Neverland (miniseries)

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Neverland
Genre Adventure
Fantasy
Directed by Nick Willing
Produced by Redmond Morris
Written by Nick Willing
Starring Rhys Ifans
Anna Friel
Charles Dance
Q'orianka Kilcher
Raoul Trujillo
Cas Anvar
George Aguilar
Bob Hoskins
Charlie Rowe
Keira Knightley
Music by Ronan Hardiman
Cinematography Seamus Deasy
Editing by Allan Lee
Production company Parallel Films
Sky Movies Production
Country United Kingdom
Original channel Syfy
Original run 4 December 2011 (2011-12-04)  – 5 December 2011 (2011-12-05)
Running time 161 minutes

Neverland is a fantasy miniseries that aired on the Syfy network (USA) on December 4 and 5, 2011, and Sky Movies (UK) on December 9 and 16, written and directed by Nick Willing. It is a prequel to and re-imagining of the Peter Pan story.

Plot[edit]

Part 1[edit]

In London, England 1906, orphan Peter Pan (Charlie Rowe) is one of a gang of juvenile street thieves assembled by arch crook and ace fencer James "Jimmy" Hook (Rhys Ifans). When Jimmy proposes the risky, but well worth it, job of Harbottle's Jewelry and Antiques, the ever-willing-to-please Peter talks the other boys into attempting the heist, despite their original protests, however their arguments had caused Jimmy to change his mind, stating that they weren't ready and he didn't want them to get caught and thrown in prison. Peter, wanting to prove to Jimmy both that they were ready and that he was old enough to become Jimmy's partner, convinced the other boys to join him in robbing Harbottle's that night, though he neglected to mention that Jimmy had explicitly told him not to.

After successfully infiltrating the shop, the boys are looting the place when Jimmy arrives. Peter tries to tell Jimmy that he just wanted to prove to Jimmy that they were old enough and that they could handle it, but Jimmy reminds him that he had told Peter not to go. He then goes to the backrooms to try to find the item that he had come for. Peter goes with him and Jimmy tells him that he's not quite grown enough to be Jimmy's partner, before sending him to the main room to keep lookout. Jimmy managed to find his prize, a strange glowing orb that had been locked in a chest. When startled by an image of gnashing crocodile teeth from within the orb Jimmy falls off the stool he had been standing on to reach the chest, the orb falling to the ground in a huge exploding flash which encompasses Jimmy and all of the boys, except for Peter, with a golden light. Peter, still in the front room, sees the light and when it fades there is only empty space where the room that Jimmy and the others had been in. Believing his friends dead, Peter takes the orb and returns to Whitechapel Fencing Academy (the place that Jimmy and his boys live at), where a man Peter knew was involved with Jimmy's business appeared, asking after Jimmy. When he leaves Peter decides to follow him and sneaks into the building the man enters a way off, where Peter finds a number of strange people, learns of what the orb does, which is serve as transport to another land at the centre of the universe, and discovers that Jimmy and the others are alive. After finding this out, he runs from the place and returns to Whitechapel, where he hits the orb himself, determined to find Jimmy and his gang and bring them back home.

Meanwhile, Jimmy and the boys find themselves in a strange land and are quickly captured by a band of pirates led by Captain Elizabeth Bonny (Anna Friel), but Fox, one of Hook's gang of street thieves, manages to escape. The crew tells the gang that they are from the early 18th century and have never aged the entire time they were here. The captain decides that Jimmy is useless and tries to have him thrown to the giant ten-legged crocodiles that occupy the sea below, but Jimmy manages to fight off the crew for the boys. Having earned their respect, killing three of their pirates, Jimmy is allowed to stay. In the captain's quarters, Bonny shows Jimmy, who has identified himself as Captain Hook, a magical mineral dust that comes from the fairy-like alien race (called "tree spirits" by the pirates and Indians) that live on the island. The dust gives the power of flight, but she only has a small vial and does not have the knowledge of how to properly use it. She further explains that the tree spirit colony lies in a forest beyond the mountain range and the only passages are protected by a lost Kaw tribe. Jimmy agrees to help the pirates get to the tree spirits in the hopes of mining the magical mineral for himself.

Peter finds himself in the middle of a strange forest and has a quick reunion with Fox before they see a large swarm of tree spirit/fairies flying towards them. Running away, they stumble upon a group of Kaw hunters and are taken blindfolded through the secret passage to the Native village. The boys make friends with the Natives and meet the chief's daughter, Princess Aaya/Tiger Lily (Q'orianka Kilcher). The natives protect the tree spirit colony and navigate Neverland through a secret mountain pass that no others are allowed to know of.

