TV Series: Our Zoo


Our Zoo is a British drama television series from BBC One, first broadcast on 3 September 2014. The six-part series, written by Matt Charman and directed by Andy De Emmony, is about George Mottershead, his dreams of creating a cage-free zoo, his family and how their lives changed when they embarked in the creation of Chester Zoo.


This is such a charming series. It follows the story of George Mottershead and family in their quest to open a zoo. The series as a whole follows from the initial idea to whether the zoo gets the go ahead. It is based on the real story of the battle to get Chester Zoo open and brought a new awareness of the story to a generation.

The animals in the series were all charming and adorable from Mortimer the monkey to penguins to the little baby bears they brought a whimsical element to the show. Of course a zoo needs animals but the actors and actresses  were interacting with the animals in such a way that makes the viewer themselves wish they had a chance to do the same, especially the monkey on the shoulder. 

The cinematography in this series is sharp and well planned with the angles and lighting delivering the maximum impact for the audience. It helps create a mood and brings the emotions of the characters to the fore. A clear example of this is George’s brooding in his dark, dingy study where the worst of his character would appear.

The actors themselves made the programme come to life with their emotions on screen seemingly heartfelt and true. It is clear that the actors themselves have invested time to get into character and learn more. Having read character interviews it is clear that they felt a sense of purpose to so this series justice, and they truly melded as a family on screen.

As a dramatisation, there is an expectancy of some extra scenes and side-stories to make the plot a little richer. While watching the series you think, hmmm I don’t think that really happened but it does work well with the story. So kudos to the script writers for this. It adds to the mystique of Chester Zoo and encourages you to look into its rich history.

Overall this series is spectacular and gripping with a will it, won’t it feel (although we all know Chester Zoo exists) and has the ability to inspire the next generation of Zoo-ologists into the field. It also ends on a poignant note for June Mottershead and leaves the viewer wanting another series.

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