Evil Monkeys



Togo Igawa, Jess Ransom (voices)


Renegade Pictures in association with The Story Lab for ITV2, 2 August 2018


The ITV press office pretends this is all real. Let's humour them.

A brand new game show based in a fctional zoo on a Japanese island in which the contestants are trapped by apes who force them into a number of challenges. The apes are looking to understand what makes humans tick.

This was a broadcast pilot, and it felt like a work in progress. Is it better for a show to have a good world and weak challenges, or to have strong challenges around a flaky plot?

The show establishes its fictional world in some detail. A scientist has trained some monkeys to become more like humans. To progress their work, the monkeys need to learn from human subjects, and will use sensory deprivation techniques - remove one sense to enhance the others.

Evil Monkeys The monkeys wanted "superior humans". They got cast members from The Only Way is Essex.

In effect, this is a challenge where one player can see nothing, another player can hear nothing, and the third player can say nothing. Like in the proverb, "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil".

The atmosphere is detailed, and makes coherent sense. The challenges made less sense, being "fish around in an unflushed toilet", "climb up a soapy slope", and "wander around a wood while monkeys throw bananas at you". On screen, they came across as less gross than I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, less horrific than Release the Hounds, and not particularly funny. The concluding obstacle course was a proper test of teamwork, and made better television.

Evil Monkeys And often a bit sexist.

Buried in the summer schedules after Love Island finished, not promoted by ITV's press office, Evil Monkeys felt like a show they were putting out in the hope of a response.


James Donkin, who also produced the show.

Title music

Helen Greenham and John Greenham, credited as "Composer".


The "monkeys" were performers in ape suits, differentiated by shade and other markings. Someone had to train the actors, and we end up with an unlikely credit: "Lead Ape Choreographer - Peter Elliott".

See also

Weaver's Week review


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