Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Like the 1959 theatrical feature of the same name, the two-part cable movie Journey to the Center of the Earth was loosely adapted from the Jules Verne novel (also of the same name). The first part of the TV version faithfully follows the chronology of the earlier film, with famed archeologist/explorer Professor Theodore Lytton (Treat Williams), his nephew, Jonas (Jeremy London), and adventurer-for-hire, McNiff (Hugh Keays-Byrne) embarking upon an expedition to the earth's core. The three men are following in the footsteps of Casper Hastings (Bryan Brown), who disappeared during a similar expedition several years earlier. Coming along for the ride is Casper's wife (or perhaps, widow), Alice Hastings (Tushka Bergen). Upon the foursome's arrival at the titular center of the Earth in part two, the plot goes off on a new, Apocalypse Now-inspired tangent, with the "lost" Casper Hastings reigning as a god over a subterranean (and cannibalistic) native tribe. Directed by George Miller (of The Man From Snowy River fame), Journey to the Center of the Earth made its first American TV appearance courtesy of cable's USA Network on September 14 and 15, 1999.
adventurer, archaeology, earth, expedition, subterranean, tribe