Imagine alien’s arrive on our doorstep Independence Day
style, but instead of readying for an intergalactic game of chess they strategically give us step by step instructions on how to end all ailments plaguing mankind.
But utopia comes at a price: peace,love,happiness and the end of the ugliest parts of civilization will be thrust upon us like it or not.
This is the set up for Childhood’s End on SyfY channel, a miniseries adaption of an Arthur C. Clark’s novel of the same name.
The many underlying concepts involved in this show include the question of “Where is the line drawn between distopia and utopia?”
The end of war, hunger, disease as well as the complete healing of the the planet appears to be the perfect picture of what many of us would like to see as the “Golden Age of Man.” But if our free will into this utopia is taken from us is it truly heaven or just a spruced up hell?
In the show the Overlord tasked with our re-birthing is an alien named Karallen ( Charles Dance from Alien 3 and The Golden Child) who chooses a single human: Rikki Stormg (Mike Vogel from Cloverfield and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) to be our emissary for regular visits on one of the ships i order to discuss the first phase of human social evolution. Of course the catch is that the main character (as well as every human on earth) is prevented from seeing this alien. Instead the ship is disguised as an image of a New York Hotel Room and their discussions and exchange of messages are through a one way glass mirror. This lack of transparency creates the biggest rift between those humans welcoming the Overlords as a godsend and those who believe that their prohibition from seeing the beings is a lack of trust.
Of course factions form in the population and a radical group decides to take a stance against this threat to free will and the control of mankind.
This miniseries is perfectly arched into three different episodes, each depicting a different stage in the phases of Karallen’s master plan as well as a different chapter of advancement in human evolution and progression.
The big reveal is when the alien finally does finally allow us to see his image, 15 years later after first arrival and we have already depended upon him and his technology for salvation. We must come to the realization that we have been visited before and this perfect human existence was a failure in past efforts? I read the book after watching the show and can tell you that there are some differences especially considering that the original was written in 1953. They do update to modern time and the main emissary is different than in the book but the underlying tone and spirit of the Godfather of Science Fiction is still there.
Until the very end you will be questioning what your belief would be if happiness was forced upon you without knowing the final price.