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Chester Zoo "OUR ZOO"

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by SHAVINGTONZOO, 20 Aug 2014.

  1. SHAVINGTONZOO

    SHAVINGTONZOO Well-Known Member

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    The BBC drama "Our Zoo", "based on" the true story of the founding of Chester Zoo starts on 3rd September.

    Must confess I'm not looking forward to it! I fear it will only be loosely based on the true story. The trailer - which is now appearing regularly - seems to be peopled by generic "oop north" characters, which seems odd as the Mottersheads were from Sale and the zoo was in Upton-by-Chester!

    We shall see.
     
  2. Parrotsandrew

    Parrotsandrew Well-Known Member

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    I have to confess I am looking forward to it. I watch very little television these days, but I do not want to miss this.
     
  3. Mr T

    Mr T Well-Known Member

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    The fact that this is a drama rather than a documentary does mean that the story shown will have parts in it that are not entirely accurate. I am looking forward to watching it but am aware that what I see may not be the true story. I just hope that people on here realise this and don't start complaining about factual inaccuracies within the storyline.
     
  4. SHAVINGTONZOO

    SHAVINGTONZOO Well-Known Member

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    What I don't understand is why describe it as "based on the founding of Chester Zoo" if you're not going to follow (at least) the basic facts. We'll see how it turns out .........
     
  5. Mr T

    Mr T Well-Known Member

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    "based on the founding of Chester Zoo" is the correct description. The term "based" means that they have some freedom within the story and that they are not always going to follow the history blow for blow. Chester Zoo itself have obviously been involved with the production and I imagine they are fairly pleased with the end product given the fact they are plugging it on their Facebook page.
     
  6. Shorts

    Shorts Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, and pigs might fly.........:D
     
  7. Mr T

    Mr T Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately I have to agree with you on this one.
     
  8. Animal Friendly

    Animal Friendly Well-Known Member

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    I am not picking fault but I started a thread recently "Our Zoo" referring to the Radio Times article on this series and Mr. and Mrs. Clubb supplying the animals for it, could we therefore close one of these threads to avoid confusion, we do not need two "Our Zoo " threads, just like we do not need two Animal Friendly members, thank you.
     
  9. SHAVINGTONZOO

    SHAVINGTONZOO Well-Known Member

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    Sadly, and as I feared, "based on the true story of Chester Zoo" turned out to be "bears only a passing resemblance to the true story of Chester Zoo".

    A bit of dramatic licence is inevitable, but .....

    Did George Mottershead keep a camel in the back yard of a terraced house?

    Almost certainly not.

    Did he go from owning a monkey, a camel and a parrot to buying Oakfield House?

    No. By 1930 he was living in a detached house in rural Shavington, set in several acres, and was already running a zoo! He fell out with his partner and then moved to Chester.

    You will guess from my sig on here that I have taken more than a passing interest in the Shavington Zoo :))) and find it very unfortunate that it - and Mottershead's partner there, Dr English - got no mention.
     
  10. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    1 part truth + 2 parts soap + 3 parts pure schmaltz (but it looked good) :)

    Alan
     
  11. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    Chester Zoo 'Our Zoo'

    I suspect some of it depended on what Anazing Animals had available.
     
  12. Indlovu

    Indlovu Well-Known Member

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    We can bang on about how much truth there was to the show all day, and on here we probably will. I felt that, considering that they ultimately had to have the Oakfield in the Mottershead's possession by the end of episode one to stand a good chance of retaining a decent viewer-ship, it was actually very well done.

    Realism-wise, I felt that George's attitude towards the acquisition of the animals, the 'zoo without bars' and his injury in the Great War were all well portrayed, if obviously a little dramatised. The Shavington years were also condensed fairly well, using the idea of the growing collection in ultimately a makeshift facility even if the whole 'camel out the back of a terraced house thing' was fabricated.

    Most importantly, when we put realism to one side, the show was very well made and acted. The characters were genuinely likeable: the adults of the Mottershead family were all very well-acted, young Honor Kneafsey made a charming June and the typical period drama characters - the posh lady, the 'cheeky chappy', the stroppy teenager and slightly dodgy local resident - all fitted in very well.

    Everything is there to make a show that can be very popular for potentially more than just the one series, which is excellent news for the zoo.
     
  13. stubeanz

    stubeanz Well-Known Member

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  14. Panthera1981

    Panthera1981 Well-Known Member

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    I've yet to watch it (it's recorded!) but there was a One Show piece stating that the family had been contacted by the family 4 years ago regarding developing a story.

    Despite the historical inaccuracies (what historical drama doesn't have them!) it's good/easy publicity for Chester and will no doubt visitor numbers will rise. It also raises the question what other zoo stories could be told-Raffles? Durrell? Or why not stories of individuals like Jumbo or Chi-Chi?
     
  15. Panthera1981

    Panthera1981 Well-Known Member

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    Contacted by the BBC I should say!
     
  16. jacks zoo

    jacks zoo Well-Known Member

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    I thoroughly enjoyed the programme -did anyone else spot jim clubb in the opening scenes at the circus with the lions :)
     
  17. Johnny Morris.

    Johnny Morris. Well-Known Member

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    Yes i did. :D
     
  18. Panthera1981

    Panthera1981 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry guys, for those of us not in the know, who's Jim Clubb?

    Finally watched it-very enjoyable. According to the website, the zoo's opening the house for guided tours.
     
  19. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Owner of Amazing Animals and the related Heythrop Zoo, which supplied animals for the filming of the series.
     
  20. bongorob

    bongorob Well-Known Member

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    Jim Clubb is the owner off Hythrop Zoo and Amazing Animals.