Our Zoo – Adding Truth to Drama

Well Our Zoo seems to have been a riveting success and I guess you all liked it too. Most of the search terms I got for The Chronic Chronicler in the past month has been stuff like “When is Series 2 of Our Zoo?”, or “Was Lady Katherine Longmore a real person?”, and of course the inevitable question: “Did Mew and Archie get married?”.

23204582Well to answer (at least some of) those questions I was led to June Mottershead’s book Our Zoo: The real story of my life at Chester Zoo. I just want to say a quick thank you to singers2 for putting me in the direction of this book as without that comment I may have never have known of its existence. So thank you very much and I hope you, and everyone else, enjoys this review!

June Mottershead describes her life from the age of four when she moved to Oakfield in 1930 to her marriage to her late husband Fred Williams in 1949. In that 19 year span of the book, June notes the troubling times the zoo faced in its early days, the continuous need for funds, the troubling war years, her own as well as Mew’s development as the zoo’s keepers, and of course anecdotes about the zoo’s many animals.

To be clear on this, Our Zoo is not purely on the workings of the zoo, yet it is also not a wholly autobiographical account either. It mixes somewhere in the middle to lend a unique view of the development of Chester Zoo through a period of much turmoil of the zoo and for Britain.

It’s now I have to apologise to some people because it is now I must say that Mew never marries Archie. Archie exists in the same way Mr Tumnus exists. But before you punch a hole through your computer in utter disgust at this realisation, you must remember that June even notes that the BBC series is “not a documentary. It’s a drama.” This book puts to rest some of those questions, but also gives the reality of the situation which is satisfying in its own way.

But now onto the book and, to be fair, it’s quite an entertaining read. Not all the names for people and animals are there, being forgotten over the course of time, and sometimes names are mixed up, like a penguin previously referred to as Oswald being named Charlie a few lines down as it was the penguin before Oswald. Yet these are only minor errors which, although slightly irritating, don’t take the entire shine off the book.

June gives very good detail to anecdotes about her family and how they really in in comparison to their portrayal on screen. Firstly, Chester Zoo was not the Mottershead’s first interaction with animals, having owned a zoo at Shavington and sold animals before then. It really throws you having watched a series to find such changes were made, but again, it was a drama.

albert_lucy_mew_george_june_new

The Mottershead clan (with the exception of Lizzie)

George in June’s book appears to be a bit more stern than Lee Ingleby’s portrayal gave, seeking publicity in a greater fashion and pushing forth the idea that the animals are not pets and cannot be treated as such, especially it seems to June. But this does not make him unlikeable; rather it makes George a more realistic character, seeing the zoo not just as a place to house animals but as a way to provide for his family.

The character of Mew is also vastly different from her onscreen portrayal as, instead of the mopey teenager turned able keeper, Mew in June’s book is much more able. Being ten years June’s elder, Mew is much more involved in the creation of the zoo, often rearing chimps and cubs as well as tending to sick animals. It’s quite a strange difference from screen to page but it is almost comforting to know that, while the screen portrayal gave a different, but still watchable view of Mew, the real life Mew was still as interesting to learn about.

Also making a hit is Kay and his Elephants

Also making a hit is Kay and his Elephants

June also gives accounts of the animals and, while some are merely listing who and what there are, some animals get near to entire chapters devoted to them, like the lion cub Christy, Punch the Polar Bear (not a suggestion, the name of the polar bear) and the duo Victor/Mowgli (he changes his name after the film The Jungle Book came out in 1942) the lion and Peter the Terrier. The stories vary from joyous to solemn, but they all make for an insightful read of the zoo’s early days.

The book is also very detailed on how many people came in certain years, how it affected the zoo, and who fronted the money to keep the zoo afloat. A lot of mention is made of the aristocratic ladies, such as Miss Tomkyns Grafton (who “adopted” Punch during the war) and Miss Geraldine Russell Allen of the three Russell Allen sisters, all of whom played a part in the zoo’s finances.

June makes sure that their contributions to the zoo are noted for, as she rightly puts, there help meant the zoo managed to stay afloat. It’s quite a nice touch, and I assume this is where Lady Katherine Longmore arrived from, to embody all these people through one voice.

This book, while perhaps may not immediately grasp the attention of those who did not watch the series, is definitely something that will add to the series’ experience. The accounts all appear to be very personal, showing how June and Chester Zoo develops because of them.

