A piece of the wrecked fuselage used in the first season formed the backdrop for the band Slug at the Turtle Bay Hilton affair celebrating the DVD release of "Lost: Season One." A go-go dancing stewardess added to the effect.

Producers say new
season will reveal
much, but not all

They know that leaving questions
unanswered can frustrate viewers

Damon Lindelof is grinning like the cat who's captured the rat and eaten the cheese.

"Lost," the show he co-created with J.J. Abrams, ranked in the top 10 in its first season while attracting one of the largest and fastest-growing fan bases in television history. The DVD of the first season is expected to set sales records.

But Lindelof only basks in his success for a few exhilarating moments before sliding into omnipotent mode.

"Anything is possible on 'Lost,' and we will always do things that no one expects -- but never not to just do it; only if we earn it," Lindelof says. "Season one was our foundation. Now comes the really fun part: exploring other parts of the characters, the island, and, uh, other stuff, too."

"Lost" executive producer Bryan Burke says the series is "a giant movie."

"And Act 1 is the first whole season," he said.

Viewers learned "the basics" about the survivors -- all of whom had secrets.

"We peeled away the layers of who they are, the island and the group's whole mind-set of just getting off of it," Lindelof said. "Now, the group begins to realize they just might be there for a while, so we'll see them get into society-building mode. Expect really solid answers about the nature and history of this place in a far more defined way than season one."

Lindelof acknowledges that audiences were justifiably frustrated with all of the unanswered questions.

Did the writers deliberately frustrate the audience?

"No, you never want to do that," Lindelof said. "There's a fine line between intrigue and frustration. You never know when you're crossing that line, but we will always err on the side of not giving enough rather than giving too much. Once you give too much, you just cannot go back."

The writers learned a lesson from audience reaction to the finale: Viewers wanted some of the survivors to go into the mysterious hatch.

"I stand by the decision we made, because if we had shown even just a little bit of what was in there, you'd have a million more questions and be even more frustrated," he said. "It would have had no context."

The writers are "taking steps" this year so audiences not only will "discover things and learn things, but those things will be clearly defined for them."

The writers made the decision by last season's fourth episode to end the finale with the opening of the hatch.

"Early on, J.J., Carlton and I figured out the end game, but we just didn't know how we would dole it out," Lindelof said. "We know the rules of the world we're playing in, but some things we've said you'll have to wait to find out in season two, some things in season three, but then maybe we'll shift something to season four."

The writers knew before they created the hatch what was in it. "The big picture we knew," Burke said. "We cannot go down such a bold road without knowing. When we conceived the show, we talked about the hatch immediately. When we were still working the pilot and didn't know anything else or all the characters, we knew about the hatch. The question was always, When do we just reveal the hatch?"

The writers already know how season two will end.

"All the 'Desperate Housewives' open the hatch, and there they are with Bob Denver, who tells the survivors, 'Hey, hey, come on down,'" Burke said.

But, seriously, "It'll be a big cliffhanger."

Season two will answer questions about Kate and what her crime was, what happened to Jack's wife and what put Locke in a wheelchair, Burke said.

"All the characters' mysteries will be revealed and coincide dramatically with what will happen on the island," he said.

Intrigue focuses on the characters living in "this gray area," Burke said.

"Evil people don't think they're evil, bitchy people don't think they're bitchy and good people always think there's someone better," he said. The idea of good and evil on "Lost" is in the eye of the beholder, and particularly this season, there are no right answers.

"Jack and Locke have different views on the world. Some of the audience subscribe to Jack's way of thinking, some to Locke. That's really going to be pushed even further his season."

The twists carry over from the show's mysteries into its romances. Maggie Grace, who plays Shannon, when asked which two characters she'd like to see hook up, names two men, Charlie and Sayid.

"She's not the first person to say that," Lindelof said. "There's some real desire from the audience to see some unisexual couplings.

"Anything is possible on 'Lost.'"

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