Childhood's End Review: Heaven Is A Place Called Earth

Childhood's End S01E01 / S01E02 / S01E03: "The Overlords" / "The Deceivers" / "The Children"

Note: This review was posted in advance of airing and features no spoilers. It covers all six hours of the miniseries.

Anytime you hear that a work of fiction was "unadaptable" for a very long time, proceed with caution. In Hollywood, it seems that the standard approach to adapting the supposedly unadaptable concentrates on length. Have a long, dense graphic novel? Here's a nearly three-hour movie. Want to turn a historically revered piece of fiction into moving images? We're going to need six hours of primetime real estate, minimum. Childhood's End, a relatively short but heady science-fiction story from Arthur C. Clarke has traveled the familiar road for the unadaptable text—flirtations with cinema A-listers, TV projects derailed by rights issues, celebrated takes in less prestigious mediums—only to arrive here, at a perhaps predictable destination: the six-hour, three-night Syfy miniseries. 

But don't recoil in horror just yet. Though the phrase "Syfy miniseries" might immediately have you thinking of Treasure IslandNeverland, or most recently, the lumbering Ascension, this adaptation is not poorly constructed, cheap, or cheesy; indeed, these six hours are some of the most aesthetically pleasing original programming that Syfy has ever produced. And yet, across its six hours (with commercials), Childhood's End demonstrates both the benefits and the challenges of adapting difficult, older material in such an extended fashion.

Set in modern day (a shift from the book's Cold War setting), Childhood's End presents an uncommon type of contact with alien visitors. When these visitors, nicknamed the Overlords by cynical media mogul Wainwright (Colm Meaney), suddenly arrive in the sky all over the world, common man Ricky (Under the Dome's Mike Vogel) is selected by the unseen alien Karellen (Game of ThronesCharles Dance) to spread his species' uplifting message to humanity. Instead of global destruction or conquering, Karellen and his kinfolk seek to aid people by curtailing disease, disrupting war, and ushering in an Utopia—until, well, it sort of doesn't. Along the way, weird things start happening to Jake (Manhattan's Ashley Zukerman), Amy (Hayley Magnus), and their son Tom (Lachlan Roland-Kenn), while an ambitious scientist (Osy Ikhile) continues to question the Overlords' true intentions. 

If it's not clear by that brief-but-packed summary, Childhood's End has a lot going on, plot-wise, and arguably even more going on thematically. I haven't read the Clarke book, but I've scanned some excerpts and researched it pretty heavily, and it's readily apparent that writer Matthew Graham and director Nick Hurran worked very hard to capture the high-minded spirit and philosophical curiosity of the novel while updating bits and pieces for the modern context. 

Whether you're familiar with the novel and expecting the worst or are entirely new to the project, know that Childhood's End isn't your traditionally loud or terrifying alien invasion tale. It's almost entirely violence-free, with no late-episode assaults on intergalactic ships or harrowing tales of humanity rising up against the oppressive invading species. Instead, the mini delivers sun-soaked snapshots of Americana, montages set to John Lennon's "Imagine," and meditations on perfection, faith, and destiny. Likewise, it tries to illustrate what would happen to key human processes in the event of a disease- and war-free land, as both traditional employment and scientific investigation decline significantly over time. 

The execution of this spirit and curiosity results in a slow-moving, ponderous, but occasionally wonderful story that is surprising moving. Like the novel, the miniseries is split into three distinct sections, weaving in its cast of recognizable actors at different stages of the story. As these things tend to go, the first portion is almost certainly the best, where Childhood's End establishes that, amid all the real intrigue and craziness that comes with alien contact and the end of problems, the core relationship between Ricky and Karellen is what matters most. 

This means that you'll be spending quite a bit of time with Mike Vogel, who is far better served here than he was in 39 episodes of Under the Dome. The first episode requires that Vogel personify Ricky's everyman qualities, his initial confusion over being selected for such a high honor, the later confidence he acquires in carrying out the will of the Overlords, and finally, the emotional toil a budding partnership with a still-unseen alien being has on his life and relationships. Although this trajectory does ask Vogel to handle long conversations without the on-screen presence of his sparring partner in Charles Dance, End also regularly lingers on his face and eyes to really punctuate the novelty of Ricky's experience. Vogel, in my mind, is up to the challenge. Ricky is not an exceptionally deep character, but that's kind of the point, and Vogel does a great job centering the story with a relatively simple humanity. 