June Mottershead, in case it wasn't obvious

June Mottershead, in case it wasn’t obvious

It’s a light read, with several photos interspersed throughout the book that keeps your appetite for animals stories perked up. While there are times of emotion, like the tragic deaths of animals and the harder times during the war years, June manages to keep the story of Chester Zoo to be one of triumph over hardship and one which I would recommend to have a look, even if it’s just in your local bookshop.

Thanks for reading! If you liked what you read then please follow me here on WordPress as well as Facebook and Twitter. Also, if you fancy writing for The Chronic Chronicler, then send me an email at chronicchronicler1@gmail.com. Thanks again for reading!

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Good News Everyone!

Hello there! So a short while ago I contributed to the wonderful blog Writer Loves Movies and now the fruits of that labour have come to fruition because my review has just been put up!

Writer Loves Movies is run by the wonderful Natalie Stendall who, alongside her own fantastic reviews, allows people to contribute their own reviews on their favourite films. So with Natalie’s permission I have written about a film that is very dear to my heart and sparked my great love affair with movies.

And what is that movie? None other than the Brad Bird classic The Iron Giant! If you like to read that review please click on the link. I’ve disabled the comments on this article so if you want to say something then be sure to go over to Writer Loves Movies to voice you like/dislike/complete neutrality over my article.

Also don’t forget to check out Natalie’s own work as well as to follow her blog as her work is a cut above the rest!

Thanks for reading! If you liked what you read then please follow me here on WordPress or even on Facebook and Twitter as well. Also, if you fancy writing for The Chronic Chronicler, then send me an email at chronicchronicler1@gmail.com. Thanks again for reading and don’t forget to check out my review of The Iron Giant!

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Important Announcement for November!

Hello to all my fellow Chroniclers out there. I just decided to pop by and let you all know about something that is coming up for The Chronic Chronicler which I hope you will all be looking forward to.

Since November is coming up and people will be growing moustaches and beards for Movember and Don’t Shavember that raises awareness about men’s health issues, I thought I should be do something  for the blog that (hopefully) will give something greater exposure. For lack of a better title, though suggestions would be much appreciated, November will be No-English Moviember.

That’s right. For each Monday of November I shall be reviewing a film that was released in a non-English language. The film has to be reviewed in its original language and no dubbing of any kind is allowed. For this reason I am ruling out anime in my reviews as, although I love anime, there are many versions with English Dub and it would be too easy for people to watch them in English because it gives them the option.

So the films I will be reviewing this No-English Moviember (God I hope I come with a better name than that) will be:

  • Ernest et Célestine – Monday 3rd (French)
  • Wadjda – Monday 10th (Arabic)
  • Departures – Monday 17th (Japanese)
  • Goodbye, Lenin! – Monday 24th (German)

I hope that you’ll enjoy these reviews as it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while. I feel that non-English language films do not get the coverage they should do on within the realm of film reviewing sites and, at least on my site, I want to rectify that.

I hope this will become a yearly thing to give non-English language films a greater profile as there is some really good stuff out there that people may not want to watch because of the language barrier and they don’t want to read subtitles.

Also please feel free to suggest some other non-English language films for me to review as I hope to slip some extra films into the schedule if I can. But if for some reason I can’t, or if you feel you can do a better job than me (which is probably true of everyone) then please feel free to guest blog about it. I’d be absolutely ecstatic to get some outside contributions to No-English Moviember (I guess I’ll shorten it to NEM).

As always thanks for reading! If you liked what you read then please follow me here on WordPress or even on Facebook and Twitter as well. Also, if you fancy writing for The Chronic Chronicler (for any reason, not just NEM), then send me an email at chronicchronicler1@gmail.com. Thanks again for reading and don’t forget to look out for NEM!

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To the Moon – Got to Love Selene and Luna

To all those who got the classical references in this title, I salute you. And to those who looked it up on Wikipedia I applaud you, and if you’re still reading this already too long appraisal then you’ve passed the endurance test.

Wiki-backgroundIt’s weird to think that I bought this game at the same time as The Fall and have only recently played them and now done reviews for them. What’s weirder is that they both involve the moon, To the Moon having it in the title and the production company of The Fall being Over the Moon. You might even think I have a thing about the moon.  But in any case, here’s the obligatory overview of the emotional tale that is To the Moon.

You play as Dr. Eva Rosalene and Dr. Neil Watts who work for Sigmund Corp., a company which create artificial memories for those who seek wish fulfilment on their deathbeds (and yes, it does sound a little bit like Inception). Their client, John “Johnny” Wyles, wishes to go to the moon, although he cannot remember why wants to go; only that he does. With this as the wish they must fulfil, Rosalene and Watts begin into Johnny’s mind to create a new reality for him, although as expected, things do not go their way.

