The Midwich Cuckoos (TV series)

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The Midwich Cuckoos
Created byDavid Farr
Based onThe Midwich Cuckoos
by John Wyndham
StarringKeeley Hawes
ComposerHannah Peel
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series1
No. of episodes7
Executive producers
  • Neil Blair
  • Robert Cheek
  • David Farr
  • Ruth Kenley-Letts
  • Marc Samuelson
  • Rick Senat
  • Alice Troughton
ProducerPat Karam
Running time60 minutes (except first episode: 75 minutes) including adverts.
Production companiesSnowed-In Productions
DayOut Productions
Route 24
Original networkSky Max
Original release2 June 2022 (2022-06-02)

The Midwich Cuckoos is a British science fiction television series on Sky Max, created by David Farr.[1][2] It is based on the 1957 book of the same name by John Wyndham. It stars Keeley Hawes and Max Beesley. It began airing on 2 June 2022,[3] and all episodes became available on Sky On Demand. In Australia, the entire series is available on Stan.[4]


An unexplained blackout renders all inhabitants of the English village Midwich unconscious for 24 hours, referred to as the "dayout". Upon awakening it soon becomes apparent that all child-bearing aged women are now pregnant. The women all give birth on the same day to healthy babies which grow and develop much faster than "normal" children. The Children bear a resemblance to their mothers, but are both male and female. The government, led by Major Westcott, pays a subsidy to the Children's parents and both educates and monitors them from "The Grange" facility in the village. Dr Zellaby, a villager who was away on the dayout so did not fall pregnant, becomes a primary carer on the staff and suspects that the Children are of alien origin. She shares her concerns with DCI Haynes, the local Police liaison for the village.

Several years pass, and the quickly-developing Children become aloof and with the exception of one child - Nathan - have an emotional detachment from the other villagers, including their parents. The Children develop telekinetic abilities, which they use to get their own way, forcing their parents to act against their wills, self-harm and kill themselves in two cases. Major Westcott reveals himself to be an adult Child, the sole survivor from a Russian village 30 years ago that had a dayout, but was bombed by Russian authorities out of fear of the developing Children. Under Westcott's guidance the Children subvert a nearby military base and use the soldiers to organise safe passage out of the village. The Children use their mental powers to force all the villagers to forget the Children exist, but Nathan warns his parents, Zellaby and Haynes who take cover underground and are unaffected by the amnesia wave. The Children remove Nathan from their group mind, leaving him in the village and depart on a bus guarded by the military, and with Zellaby as a willing hostage to ensure safe passage. Unknown to all, Haynes had taken the place of one of the soldiers and overnight hidden an explosive device on the bus. He tries to persuade Zellaby to leave, but she refuses knowing that if she does so the Children will become suspicious. Reluctantly he detonates the bomb killing all those on board - Zellaby and the Children, but Westcott in a support vehicle survives, looking on in horror.



Supporting and recurring[edit]

  • Rebekah Staton as Mary-Ann Phillips
  • Mark Dexter as Stewart McLean
  • Marianne Oldham as Jane Colter
  • Jade Harrison as Deborah Haynes
  • Amy Cudden as Sarah McLean
  • Hannah Tointon as Rachel Saunders
  • Lewis Reeves as Curtis Saunders
  • Anneika Rose as Amrita Chohhan
  • India Ria Amarteifio as Nora Randall
  • Cherrelle Skeete as Bryony Cummings
  • Darcie Smith and Amelie Bea Smith as Charlotte McLean
  • Aditi Pothuganti and Jiyan Kaur Deol as Sunny Chohhan
  • Jude Ible-Thompson and Adiel Magaji as Nathan Blake
  • Erin Ainsworth and Natalia Harris as Lily-Grace Phillips
  • Billie Gadsdon and Indica Watson as Evie Stone
  • Kaylen Luke as Ezra
  • Scarlett Leigh and Georgia Thorne as Hannah Moran
  • Jimmy Bone and Jude Muir as Joe Saunders
  • Dexter Ansell as David Saunders
  • Evan Scott and Marshall Hawkes as Connor Colter
  • Alex Brock as John Lancaster
  • Kimara-Mai Petit and Kimia Lamour as Olive Randall


EpisodeDirected byWritten byOriginal release dateUK viewers
1Bad ThingsAlice TroughtonDavid Farr2 June 2022 (2022-06-02)1.50
2In This TogetherAlice TroughtonDavid Farr2 June 2022 (2022-06-02)N/A
3The HiveJennifer PerrottDavid Farr and Sasha Hails2 June 2022 (2022-06-02)N/A
4Hide and SeekJennifer PerrottDavid Farr and Laura Lomas2 June 2022 (2022-06-02)N/A
5Why Are You Lying?Jennifer PerrottDavid Farr and Namsi Khan2 June 2022 (2022-06-02)N/A
6Not An Ice CreamBörkur SigþórssonDavid Farr2 June 2022 (2022-06-02)N/A
7DepartureBörkur SigþórssonDavid Farr2 June 2022 (2022-06-02)N/A


The series received mixed reviews. Lucy Mangan of The Guardian gave the first episode two out of five stars, feeling it did not make the most of its adaptational changes and topicality with its emphasis on the perspective of female characters.[6] Nick Hilton of The Independent also gave it two out of five stars, deeming it 'humourless' and criticizing the production.[7] By contrast, Mark Kermode on Kermode and Mayo's Take praised the series' tone, use of horror and performances, saying it was a successful update of the novel.[8] Carol Midgley of The Times also gave it four stars, praising the atmospheric direction and Farr's scripts.[9]
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 71% based on 14 reviews. The website's critics consensus reads, "This adaptation of John Wyndham's classic novel is often cuckoo in an off-putting way and overstays its welcome with a bloated runtime, but it holds some diabolical delights for viewers who enjoy a science-fiction nightmare."[10]

Hannah Peel's original soundtrack to "The Midwich Cuckoos" won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Television Soundtrack at The Ivors in London on 18 May 2023.[11]

See Also[edit]


  1. ^ "Keeley Hawes & Max Beesley To Star In Sky One's 'The Midwich Cuckoos'". TVWise. 29 April 2021. Archived from the original on 2021-04-29. Retrieved 2021-04-30.
  2. ^ "Sky reveals first look trailer and image for Sky Original drama the Midwich Cuckoos starring Keeley Hawes".
  3. ^ "The Midwich Cuckoos: Release date, cast, trailer and latest news for Keeley Hawes drama". Radio Times. 20 May 2022.
  4. ^ "Exclusive: The Midwich Cuckoos star Keeley Hawes on her 'relatable' role in new Stan sci-fi series". Nine.Com. 2 June 2022. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
  5. ^ Mellor, Louisa (2022-06-07). "How The Midwich Cuckoos Ending Twist Sets Up Season 2". Den of Geek. Retrieved 2022-12-02.
  6. ^ "The Midwich Cuckoos review – women's rights are under attack, and this is what they make?". The Guardian. 2 June 2022.
  7. ^ "The Midwich Cuckoos is a bland, faithless reimagining of the sci-fi novel – review". The Independent. 2 June 2022.
  8. ^ Mark Kermode reviews The Midwich Cuckoos – Kermode and Mayo's Take – via YouTube.
  9. ^ "The Midwich Cuckoos review — one freaky return to the Village of the Damned". The Times. 2 June 2022. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
  10. ^ "The Midwich Cuckoos". Rotten Tomatoes. 14 September 2023.
  11. ^ Ophelia, Maya (2023-05-18). "Winners of The Ivors 2023 announced". The Ivors Academy. Retrieved 2023-07-12.

External links[edit]