Once the new version of Earth is established in the first hour, Childhood's End turns more ambitious and sprawling, but also more intermittently compelling. Significant passages of time combined with the decision to keep the Overlords' true plan a complete mystery lead to a number of sequences with characters very slowly discovering something weird might be afoot, having their fears assuaged, and then learning even more nefarious truths months or even years later. The thread with Ashley Zukerman and Hayley Magnus is particularly bumpy in this regard, and not at all helped by the "creepy and potentially dangerous kids" of it all. 

The mini similarly struggles to find fully satisfying arcs for characters that serve as proxies for Clarke's interests. Orange Is The New Black's Yael Stone is a woman of faith who, after seeing evidence of secretive plotting, begins a crusade against Karellen and the Overlords. Stone is quite good with another thin character (they're all archetypes here), but her Peretta travels from one key plotline to another shrieking about false devils and is introduced, executed, and concluded within the span of the second episode. Nip/Tuck's Julian McMahon is also here, as a doctor and researcher desperate to be part of the Overlords' bigger plan, but outside of a few monologues, never quite gets to be more than a slick-talking big thinker in a nice suit. 

For a project with so much space, many of the characters aren't exceptionally interesting or well served. They do, however, allow Children's End to consider some of those major questions about the meaning of humanity, god, and science in a Utopian world shaped and directed by alien beings. Therefore, on one hand it's great that this miniseries hustles to avoid a notable pitfall of the adaptation by not including more explosions or militarized action sequences. On the other hand, the slower and inquisitive strategy doesn't always work when the characters function as vessels for conversations about complicated questions. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that, like Tim said in this week's podcast, many viewers find this a little too slow for their taste.

Still, when the thematic interests of Clarke correctly align with Hurran's pretty tableaus, the results are dynamic and darn good. I can't emphasize enough how wonderful this looks, from set design to the visual effects of the Overlords and their machinery, and the best moments of the final hour highlight how solid performances (this time from Dance and Osy Ikhile) can make even the most high-minded sci-fi babble pack an emotional punch. The story ends on an complicated note, one that the six hours perhaps don't quite earn as well as Clarke's prose might, but one that rightfully challenges typical assumptions about traumatic effects of the human experience and its engagement with visitors from far away places. 

Childhood's End exhibits that, sometimes, projects are labeled unadaptable for a reason. It definitely succeeds more than it fails, even if you'll occasionally appreciate its approach to science fiction more than you'll enjoy it. Still, if you're familiar with the novel, these three episodes shouldn't bring too many surprises, nor will you be especially disappointed with how the show portrays some of the bigger ideas from the book. And if you're coming into this sucker entirely blind, there's enough interesting stuff being bandied about that, with some patience on your part, makes Childhood's End a compelling—though not essential—way to spend three nights in December. 

Childhood's End begins its three-night run on Syfy Monday, December 14, at 8 p.m.


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Mar 04, 2016
For this to be written in 1956 with Arthur Clarkes Meaning Of Life is quite excellent.
It was played out as an Alien invasion but it explained what's at the end of working hard in your 9-5 jobs watching your children or future generations evolve to become higher beings, the human race stops breeding, they transcend to a greater being, the creator of the universe and leave earth, the adults can't have children anymore, they die and the planet explodes, the end.

The Meaning of Life.
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Feb 01, 2016
I watched only less than half of the first episode. I don't know if it was that this series share the same actor with Under the Dome or what but I found it as unwatchable, boring and poorly done as the stupid series based on King's novel.
Does it gets any better or it is six more hours of UTD with aliens and no dome?
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Jan 06, 2016
meh
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Dec 28, 2015
So, I watched the whole thing at once (I got sick the day before Christmas, had to do all sorts of driving, on Saturday I got up, made myself some french toast and realized my body was worn out, so this was on my DVR). I sort of wonder if I would have still had some of my more emotional reactions if I had watched it in pieces. Like, I actually sort of welled up when Ricky died and, in fact, he and Kruellen's whole relationship was actually one of the better things in the whole show (and almost made me wish we could have seen it echoed a bit in Milo and Kruellen's underling).

