Although viewers have often been left scratching their heads over the bizarre plot twists on TV’s Lost, the writers have always known how the story would ultimately wrap up, says the show’s Canadian co-producer.

“One of the most common questions that we get asked is: ‘Are you guys just like, you know, fumbling around the dark or do you actually have a plan?’ and the truth is we’ve always had a plan, always known how the story was going to end up,” said Stephen Williams, who divides his time between Toronto and Los Angeles.

“I think the audience needs to be totally and continually reassured that this is not a shaggy dog tale. It’s going to wind up somewhere tremendously satisfying and that’s always been part of the plan.”

Lost kicks off its fifth season tonight on ABC and the A Channel (check local listings) and is set to finish for good in 2010.

And while Williams — who is also one of the show’s directors — said he’s “a huge supporter of the notion of having a finite end to the story” of plane crash survivors on a mysterious island, he’ll be sad when the credits roll for the last time.

“I think the worst thing that could happen to Lost is that it would just kind of linger into some sort of pale representation of itself until the ratings dwindled and people’s interests dwindled and then finally the show would be killed,” he said in a telephone interview from Oahu, Hawaii, where the show is filmed. Lost has been a huge career investment for Williams, who has directed a slew of other TV series and won a Gemini Award for the Canadian TV movie Milgaard.

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