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12.13.2017
Mysterious Island: The Series (1995)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger
01.29.10

Mysterious Island: The Series (1995) The first episode, which takes place during a battle in the American Civil War, introduces the group of characters. They are Captain Cyrus Harding (Alan Scarfe of 7 DAYS), Joanna Pencroft, her teenaged step-son Herbert (Gordon Michael Woolvett of ANDROMEDA TV series), her husband Jack, a newspaper reporter named Gideon and African American Neb Brown. They are captured and are about to be executed by firing squad, when they manage to escape in a hot-air balloon. However, they aren't able to let air out to land and so end up there for days, over the ocean, until they spot an island below. Someone on the island sees them. This is Captain Nemo. He fires his gun and blows a hole in the balloon. It rapidly starts descending, too quickly, and they start tossing stuff out so they'll make it to the island. Cyrus, wanting to save the others, jumps out two miles away. They assume he drowns. All of the others land on the tropical island--and two of them find a cave with a fire, which means someone else is on the island.

In the second episode they find the Cyrus in that cave and he says that a green light saved him. This green light again appears to save a few others. When Jack and his son Herbert are trapped in a cave, the light leads them out through an underwater passage. When three others go up to the highest mountain, to get a lay of the land, one takes a dip in the nearby lake and is attacked by something that wraps around him. A green light appears and it lets go. And Captain Nemo, in a voiceover at the beginning, says how he's basically going to put them through hell in his experiment of human behavior.

Not only does Nemo (John Bach) have an advanced submarine hidden in a cavern beneath the island, he's able to watch the castaways via these camera and microphones he has hidden throughout the island. He is even able to record these images for later viewing. In the middle of the series he sends out a message in a bottle, which leads the group to another castaway on the island. He's disheveled and acts like an animal. They all assume he wrote the note but later, when pirates come for their buried treasure, it's revealed who he really is. In other episodes African warriors appear on the island, as do a group of Maori from New Zealand. Two of the main characters are also killed, though one of them is miraculously brought back (mostly) in the last episode.

Eventually, the group discovesr Nemo and even manage to get aboard his ship. He explains everything to them, how he's conducting an experiment, and promises to take them off the island to the mainland. However, while they are all waiting on the beach for the submarine to arrive he takes off, once again leaving them all stranded.

I found this an decent enough series with some interesting characters, particularly the Cyrus, Joanna and Herbert characters, who change throughout the story. This is also the most negative portrayal of Captain Nemo I've ever seen-- this guy is a complete asshole. This is by no means LOST but a nevertheless entertaining show.

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