Based on the book by Arthur C. Clark, SyFy miniseries premiers tonight, Monday, December 14th, 2015 at 8pm, and continues on the 15th and 16th *** Three Stars
By Gabrielle Pantera
HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Daily Star) 2015/12/14 – “To those people who have read the book and enjoyed the book, loved the book, I assure them that Karellen is Karellen.” says Childhood’s End executive producer Matthew Graham. “He is the Karellen of the book. He has not been taken figuratively metaphorically in any way. It would be crazy to deviate from what Arthur C. Clarke had envisioned. And actually, having seen Karellen on screen a lot in the last few months, it’s lost none of its iconic power as an image.”
The book was published in 1953. Many attempts have been made to make it into a film or miniseries. This three night six-hour adaptation on SyFy explores the bleakness and futility of human society in space and their inability to understand anything they can’t see. The main characters seem emotionless, like robots, in a world surprisingly devoid of robots.
Clark’s 2001 A Space Odyssey was made into a film by Stanley Kubrick. He really wanted to make Childhood’s End, but it was already optioned by someone else. SyFy does a good job, but it is missing elements that don’t translate from the book. The miniseries sticks with the same character and truncates the timeline. Sometimes it’s a bit confusing. We don’t actually see the Overlords for some time, which adds suspense. The series has a melancholy vibe, not an uplifting holiday event.
The alien Overlords arrive at earth. Karellen is the supervisor. “We’re not conquerors,” he tells humanity. “We’re enablers. We’re going to help you change.”
Ricky Stormgren is a Missouri farmer is chosen as the go-between for Earth and the Overlords. The peaceful invasion of the Earth under the rule of the Overlords eliminates war, poverty, and disease. Many humans resent being forced to be good and react with fear, distrust and anger.
Written by Matthew Graham (Life on Mars UK version) and directed by Nick Hurran (Sherlock), both worked on Doctor Who. Filmed in Melbourne by Monastic Prods., Michael De Luca Prods. and Weed Road Pictures Universal Cable Prods. Executive producers, Akiva Goldsman, Michael De Luca, Matthew Graham, Alissa Phillips; producers, Paul M. Leonard, Nick Hurran, John G. Lenic; director, Hurran; writer, Graham; based on the novel by Arthur C. Clarke; camera, Neville Kidd; production designer, Philip Ivey; editors, Yan Miles, Eric Sears, Sean Albertson; music, Charlie Clouser; visual effects producer, Kevin Blank; casting, Lisa Beach, Sarah Katzman. Cast
Charles Dance, Mike Vogel, Daisy Betts, Julian McMahon, Osy Ikhile, Colm Meaney, Yael Stone, Ashley Zukerman, Georgina Haig, Hayley Magnus, Charlotte Nicdao