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  • Chocky's Challenge [DVD] [1984]
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Chocky's Challenge [DVD] [1984]

9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: James Hazeldine, Carol Drinkwater, Andrew Ellams, Glynis Brooks, Penny Brownjohn
  • Writers: John Wyndham
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Second Sight
  • DVD Release Date: 21 April 2003
  • Run Time: 149 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008RWTX
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 162,904 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

DVD Technical Information:
  • Running Time: 2 hours 29 minutes
  • Ratio: 4:3
  • Audio: Mono
  • Region Code: 0

From Amazon.co.uk

First transmitted in 1984, Chocky is a six-part TV adaptation of John Wyndham's clever novel. Matthew, an apparently normal 12-year-old boy, starts talking to an invisible presence called Chocky, who quizzes him on a wide variety of subjects as if unfamiliar with life on Earth. Over the course of the serial it is suggested that Chocky is an alternate personality or, after Matthew has been helped by Chocky to rescue his sister from drowning, a guardian angel. But we realise early on that this non-imaginary friend is in fact an alien who has made exploratory contact with the boy. Though Chocky manifests as a swirl of blue light, this is a rare piece of TV science fiction that sticks to the domestic arena, exploring ideas rather than playing with special effects.

Wyndham's very 1950s-styled novel is updated by making the kids less well-spoken, and throwing in Rubik's cubes and space invaders video games, but adaptor Anthony Read's script preserves the virtues of the novel. Young Andrew Ellams is fine in a demanding role, and there's good-quality puzzled concern from dad James Hazeldine and 80s TV's resident sexy mum Carol Drinkwater. Apart from a few eye-abusing 1984 fashions--Jeremy Bulloch's huge glasses and blinding white jeans in a cameo as a psychiatrist--and the general leisurely pace, which is no bad thing in such a careful piece of drama, this has dated little. Those who remember its first broadcast will find it lives up to the memory, and those who weren't born then should still find it an entertaining watch.

On the DVD: Chocky on disc can be accessed as a marathon two-and-a-half-hour watch or as six individual episodes (the latter is recommended). Print quality is fine given the techniques of its production. A nice extra is a 20-minute, in-depth chat with writer Anthony Read. --Kim Newman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By chinhealer VINE VOICE on 8 Jun. 2010
Format: DVD
This was a favourite of mine as a child/pre-teen when it was first broadcast. I have always remembered its unusual sensibility (although I wouldn't have called it that at the time!) and the fact that it evoked some fairly intense emotions in me. What I didn't remember - and what I have just rediscovered after watching it for the first time in more than two decades - was just how high-brow and intelligent the whole thing was without being pretentious. The series explores adult themes such as the nature of reality, the nature of the self, concepts of discarnate entities and morality and self-control and, more obliquely, adults' fears of pubescence and pubescents' feelings of alienation. This is weighty stuff and comes as a stark reminder of how utterly banal and low-aiming most children's programmes of today are. Actually, I hesitate to categorize Chocky under 'Kids' TV'. It deserves a far wider audience than that. And in terms of acting, script, direction and atmosphere it knocks the socks off most adult TV drama series of today, anyway! And, sure, many of today's children and teens weaned on a junk-TV diet of Hannah Montana, High School Musical, Suite Life... et al might be a bit nonplussed by the thoughtful, unhurried pace of Chocky, its unflashy, rather dour mise-en-scene and its philosophical musings. But that's all the more reason to expose them to it. Where else, exactly, are they going to get such gravitas from today's schedules? Besides which, much of Matthew's wardrobe seems to have been modelled on my own from the 80s! (Which leads me to believe, ahem, that I was dead fashionable in retrospect!)
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By M. W. Stone on 17 Jun. 2005
Format: DVD
It is always with a bit of trepidation that I approach the film or tv version of a book I liked, wondering whether it will come over so well on the screen. "Chocky", I am glad to say, is one that did and does.
I first read it not long after it was written, and always liked it. Its theme, which has seen quite a bit of use both before and since, is that of "first contact" with an alien being made by a child. 12-year-old Matthew Gore starts hearing "voices" from an alien life form, and the rest of the book is largely his and his adoptive parents' attempts to come to terms with the phenomenon.
The characters, though perhaps better educated than the average, are basically a pretty ordinary lot, and are completely bewildered by what is going on. Matthew's mother, in particular, takes a very good part as she is driven almost hysterical in her attempts to deal with what is happening to her son, and one of my regrets aboout the sequels is that she did not appear in them. The father manages to stay a bit calmer, and gradually comes to accept that Chocky is real and not a psychiatric phenomenon, but he too is as out of his depth as one might expect in such a situation. As for Matthew himself, to my mind he looks and acts a bit younger than his supposed age, coming over more like a bright ten-year-old, but then his original was a 1950s (or at most early 1960s) twelve-year-old, not a 1980s one, so perhaps the makers of the serial were being true to their source.
In this they were consistent.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Quagsnake on 16 July 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was only 6 years old in 1984 when this series first aired but remember really enjoying at the time. It's often a mistake returning to a show you loved as a kid as they rarely live up to how you remember them. With this in mind, I was really pleased and surprised that 19 years on, and apart from being slightly dated, I found it very enjoyable indeed. I was especially impressed with the performance of the young lead (Matthew) and of the late James Hazledean (Matthew's father). It's an intelligent and thoughtful series and certainly does not speak down to it's audience. It certainly hits home how children's TV has fallen from grace in the last decade. If you enjoyed this series 19 years ago i don't think you will be disappointed. If you haven't seen it before, then I recommend it. Especially John Wyndham fans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. M. S. Rutherford on 4 Sept. 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
i think the programme was so fare ahead of its time
and shows how aliens would veiw us i think its great i have the whole collection i just wanted to let peaple know if your thinking of geting it please do
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By man on 16 Jan. 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Very enjoyable and well made adaption of John Wyndam's classic Sci-Fi book.
The acting is very good as is the pace of the story, there's really nothing to complain about here, an all round great production.
The days of this level of quality in childrens television are sadly long gone.
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