TTM-Ss3To the Moon has the look reminiscent of Golden Sun, having that same RPG style that has captured the hearts of many, as well as their time and money. But To the Moon rejects the RPG formula and has very few gameplay mechanics that RPG’s are associated with, i.e.: turn-based combat. Instead To the Moon is focused on telling you a particular story and in that it excels.

Emotional is a one-word description of this game, even the cynical humbug within me was a little touched by the story and being invested in all its characters. For a game that can be completed within three hours, it really crams as much characterisation as it can.

You feel as if you have known these characters all their lives, and for some of them you can almost argue that. Even though you get snippets of their lives, they are all very important and that accumulated feeling is very important for what is chapter one of a larger game.

to-the-moon-4But, alongside all the heartfelt and saddening moments, Freebird Games have also managed to cram in as much comedy and pop culture references as possible so that every heavier moment has it corresponding lighter moment. While Eva and Neil have their parts in the drama filled moments, they really shine in the comedy filled ones, with their working relationship becoming almost palpable in those moments.

But credit where credit is due, the game is very well written. Every line of dialogue has its purpose and with a game that has very little else aside from occasional puzzles and obstacles later on, the game is incredibly dialogue heavy. It really gets you feeling that Eva and Neil have being doing this job for a while and, despite their eccentricities (mainly Neil’s) they have a job to do and will do their utmost to see it through.

A quick mention must also be given to the game’s use of music as it is excellently used, the highlight being the song For River played on the piano as, while the song is very repetitive, it has a certain beauty to it which becomes significant in the game itself, but is also a grand piece of music in itself.

ss_1ad788262b8d672b5fd70299320c5c2323ba15ef.1920x1080While the game has been out for three years and a true sequel hasn’t arrived, although a spiritual sequel called A Bird Story is being released on November 7th, it is still worth playing and waiting for the next instalment. If games that can leave you with “the feels” and have you laughing loud enough to make your relatives wonder what the hell you are doing, then this is the game for you.

Thanks for reading! If you liked what you read then please follow me here on WordPress or even on Facebook and Twitter as well. Also, if you fancy writing for The Chronic Chronicler, then send me an email at chronicchronicler1@gmail.com. Thanks again for reading… wait, I reviewed The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck as well. God I do have a thing about the moon!

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Gold – Everyone Deserves A Chance

I suspect many of you may not have heard about this film. Neither had I in fact until I found out my local cinema was doing a few showings. I watch the trailer and thought “Well that looks… interesting”.

“But Chronic Chronicler”, you may be asking again you very questioning reader, “doesn’t interesting usually mean something is, or was, terrible and you just don’t want to say it?” You are very observant mystery reader and yes I agree with you.

Interesting is a word that allows to get your point across to someone without being a complete prat about it. But not this time, this time I mean what interesting means in the dictionary. I know. I can hear your intake of breath in shock. But let me remedy that by going into that most sacred of Chronic Chronicler traditions, the obligatory overview.

Gold_PosterRay (David Wilmot) has been away from his family for twelve years, spending time in hospitals and psychiatric therapy in order to come to terms with a past suicide attempt and has been brought back into their lives due to his fast declining father.

Having returned to the County Dublin suburbs, Ray decides he must also try to re-establish ties with his estranged daughter Abbie (Maisie Williams) and his ex-wife Alice (Kerry Condon) who has married his former P.E teacher Frank (James Nesbitt). Although, out of pity, they take him in for a while; plans for rekindling familial relations, do not seem to come to fruition.

When you hear that this film is an “offbeat comedy”, you know that it isn’t going to be a laugh out loud experience, rather it’ll leave you with a smirk on your face at times and that’s is what Gold does. From Frank’s serious and over the top workout videos to Ray revealing a certain nickname students gave Frank in the past, it’ll leave you not in tears laughing, but always faintly amused.

James Nesbitt’s performance as Frank is solid, being the total antithesis to Ray. Whereas Ray has few, if any, plans after coming out of hospitalisation, Frank is focused on achieving his goals and is unmoved by any form of weakness. Not only is attempting to pushy Ray’s daughter Abbie in her venture of becoming an athlete, he is also trying to advance his own career through self-made unwittingly funny workout videos.

Fair credit is also due to Maisie Williams as, if you don’t watch Game of Thrones you may be hard pushed to name something else she’d been in. But to be fair, Maisie thrives as the estranged daughter, trying to reach her step father vision of seeing second place as just the first loser by taking performance enhancing drugs as well as, to begin with, reluctantly making bridges with her absent father.

