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Chocky (DVD Details)

Unique ID Code: 0000127465
Added by: Curtis Owen
Added on: 24/3/2010 22:31
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    Review for Chocky

    "Why are there only seven days in a week rather than eight and why are there never thirty-two days in a month?' (Chocky)

    These are the philosophical musings of the British sci-fi novelist John Wyndham. The author who created the logical fantasy genre and defined the 'middle-class catastrophe' with his six masterworks - The Day of the Triffids (1951), The Kraken Wakes (1953), The Chrysalids (1955), The Midwich Cuckoos (1957), Trouble with Lichen (1960)and Chocky (1968). With these stories, Wyndham transported mysterious creatures from the cosmos and brought them to earth. From murderous vegetation attacking our capital, to monstrous sea creatures invading our oceans, to misunderstood mutants with six toes, to malignant telekinetic offspring, to mad scientist who conquer age, to a genial celestial mist who befriends a boy called Matthew, Wyndham tapped into the uncertainties that thrive in our universe…

    Matthew is not your average 12-year-old. He talks to himself. People believe his inner voice to be an imaginary friend but when Matthew begins to ask, 'where exactly is earth?' and 'why do we need to have two sexes?' his parents begin to understand this so-called make-believe friend is not a figment of his imagination but a celestial being from another planet.

    Broadcast in 1984, the British TV-series Chocky, adapted by Dr Who writer Anthony Read, captures the spirit of Wyndham's novel. Like all British programmes during this period, it has that recorded on video tone. This gives Chocky a special low-tech kitschy ambience and charm. Compared to today's standards many will say 'it looks crap'. Just look at the funky title sequence with 80s computer graphics, if your heart does not bleed nostalgia then you were obviously not a child of the 80s:-

    However bad the effects may be - here be ideas, story and imagination! Nowadays special effects are what orientate and define a sci-fi story; these flashy visuals are 'things' that dwell outside the plot. For any die-hard science-fiction fan, this is not good enough - 'things' like this lack substance. It is refreshing to watch something like Chocky from the 80s because story and imagination always overcame special effects (because of budget restrictions and technology, man). The depth of the plot, characterisation and mood to Chocky will refresh your dulled senses. This was a time when television was still television. If a knowing smile creeps across your face, you know this is not an empty declaration…

    This 80s tinge is what we refer to as a 'blast from the past', a moment when we go 'I forgot about that'. If you find nostalgia makes you joyful then Chocky will not disappoint - we have Rubik's cubes, Superman bed-sheets, old-fashioned cars, picnics, ice creams, cricket, vinyl and state-of-the-art computers like the Atari 800 that play games like space invaders.

    Having warped into a nostalgia trip, instead of talking about the quality of the program, this reviewer has sidetracked into that deep dark abyss when we see the past with rose tinted glasses. So what, the past was so much simpler then, because we were young (and our brains had not developed), we could watch programs like Chocky with innocent eyes and an imagination that had yet to be jaded by the world. Stuff like this really takes you back.

    Special Features: There is a Q & A section with Andrew Ellams (who played Matthew). This is in text format but still enjoyable to read.

    Verdict: These six, twenty-five minute episodes contain the same magic as The Tomorrow People. Series like this are addictive, one you start you cannot stop! Like all great TV, the episodic nature is insidious.

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    Your Opinions and Comments

    Great review! Brings back a lot of memories this.
    posted by RJS on 25/3/2010 14:38