The Lost World

Season 2 Episode 11


Aired Unknown Feb 03, 2001 on
out of 10
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Episode Summary

The Lost World is shattered by gunfire as trophy hunters try to capture a Troglodyte child. Veronica swings through the jungle to save him, and becomes the hunters' new target. She escapes to the treehouse to warn her friends just ahead of the hunters. One of the hunters declares that he has been commissioned to locate the Challenger expedition and help them return to England. Despite Veronica's warnings, and Marguerite's suspicions, the hunters are welcomed and set up camp nearby.moreless

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  • Some tantalizing glimpses of the pasts of two of our heroes, a sadistic villain, a view of European explorers at their most condescending, and another way out lost because a cave explodes. And a chance to see how Marguerite deals with a dilemma.moreless

    Come on, Veronica. Now I'm bored I'm not sure what it says that probably the best-fleshed-out and portrayed villain in The Lost World is also one of the most sadistic in the series. As a rule TLW villains don't really have the depth to hold their own with the treehouse crew. This one did.

    Peter O'Brien gives Applegate/Burton a powerful characterization. The viewer and Veronica see him at his deadly worst at the beginning, yet he is so smooth, unctuous and flattering that he manages to make the expedition members doubt Veronica's warnings. Challenger is clearly flattered and his patronizing look when Veronica refuses to allow Burton to stay in the treehouse makes one want to give him a swift kick. Then Roxton chimes in to undercut her argument "We've all killed trogs." The look of amazement on Marguerite's face when he says that is interesting. But first Ned and eventually the others see the sneering, vengeful, soul-less man beneath the gracious words. Yup, Veronica's assessment of the man as a slimy b*****d is very apropos.

    And now Veronica is paying the price Veronica must feel like a voice crying in the wilderness in the middle of season 2. Last episode she told them Ana was a liar, this episode she makes it very clear what she thinks of Burton and in the next - Voodoo Queen - she has a chat with Marguerite about what makes the men so susceptible to charming strangers. In this ep she confronts Ned "As long as he promises to get you out of here - I guess that's all that matters."

    Have you seen Malone? ... Is he missing? Poor Ned, this has to be his nadir of his recurring role of 'concussion-boy'. Basically he becomes a 'McGuffin' - a plot device that sets the explorers on a search, and eventually leads to Veronica's capture. Unconscious but not forgotten, he lies in a hole in the ground most of the episode.

    I bet all those rumours were true. It is great fun to speculate about the past connection between Marguerite and Burton. It's a well-explored theme but let me offer my two cents worth.

    Burton knows about Marguerite Krux

    Avery Burton makes his living following expeditions into the wilderness, killing the members and making off with the fortune they went to get. This particular expedition was designed for scientific exploration, not for fabled riches. The only member who was seeking wealth was Marguerite Krux. He must know her reputation well enough to have some expectation she had found precious gems. After all, he told his cohorts - 'this is the big one.'

    Marguerite suspects he knows something

    Perhaps it was only distrust stemming from Veronica's warning, but, unlike the others, Marguerite cuts off Burton as he flatters her. "Not even two years in the jungle can dim your beauty. I heard -" One could presume that some of the explorers' past might have gotten out after their ill-fated expedition had been gone for a year or two. Perhaps Marguerite has some idea of what Burton might have heard.

    Burton knows about Marguerite Smith

    Either he recognizes her right away or he knew the Krux-Smith connection before he ever left Europe. How? Through photos? Is he another emissary from Xan?

    Marguerite doesn't know Burton from Cairo

    She knows she recognizes him quite early in the proceedings and quizzes him to find out how. It isn't until Ned is missing that she puts a name to a face - but it's the trophy-hunter Randolph Applegate she thinks she's dealing with. It's only when she tries to bribe him that she finds out about the second connection. That's when she steals the dynamite.

    I thought I could handle him myself What I find the most intriguing question about this episode was what did Marguerite intend to do about Burton. In season 1, her knee-jerk reaction to the chance she might be exposed in Tribute was to shoot Dieter. This time it's more complicated.

    At first she thinks she's dealing with a fortune-hunter that might know something about her. She presents herself as a selfish creature -using her diamonds to find a way out for herself not the others "You're dealing with me - exclusively." Did she intend to follow through with that or was it as she said - a way to find out if it was Applegate? "I just wanted to be sure who I was dealing with."

    Then when she finds out who he is and how much of a threat he is she steals the dynamite and rigs the cave. It would seem that she would be best served by killing Burton and making a deal with his men just as Burton accuses her of. But the explosion was clearly designed to cave-in the entrance to the cave rather than kill the person who tripped the trigger (it took me many viewings to realize the buried part was a trigger not a land-mine). Roxton and Challenger are uninjured after they set it off. Marguerite tells Roxton that she meant to get rid of Burton. So was it a murder plot? Or did she intend to trap and interrogate him away from prying ears and Victorian sensibilities to find out what was going on back in London? One would think she couldn't afford to have him share his information with any of the others. "Why? You worried your friends might start wondering who you really are?" But I guess we'll never know.

    Vignettes and snippets Steve running to lead Roxton and Challenger to Ned 'Mr Roxton! Professor Challenger!' Is this the only time LJR is called Mister not Lord?

    Does Veronica wink when Marguerite warns her that Burton is 'a very dangerous man'?

    'They're going to love you - all over Europe.' Does Burton pause to think that a perfectly normal woman with an American accent might be thought to be a phony by side-show watchers? Better he take back a trog.

    Inscription on George's watch "To Professor George Challenger - In appreciation of unusual service - The Royal Zoological Society" - 'unusual' service? I had a chuckle over that one.

    Challenger: Why the hell would Burton go to all this trouble? Why not just shoot us?

    Roxton: That wasn't Burton's idea. I think it was Marguerite's.

    Challenger: Why would Marguerite want to trap us?

    Huh? Aside from the fact that this was a huge intuitive leap for Roxton - why would Challenger say something so stupid? The writers certainly took every opportunity to accentuate the distrust the others had of Marguerite.

    Three things that made me cringe:

    1. When the bad guy sneaks up on Ned, he turns at the last second. That would have meant he'd have gotten that vicious blow right in the face.

    2. When Roxton resuscitates Challenger, it looks like the professor already has rigor mortis. His neck is twisted at a strange angle. Actually I hate this whole scene - particularly Challenger's 'We're almost there. We're almost there." response to having his life saved.

    3. The use of the collar on a pole to subdue and control Veronica. It is just wrong on a number of levels.

    Breaking the rules

    It looks like the 'never leave the treehouse alone' rule is not observed in this part of season 2. It's not until the next morning that anyone worries about Ned in this episode and Roxton in the next. Roxton also spent the night out in Divine Right.

    Roxton chastises Marguerite for not telling the rest that Burton was Applegate. Her response "Why? Would it have changed anything?" Duh! Well Roxton and Challenger might have been suspicious and not run into an ambush and set off an explosion that almost killed them! That might have made a big difference. You have to admire Marguerite's ability in this conversation (and the one where Roxton slaps her hand) to change the subject when she's cornered. Roxton is getting wise to her though and not letting her off the hook "Next time - remember who your friends are."

    Desperate times

    Marguerite has a moment at the end that reminds me of her behavior in Tourist Season. She actually wants to pursue Burton after a grenade has been tossed at them. They almost have to wrestle her out of there? Why so desperate?

    This episode's merit is in the enticing views of the past. We get a great opportunity to surmise what happened to Marguerite and Malone in the Great War and beyond and that is always fun. Don't you think it's more interesting when people have secrets? NO!moreless

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