Wizards vs Aliens

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Wizards vs Aliens
Titlecard of Wizards vs Aliens
Genre Science fiction
Fantasy
Created by Russell T Davies
Phil Ford
Starring Scott Haran
Percelle Ascott
Annette Badland
Michael Higgs
Dan Starkey
Jefferson Hall
Gwendoline Christie
Brian Blessed
Kristian Philips
Alex Childs
Composer(s) Sam Watts
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 3
No. of episodes 36 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Russell T Davies (Series 1-2)
Bethan Hunt (Series 1-2)
Nikki Wilson (Series 3)
Phil Ford (Series 3)
Producer(s) Brian Minchin (Series 1)
Peter Bennett (Series 2-3)
Editor(s) Will Oswald
Tim Hodges
Running time 28 minutes approx.
54 Minutes approx. (Series 3 Premiere)
Production company(s) BBC Cymru Wales
FremantleMedia Enterprises
Release
Original network CBBC
Original release 29 October 2012 (2012-10-29) – 25 November 2014 (2014-11-25)
External links
Official website

Wizards vs Aliens is a British science fantasy television programme 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 (Scott Haran) and his scientifically gifted best friend Benny Sherwood (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 when it was cancelled due to the death of its lead actress Elisabeth Sladen.[2][3] However, the show has no relation to Doctor Who.

Two series were commissioned by the BBC in late 2011 for broadcast in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Series 1 broadcast between 29 October 2012 and 4 December 2012 containing twelve episodes (six two-part stories). Series 2 aired between 28 October 2013 and 10 December 2013, containing fourteen episodes (seven two-part stories). A third series featuring ten episodes (five two-part stories)[4] premiered on 27 October 2014[5] and ended 25 November 2014.

Co-creator and former executive producer Russell T Davies stated that the show could "easily run for ten years".[6] In January 2015, it was announced that the series had been put on hiatus due to financial reasons, but could return at some point in the future.

Premise[edit]

Wizards vs Aliens is an action, adventure series which sees the collision of two very different worlds.

The first series focuses on Tom Clarke, a 16-year-old Wizard, and his scientist best friend Benny Sherwood as they come across the forces of an alien race called the Nekross who have invaded Earth to consume anything or anyone connected to Magic.

The second series continues the battle between the two sides and sheds more focus on magical creatures and locations and Jathro and Kooth's plan to overthrow the Nekross royals.

In the third series, Tom and Benny part ways when Benny receives an opportunity to work with MIT in America. The Nekross return to Earth's galaxy, with Varg, now King Regent of the empire, intending to have vengeance on Tom for turning his sister Lexi into a human (which he did to save her life) and sending her to Earth. He is assisted by his wife Lady Lyzera, who is secretly a sorceress who wishes to take Earth's magic for herself and take over the universe.

Characters[edit]

Wizards / Unenchanted[edit]

  • Scott Haran as Thomas Robert "Tom" Clarke - A football-loving teenage wizard who defends wizardkind and Earth from the alien Nekross.
  • Percelle Ascott as Benjamin Claude "Benny" Sherwood (Series 1–The Quantum Effect) - Tom's best friend whose extended knowledge of science and nerd-like qualities finds use in battle against the Nekross, although his experiments have occasionally gone wrong. As Benny is not a Wizard, he is known as an 'unenchanted' among Wizard-kind. Benny later comes out as gay to Tom and shortly after moves to America to study at MIT.
  • Annette Badland as Ursula Crowe - Tom's happy-go-lucky grandmother and Michael's mother-in-law, a wizard descended from the Magical Line of Crowe who occasionally has trouble casting the right spell. She is also Tom's tutor when training him in magic and spells.
  • Michael Higgs as Michael Clarke - Tom's widowed father and Ursula's son-in-law who works as a veterinarian. The voice of reason in Tom and Benny's plans, his main concern is Tom's safety when in battle and that he shouldn't just rely on magic all the time. Like Benny, Michael is not a Wizard and is therefore known as an 'unenchanted' among Wizard-kind.
  • Dan Starkey as Randal Moon - A hobgoblin who lives in the Chamber of Crowe - the source of the Magical Line of Crowe's magic - and aids the Wizards in their fight against the Nekross with his vast knowledge of potions and spells.