Peter and Fox sneak away from the tribe by hiding in one of the canoes that the people use to fish and then steal the canoe to rescue their friends from the pirates. Fox and Peter manage to get the boys off of the ship, but Peter decides to go back for Jimmy and he finds him in the Captain's quarters and tries to get him to leave, but Jimmy has decided to stay and he convinces Peter to give him the gun that Peter had been using to keep the pirates at bay. The Captain then has one of her men take Peter away, presumably to the brig or something of the sort, but Jimmy protests and follows him out to protect Peter, going against the Captains orders. Peter is surrounded by some of the crew, namely Smee and the Captains previous right hand man along with several others, but he refuses to tell them where the other boys are. Fox, who came after Peter, makes a diversion shortly after and Peter jumps off of the ship for the canoe. Jimmy and Fox run to the back of the ship and Jimmy tells him to jump for the canoe, which is only a small distance away, but one of the pirates comes up and attempts to stab Hook, who moves to the side. Fox is stabbed instead and he falls over the edge as the boys row off in dismay as Jimmy shouts for Peter.

That night, after Peter has left the bitter and blaming boys, he plays a tune on his flute and the wise man of the tribe comes and corrects him on the ending. After Peter asks how he knows the song the man leads him to his cabin and shows him a simple painting of the same dream that Peter had been having since entering Neverland. Peter tells him that it wasn't quite right though and the wise man gives him a sheet and some charcoal to show him. Peter is unable to draw it quite right either, but then Aaya appears and asks if she can try, saying that she has never had the dream, but that she hunts and fishes with the villagers and has seen the place, which they call 'Bull Mountain'. Peter decides to find the place, in search of a way to return to London. Meanwhile Hook and Captain Bonny decide to observe and follow Peter & Aaya in the hopes of finding a way to access the Indian's tree spirit colony.

After stopping to rest, Peter climbs one of the trees and begins to play the same melody that he had previously, but corrects the ending and he begins to see a silver light coming toward him. Shortly after, it is revealed to be one of the tree spirits, and the song to be the sound that their wings make in flight. When Peter stops playing she flies away and Peter and Aaya try to follow her, but are unable to find her before morning, when it is too bright to see her. But as the sun comes up they see a giant wall, made of entwining trees and decide to search within, sure that the hooded man would be there.

After entering the city and exploring, they find the hooded man who reveals himself to be the mysterious benefactor who hired Jimmy's crew to steal the orb. He introduces himself as Dr. Richard Fludd (Charles Dance), the royal alchemist for Queen Elizabeth I (why he knew to call her Queen Elizabeth I and not just Queen Elizabeth, since he had not been on Earth since the 1600s, and since this whole story is set to start in London in 1906, 20 years before Queen Elizabeth II was even born, is a flagrant anachronistic mistake on the part of the writers). He explains that he had discovered a planet which exists, paradoxically, at the edges and center of the universe simultaneously and due to the strange nature of its position, time stands still. He created the orb as a way of transporting people to the planet, which is, of course, Neverland. The process of creating the sister orb to the one still in London to leave, instead of arrive, at Neverland was what Peter had witnessed in his dream. A dream which imprints on all who have activated the orb. The tree spirit from the dream thought that Fludd was in danger as he harnessed the energy of two meteorites and tried to save him, which imbued her with "astral energy". Fludd named the spirit Tinker Bell, due to the sound of her wings. He built the city as a Utopia where all the greatest scientific and artistic minds on Earth can live. While they plot out a way to return Peter and the boys back to London, they are interrupted by Jimmy, Bonny, and several pirates who enter the city, having followed Peter and Aaya.

Peter and Aaya remain out of sight and Fludd tries to intimidate the pirates into leaving through illusions, but the pirates refuse and begin firing on the illusions, which, in turn, sets the city, all made of woven trees, on fire. As they leave the building, Hook spots Peter and follows him and Fludd, who are trying to get back to Fludd's laboratory to rescue the orb and keep it safe from the pirates. Fludd sends Peter on ahead and attempts to stop the pirates, but he is killed and the pirates continue, with Hook further ahead. After a brief duel, Hook pins Peter's arm to the floor with his knife useless in his hand and tells him that he knew Peter's mother. He then shows Peter her picture, which Hook kept in his pocket watch, and tells him that he made a promise to her to keep Peter safe and that he was not going to give up on Peter or break his promise.

Captain Bonny and her crew follow shortly after and Bonny spots the orb and takes it. Peter, desperate to stop this and to get out, hits a switch which throws up a hologram of the stars/universe that perturbs the pirates enough for him to escape to the balcony, where he fights with a few pirates until he is disarmed and held at sword point. As he is about to be stabbed by Captain Bonny, Aaya appears and tells them that she will tell them what they want to know as long as they set Peter free. Peter is forced into silence, trying to stop her several times, before he manages to get out of the pirates grasp and runs toward Aaya. Captain Bonny, expecting this, quickly whirls and stabs Peter, who falls off of the balcony.

