Wizards vs. Aliens

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Wizards vs. Aliens TV Poster Image
Teen wizard shines in entertaining British sci-fi.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 4 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

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 & Representations

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
Language

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

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byNeversideFaerie June 8, 2017

One of my all-time favourite shows!

Anybody who's seen the Sarah Jane Adventures or the first four seasons of Doctor Who will remember the rip-roaring action, brilliant humour and overall war... Continue reading
Parent Written byLarissa B. June 2, 2018

Language is present

I think the show is cheesy, but my kids have enjoyed it. Unfortunately, some language ("da**") popped up in the Rebel Magic part 2 episode during the... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old October 16, 2013

Bad

Very boring for kids over the age of nine years old. Extremely childish and comical.
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'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.

Talk to your kids 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?

TV details

Themes & Topics

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