REVIEW: THE LOST WORLD – SEASON 1-3

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MAIN CAST

Peter McCauley (Herecules: TLJ)
Rachel Blakely (Neighbours)
Jennifer O’Dell (Nip/Tuck)
William Snow (Dead End)
David Orth (2012)
Michael Sinelnikoff (300)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Lauara Vasquez (The Beast)
Lara Cox (The Marine 2)
Jerome Ehlers (Water Rats)
Robert Coleby (Chopper Squad)
Lani John Tupu (Farscape)
George Henare (The Dead Lands)
William DeVry (Earth: Final Conflict)
Wayne Pygram (Farscape)
John Bach (Lord of The Rings)
Grant Bowler (Ugly Betty)
Nicholas Hammond (Stealth)
Nicholas Bell (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie)
Gigi Edgley (The Circuit)
Jane Badler (V)
Michala Banas (Winners & Losers)
Jeremy Callaghan (Young Hercules)
Alan Dale (Ugly Betty)
Marton Csokas (The Equalizer)
Jessica Napier (McLeod’s Daughter)
Simone Kessell (Terra Nova)
John Noble (Sleepy Hollow)

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 favourite.Working out of Veronica’s huge tree house (, the characters would, each week, encounter everything from dinosaurs, 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  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 Lost World may never please Doyle ‘purists’, but it was certainly a most enjoyable guilty pleasure.

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REVIEW: THE LOST WORLD (1998)

CAST

Patrick Bergin (Lawnmower Man 2)
Jayne Heitmeyer (Earth: Final Conflict)
Julian Casey (X-Men: Days of Future Past)
David Newman (Witchboard III)
Michael Sinelnikoff (300)
Russell Yuen (The Day After Tomorrow)

