Ever since 2004, people around the world have been invested in the characters of the global television phenomenon that is “Lost.” Whether it’s a smoke monster, underground hatches or time travel, the adventures of the survivors of Oceanic 815 were able to capture the imagination of the world. Now, in its sixth and final season, “Lost” is finally able to unravel the mysteries it’s held onto for so long.
Co-executive producer Paul Zbyszewski, who is also a writer for such episodes as “Sundown” and “Jughead,” was able to shed some light on the process of writing episodes, his involvement with the show and what fans can expect from the final season.
Zbyszewski said that to break down an episode, the writers will gather in the writers’ room for several hours and talk about the story and characters.
“It’s a giant collaborative process. Everybody gets to chime in and everybody gets to have a voice in the room,” Zbyszewski said.
“We break it down act by act, and we talk very generally at first about which character we want to center the episode around. It always starts with the characters first.”
The mythology and what secrets are going to be revealed are secondary and come once the episode has been broken down, Zbyszewski added.
When it comes to actually writing an episode, Zbyszewski finds it difficult to pick just one character that he likes to write for most.
“We have so many great, great characters on this show. They’re fantastic and fun to write for,” Zbyszewski said. “There isn’t a single character that you don’t want to write for because the actors are all so good.”
Zbyszewski said that he will be writing three episodes this season, one of which, “Sundown,” has already aired. Unfortunately, he remained mum on details of these episodes.
“Working on this show is like working for the CIA. You have to be careful of what you say. If you let certain things out you might not make it to your car alive,” Zbyszewski joked.
When it comes to answers, though, Zbyszewski said that he was surprised at just how many will be answered and added that the questions that have an answer are the ones that pertain to the characters and what is important to them.
“We tackle a lot of stuff,” Zbyszewski said. “I think it’s going to be very satisfying on both a mythological and an emotional level.”
With the final hours of the show about to be filmed, Zbyszewski said that the level of emotion over the end of the show is ramping up.
“It’s getting a little sentimental when we talk about where these characters are going to wind up and the final scenes and images that we’ve been talking about for a long time,” Zbyszewski said. “It’s tough to let go.”
Even though this is the final season, there has been some concern about the new narrative device “Lost” is including. Instead of a traditional flashback or flash-forward, “Lost” is implementing the flash-sideways, where we get a look at the characters had their plane never crashed. Zbyszewski had comforting words, though, for those who feel it’s just filler.
“Trust us. Things will make sense. You might be confused right now, but that’s ok. It’s a good confused,” Zbyszewski said.
“Things will come together, and I think people will understand where it goes when we lay it out for you.”
Devotees of “Lost” will also notice that the traditional “whoosh” sound effect has been replaced by a more broken and disjointed one. Zbyszewski cknowledged the sound is indeed different, but would not comment on how or why.
In addition to being able to work on what Zbyszewski described as one of his favorite TV shows even before he started working on it, he also thanked the fans for making “Lost” what it currently is.
“Thanks for trusting us with the story,” Zbyszewski said, “and I hope we fulfill all of your hopes and expectations for this season.”
Throughout its time on television, there’s one thing that’s been following it: spoilers. These are the bane of any serialized television show.
Andy Page runs darkufo.blogspot.com, which is one of the top places to go for all the latest in “Lost” spoilers.
Page first got his experience in spoilers via message boards on IMDb.com during the hiatus between season one and two.
“I decided to try to find all the info I could on what was in the hatch and what awaited us in season two,” Page said. “During lots of searches I came across a report from somebody who saw the premiere a week before the ABC premiere of season two.”
Page then went on to describe how the report sounded strange and contained information about a Scottish man in the hatch pressing a button. Page said he then posted this on a message board but majority of the people on it did not believe him, that is, until the episode aired.
It was around this time that Page created his own blog where he was able to post photos and list all the outstanding mysteries. His site got picked up by digg.com and received around 200,000 hits in 24 hours. Because of this newfound popularity, he also decided to include polls, theories, screencaps, and of course, spoilers.
While most people don’t want the experience of “Lost” ruined for them, Page added that he doesn’t mind the spoilers.
“I actually find myself enjoying the episodes more,” he said.
Page said that by the time the pilot aired in the United Kingdom, several episodes had already aired in the United States. He then downloaded them and finished what was available of the episodes in a matter of days.
“Pretty much everything got me hooked: the mystery, the acting, the locations and the soundtrack. They all just combined perfectly into something magical,” Page said.
When “Lost” is finally over, though, Page still has plans for the Web site, which will include reviews, recaps, DVD and Blu-ray information and fan-generated media.
“The site will never actually ‘close’ but it will become less busy over time,” Page said. “I hope that people will still enjoy coming to the site for many years to continue to discuss the show.”
So far Page finds himself unsure about this season and is waiting to see how everything will wrap up.
“There have been some great episodes, some fantastic scenes and acting, but I’m still waiting to see if they can wrap this all up in a way that will not piss too many people off,” Page said. “They have a lot left to do in the 11 hours left.”
“Lost” currently airs on ABC at 9 p.m. on Tuesdays.