Chocky is a benign alien from an unknown world who is sent on a mission to Earth as a scout - both to investigate Earth to determine whether it would make a suitable planet for colonization and/or to help emerging intelligent species to improve by providing guidance to unlock the ability to harness cosmic radiation - an infinite power source that will aid in humanity's future development.
Chocky travels to Earth by Astral Projecting using the power of her mind - with her body remaining on her home-world - and investigates Earth and its inhabitants by communicating with a 12 year old human child called Matthew to learn more and accomplish her goals. She later begins communicating with individuals from all around the Earth, with her presence and influence serving to both increase every individual's intelligence and open a 'psychic channel'; allowing everyone she visits to share a telepathic connection with each other and develop other psychic abilities.
Chocky is shown to have several abilities including telekinesis, been able to become visible to others as a bluish/white light as well as been able to communicate with Matthew telepathically; asking him lots of questions (which Matthew tries to answer or asks others) and giving her own opinions on certain aspects of life on Earth - sometimes without concern as to whether it's distressing or not. An example of this was when Matthew's family received a brand new car which Matthew thought was brilliant, but Chocky made Matthew upset by saying it was old fashioned compared to the vehicles her species used.
Despite this, Matthew does like Chocky being around - with both of them trying to learn more about each other, while Chocky also helps Matthew with various problems; to the extent that Matthew is comfortable enough to allow Chocky to take control of his body in certain situations. Chocky in turn does care for Matthew's well-being, as she saves him and his younger sister Polly when they're involved in an accident and is willing to leave him for his own safety when she feels her presence is putting him in danger.
Story[edit | edit source]
Chocky[edit | edit source]
When Chocky arrives on Earth, she begins to search for a young human whom she can communicate with; such a mind not being common. Her search leads her to a school in Surrey, England, and to Matthew Gore - a 12 year old boy who was adopted when he was a baby - who is currently doing a Math exercise and struggling with it. Chocky finds that Matthew's mind is both young enough and has the right type of mind that can allow communication between their species, with Chocky (unseen by the other pupils) merging her consciousness with Matthew. After Matthew acknowledges her existence when he hears her speak, she immediately aids him with the exercise and helps him correctly and quickly finish it, with Matthew openly thanking her before he shows his math teacher his completed work. From that point on over the next few days, Chocky begins to question Matthew about Earth and humanity - with Matthew in turn repeating the questions he can't answer to his parents, such as asking why life on Earth has two sexes (as Chocky's species only have one sex which is not defined as either masculine or feminine), why the days, weeks and months are set out as they are, where is Earth's exact location, etc. A downside of this, however, is that
Matthew has to answer by talking out loud - with his parents noticing a change in him and wondering if he is talking to himself or to an imaginary friend (as Matthew's younger sister Polly currently has an imaginary friend called Piff).
Matthew, however, does show some concern regarding the voice in his head - especially after he quickly completes a Rubik's cube puzzle despite not been able to accomplish it at all previously and also unintentionally bends a spoon to the point that it breaks. His concerns aren't helped by his friend Colin claiming that hearing voices is a sign of going mad. Furthermore, Matthew catches a fever but despite trying to get some rest, Chocky doesn't understand why and continues to question him - much to Matthew's chagrin. It's not until Matthew's parents tell Chocky to be quiet at Matthew's request that Chocky understands and quietens down - letting him get some sleep an no longer bothering him at night, although she stays nearby.
Concerned for Matthew, Matthew's Dad talks to him about Chocky - with Matthew explaining that Chocky is not an imaginary friend and is more of an intelligent 'presence' who wants to learn everything about humanity and Earth because it's very different from her own. It's also explained that because of the differences, Chocky struggles to grasp certain concepts and thinks of a lot of things as silly or funny, such as the intelligence of animals. While talking about
Chocky's sex, Matthew and his dad decide to refer to Chocky as a female as Matthew claims the way she talks reminds him of the way that bossy older girls talk. This revelation satisfies Matthew's father, but leaves his mother more worried about Matthew's well-being.
