The Lost World
The Complete Second Season

Starring: Peter McCauley, Rachel Blakely, Will Snow, David Orth and Jennifer O'Dell
Liberation Entertainment
RRP: 39.99
Certificate: 12
Available 19 November 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.

The second season is a huge improvement on Season One. It looks like they managed to acquire a much bigger budget for CGI effects (which wouldn't have been difficult. A quick whip round of the cast and crew would have collected more money than was available in Season One). Right from the first episode (where they seem to blow the same amount of money that was spent over the entire first season) things look promising. There are plenty of CGI dinosaurs, but I was convinced that these shots would be used over and over again throughout the following 22 episodes. Thankfully I was wrong. Very few of the effects are reused throughout this series and the end result is that the majority of episodes look pretty good. Now, let's not carried away here - this is still a low budget production, but the money is spent in all the right places to try and make the world our heroes inhabit look as believable as possible.

The scripts are also a lot stronger too and the acting is much improved, although Rachel Blakely, playing Marguerite Krux, still has a tendency to roll those great big eyes and overreact a little.

As with Season One, 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), and any new character that appears will instantly end up getting it together with one of the main characters.

The only guest stars worthy of note are Peter O'Brien (who played Shane Ramsay in Neighbours, Sam Patterson in The Flying Doctors and 'Stitch' Lambert in Casualty) and Gigi Edgley (Farscape's Chiana).

Extras are a little thin on the ground. There's no sign of the audio commentaries and blooper reel that the press release promised. All we get are similar text based featurettes that were on the last collection - in fact some are exactly the same. These include 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). There's nothing to get excited about I'm afraid.

While this second series is a vast improvement on the first in almost every way, it's still not a show that a lot will be able to stomach for the entire 22 episodes. 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. It's also interesting to note how many other expeditions are on the plateau too - was there a government grant or something?

Nick Smithson

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