At long last, Arthur C. Clarke’s seminal sci-fi opus Childhood’s End is coming to television, courtesy of Syfy, which plans to air an ambitious, six-hour miniseries adaptation. And recently, the network announced that it has landed an actor better known for his fantasty work to take on one of the starring roles – Game of Thrones actor Charles Dance.
The acclaimed actor, whose performance as scheming political player Tywin Lannister on Game of Thrones has earned him rapturous praise over the course of four seasons, will play Karellen, the ambassador for an alien race called the Overlords. When Karellen first arrives on Earth, making contact with Earthling Ricky Stormgren (still uncast), his coming marks the beginning of a peaceful alien invasion that ends all war and begins an age of total peace. As the years pass, human identity and culture begin to disappear, making many realize the cost of such utopia.
According to Entertainment Weekly, which broke news of Dance’s casting:
“Karellen’s comforting words and amazing technological gifts quickly win humanity’s favor, beginning decades of apparent utopia at the cost of human identity and culture. However, his refusal to reveal his physical appearance and insistence on dealing only through Ricky have some people questioning whether his intentions are truly benevolent.”
Dance’s involvement isn’t the only reason to be excited for Childhood’s End. The executive producers include Akiva Goldsman (Lone Survivor) and Mike DeLuca (The Social Network), while Nick Hurran (Sherlock) has been set to direct and the script comes from Life on Mars screenwriter Matthew Graham. Additionally, though alien invasion tales are a dime a dozen these days, Clarke is one of the sci-fi greats, and his work is appropriately one of the most gripping and thought-provoking entries in the subgenre.
Syfy will air Childhood’s End sometime next year.