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It is easy, perhaps TOO easy, to heap abuse on this series, very
loosely adapted from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's fantasy novel. Certainly,
Doyle would not have recognized much of it; then again, would he have
recognized a majority of the 'Sherlock Holmes' features over the years?
And what would he have made of Steven Spielberg's "borrowing" his title
for the second "Jurassic Park" film? Ultimately, any production's
success or failure shouldn't be judged solely by the fidelity to the
original work, but whether or not audiences accept it. Many marvelous
adaptations, from the theatrical WAR OF THE WORLDS to television's "The
Third Man" have carried over little of the original source material,
but have won a place in our hearts, nonetheless.
And this New Line-produced series, filmed in Australia, even at it's most absurd, was always an enjoyable thrill ride, with a very ingratiating cast!
A spin off of a 1998 TV-movie, the series follows the adventures of an early 20th century party of explorers, stranded on a mysterious plateau in South America where multi-dimensional 'rifts' have allowed animals and cultures from past and future to co-exist. Led by brilliant Professor George Challenger (the wonderful Peter McCauley), a bearded, wild-haired scientist who thrives on facing the unknown, the party consists of handsome big game hunter Lord John Roxton (Australian actor/model Will Snow), mysterious benefactress Marguerite Krux (beautiful Australian actress Rachel Blakely), American journalist Ned Malone (Canadian actor David Orth), and elderly scientist, Professor Arthur Summerlee (Michael Sinelnikoff, whose character would 'die' by season's end). The TV-movie introduced a new character to the mix, blond 'native girl', Veronica, whose scientist parents had disappeared eleven years earlier. Portrayed by "Beverly Hills 90210" alumni Jennifer O'Dell, the voluptuous 'savage', scantily dressed, raised the level of sex appeal for the program immediately, and quickly became a fan favorite.
Working out of Veronica's huge tree house (a split-level that Tarzan would have been envious of), the characters would, each week, encounter everything from dinosaurs (created through CGI, and, while not quite 'realistic', still vastly superior to the stop-motion models, puppets, or rear-screen projected lizards of previous "Lost World" adaptations), to sophisticated cultures practicing human sacrifice, to demons and wizards, to nearly any kind of bizarre civilization one might imagine. Glimpses of each character's past allowed the cast to 'grow', and become more interesting, each season, and provided enjoyable subplots; Lord Roxton falls in love with the greedy, but lovely Marguerite, but her past includes espionage and other unsavory activities, so she only gradually accepts his advances; Veronica, drawn to Ned, must deal with his moodiness (WWI had left him emotionally fragile) and his sense of wanderlust. It is a tribute to the writers and talented cast that the subplots never sank into mini-soap operas!
Australian tax laws nearly sabotaged the series' third season; Canadian Orth and American O'Dell were forced to limit their appearances because of their being non-Australians. So Ned Malone was often away on a 'identity-crisis'-fueled quest, and Veronica, whisked away by a runaway balloon, returned later in the season with a pendant her mother had left for her with a distant tribe, and new responsibilities as 'Protector' of the plateau. A new character was introduced, a wise-cracking girl named Finn, from a hundred years in the future, who was transported back to the plateau by a Challenger invention. Portrayed by 24-year old Australian actress Lara Cox, she was a survivor of a radiation-poisoned Earth, and was quickly 'adopted' by the scientist, who made it his mission to prevent her future world from happening.
Despite very respectable ratings, "The Lost World" was canceled after the third season (with a cliffhanger ending to end ALL cliffhanger endings!), because of spiraling production costs. The cast and crew have remained loyal to the series since cancellation, however, and there is still a slight, if dwindling, hope that the show may reappear, either in series format, or as TV-movies.
"The Lost World" may never please Doyle 'purists', but it was certainly a most enjoyable 'guilty pleasure'. I join with it's many other fans in hoping it will return!
The Lost World admittedly has diverted from the ORIGINAL book. Unlike other shows that are based on books and end up leaving the central story L.W. finds interesting and new stories to tell which I feel, after reading the original story, are true to Sir Arthur Conan Doles essence of story writing. The characters are developed nicely. Every episode reveals a slightly different part of each character. This was real evident in this past season (three I think), throughout the season we find out about Malone's past and some of Marguerite's and Roxton's and even something surprising about Challenger. The season finale reveals what really happened to Veronica's family and her true past and something surprising about the plateau.
What else can i say? This show RULES! excellent, delightfully campy (in the
best way) has the powerful, nostalgic sense of some good old (and
underrated) series like the "Tales of Golden Monkey", "Adventure Island"...
films like "The Man of Bronze" or these Kevin Connor's camp adventure
classics like "Warlords of Atlantis" (all of them as "the missing link"
between the old Republic Serials and "Raiders of the Lost Ark"). I've been
wondering myself why these TV guys have forgotten how to do a good,
enjoyable TV show á la old fashion style and the answer came to me as this
wonderful piece of fantasy.