I must admit, I was a little confused at the end. The children were all absorbed into the Consciousness of the Universe, right? So wouldn't humanity still exist somehow? I read this very excellent trilogy where that was the ultimate bad guy and the end was that when the entity absorbed this one guy who, despite having some alien DNA, was human and the individuality of being human corrupted the consciousness. And the Overlords were unable to be absorbed because they couldn't evolve any further? And did they ever actually answer Milo's questions about why the Overlords looked like what humanity had called demons?
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Dec 25, 2015
Despite the childish and naive views on how to stop war and famine it was largely ok.
The ending left me somehow dazzled and made me think for quite a while.
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Dec 24, 2015
Had read Childhood's End so long ago that I had forgotten the story-line but remember that it was a favorite of mine.
I had some of the mixed feelings shared by the reviewer. The series was not perfect but they gave it a good effort. And the final episode, especially the last half hour or so, was thoughtful and excellent.
I want to avoid any spoilers but it did deliver closure for all the characters. I did not feel cheated by watching this three episode mini-series.
Good to see SyFy attempting to elevate it's programming in the past year or two.
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Dec 22, 2015
Truly impressed. Exceptional! Could have had been adapted into a movie. Thank you SyFy for making this quality show very enjoyable.
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Dec 21, 2015
Thoroughly enjoyed this mini series and could have watched 6 more hours if needed. Very intriguing story lines and theories!
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Dec 20, 2015

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Dec 20, 2015
I had high hopes. But even if ep 1 was reasonable, in that it stuck to the book as much as being made almost 60 years on it could. The changes from the book were made for no reason. The whole hotel 'thing' (some hark back to the end 2001 maybe, someone trying to be clever?).
The 15 year gap between arrival and reveal, no where long enough (it's 50 in the book and Ricky was long dead).
Where were the lines from the book that I can still remember 40 years after reading it? And the end!! What the... Why they think they can change what is a SF master work and make it 'better'.

Those of you that hated it, I know why. But if they'd made the book you'd now be saying it was a classic.
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Dec 19, 2015
If this was slow, then the leftovers must had been a slog through molasses
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Dec 19, 2015
WARNING SPOILER ALERT!!!!
Deep??? Thought provoking??? Not impressed. I didn’t read the book, and we need not judge the miniseries based on it. Religious symbolism /references, vague ‘scientific’ mumbo jumbo, etc. is not the same as profound, complex, etc., anymore than using the phrase “artificial intelligence” and portraying a ‘robot being sad’. It was all very bland. The “resistance” and “distrust” was concentrated in only one organization leaded by one journalist and that was it? No discussions, investigations? They solved the problems of earth and suddenly all the people decide to quit science and arts? There was not a thousand different opinions? No interesting, complex character developments, we were ‘told’ what happened more than shown. And am I to blown away because children became part of a collective consciousness (which is ridiculous, we may think of being able to share thoughts and feelings spontaneously but there is either a number of distinct consciousnesses or a single one)… anyway if shared consciousness was an important issue they should have addressed the matter. The whole thing had nothing going on. And the role of the guy who lived in the farm was superfluous and unnecessary. The plot, the events, was all like a whole act of waiting for the end to happen… children flying away and the earth then having to be blown away into pieces because… well because. Even the Matrix and its parade of leather, slow motion and black glasses was deeper than this.
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Dec 20, 2015
I feel your pain, lobopampea. Leaving aside any comparison with the original book, my high hopes that SyFy might have turned a corner after watching 4 eps of Expanse were dashed like the hopes of the adults in Childhood's End. In no particular order:

I fell asleep during part one - I think when Rick was doing his thing in the hotel room. Those sequences became more and more boring IMHO.

That just one girl would be the harbinger of parents' anxiety globally didn't seem all that believable (even in the context of the story) and where did those kids rise off to anyway?

The small set of characters didn't convince me that the world as a whole was waiting for them to save everyone from whatever they didn't know the Overlords were going to gift them. It was in fact so localised that it ended up being yet another USofA homeland celebration (despite the numerous Australian and British ex-pat actors - oh, and while I'm at it, why is it that Aussies in USofA shows have to change their accent to American-ish, but Brits can just speak as if they were at home sitting around the dinner table?).

I could go on, but here's just one more: neither the botox-affected appearance of both Overlords, the haphazard editing, nor did the boring sets showed particularly high production values.

