It’s a good time to be an actor on Game of Thrones, or, as the case often is given the frequency with which HBO’s adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire saga kills people off, a former Game of Thrones star. The cast of the sprawling epic is popping up everywhere. Peter Dinklage is in Pixels, Emilia Clarke plays Sarah Connor in Terminator: Genisys, Nathalie Emmanuel just joined The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials, Gwendoline Christie has a significant role in Star Wars: Episode VII, and Sean Bean dies in tons of movies, and the list could go on and on. Another guy who gets a lot of work is Charles Dance, who played Tywin Lanister, and he’s been cast in Syfy’s upcoming adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End, something we’re very interested in around these parts.
Envisioned as a six-hour miniseries event, Clarke’s 1953 novel tells the story of a different kind of alien invasion than you’re used to. It’s not a violent incursion, but a race of creatures from space, called Overlords, show up, take charge in an indirect way, and end all war and conflict, creating a global utopia. While that may not sound so bad on the surface, it comes at the cost of individual identity and culture and the very things that make us human, so there’s that.
Entertainment Weekly reports that Dance will play the character Karellen. He’s the Overlord’s ambassador who makes first contact with a guy named Ricky Stromgren. I’m just saying, Dance is a creepy dude, and if he was the first alien creature I encountered, I’d be wary. But that’s not the case here, because he won’t show himself, and “Karellen’s comforting words and amazing technological gifts quickly win humanity’s favor, beginning decades of apparent utopia at the cost of human identity and culture. However, his refusal to reveal his physical appearance and insistence on dealing only through Ricky have some people questioning whether his intentions are truly benevolent.”
Dance has appeared in tons of stuff, across just about every genre and level of quality, and will be seen soon in the likes of The Imitation Game and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Even though his character has been killed off, he is expected to make an appearance in Game of Thrones season 5, probably in one of those flashbacks people have been talking about.
This is one of the new slate of hard sci-fi projects that Syfy is developing that we’re the most excited for. Along with upcoming adaptations of James S.A. Corey’s The Expanse, John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War, and now Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice, among many others, the network is upping their game to a previously unheard of level. We just hope they don’t overextend themselves and wind up with a bunch of mediocre crap, but for now, we’re pretty pumped.
Childhood’s End premieres on Syfy sometime in 2015.