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'Lost' Creators Want to Get the Finale Right - PaleyFest Report

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Feb 28th 2010 10:11AM
The 'Lost' cast and creators kept their secrets at this year's PaleyFest.Day two of PaleyFest2010, this year's edition of the annual look behind the scenes of television most popular shows, welcomed the creators and cast of 'Lost' to discuss the challenges of forging the show's final season.

Executive producers Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse, Eddy Kitsis, Adam Horowitz and Liz Sarnoff fielded questions and tried to answer questions about how the show's last episodes will come together -- without leaking any "spoilers." In fact, they took credit for being the show that gave birth to that term.

To digress for a moment, you might ask why a single TV show needs so many "executive producers." The truth is they're writers. Since producers get a fatter check than mere lowly scribes, Hollywood agents make sure their literary clients get that executive producer title attached in the deal memos.

Joining those writers executive producers were series stars Nestor Carbonell, Michael Emerson and Terry O'Quinn. The group told the 1,900 fans and industry insiders at the Saban Theatre (the house the Power Rangers built) they just wrapped production on the penultimate episode, and writing is underway on the show's final outing.

While security guards scoured the packed house to shut down video cameras and the occasional flash bulb, MTV's Paul Scheer kicked off his gig as the panel's host by listing some of the stranger questions he wouldn't ask that night.

"I asked fans to email or Tweet questions they'd like me to ask," Sheer said. "I received, 'Why are there no monkeys on that island?' 'Will there ever be a musical episode?' And, 'In which house would the 'Harry Potter' sorting hat put each cast member?'"

Not only did those gems not get answered during the almost two hours of Q&A, but no one on the dais would go anywhere near answers on how the surreal series would wrap up its twisting, turning story.

"At this point, fans aren't asking us about the Smoke Monster," Lindelof said. "When I hear from fans now, it's only, 'Don't screw it up.' So, that's what I worry about now -- getting it right. A lot of little questions won't get answered. But, we figure -- if the characters don't care about a certain answer anymore -- we don't either."

Horowitz compared constructing the end of the series to the tasks of a panicked cook on 'Top Chef': "The chefs have only a little time to pick their ingredients. So, they scramble around picking some of this and some of that. They may not even end up using it, but they're not sure. They have it ready. That's what writing (the end of 'Lost') is like. We don't know what bits we'll need or what will survive to the final script, but we have it all around us."

As for the actors, each agreed that all they can do is trust the writers to bring it all home. To prevent leaks to the public -- and to keep the cast on its toes -- the series' twists are kept under wraps to the very last minute.

"That works against the way actors prepare themselves," Emerson said. "But, we trust the writers. We're allowed to know just enough to provide the performance they need."

Lindelof compared prepping the confused actors to "trying to explain 'Lost' to someone who's never watched the show."

Since few fans really expected major secrets to creep off the island during this friendly panel, the most exciting bit of news for series fans might be that Disney is considering turning the island attraction at Disneyland (once the 'Swiss Family Robinson' Tree House, later a 'Pirates of the Caribbean'-themed scene). Yes, 'Lost Island.' Theme park fans should stay tuned.

And you should stay tuned for more coverage of PaleyFest, including insider looks at the upcoming panels for 'Dexter,' 'Family Guy' and 'Curb Your Enthusiasm.'

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Bryant McGhee

I think I have it Lost is just a rehash of the special "Doctor Who the Key to Time", 1978 - 1979. I normally watch this every year or so and while watching it this weekend I couldn't help but notice all the similarities to Lost. The key to time complete adventure is made up of 6 episodes. The Doctor is a time lord from the planet Gallifrey who is able to travel through both time and space. I won't give the entire synopsis of each episode just give you some similarities to Lost:

1. The Ribos Operation: The Doctors TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimensions In Space) - is intercepted by the White Guardian (the guardian of light and time) who sets the Doctor on a quest to find the 6 segments to the Key to Time. I believe this is why there are 6 candidates in Lost. The Key once assembled, will allow the White Guardian to restore balance to a universe descending into evil and chaos. The island is supposed to somehow keep our world in balance. To assist the Doctor he is given a companion, Romana, and a tracer to locate and transform the segment back into its segment of the key. The segments can be in any shape or form according to the White Guardian. The White Guardian also tells the Doctor that he has a counterpart, the Black Guardian (Guardian of Darkness), who if he gets the key will plunge the universe into chaos and destruction. Both guardians can also assume any shape. On the planet they encounter 2 conmen Garron and Unstoffe. I believe this is where both Lockes father (Garron) and Sawyer (Unstoffe) came from. There is also a character named Sholakh who I believe to be where the Locke character originated.