Overall, I give this show a rating of 2 out of 5. Please gods, let SyFy return to the level of Expanse in future productions.
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Dec 20, 2015
I agree completely.
The series was so full of self importance, was so serious... and it ended being just a boring and shallow show.
You point about the small set of characters is very relevant. It felt like the whole world was reduced to a buch of semi passive characters.
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Dec 18, 2015
*Spoilers to follow*

Pretty well done all things considered. My biggest complaint is with the passage of time, and by extension, Ricky's story. In the book, the Overlords do not reveal themselves for 50 years after they arrive. This is done to give time for a current generation to not know of a time before the Overlords - a generation with life experience before the time of the Overlords would be terrified of how they look. In the TV show it is only 15 years. As a result of this, in the book, by the time the Overlord's reveal themselves, Ricky is an old man - thus, Ricky's story ends after the first part.

I wouldn't have minded the change so much, but I found Ricky's story in the show to be boring and unnecessary. He played his part by being a spokesperson for the Overlords. Once he was no longer needed his story should have ended - as it did in the book. I understand they wanted to keep the actor around for all 3 parts, and to do that they changed the timespan from 50 years to 15, but I just don't think they executed his story very well.

With that being said, I thought Syfy did a really good job adapting a very heavy and heady novel. The show never gave in to the temptation to up the action or introduce unnecessary drama (outside of Ricky's story). The final 10 or so minutes of the 3rd part were beautifully done and really captured the tone of the book.

With this and "The Expanse" it looks like Syfy may be actually be getting back to some real sci-fi!
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Dec 20, 2015
The time thing bothered me as well, but for a different reason. No one except Jennifer ever aged. This was especially noticeable in her brother. She was conceived, born, and aged to about six or so, and he was still the same age. So was everyone else. The spans of time they mentioned, 15 years, then 19 years, and then another span I can't remember should have shown on every character's face. But, nope, they were all the same, except, of course, Jennifer. The rest of the story was okay. I'm a little tired of the "next level of consciousness" trope. I have yet to figure out what that means, although in the miniseries it seemed to mean telekinetic powers.

In the end, I enjoyed the ride (I watched it all in one night), except for the last episode which was not helped by the huge number of commercial breaks. The payoff at the end was not really entertaining, but it was a sort of Arthur C. Clarke kind of thing. Would I watch it again? No.
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Dec 18, 2015
The books happen in the 50's. The show - now.
Id guess the show accounts for the development we as species did in last 50 years
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Dec 17, 2015
Syfy did something right..
Certainly thought-provoking and sad. I can't help but feel like the humans were set-up... I get that the Overlords thought they were doing something good for them, esp because they themselves could not join the Overmind, only serve it, they felt that they were giving the humans a gift they could never have..
But didn't we deserve a choice? Arguably humans would always fight for their own self preservation, which is probably why there was no choice in it. Even Kerellen seemed to realize this was a tragedy, and he spared Ellie & Ricky from having children so that they wouldn't have to watch them be taken away by the Overmind.
Milo should never have left Earth, something he realized almost immediately upon meeting the Overmind. Milo's search for knowledge usurped his opportunity to spend his remaining years with the woman and people he loved.
This show and its ideas will be sticking with me for a minute...
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Dec 18, 2015
Evolution was something that would always happen. Humanity would reach this level(if it did not destroy itself) and then become a unified consciousness transcending physical form.
The problem with that is that we as species are inherently destructive. And if that evolutionary stage arrived during time of turmoil and strife, the resulting consciousness would be insane - like a cancer trying to eat up the overmind itself.
All that Overlords are there for is to ensure that does not happens and humans get the most positive result possible. Even if they were not there, it would have happened but most likely in more negative way.
The TRAGEDY was that there were those who were unable to ascend and had to stay behind. The ascension itself is something Overlords are envious off though, since they can't achieve it(book implies it is due to them delving to deep into genetic modification before they reached the evolutionary level needed).
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Dec 17, 2015
And now, maybe (please) The City and the Stars?
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Dec 17, 2015
In the 1950s, when Childhood's End was written, people like Rod Serling were able to adapt a number of thought provoking SF stories for television. In the 60s, the original Star Trek occasionally managed to tackle big issues as well, not to mention Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of another Clarke story, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Much as I loved Star Wars, I think it derailed a lot of the more high minded representations of Science Fiction in movies and TV. Since then, it's been mostly effects driven action, rather than thought provoking speculation, and that's sad.

