Review by Lauryn Angel
Childhood’s End is a story that is epic in scope, and the Syfy Channel does it great justice with its three-night event, starting December 14.
In a not-too-distant future, Earth finds itself invaded by a peaceful alien race, which muckraking media mogul Hugo Wainright (Colm Meany) quickly dubs “The Overseers,” a name that sticks, much to the chagrin of the aliens’ mouthpiece, Karellen (Charles Dance). The Overseers will not show themselves, Karellen preferring to speak to humans by taking the form of their dead loved ones. Not even Ricky Stormgren (Mike Vogel), whom Karellen has chosen to be his liaison to human-kind, is privy to Karellen’s appearance, as humans are deemed “not ready” to receive the Overseers in their true form.
The Overseers bring peace to Earth, but it seems not everyone wants peace. Some, like Wainright, do not trust the Overseers’ motives, while others, like Peretta (Yael Stone) see the Overseers as a threat to their faith. Some reject the Overseers to the point of establishing New Athens, a colony that preserves the “old world.” Others, like Rupert Boyce (Julian McMahon) embrace the gifts of the Overseers without question. The aliens claim that they want to help humanity find their place in the universe, but the answer lies many years ahead, and one person, Milo Rodricks (Osy Ikhile), has dedicated his life to finding out the truth.
Childhood’s End is a great mini-series, marking Syfy’s return to the science fiction story-telling that it does best. The story is smart and thought-provoking, rather than action-based, as many alien invasion tales are. Many of the effects were not yet completed in the version of the series that I saw, but what was there was pretty cool – especially the appearance of the Overseers, which you will have to see for yourself. The performances are great too. Charles Dance is the perfect choice for Karellen, as his voice soothes you into trusting him. . . even if that might not be the best idea. Mike Vogel, fresh off his stint as Dale “Barbie” Barbara in “Under the Dome” plays a similar hero type here, but this time with a more philosophical bent.
At six hours, Childhood’s End is in investment for viewers, but it’s a must-watch event for science fiction fans. It also marks Syfy’s return to providing some of the best science fiction content on cable/satellite television.
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