CHARLES DANCE — CHILDHOOD’S END — 2015
The most amazing and pessimistic dystopia about humanity. Some Extraterrestrials, or Aliens, or both arrive on earth one day and impose the simple rule, one simple rule, and only one: NO WAR, NO DISEASE, NO POVERTY. But that’s been the dream of humanity since it decided to become agricultural and cattle-raising. At once they had to invent the property of land and regular work in the field for everyone, except a few who became priests or soldiers or politicians. That was about 15,000 years ago. Since Homo Sapiens is at least 300,000 years old, this last and most recent period is like one hour before midnight and midnight is close.
This series in three parts or episodes is frighteningly banal. Humans accept the deal both because they like it and because there is no choice. Do it or just disappear. And they did it and they will discover in the third part that the price to pay is that all children born after the take-over have to go up into the cosmos and become the property of these Aliens. That’s so ridiculous. That’s Trump and his executive orders along the border with Mexico. The children are seized and sent everywhere, and no one knows where, away from their parents and their parents are deported back to where they were coming from. In 2015 the series was prophetic, apart from the fact that all children accept it with pleasure, fascination and jubilation: the jubilation of the silent contemplation of a life somewhere else without any link with earth at all left.
But the most ridiculous element of all is the physical appearance of these Aliens. He is (the series show two of them look-alike twins) exactly a picture of the devil, red of course, with horns of course, with wings and a tail of course, and standing on horse-like hoofs, of course, directly taken out of the medieval books of horrors where Satan is depicted like that. This is absurd and in many ways condescending and humiliating for the audience. How can a human audience accept such a ridiculous rewriting of the worst possible version of the Christian faith?
But don’t worry, there is no real resistance for a long period of time, though some who manage to make a profit out of the situation, who manage to be richer than the rich and more powerful than the powerful try to organize the masses, I mean the elite, to use their science to keep control of the situation. In vain Dr. Watson, in vain, but we all know that vanity of vanity all is vanity. So the whole heavenly paradise will end when an illuminated Christian shoots the Supervisor for Earth. He is saved by the main actor who uses the present this Karellen had just given him, a special cure-all-diseases injection to revive the poor dead Karellen, dead with one miserable shot from one frail and meaningless human shotgun brandished by a woman.
Then a few scientists refuse the loss of children and to be happy slaves and they devise, I should say HE devises, one final atom nuclear fusion bomb that kills all life on earth and makes earth absolutely unstable to the point of collapse. One black scientist who was saved, preserved before the cataclysm, is revived after the upside down big bang but he refuses to remain with the Aliens and decides to go back to earth and what was to happen happens. The earth explodes and is annihilated, the scientist along with it, sitting on a derelict sofa in the middle of a field of ruins.
The worst part of this saga is that it is not even funny, and certainly not frightening or eliciting any empathy. Too bad. But the nightmare of being taken over by some Extraterrestrial Aliens is so innocuous that the use of Christian satanic iconography will never make us ask for more. We all have a little Satan in one cabinet or cupboard of ours at home. One always needs a little Satan at home.
Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU