Chimera (1991)

TV Mini-Series  -   -  Horror
5.9
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Reviews: 14 user | 4 critic

A journalist investigates the death of his girl friend at a fertility clinic where she worked and uncovers a plot to create a new breed of human based on crossing the genetics of a man and ... See full summary »

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Title: Chimera (1991– )

Chimera (1991– ) on IMDb 5.9/10

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1  
1991  
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Peter Carson (4 episodes, 1991)
Christine Kavanagh ...
 Alison Wells (4 episodes, 1991)
...
 Hennessey (4 episodes, 1991)
Gary Mavers ...
 Forester (4 episodes, 1991)
...
 Schaffer (3 episodes, 1991)
Andrew Leighton ...
 Peter Gaskell (3 episodes, 1991)
...
 Windeler (3 episodes, 1991)
Malcolm Raeburn ...
 Davis (3 episodes, 1991)
Douglas Mann ...
 Chad (3 episodes, 1991)
Dhirendra ...
 Cotterell (3 episodes, 1991)
Jennifer Harris ...
 Sarah Gaskell (3 episodes, 1991)
Gillian Barge ...
 Dr. Horsley (2 episodes, 1991)
...
 Nurse Tracy Pickford (2 episodes, 1991)
Frank Baker ...
 Rob (2 episodes, 1991)
John Skitt ...
 Tom (2 episodes, 1991)
...
 Dr. Jenner (2 episodes, 1991)
...
 Reynolds (2 episodes, 1991)
Fred Pearson ...
 Supt. Stonehill (2 episodes, 1991)
Johnny Leeze ...
 Billy Hamilton (2 episodes, 1991)
Liz Brailsford ...
 Marie Forester (2 episodes, 1991)
Maggie Lane ...
 Hotel Landlady (2 episodes, 1991)
...
 Claimant (2 episodes, 1991)
Pippa Haywood ...
 Diane Rohmer (2 episodes, 1991)
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Storyline

A journalist investigates the death of his girl friend at a fertility clinic where she worked and uncovers a plot to create a new breed of human based on crossing the genetics of a man and an ape. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They made him... they raised him... then he came out to play!

Genres:

Horror

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Release Date:

7 July 1991 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Monkey Boy  »

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Runtime:

(4 episodes)

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Connections

Referenced in Horror Business (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Time has withered it...
15 December 2010 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

We revisit 80s and early 90s cult TV at our peril. What once stood out from the crowd often now tends to just drag out, with the most frightening thing the hairstyles and lack of fashion sense. That's not far from the case with Chimera, a 1991 horror series with excellent credentials but limited success. At the time novelist Stephen Gallagher was one of the great white hopes of British horror, Lawrence Gordon Clark one of the most respected directors on TV (his Ghost stories for Christmas BBC adaptations are classics that still hold up today) and the more than respectable cast includes John Lynch, Kenneth Cranham and Christine Kavanagh, so hopes were high that it might trigger a horror revival on TV. Unsurprisingly, that didn't happen.

Most of the first episode plays out almost like light soap opera, with nurse Emer Gillespie leaving uncommitted film historian John Lynch for a job in a mysterious and remote fertility clinic where murky government research is going on behind security-coded doors. Unfortunately, while taking time to get to know the characters might be admirable the first episode is more than half over before it even begins to hint at dark deeds and deadly conspiracies, though it does come to a satisfyingly bravura grand finale that leaves a heavy body count and the viewer none the wiser. Things pick up in the second episode as the three surviving minor characters from part one take centre-stage and our new main character is left in the dark while the police and the men from the ministry try to put the pieces together, but once they start falling into place there's a bigger problem - the make-up job on the genetically engineered primate responsible. 'Chad' may be kept offscreen for most of the first two episodes, but once we see him he evokes all the wrong reactions: at times all that's missing is the wings and he could be one of the Wicked Witch of the West's flying minions.

It's not the only area where budget limitations get in the way of the script's aspirations, but even though it's the most noticeable it's doubtful the series would have been much more successful with a bigger budget. With so little revealed in the first episode that it starts to feel like padding, once the debate over whether Chad is victim or villain gets under way, it's in very familiar terms - he even befriends a couple of children, Frankenstein-style. But then this is very much an attempt to do the kind of Frankenstein story Nigel Kneale might have created, albeit without Kneale's ability to combine thought-provoking ideas and lateral thinking with gripping and often chilling narratives. The show is decent for what it is, but it's never as much as it wants to be, leaving Nigel Hess's haunting end title music one of the most memorable things about it.


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