At the recent Comic-Con in San Diego, 'Lost' producer Damon Lindelof was asked about the fact that each season only seems to cover just a few weeks of time.
"You're making a basic assumption that they've been there as long as [the characters] think they've been there," replied Lindelof. He hinted that perception may be changed in season 3.
This information seems to back up by a spoiler provided by a 'Lost' fanatic who calls himself "The Misfit". On his blog ("TheMisfitIsHere"), he claims that "The interrelationship between the outside world and the island will be something that will be a part of Season 3."
If so, such a discrepancy between the time spent on the island and the "real time" of the outside world will help the producers avoid dealing with a real-life event that surely must have some kind of impact even in the fictional realm of Toobworld: the tsunami that wiped out thousands of lives right after Christmas of 2004.
As is the case with the World Trade Center destruction on 9/11 and the current war in Iraq, any TV show that would have some connection to such a devastating event should address it and not ignore it. Otherwise I think it would be not only an insult to the intelligence and maturity of the viewer, but also an indignity to the memory of those thousands who perished in the onslaught of Nature that day.
And since the island of 'Lost' is in that general vicinity, and Oceanic Flight 815 crashed near the end of September of 2004, eventually the show would have to address the tragedy of the Boxing Day Tsunami.
Up until the statement made by Lindelof, there was a generally accepted timeline for the events on the island. The first season was roughly just over 40 days in length; and based on the statements made by Desmond upon his return to the island, he was only gone for about two weeks on his boat, trying to escape. So the entire second season must have been squeezed into that fourteen day time frame.
That would put the timeline for 'Lost' at about the middle of November, nearly. A month later and the tsunami would wreak havoc on the mainland, and perhaps on the island itself. Within the "reality" of 'Lost', perhaps the creation of the tsunami could be linked to the ultimate destruction of the Hatch in the season finale; an event that might have shifted the tectonic plates in the region and ultimately cause the earthquake which created the tsunami.
But now, if it's true that time is passing slower in the outside world than it is in the perception of the castaways, then the producers of 'Lost' can avoid any mention of that cataclysm for probably as long as they want. They could even get through the projected five seasons of the series without ever having to worry about it.
Had they left the timeline for the island to run naturally, then eventually they would have to address it, because the Boxing Day Tsunami is going to become part of the fictional reality of Toobworld officially. Filming has begun in Phuket (which was mentioned on 'Lost') and Khao Lak in Thailand for a mini-series co-produced by HBO and the BBC.
Tim Roth and Toni Collette are starring in the production, along with Sophie Okonedo, Hugh Bonneville and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Other actors involved include Gina McKee, Kate Ashfield, Samarit MacHielsen and Grirggiat Punpiputt.
As you can imagine, a lot of the local populaton weren't too pleased with the idea of a TV movie swooping in to - as they saw it - capitalize on their personal tragedies in the aftermath of the disaster.
Had the timeline been allowed to play out naturally, who knows when it may have occurred in the show. Third season? Fifth? This new bit of sci-fi technobabble will now help the producers from ever having to address it at all.