Hook begins shouting, Aaya is taken prisoner along with the orb, and the closing scene features Peter lying on the ground, with blood on his side, several cuts adorning his face, and his eyes open, appearing to be dead.

Part 2[edit]

The pirates make their way back to the ship, with Jimmy vowing to find a way to get the power of flight before he returns to England. Meanwhile Peter is brought to the tree spirit colony by Tinker Bell and after being healed is immersed in a pool filled with the mineral dust, emerging with the ability to fly. The spirit elders tell him that he was recognized for his innocence and must use his new powers to stop Jimmy from finding the colony.

Jimmy persuades the captain to risk traversing a ravine protected by the Natives, with Aaya as hostage. Halfway across, Peter cuts Aaya loose and flies her to safety. Peter goes back and confronts Jimmy and threatens Bonny to make Jimmy tell him where the orb is, but he is incapacitated and captured. Back on the ship, Bonny tells Jimmy she is cutting their alliance for feeling he has gotten them no where, so he escapes the ship with Peter. Seemingly changed, he tells Peter he wants to go back to London with him and the boys, so Jimmy alone persuades Peter to show him the mountain passage and then they can return together. Once they reach the passage, Jimmy betrays Peter and reveals that the pirates have been following them. Forcing Peter to show them how it's done, Bonny immerses herself in the mineral dust pool, but burns up and dies upon emerging since she didn't have innocence in her heart. Though secretly pleased that he is the new captain of the pirates, Jimmy angrily tells Peter he killed his father for feeling he stole Peter's mother from him. The Indians arrive and attack the pirates and Peter manages to escape in the chaos. The tree spirits, angry that Peter lead Jimmy to them, try to erase Peter's memory so that the only thing left will be his childlike innocence, but they are interrupted by Tinker Bell who releases her astral energy on them. Ostracized from her people for that act, Tinker Bell soon realises that Peter has lost much of his memory. However, he remembers everything again once Curly plays a song for him. Tinker Bell then joins up with Peter to try and stop Jimmy, now known as Captain Hook, who intends to bring back modern weapons to destroy the Indians. Meanwhile, the boys manage to convince the Indians to help them fight the pirates to stop Hook. As they head towards the ship, Peter follows Hook to the orb. The Indians arrive and fight the pirates, but cannot find Hook, so Aaya and the boys move towards the cave

The two groups meet in the cave where the orb is hidden. While fighting, Tinker Bell is knocked unconscious and Peter inadvertently cuts off Hook's right hand, then demands his father's watch. Both the hand and the watch are swallowed by a giant crocodile. Hook manages to knock Peter unconscious and the cave begins to crumble. Aaya and the boys quickly escape except for Peter and Tinker Bell. Peter, instead of fleeing, revives Tinker Bell, and the cave collapses. Hook and his first mate Starkey are still in the cave and Starkey figures out a way to escape but asks Hook what he will use for a hand.

Some time later, the boys are living with the Natives when they are surprised to see Peter reappear, dressed in a suit and accompanied by Tinker Bell. He tells them that he managed to activate the orb before the cave collapsed and did well for himself stealing some goods in London, which he gives to the boys. When asked why he came back to Neverland, knowing that now there is no way back to Earth, he tells them that there is adventure everywhere in this land.

Curly suddenly points out to Peter that his shadow is missing, thus leading into the events of the Original Peter Pan.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Film production took place in Swords, Dublin, Ireland and Genoa, Italy.

References[edit]

  1. Werts, Diane (November 30, 2011). "'Neverland' tale is all grown up". Newsday. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  2. Nancy deWolf Smith (December 2, 2011). "Lost Boys and Bad Girls". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  3. Serjeant, Jill (December 1, 2011). ""Neverland" gives fantasy twist to Peter Pan tale". Reuters. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  4. Bianco, Robert (December 2, 2011). "Syfy shows growth in 'Neverland' miniseries". USA Today. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  5. R.J. Carter (December 2, 2011). "Interview: Charlie Rowe: Newest Peter Pan Flies High in Syfy's "Neverland"". The Trades. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  6. Kay, Janice (November 30, 2011). "Trailer for 'Neverland' Movie Coming To Syfy This Weekend". ScienceFiction.com. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  7. Hale, Mike (December 2, 2011). "Peter Pan, Before the Magic". The New York Times. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  8. Hinckley, David (December 4, 2011). "Syfy's 'Neverland' is a prequel to the Peter Pan story, set in Victorian London". Daily News. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  9. Ng, Philiana (December 6, 2011). "Syfy's 'Neverland' Starts Off on Good Ratings Note". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 

External links[edit]