The Lost World
The Complete First Season

Starring: Peter McCauley, Rachel Blakely, Will Snow, David Orth, Jennifer O'Dell and Michael Sinelnikoff
Liberation Entertainment
RRP: 39.99
Certificate: 12
Available 15 October 2007

Determined to prove the existence of The Lost World, dashing adventurer and scholar Professor Edward Challenger mounts a British expedition team consisting of a mismatched group of enthusiasts, all with less than selfless reasons for making the journey. The action takes place in a land where time stands still but terrifying prehistoric creatures, vicious ape-men and bloodsucking flora won't...

The Lost World (sometimes referred to as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World) TV series was a Canadian/Australian/New Zealand co-production based loosely on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's popular 1912 novel of the same name. The show was produced by John Landis, ran for three seasons (1999 - 2002) and was cancelled when the producers were unable to procure funding for the fourth season.

To be perfectly honest though, I'm surprised it made it past the pilot stage. The effects are second rate at best, most of the scripts are a little weak, and the acting ranges from poor (Rachel Blakely, playing Marguerite Krux, and Michael Sinelnikoff, as Professor Arthur Summerlee) to just believable (Jennifer O'Dell, as Veronica, and Will Snow, playing Lord John Roxton).

I was going to give a run through of the episodes that I particularly enjoyed, but to be frank none of them are worthy of note. Each week the main cast split into two groups, each doing a different task - be that trekking through the jungle or staying near/in the tree house What you can be certain of is that O'Dell has plenty of cleavage on display (which, believe it or not, gets a little tiresome after a while), one of our heroes will be faced with certain death only to have one of the other regulars appear out of nowhere and shoot the threat, and a velociraptor will leap from a bush only to be instantly shot.

The only guest stars worthy of note are Kristian Schmid (Neighbours, The Tomorrow People) and Alan Dale (Neighbours, Ugly Betty). Dale puts in probably the best performance in the first season.

There's a little too much reusing of material here too. The producers might have gotten away with reusing the pool that was seen in the first episode (More Than Human) that is until it's reused and coloured yellow to look like nectar in the following episode Nectar. The dinosaur effects are not that impressive, but are reused so many times as to be distracting. This is made all the more annoying when the same few velociraptors clip are used over and over again.

For some unfathomable reason the two-part pilot episodes are stuck on disc six. This means, that if you stick in disc one the action starts in the middle of the Lost World with no explanation as to what on earth is going on. Wouldn't it have been better to have the pilot episodes as the first two episodes on disc one?

Extras sound a lot more impressive than they actually are. We get a load of text based featurettes that provide a shallow amount of information (Men/Women/Animals/Creatures of The Lost World; Actor Biographies; Arthur Conan Doyle; and Dinosaur Park); Scenery of the Lost World (a number of video clips that show different locations); The Lost World Convention Footage (27 minutes of film that sits in on a Q&A and signing for a very low key convention); Blooper Reel From Season 3 (12 mins of outtakes from Season 3).

While this wasn't really my cup of tea, the young will probably love this as the storylines are not overly challenging; and male adolescents will no doubt love the fact that there is plenty of female cleavage on display in every episode.

Nick Smithson

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