Thursday, 26 January 2012


Smell the Movies
Smell the TV

Transmitted:December 2002
Country of origin:USA
Genre:Sci-fi paranoia, Generational drama, Epic miniseries
Starring:Steve Burton, Joel Gretsch, Tina Holmes, Anton Yelchin, Chad Donella, James N. Kirk, Desmond Harrington, Ryan Hurst, Chad Morgan, Dakota Fanning, Willie Garson, Matt Frewer
No. of seasons:N/A

This is an endurance test and no mistake.
Spielberg produced alien abduction fare is what we have here, though with a scope that could well be described as epic, sprawling a timespan of some fifty years, with myriad characters, interwoven into real events from modern history.
The focus here is more on how the alleged abductions impact upon both the 'Taken' as well as their families, as well as the usual military shenanigans that you would expect, as shady individuals and black ops units attempt to cover up the alien presence and silence thsoe that have seen too much.
Clearly, the success of The X Files at peak of its powers was an influence, though this is less intense and certainly nowhere near as dark and brooding as that show.
Spielberg's touch shines through in the sense of wonder that he manages to instill in his alien projects, a genuine sense of awe and beauty as lights dance in the sky majestically. Unfortunately, his tendency to add a liberal dose of schmaltz is also present and correct and, as the series progresses it attains near insufferable levels.
With ten hour and a half episodes in total, the word bloated seems to fit pretty well, folks, and there is no doubting that this is way too long, the story lumbering along with no real sense of urgency. Truth of it, I struggled with the last couple of episodes but, when you've already watched the equivalent of eight full length horror movies you feel kind of obliged to endure the finale.
Whilst there are some moments of real intelligence and majesty, overall this felt a little too 'day-time TV' to be taken too seriously as a piece of adult science fiction, the tameness of events disappointing throughout.


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