26 November 2007 | info-4857
From the days when they made quality TV
I recently uncovered the full miniseries of Chimera and it brought back a whole host of memories for me. I remember watching it whilst on holiday in Wales in a caravan, in the middle of a field so it really did a number on me as a kid.
When struggling film critic, Peter Carson's girlfriend is killed at her new job at a research facility in Northern England he finds the countryside in an uproar and a manhunt underway as the entire research staff was brutally murdered that night.
The police are brought in to track down an unnamed killed and Peter finds out that the research facilities experimentations into genetic engineering created the monstrous hybrid responsible for the deaths and now it's on the loose in the Yorkshire Dales. Two young children from a local farm make themselves a new friend...Mr. Scarecrow.
This was really brave television, following in the footsteps of the early eighties 'Day of the Triffids' and 'Threads'. It tackled issues of genetic engineering and human rights when relating to 'Hybrids' and was pretty ahead of it's time really.
The acting is top notch and supersedes what is on British TV these days. It is quite amusing to see a whole string of minor parts played by now massive British celebrities; Lisa Tarbuck and Paul 'O' Grady not to mention fantastic established actors such as Kenneth Cranham and 'Rita, Sue and Bob too's' George Costigan.
The series is spread over six parts and is just the right length. Having not seen the Monkey Boy edit, I cringe at what that butchered version has to offer.
'Chad' the Chimera himself is genuinely freaky looking, especially when he shows his teeth. The shot of him reading the 'Rupert the Bear' children's book only to turn and snarl at the camera sends chills up my spine to this day. They spent money on the creature and it looks horrific, especially in it's black and red striped 'Freddy' sweater and dungarees (trust me it's unsettling.)
British TV of this calibre and genre could be gone forever down to constant big budget American TV imports which is ashame because there is no place spookier than the British countryside.
If you loved, 'Day of the Triffids' and if you're a British horror fan in general, you'll love this.
Don't watch it alone.