Kristin Dos Santos, of E!Online, posted an interview with Damon Lindelof yesterday about the strike and its potential effect on the arc of the remainder of the series. Pretty compelling stuff, specifically related to the idea that Episode 8 may end up being a huge cliff-hanger for fans of Lost.
Lindelof on the Strike:
It looks like Lost will air eight episodes and then go dark. Does it sadden you that you’re not able to deliver those 16 in a row that were promised to the fans?
Yes, it does. I feel like the worst thing we could have done was to plan for a strike and plan accordingly. Everybody had to be optimistic, because then it would have felt like why does episode eight feel like such a conclusion? We learned last year that the show moves at a certain pace, and you can’t build up critical momentum in the first six episodes. In fact, when you are doing 24 straight episodes of a show, the first six episodes are a lot of tap dancing and some writers are able to tap-dance very effectively. Cable writers don’t have to tap-dance at all, which is why all their shows are so great.
Lindelof on Season 4 Ending after Episode 8:
At the end of the eighth episode, is there any sense of conclusion whatsoever?
It’s as much of a conclusion as, say, Ana-Lucia and Libby getting shot.
Yes. And you’d be, like, oh my god, I can’t believe I have to wait another year and two months for episode nine of this season.
So, it’s a cliffhanger?
Yes. And that’s the thing, we really planned out the three seasons of 16, 16 and 16…so the idea of having to come back and maybe do a 24-episode season, and that would be season five is just…I can’t look the fans in the eye and tell them that we’re executing the original plan anymore.
Obviously, this whole strike is unfortunate for a number of reasons, but I believe the writers are just in what they are doing and ultimately deserve a piece of the action related to any distribution channel their creation is available through. And honestly, Big Business in Hollywood could have resolved this entire issue with a little more forethought related to their online and mobile distribution strategies. We are talking about the writers asking for pennies on the dollar… Could that not have been a cost of business thought out beforehand?
This happened with DVD’s, and history repeats itself everytime a new method of distribution breaks through to the masses. Benjamin Franklin said, quite appropriately, that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. That the PGA and studio executives expected the writers to bury their collective heads in the sand while huge rewards were reaped through new media is short-sighted at best.