Let's hope that's finally changing now, and we'll see a few more shows like Childhood's End. SF at its best is about the big questions: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going? How will it end? It covers a lot of the same ground as Philosophy and Religion, and often takes us to similar places, as seen here. Maybe the pacing was a bit slow for a generation more used to fast action and instant payoffs, but it suited me fine. Of course, I'm an adult, already being left behind by the evolution of our own children.

As a Christmas treat, you might want to look up an old episode from the 1985 version of Serling's Twilight Zone, another Arthur C. Clarke story, covering similar themes, called The Star.
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Dec 18, 2015
Its kind of nice that Childhood's End - the work mostly considered unadaptable got an adaptation this good.
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Dec 17, 2015
Ooh, that was one of my favorite Clarke stories.
Haven't read it in decades, but I still remember the frisson it left me with.
Had not known it was ever adapted for the teevee -- thank you very much for that tip.
Cheers
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Dec 17, 2015
My response to the first 2 nights:

Necessity is mother of invention.

Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.

Not all that glitters is gold.

"To Serve Man..."

For some reason, we never seem to learn from history.
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Jan 17, 2016
"It's a cookbook!"
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Dec 17, 2015
I am not a sci-fi fan but I watched this one because it is related to the entire spiritual enlightenment/getting in touch with "oneness'/so-called transcendence trends going on in the world which to me is a dangerous game with our souls and humanity when dabbling in the occult and certain emerging scientific trends that violate or put into play the laws of nature which is a gift. Not sure if the actual book repels/celebrates or presents the so-called transformation as inevitable. Personally I don't want to be part of the Borg and would like to keep my mind, heart and soul thank you very much. I also believe there is definitely another choice to joining the so-called next step of evolution Borg and that is to enjoy the greatness of earth we are already lucky to have with it's wide diversity of distint "humans".
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Dec 18, 2015
But earth is finite. In few decades we would inherently destroy ourselves. If we did not, the earth will eventually die from us.
If we prevented that, the sun will eventually swallow it anyway.
Even if we were to leave earth and find a way to survive in space, not only we would be doomed to similar fate as Karellen's species(reaching point of stagnation when no progress can be made), but also we would STILL eventually end with heat death of universe.
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Dec 17, 2015
This was a really good miniseries. I have never read the novel, but a quick sparknotes search told me that it is a pretty faithful adaptation. That being said, all the fears I have ever had about humanity being a faint candle burning in the dark are pretty true. My only thought was that Milo forgot about the golden records that are currently drifting out into the cosmic ocean. Still what a bummer to die as the last of your species.
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Dec 17, 2015
It's generally considered polite to put a
* SPOILER ALERT *
of some kind at the top of any comment, or any part of a comment, that gives away important plot points.
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Dec 16, 2015
Still watching after Episode 2, but getting a bit tired of the religious obviousness....and possibly a connection to ISIS or the Syrian situation and refugees...or am I reading too much into it?....and it really smacks of ROSEMARY'S BABY, doesn't it? I'll watch the end episode tomorrow, but if it were a regular series, it would have lost me at Episode One! I think it would have been a bit more interesting if The Devil had been a bit prettier....but, then again, that's already been done too, hasn't it? Let's see what happens tomorrow!
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Dec 16, 2015
re: "ISIS or the Syrian..."..."smacks of ROSEMARY's baby"

Clarke's book was published in 1953, well before any of those. I haven't read the book for many years and don't remember enough to be sure exactly how faithful the show is to it, but it seems to generally follow its plot I think for the first 2 episodes I've seen and based on spoiler-free reviews I've seen.
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Dec 16, 2015
The whole point of alien looking like the devil would be lost since to challenge our preconceived bias of judging others by their looks would be missing.
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Dec 16, 2015
I'm finding it very visually appealing but quite boring. The problem is that I can't really discuss it much because it's apparent from the comments that many people haven't read the book and are having a different experience with the show. Maybe I'll revisit the topic when the series is done.
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Dec 15, 2015
Ha! As many others I read the book years ago, but I really enjoyed first episode. Knowing where the story leads, it left me enjoying the look and feel much more rather than constantly thinking 'what's going to happen next?'. And what a powerful ending! I shared the excitement and surprise even-though I read the darn book! Well done sci-fi!

