• WARNING: Spoilers

    Based on the 1953 Science Fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke, Childhood's End documents Earth's invasion by a "peaceful" alien race dubbed 'The Overlords.' The Overlords invade Earth and the invasion brings peace. While humans are wary of the Overlords, whom they've never physically seen, the presence of the Overlords is eventually accepted.

    One Overlord named Karellen the aliens' leader and it is he who is the main contact with humans through the U.N. Secretary-General, Finnish-born Stormgren. After Stormgren is kidnapped by rebels critical of the Overlords, the Overlords agree to reveal themselves, but only in fifty years time. In fifty years, they reveal themselves and they resemble demons/devils.

    The story takes place mainly in South Africa, and deals with issues of race, parapsychology, space travel and the paranormal. The story spans sixty years of human history--the golden age of the Overlords' rule.

    The main characters are Stormgren, Rupert Boyce, a South African book collector and zoologist, his brother-in-law, Jan Rodricks, an astrophysicist, and George and Jean Greggson, whose children would subsequently attract the attention of The Overlords.

    At a party at Rupert Boyce's home, Jean Greggson utters mysterious numbers while using a Ouija board to find out the origins of The Overlords' planet.The numbers mean nothing to anyone except Jan Rodricks, Boyce's brother-in-law, who pegs the number to be the coordinates of the Overlords' planet.

    While Jan works on a plan to travel to the planet of the Overlords, The Greggson children (a son and daughter) start showing signs of telepathy and telekinesis.Because of this incident, the Overlords reveal their true reason for invading Earth. They were sent to oversee the evolution of the human consciousness. They announce that all children ten and under would be "segregated" by themselves so they can prepare them to join the "overmind"--a god-like creator force/consciousness. The remaining humans became sterilized and remained childless. Eighty years passed, and Jan, having stowed away with the Overlords to their world, returns to Earth and discovers all humans were dead and he is the last survivor of the human race. The children who roam the planet (blind, naked, deaf and speechless) are not really 'humans,' even if they were born to humans.

    The 'children' eventually vanish from the planet to merge with the 'Overmind' and Jan is asked to join the Overlords on their mission but refuses and stays behind to document Earth's final days, expressing emptiness. Earth is destroyed. The Overlords salute humans from outside the solar system.