LOST Media Mentions - DarkUFO

Thanks to Edith from SpiceDogs for finding this article. Very mild spoilers.

After an eight-month absence, ABC’s “Lost” returns Thursday amid some fears that it will suffer similar audience losses as “The Sopranos” did after one of its extended absences.

But actor Michael Emerson, who earned an Emmy nomination playing Ben Linus, the leader of the hostile island group, The Others, isn’t worried about viewer defections.

“I think the appetite is well whetted at this point,” said Emerson in a telephone interview. “Those who might drop away weren’t that serious about it anyway.”

The return of “Lost” is the best thing to happen to TV since the writers’ strike began. ABC has been promoting it to death and is trying to find new ways to get new fans to the series, which focuses on strangers left on a deserted island after an airplane crash.

An amusing eight-minute clip on the Internet summarizes the previous complicated three seasons. ABC also is carrying an “enhanced” version of last season’s season finale at 9 p.m. Wednesday and running a clip show at 8 p.m. Thursday, an hour before the first of eight finished episodes airs.

Emerson said filming was shut down in Hawaii at Thanksgiving, when the last of the written scripts before the writers’ strike began was filmed. Emerson believes if the strike doesn’t end in time to finish the 16- episode season, the eighth episode can serve as a cliffhanger.

“It turns out, whether by accident or by plan, the button at the end of Episode Eight is pretty strong,” said Emerson. “It would be a cliffhanger you could walk away from with a feeling of satisfaction. It would also whet your appetite for whatever comes after.”

Emerson is evidence of past “Lost” adjustments. Originally signed for three episodes in Season Two, he has become one of the series’ most important and ambiguous characters as the leader of The Others, who were on the island before the plane crash brought Jack (Matthew Fox), Kate (Evangeline Lilly), Sawyer (Josh Holloway) and the show’s other original characters there.

“I didn’t expect to be on the show this long,” said Emerson. But after he first appeared as Henry Gale, the false identity he used when first discovered, plans changed.

“They saw what they had wrought,” said Emerson. “They began to see they had a really cool idea. Maybe when they saw the dailies, they thought, ‘this actor is right for this idea.’ Let’s run with it awhile and see what develops. Had I not worked out and had the idea of the character not worked out, they could have easily killed me off and gone in another direction.”

He wasn’t sure whether Henry-Ben was a good guy or a bad guy.

“No one really discussed where the role was going with me. I just flew to Hawaii one day in January of 2006 and the next morning I was hanging from some vein of a palm tree,” said Emerson. “There was some point in the early going when I was playing Henry Gale and we were rehearsing a scene, one of those sort of ambiguous scenes, I thought to myself, ‘wouldn’t it be a blast if it turned out that not only was I something scary, but I was the head scary guy.’ Of course, that’s actually what it turned into.”

He had previously won an Emmy playing another ambiguous role on “The Practice” as a droll murder defendant whose guilt or innocence was in question. A stage actor, Emerson isn’t sure why he has had a corner on ambiguous roles.

Thursday’s season premiere is titled, “The Beginning of the End,” apparently because ABC has announced the show will end after three, 16-episode seasons. Emerson says it picks up where it left off last season, when viewers discovered at a funeral of an unknown survivor that Jack and Kate had made it off the island and that Jack felt they had to return.

“The writers brilliantly opened the door to a third dimension of time of storytelling,” said Emerson. “So from now on, we will have sort of a threetiered structure. There will be present, past and future. And the future — those scenes you saw post-island — are going to be more and more important. And they are going to make this a really adult program. They are full of the kind of ironies and regrets and sadnesses that are going to make this kind of grown up.”

Emerson believes the third dimension idea “has been in co- [creator] Damon Lindelof’s head forever.” But other things had to be placed in the writers’ heads. For instance, Emerson’s actress wife, Carrie Preston, appeared as Ben’s mother in a flashback.

“It came about as a joke at first at a cocktail party,” said Emerson. “Somehow the producers heard about our little joke and, when the time came for that episode, they thought ‘why not?’ It was fun.”

It also is fun to speculate on whether Ben will ultimately be redeemed in the end.

“I don’t know anymore than you know,” said Emerson. “But I will hold on to the notion that he will one day be contextualized in a fairly heroic way.”

Emerson views the writers as heroic in their strike battle, saying they are engaged in a “good fight” with the powerful corporations they are negotiating with.

Asked if there was a “Ben” in the negotiations, Emerson cracked: “I don’t know any of the personalities, but I bet there are several Bens on both sides.”

Source: Buffalo News

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