Looking forward to the rest :)

Ok, tbh, it was pretty driven and streamlined and I felt like they could deal with fallouts of the arrival a bit more, but also I see that that would be rather boring to casual viewer.
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Dec 15, 2015
So I enjoyed night one, though I can't believe I did not recognize Tywin Lannister as Kerellen until he showed himself at the very end.
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Dec 17, 2015
But you DID find yourself thinking, "God, I KNOW that voice so well... Why? Where? How?"
Didn't you?
A brilliant bit of casting -- right up there with choosing James Spader to play/voice Ultron in Avengers 2.
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Dec 18, 2015
Indeed, I did recognize the voice, just couldn't place it. Funny though that as soon as Kerellen was revealed even in the devil costume I could see it was him immediately. And you are right, he was very well cast for that role.
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Dec 15, 2015
While I was watching last night I kept wondering if that was Barbie, and it was! lol

I'm liking the show so far, I know it hasn't gotten rave reviews or anything, but it's not terrible.
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Dec 15, 2015
I need 1 spoiler. Did they keep the original end? I don't mind some changes but if they changed how it ends, I don't want to see it so I'll give up the series after it's 5th episode. Don't tell me HOW - if they changed it, just tell me if they did it. Please.
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Dec 19, 2015
yes, they kept the original ending.
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Dec 15, 2015
The ending hasn't aired yet to the general public so I can't help you there, and there's only three episodes. So you'll see the whole thing if you stick around to episode 5.
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Dec 15, 2015
I think it's 6 episodes airing back to back in 3 days - just to make it clear.
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Dec 17, 2015
So you would watch 5 out of 6 and give up?
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Dec 18, 2015
more like 2 whole episodes and 0.5 of the last one
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Dec 15, 2015
Apart from modernization of few plot elements, character names, etc, its pretty much as faithful of an adaptation as you can get.
Writers genuinely did their research in how everything looks and feels.
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Dec 15, 2015
I DO hope so.
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Dec 15, 2015
(Might have spoilers if you haven't watched it yet)

I actually just read this book last week and after watching part one of the mini series I was a bit put off. Main thing was the timeline for me as well as Stormgrens' portrayal.

The timeline in the book is so much longer than the 15 years the show gives us. The reason it has to be much longer in the book is to get humanity used to the idea of the overlords and by the time the 50 years are up most, if not all, the people that would react negatively to the overlords appearance are dead and I think this was something the show could have and should have let remain the same.

As for Stormgren, I found that adding a relationship element to his character served no purpose whatsoever and was just filler with the story of his dead wife and new girlfriend, blah blah blah... Why must tv and movies always try to incorporate unnecessary relationships in a story that has no need for them?!
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Dec 15, 2015
You need to take into account that the book happens EARLIER(in the 50s or 60s dont remember).
You could say that adaptation is taking into an account the progress we did in last 50 years with that change.
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Dec 17, 2015
"Progress"?
So you haven't spent much time of late in the Deep South (sic) of the US, apparently...

ETA: Yes, thank you, I'm painfully aware we have Mein Trumpf voters in the northeast and on the west coast as well. But they're not the majority here, ok?
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Dec 15, 2015
I did take that into account, what i meant was that even in our day and age, I still think it would take more than 15 years for people to have a more positive reaction to the overlords' physical appearance just like in the book. There are still many people and cultures that would would not react very well to it at all. I'm originally from Portugal and though I myself aren't very religious, the country as a whole is, so I could just imagine how most of my family and friends from back home would react to seeing a creature that so resembles a "demon". That's mainly where I was coming from.
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Dec 15, 2015
Loved Part One, it is the best thing SyFy has done since Battlestar. I've read the story and this is very faithful to it, but that reveal is still glaring. I'm really looking forward to seeing the implications in Part Two.
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Dec 15, 2015
Up until the end, I was thinking that there was nothing new to this story... that everything from the book (which I haven't read) must have been stolen throughout the years to render it irrelevant. Then WHAM! Lots of ways the story could go now. I know how I want it to go, but I guess I'll just have to wait and see.
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Dec 15, 2015
Ive been looking forward to this for awhile and for me it didnt disappoint. Im a believer of aliens and this storyline isnt far off of what could happen in reality. If you really like this and take interest look into Alex Collier who is an alien contactee who describes aliens connection to us and what lies ahead for us as a human race. Anyway...ive enjoyed it so far, acting isnt bad but krellins appearance is pretty poor. Thumbs up for me overall
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Dec 15, 2015
I watched the first episode. Haven't read the book, so this is a new story to me. But it looks like the earth is doomed.
Powerful aliens take over earth with promises of peace, perfect health, long-lasting youth and food for everyone. Sounds great, right?

