Wizards vs Aliens

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Wizards vs Aliens
Titlecard of Wizards vs Aliens
Format Science fantasy
Teen drama
Created by Russell T Davies
Phil Ford
Starring Scott Haran
Percelle Ascott
Annette Badland
Michael Higgs
Gwendoline Christie
Jefferson Hall
Brian Blessed
Dan Starkey
Tom Bell
Composer(s) Sam Watts
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 26 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Russell T Davies
Bethan Hunt (series 1-2)
Nikki Wilson (series 3)
Phil Ford (series 3)
Producer(s) Brian Minchin (series 1)
Peter Bennett (series 2)
Editor(s) Will Oswald
Tim Hodges
Running time 28 minutes approx.
Production company(s) BBC Cymru Wales
FremantleMedia Enterprises
Broadcast
Original channel CBBC
Original run 29 October 2012 – ongoing
Chronology
Preceded by The Sarah Jane Adventures
External links
Official website

Wizards vs Aliens is a British science fantasy television series, produced by BBC Cymru Wales and FremantleMedia Enterprises for CBBC and created by Russell T Davies and Phil Ford.

The series focuses on the adventures of 16-year-old wizard Tom Clarke (played by Scott Haran) and his scientifically-gifted best friend Benny Sherwood (played by Percelle Ascott) as they battle against an alien species called the Nekross, who have arrived on Earth with the intention of consuming all of wizardkind and feasting on their magic.[1]

Production-wise, Wizards vs Aliens was created to fill the schedule gap left by the Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures after its lead actress Elisabeth Sladen died on 19 April 2011.[2] The show, however, has no relation plot-wise to the Doctor Who universe.

Two series were commissioned by the BBC in late 2011 for broadcast in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Series one premiered 29 October 2012 and concluded 4 December containing twelve episodes (six two-part stories). The second series began airing from 28 October 2013, this time containing fourteen episodes (seven two-part stories), and concluding the following 10 December. Co-creator and executive producer Russell T Davies stated that the show could "easily run for ten years".[3] The show has been confirmed to return for a third series.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10] The third series will comprise just ten episodes, making it the shortest one so far.[11]

Premise[edit]

Tom Clarke is a seemingly ordinary boy who loves soccer. He lives with his "unenchanted" father Michael Clarke and "enchanted" grandmother Ursula of the 'Magical Line of Crowe', – but there’s something different about Tom as his family are Wizards. When an alien race known as the Nekross arrive on Earth hungry for magic, there's trouble for all 'wizardkind'.

Varg and Lexi, the two main Nekross antagonists, are the same size as humans, with yellow skin covered in spikes and a tentacle on each side of their heads. The right tentacle has an eye and the left one a mouth. They both wear blue armour. They occasionally use Nekross technology to appear to be human when on Earth. Their father is a large yellow face encased in the wall of the spaceship. It is unclear how much of his body is behind the wall. Other Nekross are Technician Jathro 15, who is red, Chancellor Kooth, who is blue-white, and various guards and other crewmembers, who don't remove their helmets.

The Nekross are immune to wizard magic, as they consume it. They have a machine on their spaceship that can drain all the magic from a captured wizard, which also makes the wizard instantly become very old. After a wizard is drained, he or she is returned to Earth.

With the help of his friend and science super-brain Benny Sherwood, Tom must stop them.

Characters[edit]

Wizards / Unenchanted[edit]

  • Thomas Robert "Tom" Clarke (Scott Haran) - A 16-year-old wizard who defends wizardkind and Earth against the Nekross.
  • Benjamin Claude "Benny" Sherwood (Percelle Ascott) - Tom's unenchanted best friend whose extended knowledge of science finds its use in battle against the Nekross.
  • Ursula Crowe (Annette Badland) - Tom's happy-go-lucky grandmother and Michael's mother-in-law, a wizard who is a descendant of the Magical Line of Crowe.
  • Michael Clarke (Michael Higgs) - Tom's widowed father and Ursula's son-in-law, also an unenchanted.
  • Randal Moon (Dan Starkey) - A hobgoblin who lives in the Chamber of Crowe and aids Tom and Benny in their fight against the Nekross.