Nekross[edit]

  • Jefferson Hall (Series 1–2), later Kristian Phillips (Series 3) as Varg - Prince of Nekron and later King Regent; son of the Nekross King, Lexi's older brother and Lady Lyzera's husband, who fights the Wizards with brute strength. He is demanding and determined to locate and devour all magic on Earth, at any cost. As Regent King, Varg travels back to Earth to continue extracting Earth's magic but also wishes to find his sister Lexi and have vengeance on Tom for turning her into a human and sending her to Earth.
  • Gwendoline Christie as Lexi (Series 1–2) - 17-year-old Princess of Nekron; daughter of the Nekross King and Varg's younger sister, whose strategic skills and in-depth research into Earth's culture helps the Nekross in their battle against the Wizards. She and Tom later form an on-off relationship and eventually have a son together, Benny Junior, while trapped in the Neverside. They eventually lose him after returning to the Dayside. After sustaining Zanti-Scale contamination to save Tom back in the Dayside, he makes her human and sends her to live on Earth, bringing back Benny Jr to ensure her happiness.
  • Voice of Brian Blessed as The Nekross King (Series 1–2) - King of the Nekross's home planet Nekron and father to 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" and sits inside a large bay wall. Greedy and bossy, it is later revealed that the King consumed most of Earth's magic for himself and sent Nekron scraps of magic. He retires to Nekron to process the magic he consumed for his people.
  • Tom Bell as Technician Jathro 15 - A Nekross of the Zarantulus technician class, who assisted Varg and Lexi in their schemes against the Wizards while secretly working for his mother, Chancellor Kooth, as part of their plan to overthrow the Royal Family. Thought to have been swept away with Kooth's armada, Jathro survived and crash-landed on Earth and disguised himself as an astrophysicist named Adam Wright. Months later, Varg and Lady Lyzera find him and make him the jester of Lyzera's pet bird Eelix as punishment for his betrayal. He meets his fate after being turned into beetroot bugs by Lyzera for Eelix after betraying her.
  • Alex Childs as Lady Lyzera (Series 3) - Regent Queen of Nekron and Varg's wife. Cunning, ambitious and charming, she stands by Varg in his mission to find all known magic on Earth and rid the universe of Tom Clarke. However, unknown to Varg, Lyzera is secretly a Nekross Sorceress who schemes to harvest Earth's magic for herself and use it to conquer the universe.

Recurring[edit]

  • Manpreet Bambra as Katie Lord - Tom and Benny's classmate and Tom's love interest, who is unaware that Tom is a Wizard. She briefly learns of Tom's nature as a wizard, but believing she couldn't handle the stress of worrying about him in his fight against the Nekross, asks him to perform a spell to wipe her memory.
  • Connor Scarlett as Quinn Christopher - Tom and Benny's jock-like classmate, who occasionally teased Benny but eventually befriends him. Like Katie, he has no idea of Tom's true nature as a Wizard.

Episodes[edit]

Series Episodes Original Air Date DVD Release Date
Premiere Finale Region 2 Region 4
1 12 29 October 2012 4 December 2012 31 December 2012 17 July 2013
2 14 28 October 2013 10 December 2013 TBA 3 September 2014
3 10 27 October 2014 25 November 2014 TBA TBA

Series 1 (2012)[edit]

