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Wizards vs Aliens is a British science fantasy television programme produced by BBC Cymru Wales and FremantleMedia Enterprises for CBBC and created by Russell T Davies and Phil Ford. The series focuses on the exploits of 16-year-old wizard, Tom Clarke (Scott Haran), and his scientifically-gifted best friend, Benny Sherwood (Percelle Ascott), in their fight against the Nekross, a magic-consuming alien race who have arrived on Earth with the intention of hunting down wizards and feasting on their magical energies.[1]

Wizards vs Aliens
Titlecard of Wizards vs Aliens
Genre
Created by
Written byCBBC
Starring
Composer(s)Sam Watts
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series3
No. of episodes36 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Russell T Davies (Series 1–2)
  • Bethan Hunt (Series 1–2)
  • Nikki Wilson (Series 3)
  • Phil Ford (Series 3)
Producer(s)
Editor(s)
  • Will Oswald
  • Tim Hodges
Running time
  • 28 minutes approx.
  • 54 minutes approx. (Series 3 premiere)
Production company(s)
Release
Original networkCBBC
Original release29 October 2012 (2012-10-29) –
25 November 2014 (2014-11-25)
External links
Official website

Production-wise, Wizards vs Aliens was created to fill the schedule gap left by the Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures after it was cancelled due to the death of its lead actress Elisabeth Sladen.[2][3] Despite being produced by the same creative force behind The Sarah Jane Adventures, Wizards vs Aliens has no relation to Doctor Who.

Two series were commissioned by the BBC in late 2011. The programme premiered on 29 October 2012 with a first series of 12 episodes (6 two-part serials). Series 2, made up of 14 episodes (7 serials) aired between 28 October to 10 December 2013, while a third and final series of 10 episodes (5 serials) was broadcast between 27 October to 25 November 2014.

Co-creator and former executive producer Russell T Davies stated that the show could "easily run for ten years",[4] however, the programme was put on hiatus due to financial reasons in January 2015.

Contents

PremiseEdit

Wizards vs Aliens is an action, adventure series which sees the collision of two very different worlds.

The first series focuses on Tom Clarke, a 16-year-old Wizard, and his adolescent best friend Benny Sherwood as they come across the forces of an alien race called the Nekross who have invaded Earth to consume anything or anyone connected to Magic.

The second series continues the battle between the two sides and sheds more focus on magical creatures and locations and Jathro and Kooth's plan to overthrow the Nekross royals.

In the third series, Tom and Benny part ways when Benny receives an opportunity to work with MIT in America. The Nekross return to Earth's galaxy, with Varg, now King Regent of the empire, intending to have vengeance on Tom for turning his sister Lexi into a human (which he did to save her life) and sending her to Earth. He is assisted by his wife Lady Lyzera, who is secretly a sorceress who wishes to take Earth's magic for herself and take over the universe.

Cast and charactersEdit

Wizards / UnenchantedEdit

  • Scott Haran as Thomas Robert "Tom" Clarke – A football-loving teenage wizard who defends wizardkind and Earth from the alien Nekross.
  • Percelle Ascott as Benjamin Claude "Benny" Sherwood – Tom's nerdy "unenchanted" best friend whose vast knowledge of science finds its use with Tom's magic against the Nekross.
  • Annette Badland as Ursula Crowe – Tom's happy-go-lucky grandmother and Michael's mother-in-law, a wizard descended from the Magical Line of Crowe. She is also Tom's tutor when training him in magic and spells.
  • Michael Higgs as Michael Clarke – Tom's widowed father and Ursula's son-in-law; an unenchanted who works as a veterinarian. His main concern is his son's safety and making sure he grows up without having to rely on magic all the time.
  • Dan Starkey as Randal Moon – A hobgoblin who lives in the Chamber of Crowe - the source of the Magical Line of Crowe's magic - and aids the Wizards and their unenchanted allies with his vast knowledge of potions and spells.

NekrossEdit

  • Jefferson Hall (Series 1–2), later Kristian Phillips (Series 3) as Varg – Prince of Nekron and later King Regent; son of the Nekross King, Lexi's older brother and Lady Lyzera's husband, who fights the Wizards with brute strength.
  • Gwendoline Christie as Lexi (Series 1–2) – 17-year-old Princess of Nekron; daughter of the Nekross King and Varg's younger sister, whose strategic skills and in-depth research into Earth's culture helps her kind in their battles against the Wizards.
  • Voice of Brian Blessed as The Nekross King (Series 1–2) – King of the Nekross's home planet of Nekron and father to Varg and Lexi. Immobile on the starship Zarantulus due to his obese size, he is in charge of the Royal Family's mission to find and consume all magic on Earth.
  • Tom Bell as Technician Jathro 15 – A Nekross of the Zarantulus technician class, who assists Varg and Lexi in their schemes against the Wizards while secretly working for his mother, Chancellor Kooth, as part of their plan to overthrow the Royal Family.
  • Alex Childs as Lady Lyzera (Series 3) – Queen Regent of Nekron and Varg's wife; secretly a Nekross Sorceress who schemes to harvest Earth's magic for herself and use it to conquer the universe.