Nekross[edit]

  • The Nekross King (voiced by Brian Blessed) - King of the Nekross' home planet Nekron and father of Varg and Lexi, in charge of their mission to find and consume all known magic on Earth. Due to his obese size, he is immobile on the Nekross starship Zarantulus.
  • Varg (Jefferson Hall) - Prince of Nekron; son of the Nekross King and Lexi's older brother, who fights the Wizards with brute strength. Like his father, he is demanding and determined to find all magic on Earth at all costs.
  • Lexi (Gwendoline Christie) - Princess of Nekron; daughter of the Nekross King and Varg's younger sister, whose strategy skills and in-depth research into Earth's culture helps the Nekross in their battle against the Wizards. Later forms an on-again-off-again relationship with Tom.
  • Technician Jathro 15 (Tom Bell) - A Nekross of the Zarantulus technician class, who assists Varg and Lexi in numerous schemes against the Wizards.

Recurring[edit]

  • Katie Lord (Manpreet Bambra) - Tom and Benny's classmate and Tom's love interest.
  • Quinn Christopher (Connor Scarlett) - Another of Tom and Benny's classmates, who occasionally teases Benny.

Episodes[edit]

Series 1 (2012)[edit]

Story No. Episode Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
code
1a 1 "Dawn of the Nekross (Part 1)" Daniel O'Hara Phil Ford 29 October 2012 (2012-10-29) 1.1
Aliens arrive on Earth and start kidnapping wizards draining them of their magical powers. A young wizard named Tom Clarke and a science student named Benny Sherwood attract the attention of the Nekross. After a battle Tom and his grandmother are captured and taken to the Nekross's ship.
1b 2 "Dawn of the Nekross (Part 2)" Daniel O'Hara Phil Ford 30 October 2012 (2012-10-30) 1.2
Tom escapes from the Nekross, although his grandmother remains captured. Tom and Benny attempt to return to the spacecraft to rescue her, but are unsuccessful until Tom, Benny, and Tom's father Michael are captured. There, they successfully organize an escape, taking with them Ursula and two previously captured wizards.
2a 3 "Grazlax Attacks (Part 1)" Daniel O'Hara Phil Ford 5 November 2012 (2012-11-05) 1.3
Tom spends the day at Benny's house. While there, the Nekross send a Grazlax to hunt them down and the two must defeat it while hiding the presence of the aliens from Benny's parents. After repeated unsuccessful attempts, they are finally able to lock the alien in Benny's bathroom.
2b 4 "Grazlax Attacks (Part 2)" Daniel O'Hara Phil Ford 6 November 2012 (2012-11-06) 1.4
The Grazlax is multiplying out of control forcing the Nekross to plan to destroy Tom's house in order to save the population of Earth before all the magic is gone. Tom and Benny fight to stop the Grazlax before they run out of time while hiding their secret from others.
3a 5 "Rebel Magic (Part 1)" Griff Rowland Joseph Lidster 12 November 2012 (2012-11-12) 1.5
After being attacked by a group of thugs, Tom meets Jackson Hawke, a fellow wizard who unlike Tom is able to affect the Nekross with his magic. Jackson lacks Tom's reluctance to take advantage of others using magic and leads Tom astray.
3b 6 "Rebel Magic (Part 2)" Griff Rowland Joseph Lidster 13 November 2012 (2012-11-13) 1.6
Benny becomes worried about Tom's changes under Jackson's influence and contacts Ursula who reveals that Jackson is using unsafe "grim" magic. Tom and Jackson plan to take on the Nekross and they along with Benny are captured. There, Tom convinced Jackson to use his magic to save all three. On returning home, Jackson is offered a place with Tom's family, but decides to set out in search of his own parents instead.
4a 7 "Friend or Foe (Part 1)" Griff Rowland Clayton Hickman 19 November 2012 (2012-11-19) 1.7
One of the Nekross named Lexi disguises herself as a human and travels to Earth. Lexi and Tom are captured by Stephanie Gaunt. To free them, an alliance is formed between the Nekross and Tom's family.
4b 8 "Friend or Foe (Part 2)" Griff Rowland Clayton Hickman 20 November 2012 (2012-11-20) 1.8
In attempting to free Tom and Lexi, Ursula, Benny, Michael and Lexi's brother Varg are captured. Working together they escape and Varg attempts to renege on their deal only to be prevented from doing so by Lexi.
5a 9 "Fall of the Nekross (Part 1)" Joss Agnew Gareth Roberts 26 November 2012 (2012-11-26) 1.9
Benny works out a plan to stop the Nekross. But when the plan is implemented, the plan stops all life support on the Nekross's ship. In desperation, Lexi contacts Tom to ask for help.
5b 10 "Fall of the Nekross (Part 2)" Joss Agnew Gareth Roberts 27 November 2012 (2012-11-27) 1.10
Benny regrets his actions feeling compassion for the Nekross, but Ursula and Michael are willing to let the Nekross die. To save them, Tom teleports Benny to the Nekross's ship. Benny succeeds in his mission, but the Nekross attack forcing Benny to teleport quickly back to Earth.
6a 11 "The Last Day (Part 1)" Joss Agnew Phil Ford 3 December 2012 (2012-12-03) 1.11
Tom experiences nightmares of his late mother Helen (Jennifer Hennessy) who was killed trying to protect him. Inexplicably, Tom sees Helen, but when he finally is able to talk to her, she seems to have no recollection of who she was. They travel to a warehouse where they find that the Nekross have been making clones of Helen.
6b 12 "The Last Day (Part 2)" Joss Agnew Phil Ford 4 December 2012 (2012-12-04) 1.12
Helen helps them escape, and they plan an attack on the Nekross successfully destroying the cloning factories. Unable to stay with her family, Helen finally departs.

