US tv miniseries (2002). Created and written by Leslie Bohem. Producers include Steven Spielberg, James Lima, and Julie Herlocker. Directors include Breck Eisner, John Fawcett, and Tobe Hooper. Starring Joel Gretsch as Owen Crawford, Steve Burton as Russell Keys, Catherine Dent as Sally Clarke, Eric Close as John, Andy Powers as Eric Crawford, Ryan Hurst as Tom Clarke, Anton Yelchin as Jacob Clarke, Desmond Harrington as Jesse Keys, Heather Donahue as Mary Crawford, Emily Bergl as Lisa Clarke, Adam Kaufman as Charlie Keys, Matt Frewer as Chet Wakeman, and Dakota Fanning as Allie Keys. Ten one-hour episodes.
Perhaps the apex of the cultural fascination with Alien visitation induced by X-Files (1993-2002), this multi-generational family saga posits that aliens have been engaging in a decades-long forced breeding programme in an attempt to create a hybrid combining our strengths and theirs. Disappointingly, the show takes a benevolent approach to this rather grisly Uplift premise, wallowing in mawkish family stories, and undermining its own depiction of families torn apart by the effects of the aliens' interference by concluding that ultimately the end result of their experiments – the elfin child played by soon-to-be child star Fanning – is a worthy one. The only high points of the series are Gretsch and Donahue, playing grandfather and granddaughter, both representatives of the family branch that has been pursuing the aliens and their secrets. Both characters combine cruelty with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, making for an intriguing portrait in a sea of sentimentality. [AN]
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