bhrNPMMb851EJd7R3eKs8iaZBcsMongolia, 1934. The researcher Maple White (Jack Langedijk), together with his assistant Azbek (Russell Yuen), discovers an unknown world populated by dinosaurs, situated on a plateau in Mongolia. After having found a Quetzalcoatlus’s egg in a cave, White celebrates the discovery, with Azbek, uncorking a bottle of champagne and listening to classical music. Azbek is attacked and killed by Eudimorphodons, which also attack White who falls from the plateau holding onto a rope; he survives but is seriously wounded, White is found again and taken care of by Myar and Djena (Gregorian Minot Payeur), respectively Azbek’s brother and sister; White asks the two to bring him his friend George Challenger (Patrick Bergin) to whom White gives an account of his adventures, proposing to Challenger that he should try to fully explore the plateau in his place.64Challenger returns to London, and organizes a lecture to try to convince some people to finance an expedition to prove that dinosaurs still exist despite scientific belief to the contrary. During the lecture, Challenger is derided and humiliated, not only from the students but also from his colleagues Leo Summerlee (Michael Sinelnikoff) and Lord Thomas (James Bradford). However, Lord Thomas ultimately grants permission for the expedition, on the condition that Summerlee accompany Challenger to act as “a critical eye”. Subsequently, a spectator at the lecture, Oscar Perreault (Jacques Lessard), proposes to pay the expedition’s expenses to Mongolia, on the condition that the scientists capture a living dinosaur and to exhibit it to the public wherever he wishes; and that his associate John Roxton (David Nerman) goes along to represent his interests. Challenger unwillingly accepts the proposal. After concluding the lecture, Challenger bumps into the young journalist Arthur Malone, who he suggests joins the expedition as a documentor. After granting permission to Malone, Challenger is confronted by the same woman who had interrupted his lecture earlier- who reveals herself to be none other than the late Dr. White’s daughter, Amanda, who also insists on joining the team in order to represent her father’s interests. In the following days, the team heads to Mongolia, stopping on the journey to pick up their guides, including the young siblings Myar and Djena; as the journey goes on, Djena becomes very attached to Malone and strong connection is built between the two. Their transportation suffers a breakdown and the team is forced to continue the trip on foot. One of the guides is killed by what is presumably a prehistoric insect, however, despite misgivings on the part of the guides, the team continues on after conducting a funeral, according to the local rites. The team finally reaches the foot of the plateau where Amanda White is abducted by two neanderthals. Upon noticing Amanda’s disappearance the team immediately goes in search of her. Challenger and Roxton quickly find her suspended from a ritual framework by her abductors. In rescuing her, they are also forced to face the neanderthal tribe – who are only defeated by use of modern weaponry. The team escapes the charging natives by use of a hot air balloon, in which they fly up the plateau. Using binoculars Summerlee observes three Quetzalcoatlus nearby; the animals prove to be hostile and immediately attack the balloon, knocking the young Myar from it and then causing an irreparable tear to the balloon itself, causing the whole team to plummet to the plateau below. Upon arriving the team is amazed to see a Brontosaurus. Djena is bitten by an unknown creature in a water court but is saved by Challenger. After a search the team find shelter in a cave, where they discover a series of intricate symbols on the walls. Roxton decides to return to the wreckage of the balloon to recover his supplies. Upon his return he presents the team with a young Centrosaurus which he wants to sell for $100,000. Roxton the reveals to the team that he intends to make the plateau an area exclusively for high-risk game hunting, and has planned to do so all along. Roxton then orders Malone to tie Djena and Challenger to tie Malone. Taking advantage of Roxton’s temporary distraction, Challenger succeeds in disarming Roxton instead and recovers the rifle. However, Roxton aims a knife Djena’s neck, forcing Challenger to return the rifle to him. Djena once again distracts Roxton by biting Roxton’s hand and Challenger attacks him; ultimately Challenger is able to render Roxton unconscious. Meanwhile, Amanda White and Professor Summerlee are busy trying to decipher the symbols on the cave walls. They are attacked by a dinosaur but are able to fight it off. At the same time, Challenger, Malone and Djena are returning with the tied-up Roxton, and are attacked by a giant crocodile. The crock manages to snap only Roxton, leaving the other three unscathed.imagesWMJ4VFV1Returning to the cave, Amanda White tells the Mongolia’s lost world history through the symbols; these tell of a tribe, the kerraks, that have adapted to the place, some dinosaurs were chased by the kerraks, some of which were extinguished and, for this, the native precedents, the neanderthals, chased the kerraks to avoid the total destruction of the lost world, becoming the plateau’s custodians. After the story, Professor Summerlee reveals to the team that he doesn’t want to return to London, deciding to pass the rest of his life in studying the plateau’s environment. Shortly after this a neanderthal appears in the cave, and shoots Summerlee with a poison dart. The dart causes Summerlee to become very disoriented and experience hallucinations. Under its influence he goes out from the cave and is killed by a Tyrannosaurus. The rest of the team finds the dead body of Summerlee, which they cover with a British flag; subsequently. Returning to the cave, Amanda White and Challenger discover that there is, in fact, a larger cave behind the first, the same one discovered by Maple White in the film’s first scenes. Exploring the cave the two come across the skeleton of the unlucky Azbek and White’s vinyal record. In the same instant, a battered John Roxton, reveals to Amanda White and to Challenger that the cave is full of explosive and that the two cannot be not be saved once he lights the fuse. the lost world 98_2Roxton is also in possession of a Eudimorphodon, which frees itself and attacks him, causing him to fall from the plateau, killing it. Before falling however, Roxton manages to light the fuse and Amanda and Challenger barely succeed in escaping. While trying to prepare a parachute, Djena finds a dead Velociraptor and is attacked by Eoraptors, which then attack the other team members. Later that night, a Tyrannosaurus attacks the camp; the team tries to escape, but Djena is once again attacked by the Eoraptors, when they disperse Djena is attacked and killed by the T-Rex. Wanting to avenge Djena, Malone distracts the T-Rex by throwing rocks at it . He is ultimately able to kill the T-Rex with a large blast of fire by igniting flammable gas caused by a nearby volcano. Amanda White and Challenger are saved from the hot flash by throwing themselves down from the plateau’s frame with the parachute that Deja had been preparing earlier. Returning to London, Challenger communicates the death of his companions to the students. On account of the dangerousness of the place, he chooses to state that the expedition found nothing, thus making sure that no one else goes looking for the plateau. In the last scenes of the film, we see that Malone – the film’s narrator – has remained on the plateau and adapted to life there.500px-The_Lost_World_revolver_1_1Patrick Bergin plays an effective, though whisker-less, Professor Challenger, Julien Casey is believable as the reporter, Ned Blaine, and Michael Sinelnikoff is well cast as Dr. Summerlee. David Nerman makes a surprisingly dastardly John Roxton, Jayne Heitmeyer is fine as a somewhat anachronistic Amanda White, and Gregoriane Minot Payeur is sympathetic as one of the local guides whose family has an unfortunately high mortality rate. The dinosaur scenes, while not quite up to the standards established by Jurassic Park, and not quite as prevalent as one might wish, are generally convincing, exciting, and gruesomely violent. It’s well worth a look for fans of the genre.

 

REVIEW: RETURN TO THE LOST WORLD

CAST

John Rhys-Davis (The Lord of The Rings)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II)
Eric McCormack (Free Enterprise)
Tamara Gorski (Hercules: TLJ)
Ian Yule (Cyborg Cop III)

untitledBelgian scientist Bertram Hammonds, along with Gomez, who survived being injured in the first film, arrives in the Lost World to drill for crude oil. He and his men begin capturing the natives for slave labor, throwing Chief Palala off the top of the plateau. He survives and is rescued by Malu and taken to a nearby village. Word reaches Edward Malone and Jenny Nielson in England, who remind Professors Challenger and Summerlee of the promise they made to Palala: that they would return to the Lost World should they be needed. However the professors are having a feud. Challenger recently discredited Summerlee on a theory and now they aren’t on speaking terms. With help from Jim, Malone and Jenny manage to bamboozle Challenger and Summerlee into coming along with each mistakenly believing they are commanding the expedition while the other is remaining in England. When they encounter one another aboard the steamship bound for Africa, they nearly come to blows. Upon arriving they are led to the base of the plateau by Malu, where she found Chief Palala.lwfilm3Above, attacks by dinosaurs have set back Hammonds’ work. His drilling crews accidentally tap into a volcanic pipe during a tyrannosaurus’ visit, triggering a volcanic eruption that threatens to destroy the whole plateau. The initial eruption destroys the plane they arrived in. Fleeing, Hammonds and Gomez take hostage Chief Palala’s daughter and threaten to kill her unless the natives show them how to leave. Suddenly Challenger and the others arrive, having come the same way they left last time, through the caves.6244-2Challenger shoots and kills Gomez, and Hammonds is taken prisoner. After several adventures including clashes with the hostile drilling crew members, the group struggles to stop the erupting volcano. Challenger creates a new explosive, “Challengerite,” with which to seal the volcano. Boxes of the explosive are put into a cave nearby but Hammonds chases Jim inside, not wanting them to set off the explosives. He tries to ply Jim with promises of wealth but Jim sets off the explosives, stopping the eruption and seemingly killing Hammonds in the process. Afterward, Summerlee congratulates Challenger on the Challengerite, and they muse on how much longer they can keep the Lost World safe from human intervention1992-the-lost-world-rhys-challengerReturn to the Lost World was not as good as The Lost World. It starts off with the promise of being better than the previous film but it just doesn’t measure up. But that doesn’t mean it is not enjoyable. John Rhys-Davies and David Warner play their roles very well and the lead villain does over act, in a bad way. If you’ve seen the previous movie, I suggest watching this. It’s filled with fun and adventure.

