Childhood's End (miniseries)

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Childhood's End
Childhoods End.jpeg
Promotional poster
GenreScience fiction
Based onChildhood's End
by Arthur C. Clarke
Developed byMatthew Graham
ComposerCharlie Clouser
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes3
Executive producersAkiva Goldsman
Michael De Luca
Matthew Graham
Alissa Phillips
Running time246 minutes
Production companiesMonastic Productions
Michael De Luca Productions
Weed Road Pictures
Universal Cable Productions
Original networkSyfy
Original releaseDecember 14 (2015-12-14) –
December 16, 2015 (2015-12-16)

Childhood's End is an American-Australian television miniseries based on the 1953 novel of the same name, by Arthur C. Clarke, and developed by Matthew Graham. It premiered on Syfy on December 14, 2015.[1]





From the late 1960s, attempts had been made to adapt Childhood's End as a movie, but none of them ever proceeded out of development hell.[4]

On April 10, 2013, Syfy announced its plans to develop a TV miniseries based on Childhood's End.[5] On September 3, 2014, Syfy announced that Childhood's End had been greenlit for three two-hour episodes, for a 2015 airing. The series was going to be written by Matthew Graham, directed by Nick Hurran, and produced by Akiva Goldsman and Mike DeLuca.[6] On October 24, 2014, it was announced that Charles Dance would play Karellen.[7] On November 21, 2014, it was announced that Mike Vogel would play Ricky Stormgren.[8] On January 12, 2015, it was announced that Colm Meaney would play Wainwright and Charlotte Nicdao would play Rachel Osaka.[3] A trailer for the miniseries was released in May 2015. The series premiered in December 2015.[9]


No.TitleDirected byTeleplay byOriginal air dateUS viewers
1"The Overlords"Nick HurranMatthew GrahamDecember 14, 2015 (2015-12-14)1.45[10]
Milo Rodericks, claiming to be the last living human, records a message from the ruin of a post-apocalyptic Earth. In 2016, a fleet of massive alien space ships appear in the skies of Earth. Dubbed 'the Overlords', the alien 'Supervisor for Earth' Karellen speaks to humanity claiming they have come to usher in an age of utopia. Karellen speaks to a farmer named Ricky Stormgren in the form of his deceased wife Annabelle, and chooses Ricky to serve as humanity's representative. Despite initial resistance and distrust from governments, the Overlords systematically eliminate disease, war, hunger, and pollution, setting the stage for the 'Golden Age of Humanity'. When Milo, currently confined to a wheelchair, is shot and killed by a drug dealer, the Overlords kill the attacker and resurrect Milo, as well as giving him the ability to walk. Media mogul Hugo Wainwright secretly organizes a counter-group dubbed the Freedom League, which uses social media to spread distrust about the Overlords. When their years-long campaign fails to slow the aliens' changes, the Freedom League kidnaps Ricky to force Karellen's hand. Karellen intervenes, saving Ricky's life while simultaneously projecting Wainwright's entire conspiracy to the world. Shortly afterwards, Wainwright is found hanged and Karellen dismisses Ricky, saying his work is now finished. Ricky asks Karellen to show his true self to humanity, but the alien retorts that humans are not yet ready to 'accept' his true form. Fifteen years later, Milo has become an astrophysicist, and watches along with Ricky and the rest of the world as Karellen reveals himself for the first time. With Earth now a near-Utopia, humanity has dubbed the Overlords their 'guardian angels', but are shocked and alarmed when Karellen emerges, his appearance resembling that of devils and demons.
2"The Deceivers"Nick HurranMatthew GrahamDecember 15, 2015 (2015-12-15)1.24[11]
In 2035, life on Earth resembles a pastoral idyll. Dr. Boyce leads a research institute for Karellen, at which Milo and his friend Rachel work, until the space program is ended and Milo has to leave. Boyce delivers samples of Earth's species for a zoo on the overlords’ planet. An overlord pod visits the Greggsons, after which the mother Amy is pregnant, and son Tommy is changed. The faithful Peretta Jones is called as counsellor when Tommy is haunted by night terrors of a dark and hot place, but he refuses to reveal more as not to frighten the adults. During their encounter, Peretta's cross necklace is destroyed, a deeply spiritual experience for her, and she eventually travels to the Stormgren farm. Ricky falls ill, allegedly from exposure to poisons on the overlord ship. After the Overlords build a room with a Ouija board, Boyce invites the Greggsons to South Africa under false pretenses. When they arrive, Karellen makes Amy operate the communication device through her unborn child. Milo finds out that the message was directed at the constellation Carina. Karellen returns to Ricky, and Ellie and Peretta interrupt them. Peretta confronts Karellen about his lies, and he confesses he sterilized Ricky because the upcoming change will be more painful for parents. Peretta shoots Karellen, but Ricky uses a cure that was meant for him to save Karellen. Peretta is later killed for shooting Karellen. Finally, Amy gives birth to her daughter Jennifer.
3"The Children"Nick HurranMatthew GrahamDecember 16, 2015 (2015-12-16)1.28[12]
Four years later, the children of Earth begin to demonstrate advanced psychic abilities and form a mental link with Jennifer. The Greggson family is wary of what is happening to her and they move to the free city of New Athens, hoping to escape Karellen's influence. Ricky finally succumbs to his illness. Karellen announces to the world that all of the children will be gathered together, that no more children will be born, and that the adults are free to live out their lives as they wish. The children begin to float off through the sky. The mayor of New Athens decides that hope is lost and sets off a nuclear bomb, destroying the city. Milo smuggles himself aboard one of the ships transporting zoo animals, and upon arrival at the Overlords' home world he is shown a glimpse of the Overmind, a vast cosmic intelligence which they serve. Milo returns to Earth some 80 years later (due to time dilation), just before the moment when the children join the Overmind. He goes to the surface and begins transmitting a report to Karellen (the first part of which was shown in Episode 1). He asks Karellen to leave behind some memento of Earth's culture, and Karellen obliges, choosing a recording of Ralph Vaughan Williams's "The Lark Ascending" heard in Milo's childhood. The Earth is destroyed as the children join the Overmind.


