Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyles the Lost World was a show loosely based on the 1912 novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Lost World. Premiered in the fall of 1999, it ran for three seasons before it was cancelled in 2002 after funding for a fourth season fell through.

At the dawn of the 20th century, a band of adventurers, led by adventurer and scholar Professor Edward Challenger, embark on an expedition to prove the existence of a lost world isolated from the rest of the modern world. The British expedition team consisting of a mismatched group of enthusiasts, all with less than selfless reasons for making the journey begin their trip under less than ideal conditions. The intrepid band consists of:

  • Professor George Edward Challenger (Peter McCauley) -- leader of the expedition, who hopes to prove his theories to his skeptical University academic peers;
  • Professor Arthur Summerlee (Michael Sinelnikoff) -- the elderly member of the band and a colleague to George Challenger, who does not believe Challenger's claim about there being a lost world.
  • Marguerite Krux (Rachel Blakely) -- the selfish financier of the expedition who goes along for her own reasons;
  • Lord John Richard Roxton (William Snow) -- the nobleman with vast hunting experience, serves as protector of the group;
  • Edward "Ned" T. Malone (David Orth) -- an American newspaper reporter, hoping to make a name for himself and impress his girl back home, if he survives the ordeal.

During their expedition, their hot air balloon crashes in the uncharted Amazon jungle, where they end up on the prehistoric 'Plateau'. The group then meets up with Veronica Layton (Jennifer O'Dell) whose parents had disappeared on another expedition ten years before. The group (later joined by a woman named Finn, near the end of the third season) must find their way to civilization through the various pre- (and, in some cases, post-) historic landscapes and civilizations that have been preserved on the Plateau.

Tropes used in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World include:
  • Action Girl: Veronica Layton.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Professor Challenger.
  • And You Were There: One episode had Malone find himself in London and facing Jack the Ripper, but his friends are a cop, doctor, etc.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever
  • Beam-O-War: Happened between a Wicked Witch and her two repentant apprentices. The apprentices win when Malone interferes and knocks the witch's wand out of her hand.
  • Black Vikings: In one episode several modern people are transported to the plateau. Even though the main characters are from the start of the 20th century, they don't seem to notice that the helicopter pilot is black and treat him like anyone else.
  • Broken Bird: Marguerite qualifies. Despite the fact that she grew up basically alone because her adoptive parents did not seem to want her, her guilt over the death of her best and only friend before she came to the Plateau, her involvement in the war and her dealings with more than shadowy business contacts, she also has never seen her own birth certificate and sports abilities (like being able to read and speak any language no matter how old it is) that she doesn't understand and seem to frighten her.
  • Cannibal Tribe: Or Tribes - to be exact. If our explorers are not attacked by ape-men, raptors, the villain of the week or get in danger because of some stupid stunt, one can always count on cannibals to add some spices to the party.
  • Cat Fight: Veronica gets drugged to mindless order following in one episode which nearly leads to her killing one of her friends. Marguerite appears in the right moment and gets into a fight with her. It ends in Mud Wrestling as they land in the only mud pit around. And of course, Veronica wins the fight.
  • Chess with Death: A female Death offers Roxton several chances to win back his life. Roxton accepts that he died and actually requests that she just claim him, but she says that if he doesn't try, his friend's lives will be forfeit, too. Death uses an hourglass to give the games a time limit, and Roxton fails at each one: Retrieve a diamond from a maze made of walls of fire (ran out of time), Retrieve a raptor egg (he tripped and dropped it), Guess which bowl holds oysters (guessed wrong). Each time he loses, Death captures another one of his friends. The final game is: shoot his own girlfriend, or himself. Roxton shoots the hourglass, making it impossible for the game to end. Death concedes victory to Roxton, and lets them all go.
  • Deadpan Snarker: All of them surprise with snark at one point or another but Marguerite can always be counted on for saying something snarky. Roxton usually knows a clever response to whatever she says.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Marguerite. In the beginning she appears cold and uncaring. She is perfectly willing to sell Veronica for a way home of the Plateau and usually seems to not care about any of the others. And then one looks closer. She grows to care about the others a lot. When Summerlee gets stung by a gigantic bee and hallucinates about his dead wife she resumes that role to comfort him, she looks out for Malone and Veronica, helps Challenger and becomes Roxtons confidante whenever the memory of his brother breaks him. But although she learns to trust every expedition member with her life she's still careful about letting them know about her past and why she really came to the Plateau.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons: One episode featured a dinosaur that could breath fire.
  • Evil Twin: Roxton gets one in one episode after he is cursed for disturbing a graveyard's peace. The protector takes the ruthless and violent part - basically the hunter part - out of him andd gives him a life of his own. Evil!Roxton tries to kill the good one, using Marguerite as bait. It ends in a Mirror Match.
  • Failure Is the Only Option
  • Fan Service: Veronica Layton, oh so very much.
  • Femme Fatale: Marguerite Krux.
  • Firing in the Air a Lot: Lampshaded. A character tries this, and is ordered to stop wasting bullets. They're in a jungle, after all. They'll need all the bullets they can get.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Fur Bikini: Veronica Layton.
  • Gentleman Adventurer: Lord John Roxton.
  • A God Am I: Happens to Challenger in one episode.
  • Great White Hunter: Lord John Roxton.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: The Affably Evil humanoid lizard Tribune keeps humans as slaves and occasionally eats them. Yet, he claims, "To kill is in our nature. To pull the wings off a fly... that's a human thing."
  • In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It
  • Intrepid Reporter: Ned Malone.
  • It Will Never Catch On: The protagonists find themselves transported to WWI era Fulham and meet Winston Churchill himself. At one point he responds to the outrageous claims of the protagonists with "That's about as likely as me becoming Prime Minister!"
  • Jungle Opera
  • Jungle Princess: Veronica Layton.
  • Lizard Folk
  • Lost World
  • Mirror Match: See Evil Twin Above.
  • Nakama: Although they seem to be off to a bad start all of the Heroes start to trust each other and slowly grow into a family by Season 2.
  • Not-So-Imaginary Friend: One Episode sees Marguerite stepping into a booby trap and falling into a pit with spikes. She gets hurt and suffers a concussion. While Challenger gets help she hallucinates about her best friend Adrienne who keeps her awake so Marguerite doesn't fall asleep. Later it turns out that she's not so hallucinated at all - which freaks Marguerite out.
  • Nubile Savage: Veronica Layton.
  • Ode to Joy: The favourite song of Veronica's parents. She also hums it to the expedition members the first time they stumble across each other in the jungle to tease them. Furthermore it helps her to identify the former guide of her parents. And it's quite a Moment Killer where Roxton and Marguerite are concerned.
  • Offhand Backhand: A villain casually kicks Malone away when he tries a Click. "Hello." on him.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different
  • Privateer: One of the characters reluctantly reveals that an ancestor of his was a privateer. A female companion makes fun of him, automatically assuming this means "pirate." The character insists on "privateer," as the letter of marque means the ancestor served the crown.
  • Sympathetic Murder Backstory: Roxton's past. He and his brother William joined an expedition to Kenya because Roxton and his father thought it would make more of a man out of William. The older Roxton brother was attacked by an ape and John tried to save him. It went wrong... and left him a broken man. Especially when it all comes back to haunt him in form of the expedition leader also appearing on the Plateau at one point.
  • Stock Dinosaurs
  • Team Dad: George Challenger. Summerlee could be considered the Team's grandfather.
  • This Is My Boomstick