But the star of the show is clearly David Wilmot as the bumbling Ray. While never really intending to do any harm, Ray manages to accidentally or purposefully with no malicious intent, fractures and ruins the lives of his family. Wilmot has made a character whom you should be annoyed with sort of loveable. You can see why he does the things he does and, while some are stupid, he does have his heart in the right place.

One scene which comes to mind is when Abbie agrees to go with Ray to see her deteriorating granddad on the condition that Ray gets some drugs for her. Assured that they are made from “all-natural products” and that it’ll be a one-off, Ray obliges.

GOLD, starring Maisie Williams and David WilmotThe rational side of me calls him an occasional idiot, or as Irish people may term it, acting the gom, you can see that Ray is only doing it so that he can show his daughter to his fast declining father and, seeing no other way he can get Abbie to come with her, obliges with her request. Ray cares for his family and wants to do his best to re-establish connection with them, even if it does go down a road not many of us would tread.

This film is also good at avoiding the usual tropes of comedy while also getting handpicking the best elements of drama as, aside from the clearly symbolic use of Ray’s sofa tied to the top of his car, Gold seems to stick to the ethos that not every bad thing that happens will have a consequence. They may be forgotten about in the presence of a larger problem or put on the backburner for later, not everything is dealt with in one huge confrontation at the end which is a nice way to go about things.

Gold also tackles the issues of suicide a in a gentle manner as, while not making it the whole point of the film, it is a sombre note in the film’s repertoire which adds to the film’s realism that it tries to propagate which was quite a nice way in which to explain a serious topic.

I wouldn’t say that this film is for everyone though as its seeming lack of overall plot may irk some people, with the film meandering on without any real goal in sight. However Gold is not made with that premise in mind, it’s more like taking a section out of ordinary life. There is no rush against time or final fight to be fought; it’s just events that happen. Mistakes are made, like life and that’s what is most appealing about this film, things happen and, for the most part, you could almost see them happening down the road from you and for that, Niall Heery (director and co-writer) and Brendan Heery (co-writer) must be given great credit for allowing it to flow in such a delightful fashion.

Thanks for reading! If you liked what you read then please follow me here on WordPress or even on Facebook and Twitter as well. Also, if you fancy writing for The Chronic Chronicler, then send me an email at chronicchronicler1@gmail.com. Thanks again for reading!

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The Fall – I Must Not Misrepresent Reality

headerWell the leaves are descending, the barometer is going low and my interest in this analogy is plummeting like a tiny pebble into a vast watery abyss. So with those autumn allusions out of the way, let’s get into the Indie Kickstarter game The Fall.

Crashing from space, you land on an unknown planet and your pilot is unresponsive. You are the A.R.I.D (Arid) on board the mark-7 combat suit and you must obtain traverse the hostile environment to acquire medical assistance for your pilot. While searching for aid, you must face what happened on this planet and how it reflects upon Arid’s use, or misuse, of her inbuilt protocols.

I must admit for a game that is only the first part of what will be a series of games, or at least that is what I hope it will be, the game is very engaging. As has already been well documented in my game reviews that the side scrolling mechanic curries great favour, the puzzles the game brought were far more interesting.

the fall review 1

Well Hello there Caretaker

Even for those who are not great puzzle solvers, The Fall manages to give the puzzles a certain amount of difficulty without making them so frustrating that it makes them a chore. The puzzles are plentiful enough to keep your brain engaged without being done so overtly that you have to sit in another room with tea and a good book so you can recover from the twist your brain has been put in.

However it’s the story that is the real hook of the game. The not knowing whether your pilot is injured, unconscious or even dead makes for gripping stuff, making you feel invested in all the actions Arid performs to keep the pilot safe.

The game’s logic runs almost counterintuitively to how you would attempt to protect your pilot as to protect your pilot, you must put your pilot in danger so that systems may be enabled so that you can advance in the game. Sounds strange but it’s a clever device to get you make Arid a more functional combat unit while adding the danger and the notion that by doing this, you are breaking one of Arid’s protocols, to protect the pilot.

Credit has got to be given to making the main character female. Alison Kumar does a cracking job as Arid’s voice, both giving Arid the cold mechanic voice of a fully operating combat unit whilst also injecting emotion here and there to highlight Arid’s turn towards a more sentient being, as seen in the way she rationalises her breaking of protocol.