2. The Pirate Planet: While on this planet they encounter a pirate named the Captain who has a trophy room made up of the crushed remains of planets which is used to form a time dam. The time dam is used to keep Queen Xanxia alive and she is currently in a form that will in her opinion never age or dies. This could be the inspiration for the Richard character but in my opinion it will most likely play into the explanation of Jacobs's character. Part 3 is a dead on description of the Richard character. The Captains first mate Mr. Fibuli offers the Caption 3 alternative which I believe to be the 3 choices that Fake Locke offers to Sawyer. Also the crushed planets form a system that creates a perfect balance to the environment almost reminding me of the perfect balance of the scales in the cave which Fake Locke takes Sawyer to show him the names on the cave walls.

3. The Stones of Blood: Back on Earth the Doctor encounter Vivian Fay who is 4000 years old who is most likely the inspiration for the Richard character since she doesn't appear to age either. She is able to take on different forms almost like the smoke monster. She uses her staff to create a static circle that the Doctor is unable to enter. This reminds me of the black ash used to keep Smokey at bay. It is also found out that she was a prisoner aboard a ship that was taking her to be judged for her crimes but she managed to escape. Again remind you of anyone. The Druid religion is based around her. She used rock creatures called Ogres to do her bidding. She used her ability to transform into the Doctor to lure Romana to the edge of a cliff and push her off (leaving Romana dangling for her life) that seems eerily familiar to the scene where the Sawyer had to be rescued by Fake Locke. Romana ended up being rescued by the real Doctor.

4. The Androids of Tara: On this planet they encounter the kings swordsman who does the soon to be king (Prince Reynart) bidding including killing. He I believe is the inspiration for Sayid Jarrah and his characters named is Farrah (just one letter off). They find themselves at one point trying to enter secretly into Castle Graf owned by Count Grendal (in my opinion the temple). Castle Graf is surrounded by a moat. Remember the water surrounding the temple. Also the king's man knows of a secret entrance into the Castle. On the outskirts of the castle under foliage is a hole in the wall leading to an underground entrance used by the nobility to avoid the peasants in the time of plagues. Remind you of the entrance Jin showed Hurley and crew while trying to enter the temple. Princess Strella is a prisoner and can be seen weaving a tapestry almost like the scene where Jacob is weaving his tapestry. There is a Japanese style hut that they call a pavilion that I equate to the Japanese style house Jack saw in the lighthouse mirror. In the Counts android fixer Madame Lamia's lab can be seen a tapestry that looks like balance scales.

5. The Power of Krull: They run into green natives on the 3rd moon of the planet Delta Magna. The natives were placed on this moon almost like Native Americans were on reservations. The eart

March 03 2010 at 8:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Bryant McGhee's comment
tana green

What a lovely analysis. I too have noticed similarities but put them down to the inability of science fiction to avoid repeating itself, especially when an outstanding writer has been at work. The great Douglas Adams wrote the Key to Time series of Doctor Who and where would science fiction be without him?

March 27 2010 at 2:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

When did Doctor Evil's dad and Al Gore become exprods on Lost? Those are the only two I know of who would have the balls to make sure a completely silly and over the top suggestion... it's like they invented the spoon... or the internet.

Wow... might have been a joke, but even though I think Lost is one of the most tightly written sci fi epics ever, that comment really hit me the wrong way. Really the wrong way. Invented spoilers. Please... arrogant pricks.

February 28 2010 at 11:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Mike's comment

Sorry to be a stickler. Doctor Evil's Dad thought he invented the question mark.

February 28 2010 at 1:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Try not to react so strongly to second-hand info such as rumors or blogs, where you have no idea about the context or accuracy of what was said, or if it was said at all.

Oh, btw, your mom told me she doesn't love you. She called you an arrogant prick, but she might have been joking.

February 28 2010 at 3:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"without leaking any "spoilers." In fact, they took credit for being the show that gave birth to that term."

I'm sorry, am I reading this right? They took credit for inventing - or "birthing" - the term "spoilers?"

Uhh...umm...Peoples? Lost folk? If that's what you said? Not really in any way close to reality on, well, any level at all, really.

Also? Don't screw it up. ;)

February 28 2010 at 10:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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