*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.