I'd expected the Lost panel here at Comic-Con to be as intense, fan-wise, as the Heroes one was, and there were certainly lots of fans in the audience, but the whole vibe of the thing was a little different — totally playful and fun. Executive producers/writers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse sat onstage fielding questions from the audience and giving out gifts to each person who asked a question. The gifts were chosen based on what the topic was that the fan was asking about, so for example, a young man who looked a lot like Hurley was awarded a large tub of Dharma-issued ranch dressing. The producers also claimed that Dharma was sponsoring the panel here at Comic-Con.
They also chose a few of the people who took the tests at the Dharma recruitment booths on the exhibit floor to come onstage and then leave with a Dharma recruitment guy, Hans von Egan. They gave one of these chosen people a camera with which to "secretly" capture what went on when Egan took the group to a booth where they were shown a scratchy Dharma video of Marvin Candle who revealed that his real name is Pierre Cheng. In the video (which Cheng said was filmed 30 years ago), there was a screaming baby in the background until Cheng instructed someone to take the baby away. He implored the viewer to "complete the research." He said the Dharma Initiative "must be reconstituted" and he mentioned Einstein's field equations.
His most clear message was this: "Time is not just of the essence, it is the essence." In typical Lost form, the person running the camera eventually said that making the video was pointless, and the footage cut out as Cheng protested that they should keep taping.
So, there was that. From all the fan questions, we got a few more tidbits, though nothing too juicy. There was also no real footage to show, of course, since they haven't started shooting yet. Still, it was so much fun to be in a room full of Lost nerds who got every reference and insider joke. To see some of the little things we learned from the panel,
- The producers said Jin would still be on the show in some form, with Carlton Cuse adding, "Death is a relative term, really."
- Cuse's favorite episode so far has been "The Constant." (I then wanted someone to ask the men who their constants are, but nobody did.) Both producers say the last season, season four, was their favorite season of them all, and promised that in seasons five and six the show would just keep getting better and better. "You guys never lost faith in the show," Damon Lindelof remarked. "You will be rewarded for hanging on all the way to the end of season six."
- In addition to flashbacks and flash-forwards, they're going to do something "completely different, to mix it up."
- Though they said they wanted to avoid using the word "flashbacks," they promised that we will see Rousseau's story.
- Vincent the dog will be in season five.
- Cuse, in particular, expressed his continued interest in the Kate-Jack-Sawyer love triangle, and said we'll see more about the triangle in the coming seasons.
- They acknowledged that it's pretty silly that Daniel Faraday still hasn't taken off his skinny tie, but now it's kinda become a thing. They even gave out one of the ties that the actor wore on the show as a gift for someone who asked a question about Faraday.
- Lindelof promised: "When season five starts, you're not going to know when or where you are." They are going to play (even more) with different places and periods of time.
- One woman asked how old Richard Alpert really is, and how many toes he has. The producers just said "very old" and that we'll "see him barefoot in the very near future — and that's pun intended, 'near future.'"
Cryptic as always, but pretty fun, too.
Photo copyright 2008 ABC, Inc.