Despite the hoopla, I did not get a chance to watch Childhood’s End, the miniseries that aired this week on the SyFy channel.
But I didn’t really need to — and not just because it failed to receive critical or popular acclaim.
This is the age of the Internet, and — Spoiler Alert! — many cats get let out of many a bag. Facebook, Twitter, water coolers . . . we all hear things outside the designated venues.
Of course, many people knew the plot line of SyFy’s miniseries — simply because it’s based on a 1953 novel by Arthur C. Clarke.
So, when we notice that one of the show’s creators interprets the story’s stark ending as being more personal than cosmic, that it is about accepting the inevitability of death, we are not going to go into a snit about “spoilers.” We can all can handle it like . . . grown-ups.
Yes, the tale is in the “out there” branch of science fiction. Aliens come. They bring mankind a Golden Age, an era of plenty, curing disease and ending the need to work. And then, after a long stretch, they reveal themselves, in full-frontal corporeality: they look like devils, with huge horns, red gnarly skin, cloven hooves, wings and a tail. But finally the big truth dawns: the last generation of children becomes clairvoyant, ascend into the air, and, while destroying the planet, become “as one” in the universal Overmind.
Accepting death? Why not this interpretation: sure, socialism can work — but only by stripping us of our individuality and destroying humanity along with all life on the planet.
The devil, you say.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.