What could possibly go wrong...except they fast forward 15 years and finally get to see that their alien Overlord looks like a hellspawn demon with huge horns, wings and hooved feet.
Mankind, you are so screwed.

Didn't we learn a long time ago that when friendly aliens show up and claim to be here "to serve man"...that it's a trap?!
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Dec 15, 2015

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Dec 15, 2015
Your second paragraph is exactly the notion that AC Clarke challenges in the narrative with this and the adaptation does too.
Why do we have to label something "different" from us as "evil" or "demonic?
The alien in question anticipated that and it is shown on why he was not willing to show himself till humanity advanced enough to accept it. Till the taint from religion and propaganda is not as influential in us judging others by their appearance.

After all, turn clock back a few hundred years back and people of color were thought to be "demonic".
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Dec 17, 2015
Turn the clock back a few hours and there are still large swaths of the world -- and precincts of the good ol' USA, too -- where GLBTQ people are deemed "demonic."
And let's not even get started on Muslims...
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Dec 15, 2015
I'm so excited for this! I read the book about 30 years ago. A lot of the time when I read something over time I forget details. Once you read this one, you'll never forget it. It's a masterpiece of science fiction. I cant believe the reviewer didn't read the book ! It's only like 150 pages long! Turn your TV off for a few hours ;) I've read pretty much all of the best sci-fi ever writen and this is in my top 10. If the mini series is even a vague shadow of the source material it's going to be great TV. Based on the review I'm pretty excited!
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Staff
Dec 15, 2015
I DON'T GET PAID TO READ!
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Dec 16, 2015
There are two ways to become a better writer, in general: write a lot, and read a lot.
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Dec 16, 2015
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Dec 16, 2015
Me neither ;)
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Dec 14, 2015
Such a great book; it's so idea-laden I have trouble imagining it on tv but that's probably why I'm not a producer. Syfy did a decent job with Dune and Children of Dune; I'll watch this.
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Dec 14, 2015
I heard a similar and glowing review about this last week and set my DVR (to discover, I am probably at least going to be a day behind in watching this because while I could leave Supergirl and Scorpion for later in the week, I'm not missing any of Fargo and Sy Fy isn't terrible but it can leak into the next hour and I don't know that I can watch two hours that are supposed to be very good and then seventy five minutes of Fargo and not stay up all night thinking) to record. I can't say if I actually have read this book, I feel like my dad would have encouraged me to, but the story feels familiar which was my initial hesitation. But, you know what, if this is what Sy Fy is now and which produces things like 12 Monkeys, Dark Matter and Killjoys, I will be giving it a try. Heck, there is nothing on next week.
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Dec 14, 2015
I haven't watched the episodes yet, but beforehand I say we should completely trust the aliens because they can only have our best interest in mind, obviously.

Hey, is that Barbie, from Under the Dome? Oh, boy, now I'll start having problems watching this show with a straight face. Especially if Julia or Big Jim show up too.
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Dec 15, 2015
I started watching it tonight, and as soon as I saw "Barbie," I just couldn't take it seriously so I cut it off. That's bad. LOL! I suppose I should give it another try.
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XY
Dec 15, 2015
I'm about to catch up on the episode and had the exact same thought. However, Dean Norris is living proof that not all UtD actors should be written off forever.
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Dec 15, 2015
And he's wearing the same T-shirt from UTD,, same beard, and visibly trapped in a sci-fi situation they can't get out of. Once Barbie, always Barbie.
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Dec 15, 2015
That's funny! I noticed the beard and the sci-fi situation, of course, but not the T-shirt. I'll definitely have to watch again. lol!
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Dec 15, 2015
Coward. ...Just kidding. Ha.
I watched it, and Barbie was actually pretty good in this, imo.
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Dec 14, 2015
I would only start to really worry if one of the characters get hurt and starts wearing a bandage on the outside of their jeans.
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