So, you saw the season premiere of Lost. It answered some big questions, didn't it? Bet you have a lot more though. Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse gave a press conference about the first three of the season, but the only spoilers here are presupposing you're already caught up on the premiere and looking ahead as we all are.
Crave Online: Should we assume the season three finale was the first flash forward, or could other previous ones have been in the future?
Carlton Cuse: Well, it's all kind of relativistic. I think what you will really learn from the season is that if you look at the sort of, if you look at Lost in its totality, where sort of various pieces of the jigsaw puzzle go in, they all go in relative to each other. So that was the first one we saw on the show but in a timeline sense, you may see other flash forwards that would slot earlier than that.
Damon Lindelof: We weren't trying to be cutesy. The actual answer to your question is that's the first event that happened after the Oceanic Six was rescued. Nothing else that you've seen happened after that.
Crave Online: Will we be seeing a lot more Nestor Carbonell?
Carlton Cuse: You will.
Crave Online: How would you have told the story if Cane had been a hit and Nestor were unavailable?
Damon Lindelof: Yeah, that's a great question. The good news is that since we got the end date of the show, that allowed us a tremendous amount of preplanning time. So in the case of Nestor, basically he was on the show Cane last year and we found ourselves in a position where if that show had been successful and had been picked up beyond the 13 episodes and he was a series regular on the show, that Lost probably, you never would have seen Richard Alpert again. So we had to have a plan B which would have been sort of catastrophic for us since we had sort of weaved Richard Alpert into the show in such a significant way. So once Cane did not get picked up, we did a deal with Nestor which basically secured his services should we choose to pull the trigger on them until the end of season six, so we have him until the end. When you have sort of secondary characters who are essential to the plot like Charles Whitmore or Richard Alpert, the benefit of knowing the story ahead of time is that we can try to lock those actors down and not find ourselves in a situation where we're waiting around for them to be available. The other good news is, because we shoot the show, the show doesn't premiere until January, we have latitude. Someone might not be available for the episode that we want them for, but because we're shooting starting in July all the way through March, maybe they're available a little later and we can slot them into an episode at a later date.
Crave Online: Will we see Claire and Jin this season?
Carlton Cuse: We'll definitely see Jin this season. I mean, he's a series regular. Claire is not a series regular this year but her story is by no means over, so you will see her but you'll probably see more of her in season six. And Jin will we back. What we've said is that we're not saying Jin is currently alive after the explosion of the freighter but since we are telling stories in both the past, the present and the future, you will definitely be seeing Jin stories. We're just not telling you when those are occurring.
Crave Online: So he's still a regular? Because he's not in any of the photos.
Damon Lindelof: That's correct.
Crave Online: Do you plan on revealing who Ben answers to or maybe revisiting Ms. Hawking?
Damon Lindelof: You know, who Ben works for is probably Ben, but the fact that he is obviously involved with other people and as you've seen from these first three episodes, has some sort of relationship with Ms. Hawking. We don't know how long it goes back or what exactly the nature of that relationship is, but again, characters' alliances, certainly those who have been on the island for a while like Ben or Richard Alpert, is stuff that we're going to start to do fairly intensively towards the latter half of this season and much more so in the final season of the show.
Crave Online: What's the plan for incorporating Ajira Airlines into the mythology?
Carlton Cuse: That's a very good question. Can we go way in the back there? [Laughs]
Crave Online: How are you staying away from the pitfalls of time travel stories?
Carlton Cuse: Well, we're on pharmaceuticals right now. That's a big part of it. You know, it is a very, it is kind of a veritable minefield to do time travel, yet it also is incredibly exciting. What we didn't want to do was have season five, the penultimate year of the show, just be a stall. We really decided that, as we always have on Lost, we were going to take some risks and take some chances. If we make some missteps, that's okay as far as we're concerned. We rather would take the risk to kind of continue to try to do what we consider to be exciting storytelling and the consequences are that there's a greater degree of difficulty in that. It's been really hard for us. We've worked really, really hard to try to resolve a lot of those conundrums to which you refer. We feel like we've done a pretty good job so far and we are really excited about the episodes of the season. I mean, they are really all the better for utilizing this island skipping time travel element.
Damon Lindelof: I think we've also become fairly masochistic in our writing. We sit around and go, "Is it fraught with peril? Yes, let's do it." That's part of the thing that keeps the show exciting. The show sort of walks this line between if we're not flirting with complete and utter catastrophe and disaster, that we feel part of the reason that the audience watches the show is when are they totally going to reach that point of no return where they've just messed things up so badly? And you can't get to that point unless you're taking risks, so the show's been a time travel show for the last four years. We're just making it more apparent in the storytelling now. Hopefully as season five unfolds, you'll reason that the time travel has been in the DNA of the show for quite some time, but we think the audience is now kind of prepared to go on that journey with us.
