Young Cathy Bowman has a terrifying encounter with some dinosaurs at the beginning of The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and it’s the same incident that sets the movie’s larger plot in motion. Following the runaway success of Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park film adaptation in 1993, author Michael Crichton finally gave in to the demands for him to write a sequel novel, which he published under the title The Lost World (a nod to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic 1912 sci-fi novel of the same name) in 1995. Spielberg would go on to adapt the book two years later as The Lost World: Jurassic Park, but ended up dropping a number of its plot points and characters.
Indeed, unlike Crichton’s source material, The Lost World movie opens with a wealthy British family on a yacht cruise vacation docking at Isla Sorna, unaware the island is the base for Site B: the place where InGen’s scientists would engineer and clone dinosaurs before moving them to Jurassic Park on the nearby Isla Nublar. While there, the family’s young daughter Cathy (played by Camilla Belle) is wandering the beach when she comes across a Compsognathus or Compy. Not knowing what the creature really is, Cathy offers it some of her sandwich, only to draw the attention of the rest of its pack, who then proceed to attack her.
It’s a disturbing turn of events made all the more unsettling by the fact the scene ends with Cathy’s parents and the yacht crew running up to save her and Cathy’s mother screaming at the sight of her daughter offscreen, but without actually showing her. Later, we learn InGen founder John Hammond’s nephew, Peter Ludlow, has used the incident to yank control of the company away from his uncle, prompting Hammond to reach out to his old acquaintance, mathematician Ian Malcolm, for help. While explaining what happened, Hammond assures Malcolm that Cathy survived the attack and implies she didn’t suffer any permanent physical injuries (though she’s undoubtedly traumatized by the event).
In addition to kicking things off, The Lost World‘s opening serves as the setup for a similar development later in the film (albeit, one without the semi-happy ending). Determined to capture as many of the dinosaurs on Isla Sorna as possible and make them part of a potential Jurassic Park attraction based in San Diego, Ludlow travels to the island with a team led by the seasoned big game hunter Roland Tembo and his second-in-command, Dieter Stark (Peter Stormare). After Malcolm and his allies sabotage their operation, Ludlow’s crew is forced to work together with them to find a way to get safely off the island by reaching a former InGen site and radioing for assistance. While traveling there, Dieter is separated from the others during a bathroom break and comes face to face with a group of Compys… only, in his case, nobody runs to his aid when he’s attacked.
As for Cathy, the character has yet to be mentioned or reappear in any of the Jurassic films made since The Lost World. It’s unlikely the upcoming Jurassic World: Dominion will address what’s happened to her in the years since then either, considering the Jurassic World trilogy has by and large ignored the events of The Lost World and Jurassic Park III, but without also removing them from the series continuity. Still, it wouldn’t take a huge leap to assume that, following her close encounter with the Compys, the grown-up Cathy has gone out of her way to avoid being in close proximity to any dinosaurs again.
NEXT: Why Lost World Wasn’t As Good As Jurassic Park: What Went Wrong