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Tag: childhood’s end

Syfy’s Childhood’s End: What Price Utopia?

by on Dec.02, 2015, under Television

Childhood's EndWhat would you be willing to give up for world peace? No hunger? No disease? Would it be your humanity?

Those the kinds of questions addressed in Syfy’s upcoming event series, Childhood’s End, based on one of the best SF novels by Arthur C. Clarke.

Long thought to be impossible to adapt to a video medium, the adaptation for Syfy under the pen of Matthew Graham (Life on Mars) does an admirable job. Fans of the book will of course miss items left out – a novel that spans decades and delves into the the lives of many characters needs to be trimmed in some way – the story keeps to the core theme, and the characters needed to advance the story.

They story opens in the present day, when the sudden arrival of massive alien ships – along with the requisite “cloud front” (I wish they’d get away from this visual effects meme, but it was still done well), but rather than being the front of a hostile invasion the aliens – called the “Overlords” led by the unseen Karellen, the Supervisor of Earth – announce that they will help Humanity by eliminating war, violence, sickness, etc., bringing about a golden age of Humanity. But it isn’t until much later, after Karellen reveals himself, that the price of this golden age might be more than what Humanity would have been willing to pay.

Childhood's End - Season 1Although taking place mostly on Earth, the visuals were spectacular, and I might not have even seen the final version of them. The Overload ships weren’t the prototypical massive saucer shapes, but rather showed actual design. Overall one of the best efforts I’ve seen from Syfy programming.

Story-wise, the show can be plodding in parts, especially in the middle of the three episodes where it needs to set up for the final night where the story really pays off, while the first night has to juggle a lot of things with so many things to explain, which results in some abbreviated interaction when the Overlords arrive almost to a “We are here, everything will be cool” brevity.

The choice of the Overlords to speak through Ricky Stormgren, who in this adaptation is a farmer rather than the United Nations Secretary General, was an interesting change which for some reason reminded me of the 1977 movie Oh God! where God (George Burns) decides that a grocery store manager (John Denver) will speak for him. But I think Mike Vogel does well with the role…and for whom the definition of “saved” may be disputed…

Childhood's End - Season 1I think in general fans of the book will be pleased with the adaptation. Purists might still whine about the omissions, but putting too much in can actually have a detrimental effect. And those who haven’t read the book might find plenty of surprises along the way. It’s been so long since I’ve read the book, I was pleasantly reminded of the twists.

Childhood’s End airs over three nights starting on December 14th on Syfy.


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Syfy to develop Pohl’s Gateway, announce premiere dates for Childhood’s End and The Expanse

by on Aug.12, 2015, under Television

Syfy announced today the premiere dates for Childhood’s End and The Expanse.

Childhood’s End will be a six hour television event, premiering on Monday, December 14th from 8-10pm ET, and continuing on the next two consecutive nights.

The Expanse will premiere on the same night at 10pm ET, then will appear weekly on Tuesdays at 10pm ET for the remainder of its 10 episode run.

Syfy also today announced that it will develop Frederik Pohl’s Hugo and Nebula Award-winning novel Gateway about humanity’s encounter with a mysterious, ancient alien civilization as a one-hour scripted series with Entertainment One Television (eOne) and Universal Cable Productions (UCP). eOne will distribute the series worldwide.

David Eick (Battlestar Galactica) and Josh Pate (Falling Skies) collaborated on the adaptation and will serve as executive producers on the series. Eick will revise a pilot script written by Pate and serve as showrunner. The series will also be executive produced by Martha De Laurentiis through the De Laurentiis Company, former eOne Television executive Michael Rosenberg, and Lorenzo De Maio. eOne Television’s Gerard Bocaccio, SVP US Scripted Development, will oversee the project for the studio.

In Gateway, humanity discovers an asteroid teeming with the long abandoned spaceships of an advanced alien race — the Heechee – setting in motion a gold rush for alien artifacts and technology. The ships are preprogrammed, transporting their voyagers to distant worlds of riches — or certain death. Undaunted by the peril or the odds, prospector Robinette Broadhead gambles everything on a journey to Gateway. After one nightmare mission, he returns to extraordinary wealth and luxury, but is haunted by the loss of his crewmates, including the love of his life.
(continue reading…)


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Colm Meaney, Charlotte Nicdao join Childhood’s End

by on Jan.13, 2015, under Television

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine‘s Colm Meaney and Camp‘s Charlotte Nicdao have joined the Syfy mini-series project Childhood’s End.