RecurringEdit

  • Manpreet Bambra as Katie Lord – Tom and Benny's classmate and Tom's love interest, who is unaware that Tom is a Wizard.
  • Connor Scarlett as Quinn Christopher – Tom and Benny's classmate who used to tease Benny but eventually befriends him. Like Katie, he has no idea of Tom's true nature.
  • Voice of Brian Herring as Stickley (Series 2) – a Hobbledehoy, a mischievous magical creature that speaks in rhyme. He resides in the Chamber of Crowe.
  • James Barriscale as Mr Fisher – a science teacher at King's Park High.

EpisodesEdit

Series Episodes Original Air Date DVD Release Date
Premiere Finale Region 2 Region 4
1 12 29 October 2012 4 December 2012 31 December 2012 17 July 2013
2 14 28 October 2013 10 December 2013 TBA 3 September 2014
3 10 27 October 2014 25 November 2014 TBA TBA

Series 1 (2012)Edit

Story No. Episode No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod.
code
Ratings
11–2"Dawn of the Nekross"Daniel O'HaraPhil Ford29 October 2012 (2012-10-29)
30 October 2012 (2012-10-30)
1.1
1.2
595,000
502,000
Tom Clarke is secretly a schoolboy wizard. When the magic-eating alien Nekross arrive on Earth, a battle for survival begins. Tom must use his magical powers to protect his family – but only the school geek, Benny, can help him against the plans of the Nekross King.
23–4"Grazlax Attacks"Daniel O'HaraPhil Ford5 November 2012 (2012-11-05)
6 November 2012 (2012-11-06)
1.3
1.4
508,000
478,000
Tom's quiet Saturday at Benny's house becomes a fight for their lives when the vicious alien Grazlax hunts them down. The two boys must learn to fight together, combining Tom's magic with Benny's science, or the Nekross's savage pet will devour them.
35–6"Rebel Magic"Griff RowlandJoseph Lidster12 November 2012 (2012-11-12)
13 November 2012 (2012-11-13)
1.5
1.6
433,000
417,000
When Tom meets another wizard called Jackson Hawke, he can’t resist dabbling in dangerous magic. Benny tries to warn him, to no avail, but all three lads are unaware of the Nekross getting closer and closer – and this time, alien Prince Varg is determined to make it personal.
47–8"Friend or Foe"Griff RowlandClayton Hickman19 November 2012 (2012-11-19)
20 November 2012 (2012-11-20)
1.7
1.8
543,000
497,000
Lexi adopts human form and transports to Earth, with one aim – to capture Tom Clarke. But both are unaware that a greater enemy is watching – scheming billionaire Stephanie Gaunt is determined to prove the existence of magic, and nothing can stand in her way.
59–10"Fall of the Nekross"Joss AgnewGareth Roberts26 November 2012 (2012-11-26)
27 November 2012 (2012-11-27)
1.9
1.10
409,000
458,000
Benny launches an attack on the Nekross ship. The schoolboy genius uses all the computers on Earth against the aliens, and the starship Zarantulus is stricken. But soon the plan runs out of control, with terrifying consequences for both wizards and aliens alike.
611–12"The Last Day"Joss AgnewPhil Ford3 December 2012 (2012-12-03)
4 December 2012 (2012-12-04)
1.11
1.12
496,000
505,000
While the Nekross advance their Master Plan in secret, Tom is haunted by dreams of his childhood. And when he tries to have a normal life by going on a date with Katie, he suddenly sees someone from his past, and discovers the impossible has happened. His entire life will never be the same again…