Story No. Episode No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod.
code
Ratings
1 1/2 "Dawn of the Nekross" Daniel O'Hara Phil Ford 29 October 2012 (2012-10-29)
30 October 2012 (2012-10-30)
1.1
1.2
595,000
502,000
Tom Clarke is hiding a secret – he's a schoolboy wizard! But when the magic-eating alien Nekross arrive on Earth, a battle for survival begins. Tom must use his magical powers to protect his family – but only the school geek, Benny, can help him against the plans of the terrifying Nekross King.
2 3/4 "Grazlax Attacks" Daniel O'Hara Phil Ford 5 November 2012 (2012-11-05)
6 November 2012 (2012-11-06)
1.3
1.4
508,000
478,000
Tom's quiet Saturday at Benny's house becomes a thrilling fight for their lives when the vicious alien Grazlax hunts them down. The two boys must learn to fight together, combining Tom's magic with Benny's science, or the Nekross's savage pet will succeed – and devour them!
3 5/6 "Rebel Magic" Griff Rowland Joseph Lidster 12 November 2012 (2012-11-12)
13 November 2012 (2012-11-13)
1.5
1.6
433,000
417,000
When Tom meets another wizard called Jackson Hawke, he can’t resist dabbling in dangerous magic. Benny tries to warn him, to no avail, but all three lads are unaware of the Nekross getting closer and closer – and this time, alien Prince Varg is determined to make it personal.
4 7/8 "Friend or Foe" Griff Rowland Clayton Hickman 19 November 2012 (2012-11-19)
20 November 2012 (2012-11-20)
1.7
1.8
543,000
497,000
Lexi adopts human form and transports to Earth, with one aim – to capture Tom Clarke. But both are unaware that a greater enemy is watching – scheming billionaire Stephanie Gaunt is determined to prove the existence of magic, and nothing can stand in her way.
5 9/10 "Fall of the Nekross" Joss Agnew Gareth Roberts 26 November 2012 (2012-11-26)
27 November 2012 (2012-11-27)
1.9
1.10
409,000
458,000
Benny launches an attack on the Nekross ship. The schoolboy genius uses all the computers on Earth against the aliens, and the starship Zarantulus is stricken. But soon the plan runs out of control, with terrifying consequences for both wizards and aliens alike.
6 11/12 "The Last Day" Joss Agnew Phil Ford 3 December 2012 (2012-12-03)
4 December 2012 (2012-12-04)
1.11
1.12
496,000
505,000
While the Nekross advance their Master Plan in secret, Tom is haunted by dreams of his childhood. And when he tries to have a normal life by going on a date with Katie, he suddenly sees someone from his past, and discovers the impossible has happened. His entire life will never be the same again…

Series 2 (2013)[edit]

Story No. Episode No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod.
code
Ratings
7 1/2 "100 Wizards" Beryl Richards Phil Ford 28 October 2013 (2013-10-28)
29 October 2013 (2013-10-29)
2.1
2.2
309,000
277,000
Tom and Benny make an amazing discovery – a new wizard called Chloe! The race is on to find her before the Nekross can feast. But when Hex TV steps in to broadcast Chloe's powers worldwide, every wizard in the land faces danger. Can Tom stop Chloe in time, before the Nekross can spring their trap?
8 3/4 "Vice Versa" Beryl Richards Clayton Hickman 4 November 2013 (2013-11-04)
5 November 2013 (2013-11-05)
2.3
2.4
397,000
432,000
Tom and Benny learn not to toy With the awesome Hobbledehoy! If you cross him you’ll feel stranger Because he's a rearranger! And just to complicate his crime They have to talk to him in rhyme Now Tom's clever, Benny's magic! But events will soon turn tragic…
9 5/6 "The Cave of Menla-Gto" Mark Everest Joseph Lidster 11 November 2013 (2013-11-11)
12 November 2013 (2013-11-12)
2.5
2.6
362,000
362,000
Tom is badly hurt in a magical accident, and the terrible curse of the Devastation threatens his life. His entire family must journey to the wilds of Tibet in search of a cure, within the mystical Cave of Healing. But with Benny and Moon left alone, the Nekross launch their most powerful attack yet – can they be stopped, without Tom?
10 7/8 "The Curse of Crowe" Mark Everest Gareth Roberts 18 November 2013 (2013-11-18)
19 November 2013 (2013-11-19)
2.7
2.8
319,000
319,000
Teenage wizard Gemma Raven makes a terrible bargain with the Nekross – if they save her mother's life, she will cast a spell strong enough to destroy Tom and Benny's friendship forever! And when Ursula is drawn into the evil plan, she discovers that a fate worse that death awaits her, in the shape of the terrifying Neverwas.
11 9/10 "The Thirteenth Floor" Paul Murphy Phil Ford 25 November 2013 (2013-11-25)
26 November 2013 (2013-11-26)
2.9
2.10
423,000
380,000
Tom Clarke faces his greatest challenge yet, when a mysterious elevator takes him to Floor 13 – a destination leading far beyond this world. While Benny struggles to understand this ancient trap, the Nekross arrive, ready to feast – only to discover that Floor 13 has terrible plans for them too…
12 11/12 "Endless Night" Joss Agnew Phil Ford 2 December 2013 (2013-12-02)
3 December 2013 (2013-12-03)
2.11
2.12
346,000
341,000
Randall Moon is filled with dread – an eclipse is due to take place! He swears that evil will fall when the moon blocks out the sun. And he's proved right when the Nekross activate their magnificent master plan – to take control of the moon's orbit and bring everlasting night to Earth!
13 13/14 "All Out War!" Joss Agnew Russell T Davies 9 December 2013 (2013-12-09)
10 December 2013 (2013-12-10)
2.13
2.14
357,000
367,000
On the eve of war, Tom is visited by a wizard family who claim to have found the most powerful object on the planet – the Source of All Magic! But in the skies above, the Nekross are forced to take terrible action, as Kooth sets her evil plan in motion. By the end of this night, neither wizards nor aliens will ever be the same again.

