Thisreview was inspired by the news that the Syfy network, perhaps bestknown for renaming itself after the Polish term for syphilis, hadacquired the rights to Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’sEnd .The jury is still out whether the Syfy version will be a full scaleabomination, like their adaptation of Earthsea,or merely wretched, like most of the rest of their product. Until thefull extent of the horror of this adaptation is revealed, I thoughtit would be fun to look at — sorry, listen to — a previous adaptationby a considerably more reputable organization with a long history ofpresenting SF works. I speak, of course, of the two-hour audioadaptation BBC 4 aired back in 1997.
Assoon as the radio play opens, it is clear that events have developednot necessarily to Earth’s advantage. The frame: a distressed JanRodericks reports to an entity named Karellen, narrating the ongoingdestruction of the Earth.