Credit must also be given to Sean McQuillan as Mainframe AI (Hank/Morely) and Alejandro Pacheco as the Caretaker. While these voice actors are virtual unknowns, they played their parts exceedingly well, getting me to both love and hate them in equal measure.

Yes, that is a crucifix in the background. Also glowing mushrooms.

Yes, that is a crucifix in the background. Also glowing mushrooms.

The Fall also manages to deliver a creepy environment through its good use of environmental design, such as the notes from former employees, the decaying nature of the entire place and also the darkened visuals to make you feel you really are quite below the surface of the planet.

Also the fact that you have to search for things using the flashlight on your pistol makes the dank atmosphere a much more prevalent feeling, having to scour the surrounding in search of puzzle items. It’s a nice touch that you somehow don’t really think about and those are generally the best ones.

I do not wish to give things away, but the general effect had reminds one of the creepiness of Fallout 3’s Tranquillity Lane. While it does not have the same brand of chirpy surreal-ness, its attempt to make it look like all things are “fine” while everything is dirtied and decayed does bring forth a certain dystopian feel to the game.

the-fall-game-570x320However there are a couple of things that need to be criticised about this game, like its lack of a controls menu. Having taken a small break between gaming sessions, I forgot the button for crouch and had to resort to pressing every button I could to finally be able to crouch again. Over the Moon, if you are making a sequel (which you’d better be) please include a controls menu as it’d make everything just a lot easier for those with the memory of a lemon.

Also combat feels quite boring at times. At first when the sentry bots start coming for you, combat feels a little challenging, especially when you have that moment’s panic when you have to switch between you pistol’s light and laser targeting mode.

But then, as the game progresses, the fighting becomes more about crouching behind boxes or using your camouflage (which somehow makes bullets miss you) and then taking out the robots who decide to remain out of cover for a short while after they finish their short burst. It becomes repetitive and, aside from a later addition to enemies, this will be the standard fighting mechanic which can be a bit dull.

Eagle-eyed and a flashlight usually helps.

Eagle-eyed and a flashlight usually helps.

Yet these small gripes cannot detract from overall quality of this game. As a first step into this sci-fi adventure, it is brilliant and I can’t wait for more. Sure there are areas for improvement but I am sure they can be addressed in the next game. While the price may be a little steep for a four hour game, it may be a price worth paying as you’ll definitely get sucked into this game and will be watching eagle-eyed for the next release.

Thanks for reading! If you liked what you read then please follow me here on WordPress or even on Facebook and Twitter as well. Also, if you fancy writing for The Chronic Chronicler, then send me an email at chronicchronicler1@gmail.com. Thanks again for reading!

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Our Zoo: Episode 6 – Tense, Passionate, Brilliant

Well that was the end. Our Zoo is officially over and, along with all of you; I must now find another TV series to get attached to. That’s how it works. TV gives us something entertaining, fun and at times gripping, but in a few short weeks it’s gone and, depending on the series, may not return for another year if at all.

But that’s the price we pay as TV lovers. I highly doubt that Our Zoo will come back for a second series, although I could see some ways in which they could bring it back, as a single series it gave us a good origin story to Chester Zoo that fitted together brilliantly.

It’s not to say that the ending wasn’t as obvious as it was when the series began. I hesitate to say spoiler warning, but it’s not much of a spoiler really. Chester Zoo opens. We know this as the series was advertised as “The Story of Chester Zoo”. It’d be quite weird to have said that and then gone and finished the series with the zoo never opening. It’d also make Chester Zoo’s website quite suspicious for a non-existent zoo. But I digress and I shall now get on with the obligatory overview.

Fiery Mottershead

Passion Can Take You Too Far

The day of the appeal is quickly advancing and, after his aviary is sabotaged, George hot-headedly refuses the legal assistance of Neville Kelly (Jason Done), resolving to go it alone and represent himself at the hearing, much to Liz’s chagrin. While trying to studying up on law, and using Albert’s pension money to do it, Reverend Webb is recruiting Upton residents to speak against George and his family, making the Mottershead’s hope seem all but lost, with only Lady Katherine Longmore resolutely standing beside the family.

The Enemy Congregates

The Enemy Congregates

But with the case looking bleak with barely any support, Liz goes behind George’s back to hire Mr Kelly and, when the day of the hearing comes, tells George that his easily angered temperament is not something they can trust in the hearing. With the odds against them, they must face down Ronald Tipping (Jason Watkins) of Chester Council, Camilla Radler, Reverend Webb and the majority of Upton in order to get approval.

