Yesterday, I was so excited by the impending release of Dark Season and Century Falls that I forgot to check the Action TV DVD news page to see if there was anything else coming out this month that would be worth watching. Turns out there is.
First Born was a 1988 serial that saw Charles Dance have sex with a gorilla. Hang on. That doesn’t sound right. Let me just check that. Ah. Let’s start again.
First Born was a 1988 serial that saw genetic researcher Charles Dance decide that the human race is just too nasty and aggressive and if, paradoxically, we still acted a bit more like our ape ancestors – or, better still, gorillas – we’d be a whole lot nicer. So he decides to create a human-gorilla hybrid using his own sperm.
Eventually, he succeeds and the rest of the serial follows the growth into adulthood of young Gor (short for Gordon as well as the obvious) as he braves the sorts of things we all have to when our mum’s a gorilla: not being able to speak, having colossal strength and being born with a fur coat.
Charles Dance was on fine form, despite the obvious eyebrow-raising potential of the script, and while it was at least thought-provoking, it lacked the punch of Edge of Darkness, say (while that particular masterpiece asked a whole load of important questions about the nuclear industry, as a result of First Born, I’m sorry to say no one campaigned parliament to ban human-gorilla cross-breeding, just in case the resulting children wouldn’t make good army officers). It also provided future Hollywood star Gabrielle Anwar with one of her earliest TV roles (her other most notable appearance being Press Gang, of course).