Thursday, July 01, 2010

Mummy, Matthew said there's an alien in the pantry

I never saw kid's TV favourite Chocky first time around. Though I remember it being on, I was far too busy being 18 to take any notice.

So when the chance came to see it, I thought I'd give it a go.

If you're unfamiliar with Chocky, it's about a boy who's possessed - sort of - by an alien creature scouting the earth for it's natural resources or something. Anyway, he acts strangely, parents get worried, but it all seems to be real and not the early signs of schizophrenia. The end. John Wyndham wrote it.

It was quite watchable, not for the very thin, very stretched out story, but more for the 1984ishness of it. Kids would never sit still for this today. It's what we would now call painfully slow in the way that kids TV was back then, but what is now known as the story gently unfolding, like Mad Men without the acting.

The acting is shocking from the main boy. No wonder he was never heard of again. The horrid little sister Polly is pain in the arse but quite funny for all that. James Hazledine and Carol Drinkwater shine as the middle class parents trying to keep it together, but toward the end Carol just can't help losing it and spends the last few episodes hysterical, trapped in her pastel green kitchen, surrounded by wheatsheaf print toasters and kettles. No wonder she hits the wine.

That said, it was quite entertaining, and I'm now on the look out for Chocky's Challenge and Chocky's Children, but I do hope they're a little more fast-moving and hta tsomething actually happens.

Other DVD sets I've really enjoyed recently include Big Love, series 3 and we've just started Roseanne, series 1. Talk about stilted. I used to think this was very funny indeed, but she's a TERRIBLE actress and it hasn't yet found its groove. I'm sticking with it hoping it will.

And on Cocktail's advice I watched the excellent Bronco Bullfrog, a black and white Mod classic from 1969.


Ishouldbeworking said...

I don't remember Chocky at all, though I was probably not his target age group either. I had a go at The Tomorrow People on DVD a couple of months ago, and it was hilarious - they were so incredibly posh, and none of them could act (although the storylines were quite thoughtful and intelligent, in a way that would be disregarded now.). And Elizabeth's saucy bib-and-braces dungarees must have been very distracting if you were an eleven year old boy.

Interesting to read your comments on Roaseanne - I too had fond memories of that, but it looks as though it hasn't stood the test of time well.

Cocktails said...

Speaking of sci-fi, I loved The Tripods when I was a kid. I'm tempted to watch it again, but am a bit scared of what I might find.

Did you enjoy Bronco Bullfrog?

Mondo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mondo said...

I bought a copy from the school library, but never read it. Also bought something called Old Ugly with an engraged old boy on the front. Never read that either.

Seventies child actors always seemed wide-eyed and over-projecting as if they've just been jabbed with a stick to start.

Bright Ambassador said...

I bought a copy of Chocky from a kids' bookshop in Suffolk recently, purely because I remember this series. On original transmission it was aimed squarely at my age group.
Chocky's Children featured a girl character called Albertine (I think). I remember my aunt being at the house once when it was on, and her exclaiming "What sort of name is Albertine!?" I had to explain it was because she was named after Albert Einstein. Funny what you remember, ain't it?

Has Roseanne got to that tiresome series with the 'loose meat sandwich' shop yet?

Five-Centres said...

I enjoyed Bronco Bullfrog, but I'm not sure why they called the film after that character who wasn't the focus of the film.

It was quite Mike Leigh in its own way. All those actor disappered without trace.

The real Sixties, very bleak.

Roseanne is still series 1 in which George Clooney is their factory boss. Loose meat comes much later when their mother gives Jackie and Roseanne $10,000.