The Lost World (2001 film)

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The Lost World
The Lost World (2001 film).jpg
DVD cover
Based on The Lost World
by Arthur Conan Doyle
Written by Tony Mulholland
Adrian Hodges
Directed by Stuart Orme
Starring Bob Hoskins
James Fox
Matthew Rhys
Tom Ward
Elaine Cassidy
Peter Falk
Composer(s) Robert Lane
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
Production
Producer(s) Christopher Hall
Running time 145 minutes
Production company(s) A&E Television Networks
British Broadcasting Corporation
RTL
Distributor British Broadcasting Corporation (2001) (United Kingdom)
A&E Home Video (2002) (United States)
A&E Television Networks (2002) (United States)
Eén (2005) (Belgium)
Memphis Belle (2003) (Netherlands)
RTL (2003) (Germany)
Release
First shown in 25–26 December 2001
(United Kingdom)
6–7 October 2002
(United States)

The Lost World is a 2001 adaptation of the novel of the same name by Arthur Conan Doyle, directed by Stuart Orme and adapted by Tony Mulholland and Adrian Hodges. It was filmed at various locations on the West Coast of New Zealand. The film was produced by the BBC and broadcast on BBC1 in the United Kingdom and A&E in the United States. It consisted of two 75 minute episodes which were first aired in the United Kingdom on 25 and 26 December 2001, and in the United States on 6 and 7 October 2002. In the DVD version, these two episodes are merged into one full-length film. Bob Hoskins played Professor Challenger and was supported by James Fox, Peter Falk, Matthew Rhys, Tom Ward and Elaine Cassidy.

Plot[edit]

While in the Amazon rainforest, Professor George Challenger shoots an animal he believes to be a pterosaur. Returning to England, Challenger crashes a lecture at the Natural History Museum held by his colleague, Professor Leo Summerlee. Challenger proposes an expedition to discover the home of the pterosaur, but is dismissed by the science community. However, hunter Lord John Roxton, and Daily Gazette columnist Edward Malone both volunteer to join and finance the expedition. A sceptical Summerlee also joins.

On the voyage to South America, Challenger reveals a map created by a Portuguese man named Father Luis Mendoz leading to a remote Brazilian plateau where he encountered dinosaurs during a previous expedition. They travel to a Christian mission in the Amazon, meeting Agnes Clooney and her uncle Reverend Theo Kerr, who condemns Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Roxton immediately takes a liking to Agnes’ unladylike behaviour and flirts with her. Agnes volunteers to join the expedition as a translator. However, in the jungle, the expedition’s porters flee out of superstition, but Kerr arrives, repeatedly trying to convince the bull-headed Challenger to turn back.

They reach the edge of the plateau and find a cave concealing a pathway to the plateau but discover a blockage. They later find a gorge leading straight to the plateau, using a tree as a substitute bridge. However, when all but Kerr make it across, he suddenly knocks the tree into the gorge and leaves Challenger and the others stranded. Venturing in the plateau’s jungle, they discover several species of dinosaur, including a flock of pterosaurs, and a strange species of aggressive, cannibalistic, carnivorous ape men. Malone discovers a lake which he names after his fiancé Gladys. Malone and Agnes are chased by an Allosaur, but evade it when it falls into a manmade trap. They find Roxton, learning the apes kidnapped Challenger and Summerlee. Warriors from an indigenous tribe appear, aiding them in rescuing the professors, along with Achille, the son of their own chieftain. The ape men are taken captive by the tribe.

Arriving at the village, the tribe are revealed to be surviving members of Mendoz's expedition and mistake Challenger for Mendoz, who taught them Christianity. The chief shows the other end of the cave and reveals it was blocked by a man who visited the tribe, trapping them within the plateau. Roxton falls in love with the chief’s daughter Maree, a woman who is quite similar to him, and they eventually marry. Some time later, the ape men cry out after having to bury one of their children, summoning two Allosaur to the village. In the mayhem, the chief is killed, but Malone and Roxton successfully slay the dinosaurs. At the same time, Summerlee reopens the cave using explosives, allowing the explorers to flee the village when Achille condemns them. Roxton is stabbed by one of the ape men, but buys time for the others to leave. Roxton seemingly succumbs to his wounds and is mourned by the villagers.

Challenger, Summerlee, Malone, and Agnes return to the Amazon but encounter a crazed Kerr and discover he sealed the cave to prevent anyone from finding it, believing it is the Devil’s creation. When Kerr produces a gun, Summerlee wrestles him for it, only for Kerr to be shot and killed. The expedition porters later find the survivors. Returning to London, Malone discovers Gladys has married another man. At Challenger’s press event, he unveils a juvenile pterosaur he picked up as an egg. However, the excited crowd scare the pterosaur out of a window. Malone and Summerlee convince Challenger to pretend the whole expedition was a lie to protect the plateau’s inhabitants from destruction. Summerlee stays with his family, Challenger sets off to find Atlantis, while Malone decides to wed Agnes and become a novelist.

