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What is going on with the Lost finale on Netflix?

January 8th, 2016 by Matt Gault Comments

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Lost may be long over, but it’s still creating all kinds of mysteries – mysteries even its showrunner Damon Lindelof is struggling to solve.

Sharp-eyed Netflix viewers have noticed the two-part ending of the hit series is 18 minutes shorter on Netflix than the 104-minute version that aired in 2010, with numerous small cuts made. It has prompted an angry and confused Reddit thread and Lindelof himself as spoken out about it, saying he is ‘totally befuddled’ and would like the missing footage restored.

Lindelof said to Entertainment Weekly (via Squareeyed): “I am totally befuddled by all this. Love it or hate it, the finale that aired is the definitive finale and to alter it in any way defies explanation. Something tells me that this isn’t Netflix’s fault … that it’s an honest mistake and something got miscommunicated — I seem to remember ABC had to make an edit for rerun airings that tightened the show into ‘format’ (42 minutes to accommodate commercials), and somehow that [version] mistakenly got sent to Netflix.

“This sometimes happened with our finales — we’d ask for extra time and ABC would agree to air, but then we had to do another tighter version for subsequent airings and/or international [markets]. We usually left these (painful) cuts to the discretion of our editors… but as the show lives on in DVD form and on Netflix, there is ZERO reason to have the shorter version out there.”

However, a potential twist in the tale is that some Netflix viewers have claimed seeing the ‘definitive’ version on the streaming service before.

“I have no intention of ‘changing’ nor Special Editioning the finale … we continue to stand by it, but this is a fix that needs to happen, so at least people can love or hate it in its entirety,” Lindelof said.

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Matt Gault is a sports writer and film fanatic. He is a fully-qualified journalist and has worked for BBCNI, Sunday Life and has been published on The Guardian's website. He interns at REDNI, sub-editing for the Belfast Telegraph. He studied at Queen's University pretending to like history and literature and then University of Ulster Coleraine, where he slacked off enormously for a year and somehow got away with it. He also enjoys Captain Morgans, The Sopranos, Led Zeppelin and Hunter S. Thompson which makes him a remarkably uninteresting person.