History Files



A made-for-thrills ITV drama set in the world of genetic engineering. A maniac is on the loose in the wilds of Cumbria after a massacre at a top secret research clinic. Journalist Peter Carson's girlfriend, Tracy, is among the victims, but when he attempts to investigate, he is drawn into a nightmare of secrecy, violence and hostility. Sensing a Government cover-up, he embarks on a quest to uncover the secret of the massacre. It soon becomes clear to all involved that this is to be no ordinary manhunt. The 'maniac', the Chimera of the title, takes refuge on a nearby farm, where the bodies of the farmer and his wife, the Gaskells, are later found. Their two children, not knowing the full danger, look after the Chimera, until it is found by Carson and Alison, with dogged policeman Schaffer refusing to be left out of the chase. It transpires that the Chimera, half-human half-ape, is a product of Dr Jenner's experiments to create a super-strong slave race for general labouring work. But the Chimera, called Chad, has developed further than Jenner expected, and bristles at the idea of being terminated so that the next batch of pre-production slaves can be created. Unfortunately, his treatment and condition have combined to make him emotionally unstable, and very dangerous. The ending is bloody but not surprising, as the Government containment squad moves in.

The clinic staff and their patient Mrs Forester are seen and killed off in the first episode which concentrates mainly on them. Thereafter, they are seen only in flashbacks which expand on the details known by the viewer. The Chimera itself is seen only in glimpses until the end of episode three, where his full form is revealed to the audience. Actor John Lynch was best known at the time for his leading role in the film Cal, and Kenneth Cranham starred in the ITV comic saga Shine On Harvey Moon. Episode timings include commercial breaks. Chimera was edited for an ITV two-hour 'movie' repeat on 7th August 1994.



Peter Carson John Lynch   Tracy Emer Gillespie
Hennessey Kenneth Cranham   Alison Christine Kavanagh
Schaffer George Costigan   Doctor Jenner David Calder
Doctor Horsley Gillian Barge   Marie Forester Liz Brailsford
Forester Gary Mavers   Supt Stonehill Fred Pearson
Windeler Pip Torrens   Sergeant Crichton Peter Armatige
Mr Gaskill David Neilson   Mrs Gaskell Corrine Ransome
Donaldson Paul Savage   Davis Malcolm Raeburn
Peter Gaskell (son) Andrew Leighton   Sarah Gaskell (daughter) Jennifer Harris
Chad Douglas Mane   Cotterall Dhirendra
Morgue Attendant Badi Uzzaman   Claimant Peter Elliot
Doctor Liawski Sebastian Shaw   Reynolds David O'Hara


Writer: Seven Gallagher, based on his novel
Producer: Lawrence Gordon-Clark
Director: Nick Gillott
Music: Unknown


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