Crave Online: If you didn't have your end date, would you still be telling this story?
Carlton Cuse: No, I mean, I think that the end date, our gratitude to Steve McPherson and Mark Pedowitz for negotiating the end date knows no bounds. I mean, that completely liberates us. We didn't know whether the mythology we had had to last two seasons or nine seasons and that was utterly paralyzing. So now that we know exactly how many episodes we have left has really allowed us to plan and to do this stuff with the confidence that we know exactly how much of the journey is left. That's been enormously liberating and really the key to the whole show for us as storytellers.
Damon Lindelof: Essentially that we got to a point in season three, and I think a lot of you were in the room where we basically did that session after you had seen the first seven episodes of season three and the show had sort of reached that point where we all knew it was trending into an area of complete and utter suckiness. Is that a word?
Carlton Cuse: That's a good word.
Damon Lindelof: And at that point, we all had a decision to make which was are we going to have an end date or is the show going to get canceled in like a year or a year and a half? Because it simply couldn't go on the way that it was. So the story that Carlton and I would be telling if we didn't have an end date is that we wouldn't be telling the story at all. Someone else would be up here talking about Lost because we didn't know how to continue to do the show anymore, which is why we lobbied for the show. So basically, all these ideas, the flash forwards being the first one that we were able to pull the trigger on, and then entering into the endgame of the story which involved a significant amount of nonlinear time travel storytelling, was all sort of part of what our plan was but we couldn't start to do any of that stuff until we realized we were working towards an endpoint.
Carlton Cuse: Because this time travel reflects a kind of a plunge towards the ending which is irreversible at this point. I mean, once we committed to doing that, there was only a certain amount of distance between that and where the story, in our opinion, had to end.
Crave Online: Could you expand on the statements that this is the season of Sawyer?
Carlton Cuse: The season of Sawyer, Sawyer has a lot to do this year. We made sure that for people who might not be huge fans of time travel that Sawyer had his shirt off for the first episode. That was a very calculated balance act there.
Damon Lindelof: It was also important that Sawyer was not a huge fan of time travel. You will find him, over the course of the year, constantly sort of bemoaning the fact that this is the situation that he's in. We feel that last year, because of the Oceanic 6 storytelling that a lot of the focus was on Kate and Jack and Hurley and Sun and Aaron and Sayid, and Sawyer as a result of not getting off the island, did not have as much focus on him and this year, we've tried to sort of make up for lost time as it were. Josh has just been doing amazing work and we're obviously now writing the 13th episode of this season so we're just three or four shy of the end and we've seen a lot of Josh's work. We really feel that he's done an amazing job this year. There's a lot to play.
Carlton Cuse: It is kind of the season of Josh.
Crave Online: Back to Ajira, we're not the only ones who don't know what this airline is, right?
Carlton Cuse: We do.
Damon Lindelof: Yes.
Crave Online: How many regular characters and red shirts are left? You killed lots of red shirts in the last few.
Damon Lindelof: Are you talking in the context of after the flaming arrow incident?
Carlton Cuse: Rose and Bernard are still okay. They did not get taken out by the arrows.
Damon Lindelof: And Vincent the dog probably survived too.
Carlton Cuse: A lot of the other red shirts though, not so lucky.
Crave Online: Is this an opportunity to get rid of characters you don't have use for?
Carlton Cuse: Is that a Paolo and Nikki backdoor question?
Damon Lindelof: You know, the last character that anyone ever asks us about was Frogurt and you saw how we dealt with his reintroduction. Look, the show is now moving into a phase where the presence of the socks is no longer directly necessary. So we cook 'em with arrows.
Crave Online: Do you think it's best not to try to figure out what's going on?
Carlton Cuse: Look, the show is ultimately kind of a mystery show and so we hope that the viewers are engaged by the mysteries of the show, but I do think you can drive yourself crazy. I mean, one of the things that I think becomes more apparent as you move into the fifth season of the show, particularly the beginning, people theorize about the show and this is what Lost is and it reduces to it's purgatory, or it reduces to a sentence or a couple of sentences and I think we always sort of said two things that I think become more apparent the more you watch. One is it doesn't reduce down to one simple thesis statement and number two, you don't really know enough to be able to effectively theorize about where it's going to conclude. I mean, if you were to just go back to season two and say, "Well, what is Lost about?" without any knowledge of the fact that we were going to be doing flash forwards or this time travel season, or anything like that, you just don't have enough information. So I think it's fair in that sense in that I think people who like Lost the most I think are people who appreciate the journey as opposed to the destination. That's how we hope that viewers will approach the show.
source : www.craveonline.com