First Born (TV Mini-Series 1988– ) Poster

(1988– )

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One of the most memorable mini-series I've ever seen.
CyberSuze24 November 1998
The acting in this series was superb! The subject matter is probably more pertinent today than it was when the show was released--definitely ahead of its time. Considering the incredible advances made in gene manipulation since then, I believe this is a series that should be seen by everyone.
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compelling movie, I want to see it again.
src354 May 2004
I was so intrigued with this movie as it blew me away. This is truly a movie before its time. This may be why we have not seen it since the mid 90's.

I first saw "First born" around 1996-97 on a late night satellite tv channel. It brings a flood of questions on the possibilities having to do with genetics. I have tried to find this compelling movie, to see it again.

I hope it will be shown again soon. Why not continue with a "First Born II".
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A thought provoking film well worth watching.
malcolmbentley4430 August 2008
For those of you who wish to view the Series "First Born", it is is available on DVD from It has Dolby Digital sound (2.0) stereo version, is in full screen 4.3 ratio, and playable on region 2 (European Region 2) or multi region DVD players. Running time of the film is 155 Minutes.

I would thoroughly recommend this film as well worth viewing. As many of the previous have stated, the film was ahead of its time in dealing with some of the genetically engineering problems. The acting is excellent, with convincing work particularly by Charles Dance.

Whilst some people might have said that the basis of the story was far fetched (when it was originally filmed) it is now plain to see that this is not the case. "Dolly" the sheep and other hybrid experiments show that we have now reached the possibility of human hybrids.
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Shocking Adaption Of The Novel 'Gorsaga'
Big Movie Fan15 December 2002
Warning: Spoilers

I can still remember the thumping music for this show, a series that took a look at one man's meddling with nature. This was an entertaining show with a strong message to us all about the ghastly consequences of trying to 'play God.'

Charles Dance played Edward Forester who mixed the cells of a female gorilla with his own sperm to create a half male, half ape who was named Gor. The half male half ape grew up and everything seemed relatively happy until the shocking ending where Gor obtained the truth of his origins. He met his real mother-the female gorilla-and in one of the most powerful scenes ever, she beat him to death. This was powerful stuff-animals are said to have extraordinary senses and Gor's gorilla mother obviously killed her son to prevent any more suffering on his part. I still remember the scenes now. The real shocker was the ending though. Forester's daughter had committed incest and gave birth to Gor's child who was obviously also half ape. The final scene where Charles Dance as Forester realizes the ghastly consequences of his meddling with nature is pretty disturbing.

This show had a message relevant even today. Since this show there have been a lot of advances in genetics and we all know the story of Dolly the sheep. This series warned us that we are all mere mortals and that there are no vacancies for the position of God. It teaches us that we must be careful and not try to push the envelope and play God. A very powerful message indeed.

I don't think this has ever been released onto video or DVD. If you can find it, it is worth watching but also check out the novel this film is based on. The novel is Gorsaga by Maureen Duffy.
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Highly thought provoking and emotionally appealing
smmccord-8548026 May 2017
I have been looking for this movie for ten to twenty years! Hadn't been able to find it in IMDb somehow, or anywhere else. None of the numerous people that I asked had ever heard of it.

The ape-boy born of the chimpanzee looked human and was raised by his human father and the father's wife. However, the "call of the wild" could be seen in his behavior and led to a highly moving ending. After all these years I can still see the final scene.

P.S. Let me add that I may have seen only the first episode, if it was a series. P.P.S. The source that was given by someone earlier no longer exists. If anyone can locate a source, please post it.
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First Born
blue-1014 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This BBC production was on TV in 2000 when I saw it. It really addresses many psychosocial and ethical issues and in a way is very thought provoking .. more so today than then.

What man is capable of , what beasts are capable of and love. Science can create forms of life not found in nature. Nature may reject these lifeforms, man may reject them also. So they lie and hide things. But all things are capable of love and that is where the problems come in.

I hope the BBC decides to run it again or puts it out on DVD as I would love to get a copy or at least see it again. .

The book which it was based on is very good also and the movie positively adds to the story , which is unusual.

The ending is great! that sound.
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Way ahead of its time
loretta-1519 March 2005
I first saw this movie before I changed careers to become a high school science teacher. Hadn't thought of it in years...till I was wrapping up my Genetics unit with Designer Babies from Discovery, and Gattaca as preludes to some ethical discussions with my students. After remembering this show, I thought...boy how ahead of its time. Designer Babies talks about the possibilities of testing "designer" chromosomes out in chimps to make sure they are safe and talks about the possibility of mistakenly creating animals with human characteristics or even intelligence! How scary and thought provoking! And in 88 it was truly sci-fi...but now????
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I remember this was very good
leevclarke22 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this when it was shown on TV, and I was eight years old in 1998 (though of course I may have been a couple of years older when I saw it). Even then, I can remember it being absolutely captivating.

The female gorilla (Gor's mother) was called Mary. Probably the part I remember most was when Dr. Forester's colleague said there must have been a mix-up, because Gor could not have been born from a gorilla. Dr. Forester said: "It IS Mary's baby, but the sperm was human." This was even before I knew what "sperm" meant, but I guessed from the context that it meant the father. I must have been too young (not prejudiced enough, perhaps) to be shocked by the suggestion that a man had had sex with a gorilla.

It was a striking moment when a young Gor finally found himself able to articulate speech, having been bullied at school for perpetually making a "snah" kind of sound. He stood in the branches of a tree and shouted with pride: "I'm Gor!" The story also covered Gor as an adult, when he voluntarily chose to meet his own mother. Would she recognise him?

So if this could happen in real life, would we really send the human-gorilla hybrid to a school like any other child? This is just one question raised in an amazing insight into ethics in 1988, nearly 20 years before permission to use hybrid human-animal stem cells in experimentation was granted, and just one question that we now need to ask ourselves. Surely we have the answer after twenty years of thought, right?

Ahead of its time of course (as other people have already said), this is an important piece of film that should not be forgotten. See this if you get the chance, and marvel that it really was made in the 1980s. It was my first experience of an awesome performance by Charles Dance, but it certainly was not the last.
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science 'fiction'?
spookypurple729 September 2005
This was one of the most powerful pieces of drama I have ever seen. I originally tuned in when it was first aired in October 1988 (I still have the Radio Times for that week!) because I think Charles Dance is an excellent actor. Being a rather fond of scientific fiction, when I found out the subject matter of the story - well, that was just icing on the cake. But I was totally unprepared for the gut-punch of a story which followed. For anyone interested, it's based on a novel Gor-Saga by Maureen Duffy (which I promptly went out and bought!). The storyline is similar but the TV adap has a far more brutal and thought-provoking 'ending' and the character of Forrester has far more depth. The whole drama made me want to become a writer! What more can I say?
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A must-see mini-movie
timperle14 October 2004
Saw this mini-series on BBC1 when it was first released in the 1980s. Was reminded of it only yesterday when discussing vivisection. Don't remember much about the details of this drama but the one resounding message I still remember is the underlying theme that scientists do what they do because they CAN but seldom stop to consider whether they SHOULD. A very powerful drama highlighting the disastrous possibilities that can occur when scientists play God with nature. If only scientists listened to and abided by the message given in this excellent production. Sure cloning may be the next stage to ease suffering and/or cure disease but what about the ethical implications? As usual the ethical question of SHOULD they will no doubt take second place to the practical consideration that they CAN.
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