Lost writers laud the return of Australian actress Emilie de  Ravin.

Lost writers laud the return of Australian actress Emilie de Ravin. Photo: Supplied

It's a series that radically altered the TV landscape and cultivated a fervent and proactive fan base. Lost, the perplexing yet thrilling serialised drama that began with a plane crash on an island somewhere in the Pacific between Sydney and LA, before developing into a rumination on life, is weeks away from its conclusion. (And closure for fans.)

It was Lost, along with Desperate Housewives, that helped galvanise the Seven network in 2005 and deliver its eventual knockout ratings blow against Nine. Yet, after a frustrating third season, Lost's local ratings eventually collapsed. By 2008, Seven had banished it to 10.30pm.

At the same time, the show was on a creative high. And in a courageous move, the show's runners, Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, announced 2010 as an end date.

Lost continues to rate well in the US and figures highly in the country's pop culture. Although that's not the case locally, multi-channelling means the series is at least back on in prime time. 7TWO is screening the final season each Wednesday, one week after its US screening.

When Green Guide contacted Cuse and Lindelof at Lost HQ in Hawaii, they were writing the final four episodes. The pressure and expectation are building. The duo say that in their show-runner roles, which combine writing, editing and producing, they are working on nine episodes simultaneously.

"We made this show by relying on each other's judgment and via collaboration," Cuse says. "We'll keep the same process going until the end."

After trusting in flashbacks to tell the castaways' stories, Cuse and Lindelof shifted the show's storytelling device dramatically by moving to the so-called flash forwards, where viewers learnt of the fate of the characters after they had escaped the island and returned "home".

Last season - and stay with us - time travel was prominent in the series. This season, the narrative device is via what Cuse and Lindelof call "flash sideways". The series is telling two stories, one focusing on the fate of the characters on the island, the other via a scenario where the plane did not crash in 2004, and what became of the characters once they landed, unharmed, in LA.

"Some people are confused by this," Cuse concedes. Yet both producers believe that as most fans have watched the show's 105 hours or caught up via DVD, they should be willing to go along for the ride. "We've earned the benefit of the doubt," Cuse says. "We are confident in our plan. Because it's too late for us to turn back now."

When Lost was conceived, networks were obsessed with self-contained procedural dramas such as CSI and Law & Order, which rate better in reruns. "At the time we came along, 'serialised' was a dirty word," Lindelof says. "The concept was if people missed an episode, they could never get it back in. And the more complex Lost became, the harder it was to keep its audience. It creates great pride in us that so many shows have now tried to emulate the Lost model."

The show's production is both elaborate and complex. It is almost two months between each episode's conception to completion. This week, filming takes place on the fourth-last episode.

This season's performances from the show's core group of Josh Holloway, Evangeline Lilly, Matthew Fox and Terry O'Quinn have been excellent.

"There is something special happening," Lindelof says. "They know the journey is coming to the end. But it's a great job, too. They are in Hawaii, they work just a few days a week. But everybody has risen and made this season their best work."

Lindelof also lauds the return of Australian actress Emilie de Ravin, as Claire. "We're blown away. We think the audience will love her."

The duo are more coy about the irrepressible Ben Linus, played by Michael Emerson. "If there's a debate regarding Ben being redeemable, we feel like we've done our jobs," Lindelof says.

As for the show's moral heart, Fox's Dr Jack Shephard, expect closure. "The show has never been about the search for happiness," Cuse says. "It's more redemption."

Was there ever a point where the writers yearned to keep the show going past 2010?

"We're grateful to our bosses allowing us to end the show on our terms," Cuse says. "The idea of drawing it out any longer would be disturbing. It would be damn near exploitative of fans to wait another year to be told, no it's not happening. We'd be tarred and feathered."

Season six of Lost screens on Wednesdays at 8.30pm on 7TWO. Episodes are repeated the following Wednesday at 11.30pm on Seven.