17 December 2015 | atlasmb
Captivating Sci-Fi Classic
Now that the Syfy Channel has released Arthur C. Clarke's "Childhood's End" as a six hour miniseries, it is fair to compare it to the classic novel, but it should be judged on its own merits. I am pleased to say that all but one half hour is quite exciting and suspenseful. That half hour, which is near the end, suffers from bad editing.
The story combines science fiction with what could be called elements of supernaturalism, depending up on how you interpret it. Regardless, the story is captivating. With every revelation, there are even greater mysteries to be revealed--something that is unusual in fiction.
I don't want to reveal much of the story and rob anyone of the powerful surprises in "Childhood's End" and the thrill of living the story through the characters, but the story starts with occurrences that affect the lives of everyone on Earth. The narrative follows the lives of a small number of people, showing how their lives are changed and the challenges they face. Clarke's story is rife with religious imagery and symbolism. While he was an atheist, his earlier stories are filled with supernatural elements. "Childhood's End" includes some that are reminiscent of "2001: A Space Odyssey"--the work he is best known for.
How does one grade a work that is 85% awesome? That's a matter of opinion. But I hope the show gets plenty of viewers, because it is provocative--even sixty years after it was written. And it might encourage some to read about Clarke's notable career as a writer.