REVIEW: THE LOST WORLD (1992)

CAST

John Rhys-Davis (The Lord of The Rings)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II)
Eric McCormack (Free Enterprise)
Tamara Gorski (Hercules: TLJ)
Ian Yule (Cyborg Cop III)

returntothelostworlddavidwarner4Set in 1912, the film opens on Edward Malone, a junior reporter looking for an adventurous assignment. Malone is sent to interview Professor Challenger, an explorer and researcher who believes he is on the trail of the “lost world,” a mysterious place in Central Africa. Challenger has a picture of a cliff and a strange beast resembling a pterodactyl that is his only proof of the place. The British scientific community finds his claims laughable. After receiving funding from the family of Jenny Nielson, a wildlife photographer and the daughter of a rich American contributor to the sciences, the “scientific community” agrees to organise an exploratory expedition under the leadership of the antagonistic Professor Summerlee. Summerlee agrees to Malone and Nielson coming on the expedition, but refuses to allow Challenger to be part of the expedition. With obvious reluctance, Challenger gives Summerlee a “map” to be opened at a road-end village in Africa at a particular date and time. The expedition departs. A newsboy associate of Malone named Jim stows away on the trip.1992-the-lost-world-rhys-challengerThe expedition arrives in Africa where they are joined by a female guide named Malu and a Portuguese called Gomez. Summerlee opens the map from Challenger, finding it blank, at which point Challenger appears from nowhere leaving Summerlee no option but to accept his guidance on the exhibition. Under Challenger’s guidance they find the cliff in the picture and reach the top, but Gomez (who turns out to be the brother of a Portuguese who was killed on Challenger’s first journey here) strands them with no way back down. Exploring the Lost World to find another way home, the team finds dinosaurs, from a pair of Anatosaurus to a pterodactyl rookery. Jim, Malone, and Malu narrowly avoid being eaten by a dinosaur (presumably a Herrerasaurus), only to find that their camp was attacked and the rest of the team is gone. The three discover a gathering of native tribesmen (painted with symbolic skeletons) who regularly sacrifice humans off a cliff to the carnivorous dinosaurs. While the ‘skeleton men’ sacrifice a man to a Tyrannosaurus rex, Malone distracts the tribe while the other explorers and captured natives escape, and they retreat to the safety of a second tribe nearby (who use clothes, not paint). During these events, Summerlee notes some oddities about the “ritual” vegetation necklaces that the sacrifices (themselves) were dressed in. The second tribe’s members, through Malu’s translation, tell the explorers about a time long ago when the shamans of their tribe convinced some to worship the carnivorous dinosaurs, splitting the tribe in two.6244-2Summerlee deduces that the vegetation necklaces placed on the sacrifices provided some necessary nutrient or immunisation to the dinosaurs which had protected these dinosaurs from the extinction that the rest of the dinosaurs suffered globally (this being a theory Summerlee had espoused previously). The expedition team uses their modern knowledge and research to benefit the tribe with irrigation and horticultural benefits, to produce the antidote to a prehistoric plague. The skeleton tribe’s leader is killed, and the two tribes reunite. The chief shows the team a hidden cave that will lead them back to their world, and has them promise that they will come back if they are ever needed. Returning to the river, the team is ambushed by Gomez. Gomez is shot and wounded, but instead of killing him, Challenger leaves him behind, saying, “Let the jungle have him.” Malu stays in Africa, and the others return home. The Royal Zoological Society in London rules that Challenger and Summerlee have insufficient evidence of their tale, until Jim reveals that he brought back a baby pterodactyl. The team is celebrated for their achievements, but when Malone, Jenny, and Jim discover the pterodactyl (named Percival), is unhappy being kept in a zoo, they release him, allowing him to fly back to the “lost world”.lwfilm3There is something rather endearing about this cheapie production, there is no sex or nudity and any violence or gore is muted, it’s obviously made for the family audience.Although low budget it’s rather a pleasant looking production. The monsters are hokey with no attempt to hide the fact that they are puppets (Jurassic Park this ain’t), usually they are more cute than frightening. All in all not badly done within it’s limits