First Born on the way, too

First Born on the Radio TimesYesterday, 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).

It’s out on the 24th and you can pre-order it from Amazon, if you like, or you can find out more from the IMDB.


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.

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