The Lost Islands
|The Lost Islands|
Main title screen
|Format||Children's adventure series|
|Country of origin||Australia|
|Running time||26 x 30 minute episodes|
|Original run||1 January 1976 – 1 December 1976|
The Lost Islands is an Australian television series. It first aired in Australia on 1 January 1976, and was later screened around the world, including the UK, France, Italy, The Netherlands (and various other parts of Europe), as well as Israel, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Canada & the United States.
A hurricane nearly sinks the United World, a sailing ship holding 40 teenagers from all around the world. Most of them flee the ship in lifeboats, however the evacuating children are not counted and five are left behind. The storm blows the battered ship across a reef into the lagoon of an island.
The island, Tambu, is ruled by a supposedly 200 year old immortal tyrant called "Q", who came to the island on one of several ships originally bound for New Holland. In the center of the island is a valley in which the descendants of the original ship still live, in the manner of an 18th-century colonial community. Adjacent to Tambu is a smaller island, Malo, which is a barren wasteland. It is noteworthy because of a lagoon where prisoners are forced to dive for a "blue weed" which, according to the people of Tambu, is refined into a powder which the Q uses to extend his life.
The children befriend a local family, the Quinns, who help them remain hidden on the island in a swamp avoided by locals because it is, according to local myth, inhabited by the ghosts of the dead. Most of the episode storylines pit the children against the Q, who fears their knowledge of the outside world is a threat to his dominion of Tambu.
Unlike most Australian television series of the time, which were either entirely produced by a TV network, or a TV network in association with a local production company, The Lost Islands was a co-production between the Australian Ten Network and a US studio, Paramount.
Three early episodes were edited together to make a 35mm feature film released in Australia in December 1975.
- Tony Hughes as Tony
- Jane Vallis as Anna
- Robert Edgington as David
- Amanda Ma as Su Ying
- Chris Benaud as Mark
- Margaret Nelson as Helen Margaret Quinn
- Rodney Bell as Aaron James Quinn
- Ric Hutton as Prime minister Rufus Quad
- Ron Haddrick as The Q
- Cornelia Frances as Elizabeth Quinn
- Frank Gallacher as Jason Quinn
- Willie Fennell as Jeremiah Quizzle
- Ron Blanchard as Quell
- Michael Howard as Quig
- Don Pascoe as Adam Quinn
- Wallace Eaton as School headmaster Quilter
- Andrew Pike and Ross Cooper, Australian Film 1900–1977: A Guide to Feature Film Production, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1998, p 296