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Neverland

Syfy
Sunday and Monday / 4-5 December at 9p ET

Over the past few years, Syfy has branded itself with miniseries events like “Alice” or “Tin Man” – beloved children’s classics with a dark, science fiction twist.  “Neverland” is their newest offering, a four-hour origin story about Peter Pan, Captain Hook, Tinkerbell, and how they all arrived in Neverland in the first place.

From Dickensian London to a Native American tribe and some pirates of the Caribbean (not those ones), writer/director, Nick Willing brings these disparate worlds to the waters and forests and caves of Neverland, all care of a magical orb that can transport people to the epicenter of the universe.  Where there are fairies and very large crocodiles.

While the opening scenes introduce us to wonderful characters, the visual effects are no match for Willing’s boundless imagination.  Thankfully, once we get to Neverland, the stimuli more than make up for that.  Especially those fairies and crocodiles.

As Peter and his “crew” try to wrap their heads around this strange new world, we learn the backstory of Hook – a wonderfully deceitful and beguiling performance by Rhys Ifans.  There’s a pirate queen played by Anna Friel, who is wonderfully vicious as she hunts down the secret to everlasting life which only the fairies seem to be able to harness.  And there’s the Native American tribe who take in Peter and the Lost Boys (and are responsible for their duds later on).  And our fearless young Peter (played to perfection by Charlie Rowe) is just as courageous and virtuous as we remember him.

There are many other discoveries about the origins of these characters, which is certainly part of the fun.  That sense of wonder and amazement is matched only by the superb pacing and action of “Neverland.”  This thing just keeps on going (I really have no idea where they will find time for commercials) and when it finally comes to a close, even though it’s answered many mysteries about Peter’s past, we can’t help but want to continue the journey with him in the present.  I sincerely hope that folks at Syfy are rubbing their chins over the prospect of a second movie or continuing series.  Let me know if there’s a petition I need to sign…