast range forest in the Beaver state.

Now that The X Files is getting a reboot, with Muldur and Scully to return for what appears to be a one season run, it will be interesting to see if Oregon gets mentioned again.

Stargate SG1 ran for ten glorious years, and Oregon's coastline was written into it about one and a half times.

Foremost, in season six, episode five: “Dreamwalkers” takes place in the fictional Steveston, Oregon – clearly a coastal town. This is one of those where the character of Dr. Daniel Jackson was briefly replaced by a man from another planet named Jonas.

It's all filmed in British, Columbia, of course, so it does manage to look a bit like an Oregon bay. The town used for location looks a tad like Florence.

That was one full usage of Oregon, but another tacet one is more like a half mention. In season two, the SG1 heroes arrive on a planet populated by the Salish people – or rather, descendants of the Salish first people who lived around the Pacific Northwest and Montana. This coastline gets slightly referred to when Jackson explains they lived along the coastline of the northwest.

The indigenous Salish made quite a mark on the Oregon coast and in Washington state. The Salishan Spit in Lincoln City is named after the people.

The Fog. In 2005, the Oregon coast was mentioned as the location of the story in that year's remake of the classic horror film The Fog. Somewhere in the film (or at least in the descriptions about the film), it's said the island where all the action happens is just off the north Oregon coast.


No shots of Neahkahnie Mountain or Manzanita were in the movie, as it was filmed entirely in Vancouver, British Columbia. Still, use of Manzanita by mention is ironic, considering the rumors here of buried treasure and legendary shipwrecks (which is center to The Fog).

Some Manzanita locals joked about certain scenes in the movie, saying some characters were actually reminiscent of residents they knew. The bar scene in The Fog also drew considerable laughter at the time, as it had a similarly woody interior to Manzanita's San Dune Pub.

LOST. Oregon's coast is actually never mentioned in LOST, but Portland shows up twice in some key ways, and this in turn gives reason to look to the beaches.

The wildly engaging and enigmatic show was filmed entirely in Hawaii. But Portland pops up late in the series as near where Benjamin Linus was born – the shifty character who led the “others.” He is born by the side of the road in an emergency situation, sheltered by bushes, and his mother dies immediately after birth. Subtitles in that scene indicate it's “near Portland, Oregon,” and it does look a bit like the I-5 corridor.

More importantly, LOST shows the back story of “other” doctor Juliet as she's recruited by the mysterious Richard Alpert and asked to meet in a sleek office in Portland, Oregon, in an even more mysterious firm that never really gets named. It's from there she's spirited away by submarine to the island.

Which begs the question: where did the submarine depart from? Maybe Newport's Yaquina Bay? Astoria? Unfortunately, we'll never know. But considering the island was a kind of moving time-space bubble in the end, it's at least a little fun to imagine it's drifting around the west coast, and maybe not far from Oregon at times.


Surface. The short-lived sci-fi series on NBC dropped the location of Seaside late in its only season. The January 2, 2006 episode of Surface had type at the bottom of the screen proclaiming the location of one scene to be Seaside, Oregon.

The scene involved two of the main characters getting rescued off the Oregon coast and being hospitalized in Seaside. It was rather amusing to pay attention to the details, such as the phone booth used to call for help, which across the street from a gas station. It did indeed slightly resemble the southern part of Seaside on Highway 101 with the two gas stations across the street from each other.

 

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