We’re halfway through the first series of CBBC’s new hit show from former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies and The Sarah Jane Adventures writer Phil Ford and we’re LOVING it!
So we thought we’d educate the uninitiated and let you know just why you should be watching Wizards Vs Aliens (if you aren’t already). Here goes…
5. It’s got Brian F#@+$#& Blessed in it!
And how many TV shows can say that??? Blessed roars his way wonderfully through his part of The Nekross King and, fact fans, his character is also puppeteered by Return of the Jedi‘s Tim “It’s A Trap” Rose – who was none other than Admiral Ackbar! (And, yes, Salacious Crumb and Sy Snootles too.)
4. Retro opening titles!
In an age when the title sequence is largely forgotten (or reduced to a few notes), it’s refreshing to see a television show not only embrace it but excel with its terrific theme tune and beautiful accompanying visuals.
Likewise the rest of series has an amazing score, exquisitely orchestrated, for each episode worthy of the big screen with equally impressive SFX. Just check out the denouement of the second episode where the Nekross ship flies above the boys on Earth – an image Doctor Who should be mouth-watering at.
3. The writers
Okay, we’ve gone serious here (note the lack of exclamation mark in the header on this one). Wizards Vs Aliens is not only blessed with overseeing talent of Russell T Davies, the man who made a nation care about a Time Lord, but the writing team are a top-notch bunch who know their audience and only want the best for them when it comes to story quality.
Phil Ford, the man behind numerous amazing instalments of The Sarah Jane Adventures and the Doctor Who classic ‘The Waters of Mars’, perfectly pitches his stories, full of laughs and thrills galore. There’s also the brilliant Joe Lidster, again another magnificently talented SJA alumni, who penned ‘Rebel Magic’ – a tale filled with emotional resonance, heart and drama.
Coming up in the second half of the series, there’s former Doctor Who Magazine editor Clayton Hickman with one of the series’ best and Doctor Who‘s Gareth Roberts (‘The Unicorn & the Wasp’, ‘The Lodger’) with an ethical belter. It is a perfect palate of creativity.
2. There’s Wizards… AND Aliens!
Just like it says in the title! To be honest, we’re more Team Alien than Team Wizard at CultBox – who can resist the Nekross King or that loveable little guy, the Grazlax? (Even better when the Gremlins it up and becomes Grazlaa.) Our favourite alien is Lexi though, she’s got some issues with her dad and seems to quite like a certain human boy…
Speaking of which, the wizards are an odd bunch – there’s your run-of-the-mill boy wizard (Tom), dotty oldster who can’t quite get the spells right (Ursula), a bad boy who likes to use his magic for dubious purposes (the superbly named, Jackson Hawke) and a Yoda/Gollum/Dobby-esque weirdo that lives in the toilet/Chamber of Mystery (Randal Moon). Quite the engaging gang.
1. The best cast on telly!
Despite all these brilliant facets, Wizards Vs Aliens would be nothing without its stellar cast. Fronting the show are the two excellent young men, Scott Haran and Percelle Ascott (playing wizard Tom and science geek Benny respectively) who are an absolute joy to watch each week as they tackle the magnificent material presented; from jaunty romps to galactic dilemma to everyday teen angst.
But they’re most ably aided by quite the overwhelming “supporting” cast, stand up: charming EastEnders/The Bill actor Michael Higgs (Tom’s dad); the wonderfully scatty Annette Badland (Tom’s grandma, Ursula); the stunning Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie as the aforementioned Lexi, who also gets a chance to shine as a human in an upcoming story; the hilarious Don Gilet (another EastEnder and Who alumni) and beautiful Nina Sosanya as Benny’s parents.
There’s plenty more talent we could mention, and each week another fresh new and talented face is presented for the magic versus science fun (fans of Doctor Who may want to keep an ear out for a certain memorable voice). It’s no wonder Wizards Vs Aliens was picked up for a second series so quickly.
So, if you do miss the episodes on their original broadcast on Mondays and Tuesdays at 5.15pm on CBBC, you can always catch the Saturday morning repeat on the same channel at 10am. Or, just have a look on the BBC iPlayer – you will NOT regret it!
What do you think of Wizards vs Aliens so far? Let us know below…