Lost season 5 early rumours

The fourth series of Lost may have only just left our screens, but that doesn't stop us doing some spoiler-tastic rounding up of what's happening next...

The logo of Lost. As used a lot by Sky

Given the strength of the fourth season of Lost, even if the concluding double episode had its problems, it’s perhaps understandable that talk already has turned to the next – and penultimate – series of the show. And with things needing to slide into place – for this time next year, there’ll be less than 20 episodes of Lost left – we can expect an action-packed and eventful fifth season.

Firstly, the basics. The show won’t be returning to our screens until January 2009 (possibly even February), where the plan will be to run the episodes through without any breaks. That was also the idea this time, but the writers’ strike disrupted the plan, hence it all got a little bitty towards the end. We also know that season five of Lost is now going to run for 17 episodes, instead of the originally-planned 16 (and this will be the case with the final season, too).

There’s still a chance of an actor’s strike, incidentally, which may yet play havoc with all of this, so don’t set your recorders just yet.

Now we’re onto rumour and speculation, so look away now if you don’t want anything spoilt.

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The current word is that a female cast member of the show who has been with the series from the start won’t be back for season five. We’d suggest that Claire is the most obvious candidate (and that’s certainly the name that’s being banded around), but don’t hold us to it. The chances are that she’ll be back for the final series anyway, as she has ties to the mystery that need to be resolved (and, to be fair, from being a fairly redundant character, she finally emerged as someone really quite intriguing by the end of season four).

We also know that of those caught in the boat blast that Michael is definitely dead, as actor Harold Perrineau has been grumbling about it in a new interview he’s given. Jin is likely to have perished, too.

We’ll be finding out more about the character of Keamy in season five, who will get, apparently, a flashback all of his own (although how the show will handle the flashback/forward dynamic is unclear, given the Oceanic 6 are now off the island, and much of series five is likely to be concerned with getting them back there. Plus, er, the fact that Keamy is dead). There are also rumours that Eko might be making a reappearance, but to be fair, there’s lots of wild speculation running round at the moment.

So now we wait. But this following clip should make you even more impatient…