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on 23 March 2011
Who could resist this? I was about eight when I first saw this show and thought I'd spend a happy few hours perusing Memory Lane and see if it rang any bells.

I am left with mixed feelings. Series one, based on an excellent John Wyndam novel, is engaging, rather well acted, and has a plot that leaves you gripped. Well, that's where it ends, really.

Series two and three are, to be completely frank, total rubbish...

Series one tells the story of a twelve year old boy who suddenly develops an imaginary friend called "Chocky", who turns out to be the entirely real mental projection of the mind of an extra-terrestrial, scouting the universe.
Chocky attempts to school Matthew in advanced knowledge, but with depressing predictability, something so valuable, instead of being valued and venerated by the human race, is regarded as something to squabble, kidnap and threaten over.
For Matthew's sake, Chocky departs his life forever (yeah, right!) saying to his father that all she'll do in the future is prod earth scientists in the occasional right direction over a century or two.

Chocky's Children then explodes that entirely and retcons Chocky's intentions. Although she hasn't been directly communicating with anyone else, she has been prodding them with a much larger stick than she said she would at the end of series one. This produces, among others, a girl called Albertine who is a maths prodigy who it proves can communicate telepathically with Matthew.
The last two episodes rehash Matthew's fate at the hands of government forces in series one, with the exception that Matthew rescues Albertine and the evil bad guys are laid low with some bizarre powers. (They are somehow knocked out with mass telepathic mumbling.)

Chocky, for a super intelligent being, doesn't learn basic lessons however, so it's then on with Chocky's Challenge, in which many children she has "coached" come together in Cambridge to work on a device for generating power through the capture of cosmic radiation. (So much for the subtle approach, eh?)
This series is a garbage-fest of Jedi mind powers, the worst acting until Eldorado, and yet more hokey bad guys, this time from the British government.
Somehow, in both series two and three, the police turn up as a deus ex machina at precisely the right moment and arrest all the government officials.

Chocky herself evolved from someone who can barely communicate with anyone into someone who can materialise at will to anyone she chooses. In series one the barely audible electronic warble of her voice conveys that only Matthew is able to hear her and it adds mystery and imagination to what she really is. By the end of series three hardly ten minutes goes by without a blue whispy thing manifesting and warbling to everyone in earshot with perfectly audible tones.

Whereas in series one the only irritating thing about the cast was that James Hazeldine (easily the best actor in all three series) didn't staple Carol Drinkwater's mouth shut (she will REALLY get on your nerves by episode six), series two and three, neither based on books by Wyndam but created freestyle to only bear the lightest of passing resemblances to the original, comprise of plots that make no sense, constantly contradict the past and are full of actors who can't act and spend long amounts of time repeating the word "Chocky!" over and over, in a bleating, talentless monotone.
This is particularly true of the girl who is allegedly from Hong Kong, but actually sounds like Helena Bonham-Carter. Casting director Julian Oldfield didn't ever deserve to work again.

Among the child actors, Andrew Ellams (Matthew Gore - central protagonist of series one) is the only one with a grain of talent anywhere at all. He carries the first series. But Annabel Worrell who plays Albertine Meyer from series two onward is irritating and mostly talentless. I say "mostly" because Freddie Brooks (annoying Michael Jackson wannabe), Katrina Wilsher (from Hong Kong, twinned with Knightsbridge) and Paul Russell (the one who does nothing but grin gormlessly, cry and put up missing posters looking for his chin) produce performances that are entirely talentless.

Now this is cannot ENTIRELY down to them. Series 2 and 3 are produced in such a shambolic, unprofessional way that there is little chance they could have been anything else. Even Ellams comes across as dull and listless from series two onward. His being in the whole series would have added something to series three, but at the time he was more concerned with his O Levels and so was largely written out. Because of that the focus was on Albertine, which was a critical mistake. (Although not so big a mistake as bothering to produce the second and third series at all.)

And Ellams appearing dull points out the biggest flaw of the latter two series: the first consisted of a plot written by a very talented writer (John Wyndam) that conveniently fit into six episodes. Two and three were money-making exercises cobbled together out of bric-a-brac by a second rate screenwriter, that consisted of a non-plot that should have been stretched to three at most, but were extended, like a man on a torture rack, to the full six so they could get a series out of them.