Series 2 (2013)Edit

Story No. Episode No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod.
code
Ratings
71–2"100 Wizards"Beryl RichardsPhil Ford28 October 2013 (2013-10-28)
29 October 2013 (2013-10-29)
2.1
2.2
309,000
277,000
Tom and Benny discover a new wizard name Chloe. The race is on to find her before the Nekross can feast. But when Hex TV steps in to broadcast Chloe's powers worldwide, every wizard in the land faces danger.
83–4"Vice Versa"Beryl RichardsClayton Hickman4 November 2013 (2013-11-04)
5 November 2013 (2013-11-05)
2.3
2.4
397,000
432,000
The Hobbledehoy gives Benny Tom's magic, and Tom Benny's intelligence.
95–6"The Cave of Menla-Gto"Mark EverestJoseph Lidster11 November 2013 (2013-11-11)
12 November 2013 (2013-11-12)
2.5
2.6
362,000
362,000
Tom is badly hurt in a magical accident, and the curse of the Devastation threatens his life. His entire family must journey to the wilds of Tibet in search of a cure, within the mystical Cave of Healing. With Benny and Moon left alone, the Nekross launch their most powerful attack yet.
107–8"The Curse of Crowe"Mark EverestGareth Roberts18 November 2013 (2013-11-18)
19 November 2013 (2013-11-19)
2.7
2.8
319,000
319,000
Teenage wizard Gemma Raven makes a deal with the Nekross – if they save her mother's life, she will cast a spell strong enough to destroy Tom and Benny's friendship forever. And when Ursula is drawn into the evil plan, she discovers that a fate worse that death awaits her, in the shape of the Neverwas.
119–10"The Thirteenth Floor"Paul MurphyPhil Ford25 November 2013 (2013-11-25)
26 November 2013 (2013-11-26)
2.9
2.10
423,000
380,000
Tom Clarke faces his greatest challenge yet, when a mysterious elevator takes him to Floor 13 – a destination leading far beyond this world. While Benny struggles to understand this ancient trap, the Nekross arrive, ready to feast – only to discover that Floor 13 has terrible plans for them too. (This story was originally written Series 5 of Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures, but never got filmed due to the untimely death of the show's lead actress Elisabeth Sladen.)
1211–12"Endless Night"Joss AgnewPhil Ford2 December 2013 (2013-12-02)
3 December 2013 (2013-12-03)
2.11
2.12
346,000
341,000
Randall Moon is worried when an eclipse is due to take place, He swears that evil will fall when the moon blocks out the sun. And he's proved right when the Nekross activate their magnificent master plan – to take control of the moon's orbit and bring everlasting night to Earth.
1313–14"All Out War!"Joss AgnewRussell T Davies9 December 2013 (2013-12-09)
10 December 2013 (2013-12-10)
2.13
2.14
357,000
367,000
On the eve of war, Tom is visited by a wizard family who claim to have found the most powerful object on the planet – the Source of All Magic. But in the skies above, the Nekross are forced to take action, as Kooth sets her evil plan in motion.

Series 3 (2014)Edit

Story No. Episode No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod.
code
Ratings
141–2"The Secret of Room 12"Mark EverestPhil Ford27 October 2014 (2014-10-27)3.1
3.2
297,000
Tom and Benny think that with the Nekross gone, life is going to get a whole lot easier. But when students and teachers at Kings Park School are acting strangely, Tom and Benny fear their enemies have returned and soon suspect alien activity centred on the mysterious Room 12.
153–4"The Quantum Effect"Mark EverestJulie Dixon3 November 2014
4 November 2014 (2014-11-04)
3.3
3.4
266,000
229,000
Tom is suspicious when Benny gets an invitation to help an eccentric scientist at the Brook Mill radio telescope. Meanwhile, the Nekross launch a new plan that will leave wizard kind with nowhere to hide.
165–6"The Daughters of Stone"Lee Haven JonesPhil Ford10 November 2014
11 November 2014 (2014-11-11)
3.5
3.6
288,000
276,000
Tom is contacted by Katie when something terrifies her grandfather at the spooky disused Blackberry Theatre. He doesn’t believe in ghosts but they discover something far worse – a Neverside Witch with wicked plans for the Magical Line Of Crowe.
177–8"The Key of Bones"Lee Haven JonesSasha Hails17 November 2014
18 November 2014 (2014-11-18)
3.7
3.8
225,000
225,000
There are more tears in the Line of Twilight as Simeon proposes a quest to find the only object that can heal it: the ancient and lost Key of Bones. But unbeknownst to Tom or his grandfather, the Lady Lyzera has invaded Simeon's dreams and is determined to acquire the Key for herself.
189–10"Twilight Falls"Mark EverestPhil Ford24 November 2014
25 November 2014 (2014-11-25)
3.9
3.10
241,000
234,000
Randal Moon learns that the Lady Lyzera intends to release Warlock from his centuries-long exile on the Neverside and he is faced with a decision that may destroy the Chamber of Crowe. Soon, Tom is thrown into a fight to save the Dayside from destruction with an unlikely new partner.

International broadcasts and releasesEdit

Wizards vs Aliens made its American debut on the cable channel Hub Network, where it ran from May 23-June 15, 2013. The series is now available on hulu and was available on Netflix until December 2018.[5]

In Australia the show airs on ABC 3.

In Poland, the show aired on teleTOON+ between 6 April 2013 – 1 January 2014. In Polish dub, the last episode was slightly censored – Benny's dialogue during his coming out was changed from "I’ll go on a date, one day. Just not with her. Not with a girl" to "I’ll go on a date, one day. Just not with her. Not yet".

In Italy the show aired on Rai Gulp between 2014 and 2015.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Connelly, Brendan (28 April 2012). "Official Blurb And First Look At Wizards Vs. Aliens From Doctor Who's Russell T Davies". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  2. ^ "What we know about Russell T Davies' and Phil Ford's Aliens Vs Wizards". Den of Geek. 5 March 2012.
  3. ^ Bluebox podcast No. 126 "Dan and Phil"
  4. ^ "Russell T Davies SFX Interview".
  5. ^ "Info Page: Wizards vs. Aliens". New On Netflix.