The Novel Chocky was written by John Wyndham and was later adapted into a TV drama by the BBC. The producers, Pamela Londale and Vic Hughes, kept the same title for the TV series as the Novel, and named it Chocky, but the Film text had some changes in events, different character interpretation and alternative way of showing foreshadowing.
The Film version differs quite a lot from the Novel. There were a number of changes to the plot, but most of these were only little issues. One of the major differences in plot was Matthew’s relationship with Colin. Colin was Matthew’s next door neighbour in the Novel, but there was no close friendship or relationship between them. However in the Film, Colin is Matthew’s best friend, classmate and neighbour, whom Matthew was always visiting and playing with.
One of biggest changes occurs in the character Piff. Piff was Polly’s long gone imaginary friend in the Novel who was only talked about, whilst in the Film Piff was still around and living.
Another change from the Novel was the way in which Chocky helped Matthew. Chocky gave Matthew the ability to draw properly, helped him to swim and then save Polly, and taught Matthew to do the binary code in both texts. However in the Film Chocky also gave Matthew super strength to play cricket, develop fast reflexes to play computer games and do the rubix cubes at amazing speeds.
The Film Editor, Oscar Webb left out some scenes and added some different ones. One of these new scenes included the visit to the planetarium. Later we saw Chocky entering Matthew’s body during a Maths class, along with other scenes in the class rooms, such as biology, not previously mentioned in the Novel. Also Matthew visited Colin’s house on numerous occasions and we saw Matthew’s Mother and Father shopping for a new car and then Matthew winning a cricket game. The editor also added more detailed facts about the holiday at the Cottage. All of these extra events added more to the Film than the original Novel.
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The two texts had quite a few different character interpretations. One of the major differences being in the interpretation of Chocky. In the Novel Chocky was only a voice in Matthew’s head which Matthew would translate to other people, whilst in the film she had an actual voice which was presented by the Actor, Glynis Brookes’ voice. Also in the Novel Chocky would not show herself to anybody, but in the Film she showed herself to David and Matthew.
Another Character in the Film who showed a different interpretation from the Novel was the mother of Matthew, Mary, played by Carol Drinkwater. In the novel Mary came across to me as a caring and loving mother who got upset sometimes, but the Film went over board. At times Mary looked like a psychotic, mentally unstable woman who was always cracking up and crying. An example of this was when Matthew was abducted and she totally went ballistic.
There was one very big mistake in the film involving the characters. This was the total absence of Paul, who seemed to be replaced by the overpowering Colin. In the novel Paul was Phyl and Alan’s son, however Colin replaced Paul and cut him straight out of the Film.
Foreshadowing in films is extremely different from foreshadowing in books. Books use hints or clues in words whilst films use music or colour. In the Film, Chocky, the Director used really spooky music to give us hint when something unusual was going to happen. Sometimes they would show the place where the bad thing was going to happen a few times. One example of this was at the river. The camera kept showing shots of the river when the Gores were on holiday. This soon followed with Polly and Matthew falling in. Another incident of foreshadowing occurred at the end of the episode. We knew something was going to happen in the next episode because hints would be given. The first type of foreshadowing in the film was the scene at a planetarium. This was followed by spooky music and gave me the idea something about space was going to be in the movie.
This concludes my Essay on the differences between the Film Chocky and the original Novel, and I would have to say that apart from the annoying accents, the pathetic acting and the lack of special effects it was quite an interesting series. It was not like anything I had expected to see from the BBC.