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Feature: Lost


We ask the creators of the mysterious and baffling series everything you want to know

What would your first instinct be when faced with the opportunity to ask the creators of Lost anything that comes to mind? Are you the kind of person that wants to know everything? Or are you more than happy just to go along with the expertly tailored ride that writer/producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse have crafted over the last year and a half?

It’s a dilemma which isn’t lost on the duo who have had to endure a constant barrage of questions since the close of the first season, even though ultimately most of those questions actually seem to lack a certain conviction.

“I think most people really don’t want to know,” Cuse concurs. “And people will come up to us and say, ‘What’s going to happen? No, wait, don’t tell me, don’t tell me!’ It’s that duality that protects us on the one hand because people really enjoy the ride and don’t want to have it spoiled.”

And we’d have to agree. Yet, if we were to play by those rules the interview would stop right there. So, be warned, while getting details out of these two seasoned pros is like prizing a tub of Ranch dressing from Hurley’s hungry hands, the following article may have some plot points that you might not want to read.

Still here? Good. So, what about those numbers?

“When somebody says, ‘What do the numbers mean?’ we just don’t know how to answer that question,” Lindelof rationalizes. “It’s like saying, ‘What does this room mean?’ or ‘What do my shoes mean?’ We do know the story of the numbers and why those specific numbers.

“So the idea that, what initially started as a transmission that originates from the island and then it’s heard by a man at a listening post in Australia, then that man ends up in a mental institution and downloads those same numbers to Hurley. Then those numbers end up on the hatch which we know is originated by some project called The Dharma Initiative… all of that, we have that story.”

As we start to stray into the metaphysical vicinity of the Lost ethos, that has brought the show praise from critics in all quarters, Cuse continues.

“It’s like asking what does any religion mean,” he enthuses. “It’s subject to interpretation and the inherent mystery is something that ultimately is never solved. It was in that context that we were trying to explain that you’re not going to get a tangible, complete answer to the question of what the numbers are. It’s sort of like asking, ‘What is God?’”

You can see how this is going to go. Like the show itself, the creators have become incredibly adept at answering questions without actually giving anything away. But at the time of this interview, almost half of the second unmissable season of the show had already aired in the US, giving us plenty of information to mine.

For a start, the hatch that held so much mystery in the second half of season one is open, creating conflict between Jack and Locke. The Others and the mysterious ‘monster’ have been revealed (or have they?), and just who are all these other ‘survivors’ that we’ve never laid eyes on before?

“We thought about Season Two in three acts, almost like a movie…”

by Grant Kempster

Read the full interview, plus star Matthew Fox's thoughts, in
The Works #A06

Lost © ABC
Feature © Visual Imagination 2006. Not for reproduction

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The Works #A06
May 2006
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