The other night I came across a show on CBS that spun me for a loop. It was completely original and absolutely frightening. Consider this… what would you do if animals finally stopped being afraid of us? Everything from the large predators in the public zoos to the ones you have cuddling up to you? What if they all the sudden turned against humans…
After watching the Premiere I was drawn like a moth to a flame. I knew that the television show was based off the James Patterson book of the same name, so I picked it up at the library and devoured it in two days. Although I’m not caught up on the show right now, I can already tell you that the book is different. There are a lot of new characters in the series. The novel only features a handful of perspectives, the outcast scientist (Jackson Oz) that became obsessed with what is happening with the increased animal attacks, the ecologist (Chloe Tousignant) to whom’s life he saved in the African wild, Oz’s ex-girlfriend, his Chimpanzee and the Lions. It would be beyond impossible to put in the animals first person perspective and to build on the show, it was obvious they would have to bring in other characters.
The television series has a great cast that features:
- James Wolk as Jackson Oz
- Kristen Connolly as Jamie Campbell
- Nonso Anozie as Abraham Kenyatta
- Nora Arnezeder as Chloe Tousignant
- Billy Burke as Mitch Morgan
Recurring characters in the show are:
- Ken Olin as Professor Robert Oz (Jackson’s Father)
- Bess Armstrong as Dr. Elizabeth Oz (Jackson’s Mother)
- Geoff Stults as FBI Agent Ben Shafer
- Carl Lumbly as Delavane
In the novel there is no Professor Robert Oz or Dr. Elizabeth Oz. The television series begins by semi-explaining how Jackson’s father was not taken seriously by any other scientists and that is how Jackson and his mother wound up in Africa. However, in the books it is Jackson Oz that is made to be a joke and finds his way on the Safari when the lions start attacking. Honestly, I like the show’s backstory on this more than the novel because it is fuller and has more depth than one man and his blog.
Speaking of blogs, Jackson Oz on the show doesn’t have one and that is where the character Jamie Campbell comes in! A reporter for a major newspaper, she also shadows as a blogger and writes stories on the dangers of certain food and chemicals that are being spread to humans and animals. Since the premise of why the animals are acting the way they are is different than in the novel, I am interested to see where they run with this. It reminds me a lot of Monsanto! Just saying.
So far I love this show and the graphics for the lions is incredible! Frightening and insane, but amazing. I think I almost had a heart-attack on Episode 2 when the little boy went to the circus! Every moment you are waiting for something to happen. Animals are everywhere, from squirrels to birds, mice and cats (omg the cats!), I cannot even imagine what would happen if their sole purpose was to rid of us so they could survive.
I highly recommend reading the novel. It’s a very fast read and from the looks of it, won’t take away from the show. James Patterson has already said that ZOO on CBS will be better than the book, so you aren’t losing anything special.
I just really wanted to share it with you because I felt it was important. It’s a window into what could happen because of humanity’s actions against the environment and how we treat animals. Ecosystem destruction is already happening right now and deforestation has already been destroying the homes and environments of many animal species. 60% of our ecosystem has already been degraded and it is only getting worse. Although I haven’t found anything that says that James Patterson could be right about the animals turning against us, it does make us take a haunting look at what would happen if they did.
You can catch ZOO on CBS Tuesday nights at 9/8 Central. Follow along via hashtag #ZooCBS on Twitter!