In a final scene, Roxton is revealed to be alive and living with the villagers in peace.

Cast[edit]

Creatures[edit]

  • Allosaurus − A well known allosaurid dinosaur from the late Jurassic North America more than 150 million years ago. It is the main antagonist of the film.
  • Java Man − An ape-man originally called Pithecanthropus erectus, today classified as Homo erectus, is a primitive hominid from the early Pleistocene epoch 2 million years ago. This creature is described as the missing link between primates and humans. In the film an undiscovered species appear, and Challenger named them "Pithecanthropus challengeris".
  • Pteranodon − A giant fish-eater flying reptile called pterosaur from the middle Cretaceous period more than a hundred million years ago. This creature is the only proof from Challenger's very first expedition, and later he named the species as "Pteranodon sumerleensis".
  • Hypsilophodon − A small herbivore ornithopod dinosaur from the early Cretaceous England 130 million years ago. This is the first prehistoric creature which is discovered by Challenger's team in the plateau, and not much later they find the Iguanodon.
  • Iguanodon − A gentle herbivore from the Cretaceous Europe in the same time with Hypsilophodon. Professor Summerlee thought these creatures moved like a kangaroo on two legs and their tail kept on the ground, but this idea is debunked when he sees the quadrupedal animals.
  • Entelodon − A strange, primordial pig from the Oligocene and Miocene Asia. This is the only prehistoric mammal in the film besides the Pithecanthropus.
  • Diplodocus − A more than 40-metre-long sauropod from the late Jurassic Morrison Formation 150 million years ago. It uses the same computer model from the Walking with Dinosaurs series.
  • Brachiosaurus − A massive sauropod from the same time and the same place like the allosaurs and Diplodocus.
  • Southern coral snake − A venomous snake from the rainforests of South America.
  • Brazilian black tarantula − A venomous spider which lives in the South American jungles, but sometimes travels to the village to hunt insects or reptiles.
  • Atlas moth − A large moth from the tropical and subtropical forests of Southeast Asia and Indonesia. Professor Sumerlee found the moth while a Pteranodon carries away the team's dinner.
  • Scarlet macaw − A large and colourful macaw from the American tropics of south-eastern Mexico to the rainforests of Peru, Bolivia and Brazil. It is a more than 80-centimetre-long bird with a weight of about 1 kilogram.
  • Brown capuchin − A small New World monkey from the tropical rainforests of the Amazon basin.

Differences from Doyle's novel[edit]

  • In the book, the plateau is in Venezuela. In the 2001 adaptation, it was in Brazil.
  • In the book, Challenger doesn't depart on the expedition with Malone, Roxton, and Summerlee, he instead meets up with them later after they start to suspect he has sent them on a wild goose chase.
  • The prehistoric lake scene from the book is absent.
  • In the book, Edward Malone doesn't meet another love interest besides Gladys.
  • In the book, the Indians deliberately call the Allosaurus to the village, where they kill them and eat them for dinner. In the film, the ape men call the dinosaurs to the human settlement.
  • The characters Gomez and Zambo, indeed, any of the Indians, are not mentioned. They are replaced by reverend Theo Kerr, and his niece Agnes.
  • Following the attack on the campfire by the Megalosaurus in the book, neither Summerlee and not Challenger are immediately able to identify even the family of carnivore that attacked them, whereas in the film, Summerlee immediately dubs the animal an allosaur upon being asked by Lord Roxton. Also, the campfire attack is fairly different from the book. In the novel, the group spots the Megalosaurus, and before it has a chance to attack, Roxton scares it off with fire. In the film, the group are completely taken by surprise and the allosaur almost gains the upper hand, before being scared away with fire.
  • The ape men are present in both the novel and film, but the other humanoid tribe, rather than a prehistoric species, consists of the surviving members of a Portuguese expedition.
  • In the book, Edward Malone says he will join Roxton on the next expedition to the plateau. In the film, he tentatively offers to Professor Challenger, who says he'll be in touch.
  • Lord John Roxton escapes the plateau in the book. In the BBC adaptation, he is stabbed by an ape man, and is assumed to have died until, at the end of the second episode, we see him still happily married to Maree, the former patriarch's daughter.
  • The diamonds found in the blue clay in the book do not feature in the mini-series.

External links[edit]