“Lost” marks its 100th episode tonight, an achievement its producers consider as surreal as the TV drama’s mind-bending plots.
Executive producer Damon Lindelof, one of the series’ creators, recalled meeting with ABC executives four years ago to pitch the idea of plane crash survivors stranded on an island of mystery and danger.
They were asked where the “Lost” saga would stand at, say, episode No. 74.
“I said, ‘We’re probably not going to get past episode 13. Let’s all be honest about that upfront,’ ” Lindelof recalled, adding, “If I traveled back in time to tell myself after that meeting that we were going to make it to 100 and still have a season beyond that, I would have laughed in my face.”
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Fans will appreciate the notion of time-skipping, since the current season has reveled in just that. “Lost” has flung major characters across decades, leaving them — and the audience — feverishly attempting to keep events straight and the end game in sight.
“It was always part of the master plan that the time-travel elements in the show would become more overt,” said executive producer Carlton Cuse. He recalled an early episode in which Sayid (Naveen Andrews) is fiddling with a radio and hears 1940s music.
“That was a signpost we were planting early ... that this island was not in the same place and space time as the real world. We knew that in season five we were going to deploy this and the show would become more overtly a genre show, and we were OK with that,” Cuse said.
“We’ve always felt we had to make bold choices,” he said, and the audience has responded.
In Wednesday’s episode airing at 9 p.m., viewers will get a few more pieces of the puzzle.
“We’re not promising any big whiz-bang flash pyrotechnics,” said Lindelof. It does serve as what he calls “a companion piece” to another memorable episode, last season’s “The Constant,” in which Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) endured turbulence-caused side effects.
“Lost” is set to wrap after one more season.