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WIZARDS VS ALIENS Extinct?

Written by Paul Mount Saturday, 17 January 2015

TV News

It looks as if Russell T. Davies’s last tenuous connection to the world of his hugely-successful resurrection of DOCTOR WHO might finally have been broken. Children’s fantasy series WIZARDS VS ALIENS, originally conceived as a fill-in series for popular junior DOCTOR WHO spin-off THE SARAH JANE ADVENTURES to allow for beloved Sarah Jane actress Elisabeth Sladen to recover from illness, finally stepped up to the plate as a potentially long-running series in its own right when the actress tragically passed away in 2011.

WIZARDS VS ALIENS, co-created by Davies (alongside writer Phil Ford) was, like the Sarah Jane show, a BBC Wales production and it shared many of the same core creative personnel as THE SARAH JANE ADVENTURES and it told of the enduring battle between the alien magic-devouring Nekross and 16 year-old boy wizard Tom (Scott Haran) and his geeky best friend Benny Sherwood (Percelle Ashcott). Debuting in October 2012, the show has to date run for 3 seasons on the BBC’s children’s channel CBBC with a total of 36 episodes produced, the last screening in November 2014.

But despite Davies’s bold assertion that the show “could run for ten years” it looks as if the curtain has fallen on WIZARDS VS ALIENS – at least for the foreseeable future. Speaking to Broadcast in the run-up to the debut of his hotly-anticipated new adult dramas CUCUMBER (Channel 4) and BANANA (E4), Davies revealed that whilst the show hasn’t been formally axed it’s been placed “on hiatus” as the funds are apparently not currently available to produce further episodes. The series opened its account in 2012 with nearly 600,000 viewers and the show regularly featured at the upper end of the CBBC Top Ten. The recent third series saw its ratings to drop to around 225,000 (the decline reflecting a similar trend towards lower viewing figures for primetime adult television in the UK) with several episodes falling outside the CCBC Top Ten.

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