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Audio Drama Review


The Lost World
(Full-cast Dramatisation)


Author: Arthur Conan Doyle
Starring: Francis De Wolff, Gerald Harper, Carleton Hobbs and Carole Boyd
BBC Audio
RRP: £15.99
ISBN: 978 1 4084 0952 7
Available 14 August 2008

London, 1907. Journalist Edward Malone, rejected by the woman he loves because he is too prosaic, decides to go in search of adventure and fame to prove himself worthy of her. He meets Professor George Challenger, a controversial scientist who claims to have discovered a 'lost world' populated by pterodactyls and other prehistoric monsters. At an inflammatory public lecture, an expedition is organised to find Challenger's rumoured world, and Malone volunteers to go along as a representative of the Gazette newspaper. His arrival in South America signals the start of an epic journey of discovery that is more shocking and amazing than he could ever have imagined...

This radio dramatisation of Arthur Conan Doyle's 1912 novel The Lost World still stands up incredibly well today - mainly, I suspect, due to the fact that it is set at the end of the 19th century and is very much a period piece. Originally broadcast as three parts between 26 January - 09 February 1975, this gripping dramatisation manages to retains the excitement and suspense of the original book.

The story follows a 19th century expedition to enter the rumoured lair of animals thought to have died out millions of years before - a terrifying world of pterodactyls and other 'prehistoric monsters'.

The suspense will almost kill you, because it's not until way into the second CD that you really get onto the plateau - everything before this is an incredibly slow build. That's not to say that this is long and drawn out, far from it, as this helps to flesh out the characters more believably. It also means that, like the explorers, the listener is itching to see what awaits them on the plateau - even if you've already read the book and know what's coming.

There are also some interesting sleeve notes which include the original Radio Times listings.

An outstanding audio drama that really captures the essence of Doyle's original book.


Nick Smithson

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