The next day, Matthew's parents bring home the latest version of a brand new car, which Matthew and Polly think of as fab. However, Chocky is less impressed and bluntly explains that finds the car to be "old fashioned, clumsy, dangerous and stupid" as well as listing other problems she claims the car has - especially in comparison to the vehicles that she has on her world and even going as far as to claim that humanity is "stuck in the age of the wheel". Her opinion, however, does not go down well with Matthew as he becomes visibly distraught and upset - only calming down after explaining what happened to his Dad.
Matthew and his Dad have another talk about Chocky the next evening after he and Matthew's mother get back from a meeting with Matthew's Math teacher, as Matthew has started calculating in both Base10 and Base2 languages - the second of which is the binary code language of computers - although Matthew explains that this is the way that Chocky counts as she finds the Base10 language silly. While at his friend Colin's house, Matthew quietly explains to
Chocky about a game of Space Invaders that Colin is playing on his Atari. When offered to play, Matthew plays on the hardest level - with Chocky taking over and winning the level easily, although her actions unintentionally destroy the Atari.
Chocky unintentionally causes more problems for Matthew during a family picnic, when Matthew is exploring and comes across some boats - with Chocky curious as to how they work and how different they are from cars. This leads to Matthew climbing into the boat to show Chocky everything, before trying to visualize the rudder when Chocky asks how the boat steers. However, Matthew is grabbed by the boat's angry owner - who calls the police as there have been past thefts from the boating club and the man believes Matthew is the culprit. Thankfully, both the police officer and Matthew's dad calm the boat owner and assure him that Matthew is innocent, but Matthew's mother is angry with the events and gets in contact with Dr. Roy Landis; a psychiatrist who is a friend of Matthew's dad as they went to Cambridge together.
At school, Chocky proves more helpful as during a game of cricket in which Matthew is the last batter - with the staff and teachers hoping he holds out on the last four balls to force a draw. However, Matthew lets Chocky take over and she manages to hit the ball - winning a game by scoring a six, although he attributes the win to Chocky when talking
about it later with his Dad. Upon been told about meeting with Roy Landis, Matthew agrees - with Dr Landis coming to the house for lunch. Talking to Matthew alone about Chocky, Roy is amazed by what Matthew tells him - including using cosmic radiation as an alternative fuel supply for rockets and that her species can travel at the speed of light but are working out a way to get around the limit. When presenting what he's found to Matthew's parents later, he explains that Matthew has him stumped and believes - to the dismay of Matthew's mother - that Chocky (whatever she may be) is indeed real. Meanwhile, in his bedroom, Matthew asks Chocky if there is a way to see her - to which Chocky replies that her real form would frighten Matthew due to how different they are. At Matthew's insistence, however, she manages to appear to him in her energy field - much to his delight as he can finally see her. As the summer holidays arrive, Matthew is confronted by his parents when his mother discovers several paintings hidden behind his cupboard which are much better than his usual artwork. Matthew explains that he and Chocky tried an 'experiment' after an art class - with Chocky teaching Matthew how to 'think of nothing', before taking control of Matthew's body to create artwork based on how she sees the world - Matthew being willing to let her, still being able to see the drawing/painting and describing the experience as similar to riding a bike while not holding onto the handlebars as someone else is steering. He also mentions that his teacher had seen him finish one of the pictures
and thought it was somebody else's work - with Matthew and Chocky making another picture which the teacher kept hold of. Matthew and Chocky later talk as Matthew is concerned about his mother being worried, with Chocky saying she doesn't understand and is worried because of it, although they agree that Dr Landis understands their link and Matthew's father tries to. Matthew later tells Chocky that he and his family will be going on holiday with Colin's family to a cottage in Sussex for two weeks (having to explain what a holiday is as Chocky doesn't recognize the word), although Chocky finds it silly that two families are leaving their big houses to live together in a small one. Her opinion annoys Matthew, who tells her to go away - to which she appears to and doesn't return when Matthew calls of her. Matthew initially becomes depressed by this - thinking Chocky has left for good - and is so throughout the car journey to the cottage, although his Dad comforts him by saying that Chocky is probably staying at their house and that Matthew could use a break from her for some time. Unbeknown to them, Chocky is still nearby but is just remaining quiet - which she continues to do for a few
days into the holiday. However, while Matthew and Polly are sitting on a jetty doing some fishing, Colin and his dad head off to get some drinks - while upriver an unsecured boat comes loose and drifts down with the currents.