I would still buy it though, because the first series is worth it and the whole thing is a nostalgiafest for me. Just don't expect the latter two thirds to entertain you. Use the DVD's as mug coasters or something.
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on 9 February 2012
Picture quality wise, there's no difference really. This review is more on the differences in the extras for those who are thinking of upgrading. Firstly, be warned that the Revelation DVD's question and answer sessions are text only features so disappointingly no talking heads and seeing what the cast look like now. That said, they are quite interesting as are the image galleries which weren't on the original Second Sight DVD's. Where Revelation really falls down though is that on the Second Sight Chocky DVD there's a twenty minute interview with Anthony Read (the writer/adaptor) who this time actually appears in vision. It's a very interesting interview too as it covers all three Chocky series and if you're a Dr Who fan he also mentions the time he was script-editing that show. This is easily the superior extra (hearing from the writer is always more interesting than hearing from the actors, who, after all, are only performing what the writer has written) for this reason I would recommend the Second Sight DVD's over the Revelation ones.
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on 1 July 2011
When I was a dreamy pre-teen, I watched Chocky and, as a result, a rose tinted memory of it has stayed with me ever since. That was until I brought this box set and shattered my illusions i.e. that it was a well-acted, technically advanced and scary series. Alas, I now know how easily pleased we were back in the eighties. By today's standards of children's tv, Chocky seems shockingly poor...do not buy it unless you are over 35 years old and want to laugh at how bad special effects were 30 years ago! The flying scene with visible wires is particularly good/bad. Still, I love the eighties synth effects music and the first series is relatively well acted (compared to the school play style dialogue and acting of the later episodes). If you remember this series as being great and you want to keep those memories, then avoid this dvd...it will shatter your childhood memories.
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on 5 March 2012
I am now 55, I had never seen this series when broadcast but heard about it, at first I thought was about a boy that heard voices, strange for a children's series I thought, then it turns out the voice he hears is an extra terestrial non corporial entity, that's a being with no physical body, it was written by John Wyndam of Triffids fame, with this kind of pedigree expect a higher form of story telling, largely it nearly pulls it off, his parents seem to except this situation somewhat readily, his mother played by Carol Drinkwater is a classy act, at least you can understand the script, it is'nt laden with hip sounding speech, and the psuedo science does sound plausable, the special effects do'nt match up to modern expectations, they used the then CSO system to project the image on the screen in post production, the effect quivers with the characters voice, these are kept to a minimum and relys on the story to get it's message across, the first series was John's original idea, but it proved popular enough to extend to a second and third series for which they obtained permission from the John Wyndam estate, as A children's program it lacks a certain punch, but it does it's best to convey a message about ourselve's that could make the younger genration think about their place in the world and their reponsibilty in it, name a modern program that does that, Sarah Jane being the top one out of the hat.
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on 1 March 2013
Bought as a Christmas present for my 37 yr old daughter who always loved the series and wanted her own children to see it.
Since Christmas - viewed by all the family. Bringing back many happy memories of watching TV together many years ago.
A really good, well made, true to the book series. Worth watching over and over again.
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on 29 September 2013
I read the original book by John Wyndham, but did not view the TV series when transmitted in the 1980s.
The first TV series "Chocky" is very true to the book, very well produced and acted. The boy who played the central character Matthew Gore could not have been older than 13 : his acting is superb, full of nuances and appropriate facial expressions. I should be interested to know what he is doing now. I am so far half way through the first sequel, Chocky's Children, which is a very natural follow-up and again very well produced.
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on 11 December 2013
This serie changes your point of view of many subjects...
Seasons two and three work fine, and they connect properly with season one.
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on 3 January 2012
It'd been a long time since I'd seen Chocky but time and age have not dulled my enjoyment of this dramatisation. For any and all who remember the series and want to see it again, this is the way to go. For other who have not seen it before, but perhaps have read the book, this is a thoroughly enjoyable dramatisation and continuation of Wyndham's story.

The only reason that I haven't given the set full marks is that I find the production of the DVD product somewhat substandard. This does not reflect negatively on the quality of the classic programme.
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on 20 August 2014
it takes me back 30 odd years ago!
I loved the series, and now I can
enjoy it all over again.
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on 19 August 2014
Fantastic 80s show that took me back to my childhood. Too bad they can't make them like this any more
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