Wizards vs. Aliens



Teen wizard shines in entertaining British sci-fi.

What parents need to know

Educational value

The show's intent is to entertain, but there are some positive messages about friendship, facing challenges, and respecting others' wisdom.

Positive messages

Kids see Tom mature under the responsibility of his growing abilities as a wizard. He's prone to rash decisions, but he's also mindful of other people's experience and welcomes their advice. In other words, he's not a stand-alone hero, and his greatest role model is his spunky grandmother, who teaches him the ropes of wizardry. What's more, he never uses magic just for sake of using it; there's always a good reason for it. Creative problem solving is a true weapon in the arsenal of this evil-fighting team.

Positive role models

Tom is the obvious hero of the show, but he's no more formidable than are any of his supporting cast, each for a different reason. His grandmother's wisdom and guidance charts a course for Tom's wizardry education. Despite not being magical, Tom's dad never shirks from danger when his son's safety is on the line, and Benny's a science genius who often tips the scales in favor of the good guys. On the other hand, the aliens are a predictably nefarious bunch, greedy for magical essence and happy to clear a path of humans on their way to it.

Violence & scariness

Clashes between the wizards and the aliens often involve shooting (though the ammo is laser beams rather than bullets). Injuries to humans are rare, but when the aliens are killed, they die in a variety of ways, including exploding into goo. Alien characters' appearances may be scary to some kids, particularly the Nekross King, whose blubbery, disembodied face and insatiable hunger for wizards' magic takes some getting used to. In addition to eliminating humans, the aliens can control their movements remotely, sometimes turning them into the bad guys.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable

No cursing, but some mild slang, as when a teen tells another to "geek off."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Wizards vs. Aliens is a popular British sci-fi series from the team behind The Sarah Jane Adventures, and it features the same style of smart story-telling and superb character development. The enemies here are a parading cast of colorful aliens, and excellent special effects give their images a real bite, which might be a concern for some kids. Even though the bad guys usually resort to force in getting what they want, the same isn't true of the heroes, who hash out plans and think on their feet to escape danger rather than engaging in conflict. While Tom is the obvious protagonist of the story, the show recognizes other heroes as well, reminding viewers that gifts like intelligence, loyalty, and love are as powerful against evil as is magic.

Parents say

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What's the story?

Tom Clarke (Scott Haran) is a teenage wizard-in-the-making, still underage and untrained in his family's legacy by his grandmother, Ursula (Annette Badland). But then an alien race called the Nekross invades Earth in search of magic to feed on, and Tom finds himself on the front line protecting the world from their evil plans. There's nothing like on-the-job training, and Tom has to be a quick study to stay ahead of the greedy Nekross King's (Brian Blessed) insatiable hunger for magical essence. Lucky for him, he's also flanked by his super-smart friend Benny (Percelle Ascott) and his non-magical but protective father, Michael (Michael Higgs).

Is it any good?


WIZARDS VS. ALIENS has garnered a faithful following in its native Britain and promises to do the same in other parts of the world, thanks to smart writing, relatable characters (aliens notwithstanding, of course), and impressive special effects. It's easy to get on board with a charismatic British teen as an undercover wizard, and his supporting cast is equally likable, from the eccentric legacy witch, Ursula, to the helpful hobgoblin and guardian of the magical chamber that doubles as the family's bathroom. Adventures abound in this clever show that's exceedingly enjoyable to watch.

Parents especially will appreciate the show's positive portrayal of relationships within a single-parent, multi-generational family. Tom's likable nature is the result of his grandmother's reverence for their family's magical lineage, but perhaps even more so because of the down-to-Earth mindset of his non-magical dad, who does his part to ensure that Tom is well-rounded. Both influences are evident in Tom's personality, and it's the blending of these two very different sides that create a hero that kids and parents will love.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about aliens. Is it plausible that life exists on other planets? What evidence do we have in favor of/against this theory? If it does exist, do you think they're more evolved than we are? Why do we see this theme in alien stories so often?

  • How does Tom view his wizardry? Is it a blessing? A curse? What aspects of your life have benefits and drawbacks? How do you find a happy balance for them?

  • Is there such a thing as a "normal" family structure these days? How different does the picture of family look now than it did 50 years ago? What factors have influenced these changes? What messages do we get from relationships we see on TV?

This review of Wizards vs. Aliens was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 12 years old October 16, 2013


Very boring for kids over the age of nine years old. Extremely childish and comical.
Teen, 16 years old Written byClobrim January 16, 2014

Deeper messages

Ok so the first season is all happy and everything. But there is violence often. In the second season it gets more deep and to be honest a lot of the messages are really not aimed at 8 or 9 year olds but at a slightly older age group right up to adults. Sex is implied, as well as the end of time and death etc. It's positive because it shows that it doesn't matter who you are.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 14 years old Written byTommyhead November 1, 2013

Too violent

my 6 year old cousin watches it and he became very violent + had nightmares at night. it's not for little kids.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism


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