Threshold

TV review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
Threshold TV Poster Image
Average sci-fi thriller is too violent for kids.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The main characters are mostly good people, though one is a drinking womanizer. All are working for the benefit of the human race. One character was good but since his alien encounter has turned scary.

Violence

Dead bodies in pools of blood. Graphic scenes of tortured men. Severed hand. Extended scene of a man being shot in the chest.

Sex

One scene shows a character surrounded by barely clad strippers. The same character sometimes flirts in a semi-sleazy way.

Language

Solme rough language -- like "screw," "bastard," "bitching," and "crap" -- though it never gets extreme.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One character drinks hard liquor, possibly to excess. the main character drinks beer with dinner.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this gloomy science fiction series about alien visitation can be very scary and violent (and the premise itself may be unsettling for some). Viewers see dead bodies surrounded by pools of blood, a man being shot several times in the chest, a person being pursued by an ax-wielding former friend, a bloody severed hand, and so on. Characters have spooky dreams about being chased by something unknown but ominous. In one episode, a character is seen drinking and being surrounded by scantily clad strippers. Several characters use rough language.

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What's the story?

In dark sci-fi series THRESHOLD, a mysterious UFO appears to the crew of a U.S. Navy ship, setting off a string of violent incidents. Dr. Molly Caffrey (Carla Gugino) is the author of the contingency plan that the government puts into effect when confronted with the possibility of alien contact and she, along with her ragtag team of experts, must investigate the encounter and its subsequent effects. Those effects are spreading: One survivor of the Navy-ship encounter ends up with superhuman strength and a really bad attitude, Caffrey and two of her teammates who watched a videotape of the UFO begin to have identical scary dreams, and an examination of the Navy ship corpses shows a strange mutation in their blood. Threshold's cast includes sci-fi veteran Brent Spiner as Nigel Fenway, the restless and bitter microbiologist called in by the government to be part of Caffrey's Red Team. Also on the team is Arthur Ramsey (Peter Dinklage), a brilliant linguist and mathematician who likes women and booze. J.T. Baylock (Charles S. Dutton) is the gruff deputy national security advisor who directs Caffrey's movements.

Is it any good?

Despite a great group of actors and decent writing, Threshold doesn't move beyond average sci-fi fare. That doesn't mean it's not entertaining, especially for fans of the genre, but viewers looking for something really special should go elsewhere.

The shadow-lit scenes, ominous music and split-second negative-image shots all contribute to the show's generally tense and forbidding tone. Frequent scenes showing blood and violence, including people being shot and chased with an ax, as well as people being pursued or scared, make this a show that younger kids and sensitive folks of all ages should probably avoid.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about aliens. Do you believe in other intelligent life forms? Do you think that Earth has already been visited by aliens? If aliens are out there, do you think it's more likely that they'd be hostile or friendly? Should the government be trying to contact other intelligent life forms? Could the show's alien-invasion storyline be a metaphor for real current events? If so, what?

TV details

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