Tag Archives: Peter McCauley

Character Review: Marguerite Krux

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the television show, The Lost World (which is loosely based the book of the same name). Read at your own risk if you are unfamiliar with the either the book or the television series.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from The Lost World to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

It’s not uncommon in adventure series to see a lopsided ratio of male characters to female characters. Female characters are either the damsel in distress, the native girl or the background character who is not seen or heard.

While Marguerite Krux (Rachel Blakely) may not be a cannon character in the original Lost World novel, she is certainly a modern and complex addition to the character list.

The audience is first introduced to Marguerite in the pilot. She is walking to the Zoological Society meeting where Challenger (Peter McCauley) is presenting his findings to his colleagues. Finding that she is being followed, she shoots the man and goes on her merry way.

Marguerite Krux is initially a mystery to the audience and her fellow explorers. Her past is a well guarded secret. While she appears to be selfish and self-serving, Marguerite is hiding the one thing that no one expects her to have: her heart.

Orphaned at an early age, her parents are a mystery to her. Shrewd, intelligent and independent, Marguerite has learned early on to survive by her wits. The things she wants most in this world are family and love. They were also the things she did not have when she needed them most.

Her ultimate goal is to find her birth certificate. Finding her birth certificate means finding out not only who here parents are or were, but finding the identity she has been longing for. Like many who have learned to survive early on, Marguerite has learned how to hide her emotions and do what needs to be done.

The Lost World was cancelled just after the third season ended, leaving quite a few story lines open. While Marguerite may not have found her parents (as of the final episode of the third series), she found the family she was looking with her fellow explorers and love with John Roxton (Will Snow).

To sum it up: Not all characters have easy lives. Sometimes, all a character knows is survival. Do whatever you need to do to get by, even if that means doing something shady or dangerous. Marguerite Krux is one of those characters. But in the hands of a skilled writer, a character of this nature goes beyond the stereotype. Whatever they are looking for, that is the key to their growth over the course of the narrative. Survival for survival’s sake is fine early on in the story, but without eventually learning the character’s motives and needs, the audience or the reader is unable to latch on the character and follow them across the narrative.

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Filed under Books, Character Review, Feminism, Television, The Lost World, Writing

Character Review: George Challenger

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the television show, The Lost World (which is loosely based the book of the same name). Read at your own risk if you are unfamiliar with the either the book or the television series.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from The Lost World to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

Some of us are blessed with a talent in a specific area. This often leads to acclaim, a large ego and a prideful nature. Pride always goeth before a fall.

In The Lost World, the mad scientist with the prideful nature is George Challenger (Peter McCauley). Thought to be either a genius or crazy by his colleagues, it is Challenger who gets the ball rolling on the expedition to the undiscovered Amazon like world that contains living dinosaurs, missing tribes and creatures thought only to have existed in the imagination.

While his wife, Jessie, waits at home, Challenger is exploring the globe, trying to prove that his theories hold water. The problem is that he spends more time on his work than at home. Over the course of the television series, he begins to realize that there is more to life than work. He begins to appreciate his fellow explorers and regrets that he has lost out on the time with his wife. But of course, that appreciation and regret only comes when his pride is gone and his ego begins to deflate.

 

To sum it up: We have faults. No one on this earth is perfect. As a writer, our job is to use those faults to create characters who not only go on a journey, but learn from the pitfalls of their mistakes. Characters who are faultless, who never encounter any challenges or make mistakes are boring and unappealing.  As one of my writer friends often explains, “you have to put your character in a tree and throw rocks at them”.  In life and in fiction, a person’s character is marked by not only how they deal with their faults, but how they deal with the consequences of their faults.  Those faults are what brings the audience in and keeps them in until the very end.

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Filed under Books, Character Review, Television, The Lost World, Writing

The Lost World

There is something about a favorite television show. No matter what is going on in life or how good or bad the day is, your favorite television show just makes it that much better.

The Lost World, airing from 1999 to 2002 was loosely based on the novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

In the early part of the 20 century, a group of explorers, led by scientist George Edward Challenger (Peter McCauley) goes on an expedition seeking a lost world that has been isolated from the rest of the world. The rest of the group includes Lord John Roxton (Will Snow) an aristocratic big game hunter with a certain reputation, Marguerite Krux (Rachel Blakely), an heiress with seemingly ulterior motives and an unknown past, Ned Malone (David Orth) a young American reporter looking to  impress a woman back home and Professor Arthur Summerlee (Michael Sinelnikoff), a fellow member of The Zoological Society who initially egged on Professor Challenger when he presented his initial findings to his colleagues.

When they reach The Lost World, they are befriended by Veronica Layton (Jennifer O’Dell), a woman raised in jungle. Her parents discovered The Lost World a generation ago and disappeared when their daughter was still very young. In season 3, Finn, a woman from the future  (Lara Cox) joined the cast.

The Lost World was part of the action/adventure/fantasy trend that appeared in the late 90’s started by Hercules and Xena. I happen to love this show, it’s one of the few shows that I have the complete series on DVD. The special effects, well, Jurassic Park, it is not.  But it is a good show with good story telling and well drawn characters. I just wish that it has lasted more than 3 seasons, but such is life.

I recommend this show.

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Filed under The Lost World, TV Review