Well after the third paragraph you might be wondering: what was the point of the obligatory overview? You know the outcome so what was the point of knowing the build up? The point is it doesn’t matter.

I knew the ending by episode one, as I’m sure many of you did who probably haven’t been to Chester Zoo or may not have even knew of its existence before the series started, but you all knew the ending. The ending isn’t the point, it’s the drama and the fact it can keep you invested in the story is what matters. It’s the content not the final flourish, although that’s nice too.

I must admit, while George has been a bit of an anger management problem over the series, not made any better due to the paranoia he feels, seeing everyone in Upton as against him, his easily provoked nature has certainly come to the fore this episode. During the first twenty minutes it was hard to remain on his side as he foolhardily tried to do everything himself, against all counsel both legal and familial.

But in the end George returns to his more likeable state by the episodes conclusion and handles himself well during the hearing. Lee Ingleby handles the role very well, both alienating you by his gung-ho attitude to the appeal hearing and his measured, and even conciliatory stance when he calms down, while all the while maintaining the spark of wanting to do something extraordinary.

Liz Taking Charge

Liz Taking Charge

I have to give a lot of praise to Liz White and her portrayal of Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Mottershead as once again she became the powerful matriarch that we all knew she could be. She does not what is best for George’s ego, but for the family and the zoo, in getting Mr Kelly to represent the Mottershead’s, and in great style no less. I must admit her negotiation scene put a smirk on my face, as well as her clear indignation at being belittled by Mr Tipping despite showing her business knowledge which was even defended by their banker Mr Fenchwood (Jonathon Cullen).

One brilliant although admittedly small part in this series was that of Sophia Myles as Lady Katherine. Her performance in the hearing was exemplary and the way she made Mr Tipping squirm was truly magnificent. It might only be me but seeing that odious man (brilliantly portrayed by Watkins by the way) was a bit of a highlight for me.

Lady Katherine Takes No Prisoners

Lady Katherine Takes No Prisoners

While Myles has appeared in atrocious films like Transformers: Age of Extinction, her performance was reminiscent of a Doctor Who episode I actually like as Madame de Pompadour in “The Girl in the Fireplace”. For this episode, she commanded attention in what was probably her best performance of the series. While Myles was been more of a using prodding stick for the Mottershead’s adventure, her appearance at the hearing left us in no doubt that she doesn’t need other people to be able to throw a knockout blow.

Now I have to admit something here that I thought I wouldn’t be saying at all. I felt sorry for Camilla Radler. There, I said it. I didn’t think it was possible but the way she was torn off a strip during the appeal made for a viewing with mixed emotions.

A Dispirited Camilla

A Dispirited Camilla

While the spiteful, lying woman deserved to be taken down a peg, the way it was done, and so publically, made my feelings of resentment towards her crawl into a ball and slightly wither inside me. Kudos to Hayley Carmichael, as well as Jason Done, for bringing out the true nature of Camilla Radler and making me regret some of my hate.

Kelly Untangling Webb

Kelly Untangling Webb

Stephen Campbell Moore also gave quite a nuanced performance as the equally hateful Reverend. The bile directed at George was almost tangible, as well as his disdainful attitude towards most of the Mottersheads, yet the love he clearly possesses for Liz was also clear as glass. He is not a simple character, opposing George more than the zoo but also getting emotionally attached to Liz in the process. He keeps trying to be the voice of reason despite the fact that his inner demon of hatred and jealousy has strangled that voice and now uses its face to fool his brain into thinking he has a voice of reason guiding his action.

Finally I’ll come to Billy and Frankie. Sorry other characters and actors, you were all good but not overtly important enough to get a huge mention in this review. But don’t worry, you all still acted very well!

Again, while they had small parts in this series, Ralf Little and Faye Brookes had brilliant onscreen chemistry as well as significant parts to play in the hearing. In their own ways they are just as important to the overall story as the Mottershead’s are and they play their parts well. If there is a second series, I guess on how the zoo progresses in its early years, I would like to see more of them as they’ve become such a watchable couple.

Chester_zoocopia (1)The episode was full of tension, biting comments from both sides and, when the need arose, cuteness and light comedy. It was a brilliant way to finish off the series and I hope more people, as I expect they will, will visit Chester Zoo as a result of this charming, cosy sort of drama.

Thanks for reading! If you liked what you read then please follow me here on WordPress or even on Facebook and Twitter as well. Also, if you fancy writing for The Chronic Chronicler, then send me an email at chronicchronicler1@gmail.com. Thanks again for reading!

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