Friday, November 13, 2015

Childhood's End Syfy Channel Miniseries Review

There was a time when Syfy meant the gateway to the best sci-fi content on cable and satellite television. Whether it was old TV series or classic films Sci Fi Channel as it was originally known saved television series from otherwise broadcast termination and in many cases expanded them into viable media franchises like Stargate and the venerable network reinvigorated the Battlestar Galactica franchise for a new generation while capturing the hearts and imaginations of the generation that grew up watching the original series. Then there were original series like Farscape and that was followed by the highest rated miniseries in the channel's history, at least to the best of my knowledge, Frank Herbert's Dune. Syfy even brought back the classic multiple night miniseries event, which had previously become unseen since the mid 1980s, when the network aired Steven Spielberg Presents Taken. Afterwards the network asked us all to "Imagine Greater" when it rebranded itself as Syfy, but gradually the content of the network began to suffer from trends that effected other channels too. Cheaply produced B-movies, reality television and the WWE, something that I never thought would become a staple of Syfy's prime time network programming, aired on the network.
Now you may ask yourself, "Why are you jeopardizing your long professional working relationship with the channel and it's parent network?" My answer is I am not jeopardizing anything. Instead I am expressing my love for Syfy and the genre it supports by being honest about my feelings because sometimes you have to risk upsetting someone or something in order to help it. Well I am proud to state that Syfy's miniseries adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End is a return to form for the network and a sign of what I sincerely hope will be a sign of things to come because there are a ton of stories out there that deserve to be dramatized in this fashion.
The miniseries features an outstanding cast that includes Charles Dance (Game Of Thrones), Mike Vogel (Under The Dome), Daisy Betts (The Last Resort), Julian McMahon (Nip/Tuck), Colm Meaney (Star Trek: The Next Generation/Deep Space Nine), Osy Ikhile (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation), Yael Stone (Orange Is The New Black), Ashley Zuckerman (Manhattan), Georgiana Haig (Frozen), Haley Magnus (The Dressmaker), and Charlotte Nicado (A Gurls World). The miniseries is a prime example of how a well cast miniseries elevates a dramatization. 
Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind, I Am Legend) and Academy Award nominee Michael De Luca (Captain Phillips, Moneyball, The Social Network) are executive producers while Childhood’s End is adapted by Matthew Graham (creator of Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes, writer for Doctor Who), who also serves as writer/executive producer. The miniseries is directed by Nick Hurran, who received an Emmy nomination for Sherlock and a Hugo Award nomination for Doctor Who.
Based on the novel by science fiction visionary Arthur C. Clarke (2001: A Space Odyssey), Childhood’s End follows a peaceful alien invasion of Earth that eliminates all war, disease and poverty… but with a hidden cost. The novel has influenced nearly every major alien invasion story since its publication in 1953, including television series like V and blockbuster films such as Independence Day, but is a lot smarter, thought provoking, profound and entertaining too.
Syfy's presentation of Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End is like a Christmas gift or Hanukkah present from the network to it's viewers and fans. A six hour television event, Childhood's End will air Monday, December 14 to Wednesday, December 16, from 8-10PM ET/PT each night on Syfy. Support good science fiction television programming and tune in. 

(C) Copyright 2015 By Mark A. Rivera
All Rights Reserved.