Childhood's End has a score of 70% on Rotten Tomatoes, with a critical consensus of "While it doesn't quite live up to the book that inspired it, Childhood's End has a balanced narrative and sympathetic performances."[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Syfy Sets Premiere Dates for 'Childhood's End". Variety. November 11, 2015. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Childhood's End Cast". Syfy. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Deadline, The (January 12, 2015). "'Hell On Wheels' Star Colm Meaney Cast In 'Childhood's End On Syfy". Deadline. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  4. ^ Arthur C. Clarke, Astounding Days: A Science Fictional Autobiography (New York: Bantam Books, 1990), 125n1.
  5. ^ Lesnick, Silas (April 10, 2013). "Syfy to Adapt Childhood's End, Ringworld, The Lotus Caves and More!". Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  6. ^ Jue, Teresa (September 3, 2014). "Syfy greenlights Arthur C. Clarke's 'Childhood's End' as a miniseries". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  7. ^ Hibberd, James (October 24, 2014). "'Game of Thrones' actor to star in major Syfy miniseries". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  8. ^ Hibberd, James (November 21, 2014). "'Under the Dome' actor to star in Syfy thriller". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  9. ^ "Childhoods End | Syfy - Watch Full Episodes". Syfy. Archived from the original on March 26, 2016. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  10. ^ Porter, Rick (December 15, 2015). "Monday cable ratings: 'The Expanse' premiere not that expansive, 'Monday Night Football' leads". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on December 17, 2015. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  11. ^ Porter, Rick (December 16, 2015). "Tuesday cable ratings: Republican debate delivers big numbers for CNN". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on December 18, 2015. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  12. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (December 17, 2015). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Wednesday Cable Originals & Network Update: 12.16.2015". Showbuzzdaily. Archived from the original on December 18, 2015. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
  13. ^ "Childhood's End". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 16, 2020.

External links[edit]