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Chocky's Challenge

1/09/2010. Contributed by Rod MacDonald

Buy Chocky's Challenge in the USA - or Buy Chocky's Challenge in the UK

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region 2 DVD: pub: Revelation Films PAR61469. 1 DVD 184 minutes 3 episodes. Price: 19.99 (UK))stars: Anabel Worrell and Andrew Ellams.

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This DVD, 'Chocky's Challenge', continues with the Chocky TV series for children which was first broadcast in 1986. Based on the John Wyndham novel, it deals with a young boy and his relationship with an ethereal alien being by the name of Chocky. The first two series, 'Chocky' and 'Chocky's Children' were reviewed in SFCrowsnest.

In this series, the third and also the last, the emphasis shifted from Matthew Gore, who only appears in three of the six episodes, to Annabel Worrall, first introduced in 'Chocky's Children'. We lose the presence of Ed Bishop, unfortunately, to be replaced by several characters representing the bad guys.

I wouldn't go as far as saying that this is a series too far. It's just that some of the impact has now been lost and the story does not have a real focus any longer. Nevertheless, it is still very good television for children and as such it can be recommended without doubt. Believe me, as far as Science Fiction for children is concerned, there is a lot worse out there in the market.

Glynis Brooks still plays the voice of Chocky. She is a well-known TV actress, still working hard having played parts in many dramas over the last few years. Most of the other actors, including the children actors, have largely disappeared from our TV screens but this DVD gives them a chance to entertain us again.

The villain of the story this time is Dr. Liddle, played by Illonia Linthwaite. Using the same sort of theme as the first two series, the military and the scientists take an interest in Chocky. Annabel seems to be duped at first into introducing Chocky to Dr. Liddle. Unaware of the true peaceful nature of the alien, all the scientists can think of is alien invasion and the threat to humanity. This series then becomes a battle between these two influences.

Of course, this is all standard material for children's television. Adults are too busy worrying about agendas of their own making and are not able to understand children. This gives the kids a feeling of one-upmanship. The separation is there with Chocky, Annabel and Matthew against their opponents Dr. Liddle and all the other scientists and military people.

While this may not be as good as the first two 'Chocky' series, it is perfectly acceptable and eminently suitable for children. For those of you of a certain disposition, purchasing this DVD will complete the set. There were no more made after this and it is unlikely ever to be produced again for television. Exploring the theme further is possible by reading the John Wyndham original book but beware, it's nothing like the television series. As already said, there is a lot worse out there than this!

Rod MacDonald

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