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'Lost' Writers Provide Glimpse of Island Life

March 27, 2009 5:01 PM

“Lost” executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, co-executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis and supervising producer Elizabeth Sarnoff sat down March 26 at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills to talk about the craft of writing the winding, twist-filled ABC sci-fi mystery.

Lost

At least it started that way. The “Lost” gang quickly diverged onto different topics, discussing how video games influenced season three, how giving fans what they want tends to not impress and how John Locke is Mr. Lindelof’s “cherry.”

Here’s what we learned at the panel, presented by the Writers Guild Foundation:

—Mr. Cuse said video games nearly ruined season three of the show as the writers consistently played them while they should have been breaking stories. So much so, in fact, that the Dharma Initiative’s submarine, the Galaga, is named after the Namco video game.

—Mr. Lindelof compared switching focus of characters from episode to episode in the earlier seasons to eating a pack of Starburst. If cherry is your favorite flavor, you’ll eat a few different flavors to get to another cherry, he said. “My cherry is Locke,” he said.

—Mr. Cuse said there were alternate plans for Ben Linus’ character. Michael Emerson had been cast for three episodes on “Lost” during the second season. If Mr. Emerson has not panned out well as Ben, he wouldn’t have been revealed to be the leader of the Others on the island.

—Mr. Lindelof was in tears after the initial ratings were released for the first episode of “Lost.” Not because he was happy, Mr. Cuse said, but because it meant they would have to continue trying to script out the complicated show.

—Mr. Kitsis said he and Mr. Horowitz wrote the episode “Expose,” about the death of the hated characters Nikki and Paulo, as a gift to the fans. The immediate reaction online, according to Mr. Kitsis, was blasé, with most people saying “not much happened” in the episode. “Gift returned,” he said.

—Andrew Krukowski

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