All on this show works with the accuracy of a clock, the main characters, the story, the locations. Even each time, over and over again, when i see the powerful main titles it turns me on like the most childish kid (the images... the amazing and far over the average "heroic" score). The following has all which anyone could ask for: lots of adventure, beautiful and wild babes, really bad guys and terrible monsters (well, still a bit cheesy but... who cares? "Valley of Gwangi" is, even today, a hell of entertaining despite the Harryhausen's ancient models).
Beyond the fact they grabbed only the name of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's to make their very own gem, this TV show has a strong spirit as i haven't seen since much time ago, and i'm seriously considering into my all-time classics (sharing honors with Twilight Zone, Miami Vice or Airwolf). Many people could think i'm exaggerating a little, but i fell this one has something else than many other (may be much more successful), but cold and empty programs, and i'm not talking only to the people who think Simon Wincer's "The Phantom" was a misunderstood good movie.
My only wish is to know if they going to release the seasons on DVD. And my suggestion is to give the creatures a major presence on the story... the dinos still look like the "guest stars" in many chapters.
"Two Thumbs Up!"
If you are looking for a show that is pure Sir Arthur Conan Doyle then
may *not* be the show for you. However, if you enjoy elements of ACD's
Lost World" along with a wonderful, fresh new twist on the story you will
love this series!
Many wonderful elements make up TLW. There is fantasy and adventure: dinosaurs, mysteries, exciting near escapes and heroics galore - but also comedic moments and dramatic elements that come from crisp scripts and clever direction.
What's more, there truly *are* a wonderful cast of characters -- some of which are the true "lost" of the plateau they are trapped on. Not only is the Challenger Expedition fighting the elements, strange occurrences and the general dangers of the world surrounding them but they are also learning, as the months pass, to live with one another and become a family.
Wonderful friendships and romances have developed over the last few years that are very appealing to both young and old alike.
Kudos to all cast members: Peter McCauly (Professor Challenger), Rachel Blakely (Marguerite Krux - a character not in the book but mysterious and lovely -- a favorite!), William Snow (Lord John Roxton), Jennifer O'Dell (Veronica - Another new character but a welcome addition), David Orth (Edward "Ned" Malone), Michael Sinelnikoff (Professor Summerlee - Season One) and Lara Cox (Finn- a young woman from our world's potential future - New character in season 3).
Sit back, watch a few episodes -- and become enthralled. It's great fun, holds your interests, and you will grow to the this show and its characters -- whether you want too or not (but you WILL want to!).
I actually enjoy this series. I was hesitant at first because, frankly it didn't seem like it would be any good. However I watched an episode and got hooked. It's a great mixture of humor, adventure and mystery. The show is a cross between Indiana Jones, Earth 2 and any show where the characters are trying to find a way home(too many to list). I think the actors do a good job at keeping the show light and there is the odd line that is pretty funny. All in all it's not bad and if you like Indiana Jones, and can put up with seeing a fake dinosaur once and a while then I recommend that you give it a chance.
The best thing about this show was the chemistry between the characters.
Everyone was energetic in their roles, and it really drew me in and made me
feel a part of their "family". The action was usually a bit on the silly
side, though always entertaining. It struck a nice balance there. The
special effects were good for a TV show, though still not too realistic,
which added to the wonderful cheesiness of it. The writing was always
creative. They would take just about any idea that popped into their heads
and make an episode out of it, meaning that it never got bogged down in a
handful of similar plots like so many other action/adventure shows. The
fact that it never took itself very seriously was key to its charm.
All in all, a wonderful bit of escapism that was always a hoot. I'm glad it's available on DVD.
Usually when I see one of these adventure series' on TV, they almost always bore me. However, this is one of the few shows of its type I like. While it has almost nothing in common with the book or the film versions (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's book, not the new one) except for the characters' names and the basic idea, it does manage to be a fairly entertaining show. It deals with the explorers running into ancient civilizations, odd characters, etc. over and over, but always comes up with another way to keep you interested. It also has some nice humor. True, the dinosaurs aren't believable, the stories sometimes predictable, and it seems the characters get killed over and over only to have them revived by some magical sorcerer or something close, but it's generally a good, fun adventure series.
For those of us who love living in fantasy worlds, The Lost World series is all you could ask. The show, not only has action, but a continuing story line, growing relationships between the characters, and both actors and characters that you can care about(a hard to find combination on TV or at the movies). I love "tough women", women who can hold their own and slug it out with the best. Rachel Blakely and Jennifer O'Dell prove to be that and more - You grow to love both, for their faults and blessings. Also a rarity is a show that teaches a worthwhile moral: Being willing to sacrifice self for your friends, family or loved ones is more important than gold and jewels. I only wish there were more episodes to relive the fantasy.
I have to admit when I first say this, I wasn't highly amused, however over time, and with new stories and action sequences and time, it grows on you and you start to enjoy the show and the characters. It has it's moments and then it doesn't, but isn't every show like that? But give it a chance, it's a good show with great potential.
you might complain about the fake dinosaurs. But if people took one moment to look behind them to actually view the character interactions. the hate/love relationship between Roxton and Marguerite. Veronicas ongoing quest to find her parents. Malone deciding on his true love. Marguerite and her destiny, challenger and his humanity. And Summerlee the paste which holds the entire show together. please give this show more than just a passing glance. It needs a full and indepth look.
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