Matthew and Polly are alerted too late to the danger as the boat smashes into the jetty - knocking both Matthew and Polly into the water, with both of them unable to swim and being pulled downriver. As Matthew struggles to stay afloat, Chocky comes to his rescue by telling him to stop panicking and to think of nothing. Doing as she says, Chocky takes over Matthew's body and grabs Polly; keeping both of them afloat until they are rescued by a man called Colonel Summers - who followed the children in his boat and managed to pull them aboard after following them for over a mile downriver. When informed of what happened - as well as Col. Summer's intention to award Matthew a medal - Matthew's dad has another talk with Matthew, who explains what happened after he and Polly were knocked into the river, as well as showing his Dad another of Chocky's views; the picture this time showing Chocky's home-world.
Things begin to spiral out of control in Matthew's life, however, when it is reported on both the radio and in the newspaper about Matthew's incident in the river, with the report claiming Matthew was saved by a "Guardian Angel".
This infuriates Matthew's mother as she received numerous calls and visits from various people wanting to talk to Matthew, and the problem is exacerbated when it's revealed that Matthew's art teacher put forward the picture he did to an art competition without telling the parents - with the picture winning first prize. Trying to put her at ease after stating his belief that Chocky is a separate entity from Matthew and is not malevolent, Matthew's dad explains that Dr. Landis has been in touch and is recommending that they take Matthew to a leading expert called Sir William Thorbe to have Matthew examined. Matthew is left alone with William Thorbe at Thorbe's instruction - who proceeds to use hypnosis on Matthew to try and learn about Chocky before later talking alone with Matthew's father, explaining that he will write up his conclusion and mail it to the family. Chocky, however, realizes that Sir William is a dangerous individual and that her presence is now putting Matthew in danger. As such, she visits him to say goodbye and to forget about her - refusing to explain her reasons to him. Her departure greatly upsets Matthew - to the point that days later when he receives a medal for the river incident, he rejects it as he repeats that it was Chocky who saved him and Polly. Despite leaving, Chocky does still keep an eye on Matthew for his well-being - which proves to be effective as Matthew is kidnapped by Sir William and his government advisors as they do believe in Chocky's existence; using drugs and hypnosis to convince Matthew that he's being in an accident and has a broken leg before trying to talk to Chocky through Matthew. Chocky, however, remains silent and keep watch on Matthew as Thorbe and his men eventually give up after several days; drugging Matthew a final time and leaving him in Birmingham, where Matthew is picked up by the Police and returned to Surrey. After going through several medical tests which confirm that Matthew has been drugged several times, he is returned home and tells the story to his parents of what happened on the day he was kidnapped (not realizing it was a kidnapping) and repeating the story his kidnappers told him. Chocky soon
returns to Matthew and tells him the truth of what happened, before saying she wants to talk to Matthew's father.
After explaining to his father that Chocky wants to talk to him, Matthew lays down on his bed and thinks of nothing - allowing Chocky to take over and speak through Matthew with her own voice. Chocky explains that she is an 'explorer', 'scout' and 'teacher' and initially was sent to Earth using Astral Projection (this being the fastest way as her mind has no mass and the travel is instantaneous) to find out more about it and determine whether Earth was suitable for her species to colonize. However, she states that Earth - like many planets - is not a suitable option for that before explaining that the second part of her mission was to determine if Earth had intelligent life that could be guided to unlock the ability to harness cosmic radiation - an infinite power source that will aid in the species future development. After managing to appear in her energy form, Chocky explains to Matthew's Dad that as humanity is an intelligent species, she stayed behind to nurture Matthew's intelligence and guide him towards physics - with her plan being to help Matthew discover cosmic radiation and teach him how to harness it as a energy source for humanity; stating this would make him more famous then even Isaac Newton or Albert Einstein. When questioned about why she chose Matthew, Chocky states that Matthew's mind is both young enough and has the right type of mind that can allow communication between their species.
