With the possible exception of “Rendezvous With Rama,” 1953’s “Childhood’s End” may be the most famous novel by Arthur C. Clarke that has nothing to do with Dave Bowman or Franke Poole.
Like other Clarke works, “Childhood’s End” depicts mankind’s first contact with extraterrestrial intelligence. Aliens arrive in city-size spacecraft (not dissimilar to those depicted in “Independence Day”) and proceed to transform the Earth into a war-free utopia. Though earthmen are suspicious of their new Overlords, at no point do the extraterrestrials provide a book titled “To Serve Man.”
Matthew Graham, who created the British time travel cop series “Life On Mars” is writing the miniseries. At least three people involved with “Sherlock: His Last Vow” -- director Nick Hurran, cinematographer Neville Kidd and editor Yan Miles -- are performing the same functions for “Childhood’s.” (Hurran was Emmy-nominated for “Vow”; Kidd and Miles won Emmys for the same TV-movie.)
Clarke wrote the short story “The Sentinel,” which he and Stanley Kubrick expanded into the screenplay for “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Clarke’s print version of “2001” spawned numerous popular sequels, including “3001,” which revealed that the murderous computer HAL didn’t manage to kill astronaut Frank Poole after all.