Do you dread a Lost revival? Here's how it can find its way again

Jack, Kate and Sawyer in Lost.
Jack, Kate and Sawyer in Lost. Photograph: Snap Stills/Rex

There is not going to be a Lost revival, which means there probably is going to be a Lost revival. Last summer, when Carlton Cuse was given a four-year development deal with ABC, it sparked speculation that he was about to bring Lost roaring back to life. However, ABC president Channing Dungey recently denied the rumours in the weakest possible manner. “It’s something that’s on a list of, ‘Wouldn’t that be great if … ,’ but at this point, it’s only at that place,” she said, adding, “I haven’t had that conversation with [Cuse] yet.”

Look at that “yet”. Look at it just dangling there, teasing us all. Reading between the lines, it seems like ABC desperately wants Lost to return to our screens, and now it’s simply a waiting game. But while this is an incredibly exciting development – I count myself as one of the world’s few remaining unrepentant Lost fans – it cannot pass unchecked. Because, in all honesty, a Lost revival has the potential to be one of the very worst things to ever happen in all of television history. It could be botched beyond all recognition in a million different ways, and only I know how to make it a success. ABC, Carlton, you can have these tips for free.

Sole survivor: Jorge Garcia as Hurley.
Sole survivor: Jorge Garcia as Hurley. Photograph: ABC via Getty Images

New characters

The worst thing ABC could do is simply turn Lost into a lumpen Will & Grace-style reunion show where somehow, against all odds, all the old characters find themselves on a plane together again and somehow, it crashes on the same spooky island full of the same spooky mysteries. Damon Lindelof – who has ruled himself out of any revival – agrees. “[I] hope that when that happens, whoever is doing it doesn’t take the characters from the original Lost and put them in the new one, because we worked so hard to end that show,” he said last year. If Lost is going to come back, we will need a new set of heroes to be mystified by.

Except Hurley

That said, any series of Lost without Hurley would be utterly pointless. Not only was he the beating heart of the original – preaching quiet compassion in the face of sometimes rampant self-interest – but he’s theoretically still on the island. As Lost ended, he was being inducted as the new Jacob, the quasi-Aslan figure who ruled over the island for centuries with his utility belt of supernatural abilities. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Jorge Garcia needs to come back and play Hurley – after all, Jacob wasn’t seen in any real capacity until the final series – but if the island could be peppered with giant Hurley statues this time around, I’d appreciate it.

Tie up some loose threads

As perfect as the original series of Lost inarguably was, it didn’t exactly tie everything up in a nice bow for us. We still don’t know, for instance, who built the four-toed statue, or why the smoke monster made a mechanical noise, or why women on the island couldn’t have children, or why the numbers appeared to be cursed, or what the purpose of Room 23 was. While it’s right that a new Lost series should concentrate on telling its own story, a little bit of fan service here and there might be nice.

Keep it finite

Before anyone even starts writing a new Lost story, they should know exactly how many episodes long it will be. This will keep things streamlined, and ensure that the new series has a momentum that the original wasn’t always able to maintain. Because, while I’m genuinely excited by the prospect of more Lost, even a hint of an episode about the meaning of a character’s tattoos and I’m going to set my TV on fire and push it out of a window.