Series 2 (2013)[edit]

Story No. Episode Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
code
7a 1 "100 Wizards (Part 1)" Beryl Richards Phil Ford 28 October 2013 (2013-10-28) 2.1
Tom and Benny meet another wizard- Chloe. Not knowing of the Nekross, Chloe publicly entertains people not knowing the Nekross are looking down on her.
7b 2 "100 Wizards (Part 2)" Beryl Richards Phil Ford 29 October 2013 (2013-10-29) 2.2
Tom and Chloe work together by combining their powers to save 100 wizards from the Nekross.
8a 3 "Vice Versa (Part 1)" Beryl Richards Clayton Hickman 4 November 2013 (2013-11-04) 2.3
Tom and Benny meet the Hobbledeyhoy which swaps the lives of Ursula, Varg and Tom and Benny. Lexi finds it as an advantage to taunt Varg.
8b 4 "Vice Versa (Part 2)" Beryl Richards Clayton Hickman 5 November 2013 (2013-11-05) 2.4
Lexi extracts the magic from the now dead Hobbledehoy, it looks to be that Benny be magical and Tom be clever forever.
9a 5 "The Cave of Menla-Gto (Part 1)" Mark Everest Joseph Lidster 11 November 2013 (2013-11-11) 2.5
When Tom's magic backfires during Benny's experiment he has a disease called the 'Devastation'. Tom, Michael and Ursula set out to Tibet to find the Cave of Menla-Gto and Benny and Moon work together to restore the shroud when the Nekross plan to destroy it.
9b 6 "The Cave of Menla-Gto (Part 2)" Mark Everest Joseph Lidster 12 November 2013 (2013-11-12) 2.6
At the cave, Tom meets the 'spirit of the cave'. Meanwhile Benny and Moon are taken by the Nekross and Moon has save the day after Benny has taught him science, and Tom has fight for his life.
10a 7 "The Curse of Crowe (Part 1)" Mark Everest Gareth Roberts 18 November 2013 (2013-11-18) 2.7
When wizard Gemma Raven and her mother are kidnapped by the Nekross, Gemma makes a deal with the Nekross and plans on destroying Tom and Benny's friendship.
10b 8 "The Curse of Crowe (Part 2)" Mark Everest Gareth Roberts 19 November 2013 (2013-11-19) 2.8
Tom and Benny become enemies and Ursula turns into a 'Neverwas', is all victory alongside the Nekross.
11a 9 "The Thirteenth Floor (Part 1)" Paul Murphy Phil Ford 25 November 2013 (2013-11-25) 2.9
Tom and Lexi (now Lucy) get trapped in the 'Neverside' and a relationship begins to grow between them. Benny, his new friend Alisa, Ursula and Michael have to find them.
11b 10 "The Thirteenth Floor (Part 2)" Paul Murphy Phil Ford 26 November 2013 (2013-11-26) 2.10
Ursula, Benny and Michael work together to find Tom and Lucy. Meanwhile, their relationship grows.
12a 11 "Endless Night (Part 1)" Joss Agnew Phil Ford 2 December 2013 (2013-12-02) 2.11
On the verge of an eclipse, the Nekross move the Moon right into a new orbit blocking the sun so Tom has no magic.
12b 12 "Endless Night (Part 2)" Joss Agnew Phil Ford 3 December 2013 (2013-12-03) 2.12
Tom and Lexi must reunite to save the Earth from doom.
13a 13 "All Out War! (Part 1)" Joss Agnew Russell T Davies 9 December 2013 (2013-12-09) 2.13
Chancellor Kooth visits and places Varg and Lexi in a 'Contest of Devourment'. Meanwhile a family visit the Clarke resident claiming they have found the Source of all magic and Ursula dies.
13b 14 "All Out War! (Part 2)" Joss Agnew Russell T Davies 10 December 2013 (2013-12-10) 2.14
Ursula comes back to life. Meanwhile Tom, Benny, Varg and Lexi must work together to stop an attack from Jathro 15 and Kooth before they bring down the royal family of Nekron and before they destroy the Earth.

