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MCN Review: 'Childhood’s End'

Childhood’s End, based on the popular science-fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke, begins with an alien invasion in 2016, but unlike other portrayals of extraterrestrial beings coming down to destroy earth, these “overlords” come in peace. In fact, the aliens actually bring about peace around the world as they quickly eradicate poverty, disease, hunger and any form of violence, from countries dropping bombs on their enemies to a local drug dealer shooting people after a deal gone bad.

The aliens chose a human, Missouri farmer Ricky Stormgren (Mike Vogel), to deliver its messages to the people, and he is quickly smitten by the aliens’ overtures. The only unsettling thing regarding the visitors is their reluctance to reveal themselves to the world, fearing that their appearance would be disturbing.

After years of relative calm and peace, the aliens — headed by a leader named Karellen (Charles Dance) — become accepted by the public at large. Others are not convinced that the aliens have humanity’s best interest at heart, though, and believe their benevolence is too good to be true.

The idea of an alien invasion is not new and has been portrayed many times both on film and on the small screen. But Syfy finds a way to distinguish itself from the others by providing an interesting and somewhat unsettling story that reveals a lot about human nature, morality and who is ultimately responsible for one’s own happiness and contentment.