However, Chocky admits that she has made too many mistakes - saying she simply should have observed rather then interfering, even saying that when Matthew and Polly fell in the river she should not have intervened to save them but did anyway. As a result of this and telling Matthew too much and too soon, she admits that she has now created other dangers for him - revealing that it was Sir William and his men who kidnapped Matthew to try and talk to her by
drugging and hypnotizing him but gave up when Chocky appeared to have left. With the reality that Sir William and his men will keep watch on Matthew in the event that she comes back, Chocky states she has to leave Matthew for his safety - especially as if the energy firms on Earth learned that Matthew had the ability to harness a new form of energy that could make the firms obsolete overnight, they wouldn't hesitate to kill him despite his age. As a result, Chocky tells Matthew's dad to encourage his interest his art and not science, as this will mean that Matthew should be safe; Chocky, meanwhile, will continue her mission on Earth but in a more covert way - passing on the knowledge bit-by-bit and to multiple people so that she will complete her mission but at a much slower pace. She then bids goodbye to both Matthew and his father before disappearing.
Some time later, Matthew's father gives him back the swimming medal he received for the river incident. However, much to Matthew's happiness, the medal has now being inscribed with Chocky's name.
Chocky's Children[edit | edit source]
A year later after Chocky left Matthew, she has continued her work on Earth - connecting with other children in a more discreet way, with her presence and influence serving to both increase every individual's intelligence and open a 'psychic channel'; allowing everyone she visits to share a telepathic connection with each other and develop other psychic abilities. Matthew, for instance, is able to see places from all around the world including New York, Moscow and Sydney - which he would recreate in his pictures. However, Matthew would have 'sensations' similar to a headache and with varying amounts of time regarding how long they lasted. Furthermore, he would have dreams in which he would see vivid images in his mind, although some of these could turn into nightmares - such as one where he witnessed a boy on a skateboard in California getting hit by a truck as he crossed the road.
Chocky's warning about Sir William and his men still been interested in Matthew, however, was well founded as Sir William's men had at some point tapped the family's phone and learned of Matthew going to visit his aunt, before sending a man named Luke to pose as a gardener/handyman at his Aunt's house in order to keep an eye on him in case Chocky returned. Matthew's parents had likewise kept clear of Dr. Landis as it was him who recommended them to go and see Sir William in the first place, although when Matthew's dad finally talked to him in a cafe, he revealed what had happened to Matthew and the reasons behind it (Dr. Landis stating he didn't know what had happened regarding Matthew's kidnapping and denied been any part of it) as well as explaining that Chocky had left and warned about Sir William due to his greed for money and power, as well as the fact that several of his friends have big stakes in the energy business. As a result, any chance of Matthew having information that would make their industries worthless would be a risk they wouldn't take, even if it meant killing Matthew.
Due to Matthew's father going on a business trip to Hong Kong and was taking his wife with him for a holiday at the same time, Polly would be left with Colin's family and Matthew was going to be sent to his Aunt Cissy. After getting settled in at his Aunt's house, Matthew was surprised as he was exploring the area to come across a windmill that looked exactly like a drawing of one that he'd done previously in school - right down to the placement of the wind turbine blades.
Chocky's Challenge[edit | edit source]
Background Information[edit | edit source]
Chocky first appeared in the book of the same name, written in 1968 by John Wyndham (Day of the Triffids , Midwich Cuckoos, etc), although the book is uniquely told from the perspective of Matthew's father rather then from Matthew or Chocky. The book was also the last novel John Wyndham wrote before his death in March 1969 (although some of his other works would be released after his passing).
Chocky has received some radio adaptions on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 4, as well as a children's TV series in 1984 (which based Season 1 around the book's story and expanded the story beyond the book in Seasons 2 and 3, although these series were less well received).
Steven Spielberg acquired the rights to make a movie adaption of the book in September 2008, but no further details has surfaced yet.