Series 3 (2014/15)[edit]

On 3rd March 2014, the BBC announced that the programme had been renewed for a third series to be aired over the winter period of late 2014 and early 2015 on CBBC. It will comprise ten episodes, making it the shortest series so far.[11] Mark Everest, who directed four episodes for the previous series, is the lead director, directing at least the opening story.[12] Production for the series ended on 31 May 2014.[13]

International broadcasts and releases[edit]

Wizards vs Aliens made its American debut in on the cable channel Hub Network on 1 June 2013, but only ran for four episodes due to poor ratings.

In Australia, the show aired on ABC 3 weekly between 25 April-11 July 2013, however the third series will not show as the channel could no long afford the cost of airing the programme.

In Poland, the show aired on teleTOON+ between 6 April 2013-1 January 2014. In Polish dub, the last episode was slightly censored – Benny’s dialogues during his coming out was changed from “I’ll go on a date, one day. Just not with her. Not with a girl” to “I’ll go on a date, one day. Just not with her. Not yet”.

DVD and Blu-ray releases[edit]

Series one of Wizards vs Aliens featuring all twelve episodes was released onto DVD and Blu-ray as a two-disc set on 31 December 2012 in Region 2[14] and 17 July 2013 in Region 4.[15]

A DVD and Blu-ray release for the show's second series is yet to be confirmed. BBC Shop stated in late 2013 that they had no plans to stock a release.

Television ratings[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Connelly, Brendan (28 April 2012). "Official Blurb And First Look At Wizards Vs. Aliens From Doctor Who’s Russell T Davies". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "What we know about Russell T Davies' and Phil Ford’s Aliens Vs Wizards". Den of Geek. 2012-03-05. 
  3. ^ "Russell T Davies SFX Interview". 
  4. ^ "Derek Ritchie - United Kingdom | LinkedIn". Uk.linkedin.com. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  5. ^ "Nikki Wilson - United Kingdom | LinkedIn". Uk.linkedin.com. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  6. ^ "Twitter / riverghost: Starting my first full day". Twitter.com. 2014-02-25. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  7. ^ "Twitter / riverghost: First tone meeting of the series". Twitter.com. 2014-02-26. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  8. ^ "Lloyd Elis - United Kingdom | LinkedIn". Uk.linkedin.com. 2013-02-01. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  9. ^ "Ray Holman - United Kingdom | LinkedIn". Uk.linkedin.com. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  10. ^ Cheryl Taylor, Controller, CBBC. "CBBC announces third series of Wizards Vs Aliens - Media centre". BBC. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  11. ^ a b Bowman, John (5 March 2014). "Update to Wizards vs Aliens gets third series". News In Time And Space. Retrieved 5 March 2014. 
  12. ^ "Clients - Individuals". The Agency. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  13. ^ Ford, Phil (June 1, 2014). "Brilliant #WizardsvsAliens wrap party last night on mostly diet coke before early train to Cornwall this am. What an awesome cast and crew!". Phil Ford (Head Writer) Offical Twitter Account. Retrieved June 7, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Wizards vs Aliens Series 1 [DVD]: Amazon.co.uk: Scott Haran, Michael Higgs, Annette Badland, Percelle Ascott, Gwendoline Christie, Jefferson Hall, Dan Starkey: DVD & Blu-ray". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  15. ^ Commercial Development Unit (2013-07-17). "Wizards Vs Aliens - Series 1 | DVD | ABC Shop". Shop.abc.net.au. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  16. ^ "Weekly Top 10 Programmes on CBBC". BARB. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 
  17. ^ "Top 10 Programmes". BARB. 2014-04-13. Retrieved 2014-04-23.