Series 3 (2014)[edit]

Story No. Episode No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod.
code
Ratings
14 1/2 "The Secret of Room 12" Mark Everest Phil Ford 27 October 2014 (2014-10-27) 3.1
3.2
297,000
Tom and Benny think that with the Nekross gone, life is going to get a whole lot easier. But when students and teachers at Kings Park School are acting strangely, Tom and Benny fear their enemies have returned and soon suspect alien activity centred on the mysterious Room 12.
15 3/4 "The Quantum Effect" Mark Everest Julie Dixon 3 November 2014
4 November 2014 (2014-11-04)
3.3
3.4
266,000
229,000
Tom is suspicious when Benny gets an invitation to help an eccentric scientist at the Brook Mill radio telescope. Meanwhile, the Nekross launch a new plan that will leave wizard kind with nowhere to hide. Can Tom and Benny's friendship survive long enough to save the planet?
16 5/6 "The Daughters of Stone" Lee Haven Jones Phil Ford 10 November 2014
11 November 2014 (2014-11-11)
3.5
3.6
288,000
276,000
Tom is contacted by Katie when something terrifies her grandfather at the spooky disused Blackberry Theatre. He doesn’t believe in ghosts but they discover something far worse – a Neverside Witch with wicked plans for the Magical Line Of Crowe.
17 7/8 "The Key of Bones" Lee Haven Jones Sasha Hails 17 November 2014
18 November 2014 (2014-11-18)
3.7
3.8
225,000
225,000
There are more tears in the Line of Twilight as Simeon proposes a quest to find the only object that can heal it: the ancient and lost Key of Bones. But unbeknownst to Tom or his grandfather, the Lady Lyzera has invaded Simeon's dreams and is determined to acquire the Key for herself.
18 9/10 "Twilight Falls" Mark Everest Phil Ford 24 November 2014
25 November 2014 (2014-11-25)
3.9
3.10
241,000
234,000
Randal Moon learns that the Lady Lyzera intends to release Warlock from his centuries-long exile on the Neverside and he is faced with a decision that may destroy the Chamber of Crowe. Soon, Tom is thrown into a fight to save the Dayside from destruction with an unlikely new partner.

International broadcasts and releases[edit]

Wizards vs Aliens made its American debut on the cable channel Hub Network on 1 June 2013, but only ran for four episodes due to poor ratings. The series is now available on hulu and Netflix.

In Australia the show airs on ABC 3.

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 dialogue 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".

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. ^ Bluebox podcast No. 126 "Dan and Phil"
  4. ^ Bowman, John (5 March 2014). "Update to Wizards vs Aliens gets third series". News In Time And Space. Retrieved 5 March 2014. 
  5. ^ Cheryl Taylor, Controller, CBBC. "CBBC announces third series of Wizards Vs Aliens - Media centre". BBC. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  6. ^ "Russell T Davies SFX Interview".