Meaney will Wainwright, a powerful news organization owner while Nicdao will play zoologist Rachel Osaka.

Childhood’s End follows the peaceful alien invasion of Earth by the mysterious “Overlords,” whose arrival begins decades of apparent utopia under indirect alien rule, at the cost of human identity and culture.


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Nip/Tuck‘s Julian McMahon and Shutter‘s Daisy Betts join Childhood’s End

by on Dec.17, 2014, under Television

Syfy and Universal Cable Productions today announced that Golden Globe nominee Julian McMahon (Nip/Tuck, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer) will portray Rupert Boyce, an enigmatic American entrepreneur, in the upcoming six-hour miniseries Childhood’s End.

Adapted for the screen for the first time ever from Arthur C. Clarke’s beloved and influential novel, Childhood’s End will premiere on Syfy in 2015.

Syfy and Universal Cable Productions also announced that Daisy Betts (Shutter) has been cast as Ellie, an arts graduate engaged to marry Ricky Stormgren (Mike Vogel), the most influential human in the world.

McMahon and Betts join Emmy Award nominee Charles Dance/Karellen (Game of Thrones) and Mike Vogel/Rick Stormgren (Bates Motel), along with Ashley Zukerman/Jake Greggson (Manhattan), Osy Ikhile/Milo (Clap!) and Yael Stone/Peretta Jones (Orange is the New Black).

Hailed as a revolutionary work of science fiction since its publishing in 1953, Childhood’s End follows the peaceful invasion of Earth by the mysterious Overlords, whose arrival begins decades of apparent utopia under indirect alien rule, at the cost of human identity and culture which may ultimately threaten the very survival of mankind.

Childhood’s End will be filmed in Australia.

Akiva Goldsman (Lone Survivor, A Beautiful Mind, I Am Legend), Mike De Luca (Captain Philips, Moneyball, The Social Network) and Alissa Phillips (Moneyball, Mob City) are executive producers. Childhood’s End will be adapted by Matthew Graham (creator of BBC’s Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes). Universal Cable Productions will be the studio.

The miniseries will be directed by Nick Hurran, who received an Emmy Award nomination for Sherlock and a Hugo Award nomination for Doctor Who.


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Charles Dance will play Overlord Karellen in Syfy’s Childhood’s End

by on Oct.27, 2014, under Television

Syfy and Universal Cable Productions today announced that Emmy nominee Charles Dance, whose numerous credits include Game of Thrones, Phantom of the Opera, Jewel in the Crown and Bleak House, will play the lead role of the alien Overlord “Karellen” in the upcoming six-hour miniseries Childhood’s End.

Adapted from Arthur C. Clarke’s classic novel, Childhood’s End will premiere on Syfy in 2015. Childhood’s End follows the peaceful invasion of Earth by the mysterious Overlords. Karellen (Dance), the ambassador for the Overlords, makes first contact with Earthling Ricky Stormgren. Karellen’s comforting words and amazing technological gifts quickly win humanity’s favor, beginning decades of apparent utopia at the cost of human identity and culture. However, his refusal to reveal his physical appearance and insistence on dealing only through Ricky have some people questioning whether his intentions are truly benevolent.

In making the announcement, Bill McGoldrick, Executive Vice President, Original Content, Syfy, said: “We are thrilled that Charles has picked Childhood’s End following his amazing work in Game of Thrones.”

Akiva Goldsman (Lone Survivor, A Beautiful Mind, I Am Legend) and Mike DeLuca (Captain Philips, Moneyball, The Social Network) will serve as executive producers. Alissa Phillips (Moneyball, Mob City) is co-executive producer. Childhood’s End will be adapted by Matthew Graham (creator of BBC’s Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes). Universal Cable Productions will be the studio.

The miniseries will be directed by Nick Hurran, who received an Emmy Award nomination for Sherlock and a Hugo Award nomination for Doctor Who.


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