After the untimely death of Elizabeth Sladen, the star of the hit CBBC show The Sarah Jane Adventures, the Doctor Who spin-off was cancelled.
Russel T Davies, who was in charge of the program, and ran Doctor Who itself before passing the torch to Steven Moffat, was asked to develop a new children’s fantasy adventure show to take its place in the line-up.
Since he began working on the show in January, Davies has brought over nearly his entire team from The Sarah Jane Adventures to help, which should give audiences a lot of assurance that this will be a great cross-demographic property.
Now we’ve got the first on-set image of the show’s stars, Scott Haran and Percelle Ascott as Tom Clarke and Benny Sherwood respectively. These are the boys – a wizard and a geek – who will save us all from the alien menace.
We also have this new synopsis, which is very similar to the one we saw in January, with just a few shifted details:
Tom Clarke is a seemingly ordinary boy who loves football. He lives with his dad Michael and grandmother Ursula in an ordinary house in an ordinary street – but there’s something different about Tom. He has an astonishing secret – his family are Wizards! When the alien Nekross arrive on Earth hungry for magic, there’s big, big trouble in store for all wizardkind.
With the help of his friend and science super-brain Benny, Tom must stop them – but will these two unlikely heroes succeed, or will the Nekross devour all the magic on Earth with disastrous results for the whole planet?
“Writing for children is the biggest challenge of all and I think CBBC stands right at the heart of broadcasting,” Davies said in a press release back in January.
“So I’m delighted to launch this show, a true nationwide collaboration – a Salford commission from a BBC Wales team. We’re joining genres too: the show’s a wild, funny, thrilling and sometimes scary collision of magic and science fiction… Wizards have never met aliens before, and when they do, the result is spectacular! The mysterious Nekross know exactly what to do with magicians. Eat them! Let battle be joined!”
Wizards vs. Aliens, which also stars Annette Badland, Michael Higgs, Jefferson Hall and Gwendoline Christie, will begin this fall, and the first season will run 12 30-minute episodes. Still no word if/when the show will hit BBC America.