The Lost World is a 2001 adaptation of the novel of the same name by Arthur Conan Doyle, directed by Stuart Orme and produced by Tony Mulholland and Adrien Hodges. The film was produced by Impossible Pictures and broadcast on BBC One. It consists of two 75 minute episodes that aired on the channel on December 25 and 26, 2001.

The Lost World 2001


While in the Amazon rainforest, Professor George Challenger shoots an animal he believes to be a pterosaur. Returning to England, he crashes a lecture held at the Natural History Museum 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 the expedition. A sceptical Summerlee also joins.

On the voyage to South America, Challenger reveals a map created by a Portuguese man named Father Luiz Mendoz leading to a Brazilian plateau where he encountered dinosaurs during a previous expedition. They travel to a Christian mission in the Amazon, meeting Agnes Cluny and her uncle Reverend Theo Kerr, who condemns Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. Roxton takes a liking to Agnes 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 and tries to convince Challenger to turn back.

They reach the edge of the plateau and find a cave concealing a pathway but find a blockage. They later find a gorge leading straight to the plateau and use a tree as a substitute bridge to reach it. However, when all but Kerr make it across, he suddenly knocks the tree into the gorge and leaves Challenger and the others stranded there, claiming that it belongs to the Devil. Venturing deeper into the plateau's jungle, they discover several species of dinosaurs, including a flock of Pteranodons which injure Summerlee and an Allosaurus that attacks their campsite that night. The next morning, Malone discovers a lake that he names after his fiancé Gladys and has a brief encounter with an apelike creature he describes as looking almost human. While Roxton goes hunting, Malone and Agnes are attacked by the Allosaurus from the night before, but manage to evade it when it falls into a manmade trap. They reunite with Roxton and learn that Challenger and Summerlee have been kidnapped by the ape men, who turn out to be savagely carnivorous and cannibalistic. They come across a tribe of indigenous warriors, who aid them in rescuing the professors, along with Achille, the son of their own chieftain. Most of the ape men are killed in the rescue while the remaining ones are taken captive after Challenger convinces the warriors to spare them.

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 side 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. Later, after having buried one of their children, the ape-men howl and attract two Allosaurus who attack the village. In the chaos, the chief is killed, along with several other tribesmen, Malone frees the ape men before helping Roxton to kill 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, which is shot and killed, but buys time for the others to leave. He then 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 because of the ape men. When he produces a gun, Summerlee wrestles him for it, only for Kerr to accidentally shoot himself and die. The expedition porters later find the survivors. Returning to London, Malone discovers that Gladys has married another man. At Challenger's press event, he unveils a Pteranodon he picked up as an egg. However, the excited crowd scare the Pteranodon 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, and 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.


  • Bob Hoskins as Professor George Challenger
  • James Fox as Professor Leo Summerlee
  • Tom Ward as Lord John Roxton
  • Matthew Rhys as Edward Malone
  • Elaine Cassidy as Agnes Cluny
  • Peter Falk as Reverend Theo Kerr
  • Joanna Page as Gladys
  • Tom Goodman-Hill as Arthur Hare
  • Robert Hardy as Professor Illingworth


Differences from Doyle's Novel[]

  • In the novel, the plateau is in Venezuela. In the 2001 adaptation, it is 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 doesn't meet another love interest besides Gladys.
  • In the book, the Indians deliberately call the Allosaurus to the village, where they kill 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 nor Challenger are immediately able to identify even the family of the carnivore that attacked them, whereas in the film, Summerlee immediately dubs the animal an allosaur upon being asked by 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 Lord 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 where 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 miniseries.