Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 15th, 2006
This image of the movie poster may be clicked to enlarge it.
The Real Lost World is set to re-broadcast on December 17th, after having recently premiered.
Frankly, I thought the triple-layered treatment (old real expedition re-creations, clips from the movie based on Doyle’s book, and the new expedition) was visibly intriguing and worked well for television. I enjoyed the program, especially with regard to how Dean Harrison’s role as cryptozoologist was used for action, tension, and innovativations in some scenes.
One link to The Lost World that I have been fascinated by is the fact the book served as an inspiration to Bernard Heuvelmans. Heuvelmans found he had a love of natural history from an early age, keeping all kinds of animals, especially monkeys. His interest in unknown animals was first piqued as a youngster by his reading of science-fiction adventures such as Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World. He never forgot these initial passions.
Since the documentary is showing again, director Peter von Puttkamer kindly shares some behind-the-scenes insights that will answer some readers’ comments recorded after the first screening:
If people can, they should see this in HD; HD, 5.1 surround, it’s pretty awesome.
We just heard that we had some of Animal Planet’s highest ratings- at least 20% above the norm- in this their most highly rated Slot- on Sunday Night- so everyone there is very pleased; plus an unusual number of men checked in to watch- considering it was Sunday Night Football, that was very good!
Some background to answer the people making comments at Cryptomundo:
This was a show for Animal Planet- the wildlife channel- with a large youth audience, though many more 24-54 old people checked in than normal. As filmmakers we have to fulfill the needs of the broadcaster and in this case- included at least 2 animals per act. There were many species in the show- filmed for the first time: including the Roraima rattlesnake.
This is the oldest place on earth, with the oldest caves in the world- so it’s a remarkable place to visit as there are over 1000 plants that exist no where else and several dozen animal species- though not always the big charasmatic creatures you might see in Africa. The 18 ft anaconda, we pulled out of the swamp, checking into Fawcett’s tales of 62footers…was no small feat; Just as in the Fictional Lost World of Doyle- we had a pure scientist (Summerlee) and a Romantic Dreamer and pursuer of the fantastic (Challenger)- and let’s remember how that turned out- the crypto believer was proved right!
So Dean and Hazel fit into that role- and their banter is amusing- no one comes out worse for wear and Dean more than holds his own – I think most people in fact side with him- we know so little of the planet, it’s presumptious of Scientists to believe they know everything. So just as Doyle was the inventor of Sherlock Holmes and a man of “reason”, he also believed in Spiritualism- that’s the duality of Doyle, the crux of the Lost World and definitely made its way into our show – most people are fascinated by that mix of the literary/historical, serious science and playful Crocodile-hunter style antics with the wildlife.
It wasn’t designed as a pure cryptozoological piece: we set out to do a historical-widlife-adventure-trek with cryptozoologial overtones- are the native legends of apemen and dinosaurs – as reported by the early explorers, what actually inspired Doyle. This is the first time, anyone has ever made that connection – through Dean’s interviewing of the natives – we have for the first time confirmations of Di Dis, Rato (water-serpent) and even Flying Reptile sightings/stories – that tie directly to Conan Doyle’s Lost World – the grand-daddy of all dinosaur/apeman books and movies.
Next, we have Hazel’s spectacular discovery of the silica-eating microbes- so intriguing, that NASA is funding Hazel to go back and investigate: clues to life on Mars and outer space – this is a first and something akin to finding Deep Sea Vents: new types of life and strategies for survival on the planet.