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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Vision

I watched an episode of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World today. In case you're not familiar with it, it's not a mini-series based on the book or anything; it's an indefinite episodic TV show and has at least two main characters not mentioned anywhere in any Sir Arthur Conan Doyle I've ever read.

        I'm not exactly sure what the show's deal was, or even really what was going on in the plot of the episode I just watched. I spent the whole time trying to figure out the characters. There were only five of them, but it was a full-time job.

Let's examine them:

Challenger: The scientist / leader guy more or less based upon the character from the original. In the episode I saw he had amnesia and so was acting rather buffoonish, but in theory he's supposed to be all experiment-conducty and such. He wore a pale fedora, of course.

Nasally-Voiced Guy: The male romantic lead, whose name I would probably know if I had read The Lost World, talked vaguely like Viggo Mortensen, but wasn't half so good-looking. Dressed simply in a button-up shirt, simple cotton pants, and boots; could easily have come from the 19th or early 20th century.

Marguerite: Nasally-Voiced Guy's girlfriend. She had long dark hair and wore a long skirt; simple, functional, but acceptable period costume. She said something about druids one time but she was talking about a dream, so I'll let it slide.

Veronica: Here is where it starts to get weird. Veronica is a blond girl who wears the indecently cut leather clothes of an Amazon or native tribal girl of some kind. She knows things that a tribal girl shouldn't know, though; she's been reading and writing English for ages (she's read Moby Dick three times), and she knows science stuff. She basically acts like she came out of the modern era but she dresses like an Amazon.

Finn: Finn takes the inexplicable cake. She is a blond girl with a strangely modern layered-ish haircut, a black Spandex/Lycra tank top, and black short-shorts. She speaks in simple, modernish language. There is no way she did not come out of the present or later. Complicating matters, though, she doesn't know how to spell simple words and has only a vague idea of how to write, as if she was just taught.

        If Finn and Veronica would just switch outfits the show would make 100% more sense to me, although I'd still wonder why there was someone from the present hanging around. As it is, I have to wonder why there's three characters from the late-1900s-or-there-about, one woman who dresses like a semi-educated ex-cavewoman and acts like a 21st century adventuress and another woman who dresses like a 21st century adventuress and acts like a semi-educated ex-cavewoman.

        I don't know where Finn or Veronica came from or how they fit in with the others; for most of the episode I saw, they were on their own talking about some crap and bickering a little. Later they met up with Challenger and he acted like a dope cause he had amnesia, and they made fun of him.

        Meanwhile, underground, Nasally-Voiced Guy and Marguerite were trapped behind a landslide and in a different show. The pair had a big melodramatic fight while trying to dig their way out, but then as they were running out of air and realizing they might not make it, they made up and kissed and told each other how much they loved each other.

        While all this was going on Finn and Veronica and Challenger bumbled around completely ineffectually aboveground, finally reaching the place where Challenger had been separated from the others earlier in time to see the couple make their way out. They were no help whatsoever, and the show ended before I could see the serious 19th century adventure-couple interact with the comic modern-day blond bombshells. I can only imagine that it would have been a train wreck, full of awkward pauses and uncomfortable foot-shuffling.

        The end credits saved us from that fate, though. The teaser for next week showed that Nasal and Marguerite would once again be separated from the others; Veronica and Finn would be seeing mirages of 20th century tanks and military trucks while the old-fashioned lovers would be surrounded by Spanish conquistadores. Of course.

        All in all, an effin' weird show. I like to imagine that this is what Sir Arthur Conan Doyle actually intended to write but when he showed the outline to the publishers of the time they thought it was "too controversial", so he had to tone it down and make it into a story about dinosaurs.

Because, hey, you know what there were none of in this?



- Laura