×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Children of the Dark

Children of the Dark" explores a bizarre disease whose sufferers live in the dark due to their extreme sensitivity to light. Strong lead acting and strange subject matter make the ratings prognosis look good for CBS, but the script suffers through bouts of anemia.

With:
Cast: Peter Horton, Tracy Pollan, Roy Dotrice, Natalija Nogulich, Eric Pierpoint, Sam Horrigan, Lindsey Haun, Annalise Ashdown, Ramon Bieri, Annie Corley, Mary Pat Gleason, Lenore Kasdorf, Glenn Morshower, Kenneth White, Virgil Frye, Daniel Collins, Dave Powledge, Olivia Virgil White, Susan Ware, Tom Kopache, Patricia Idlette, Elyse Donalson, Jana Arnold, Jesse Switzer, Lois De Banzie, Victor Dimattia, Adam Hendershott, Nicholas Weiland, Bradley Pierce, Anne O'Sullivan, Ashley Malinger.

Children of the Dark” explores a bizarre disease whose sufferers live in the dark due to their extreme sensitivity to light. Strong lead acting and strange subject matter make the ratings prognosis look good for CBS, but the script suffers through bouts of anemia.

Peter Horton and Tracy Pollan carry the production as Jim and Kim Harrison, a seemingly average American couple with three children (one from a previous marriage). Kim doesn’t think twice about her daughters’ marked preference for staying indoors, although she must shoo them out constantly.

The older daughter is tripped up by the disease on a picnic when the bright sun nearly scorches her skin. After medical examination and a biopsy, the problem is discovered and the outlook is dim: The girls must live in darkened rooms or face skin cancer, blindness and even mental retardation. The disease is referred to in the telepic as “x.p.,” an abbreviation of xeroderma pigmentosum.

Director Michael Switzer keeps production moving even when the novelty of the sickness wears off. Writers Jeff Andrus, Charles Wilken and Janet Brownell weave an interesting story with plenty of hurdles as the family is literally run out of town after the kids become the focus of stares and hysteria.

However, when the idea of any cure is dashed, the plot wanders around with no end in sight, as they search for a place where they can be accepted.

Horton’s and Pollan’s characters go through guilt, self-pity and anger differently, which is really the focus of the telepic; the suffering daughters are props more than leads. But the chemistry between the parents feeds the picture through its leaner moments.

Roy Dotrice nicely plays Dr. Burnam, who doles out the reality for the couple.

Kees Van Oostrum’s camera work is crisp and sweeping, providing a boost at the right times.

Even though “Children of the Dark” has its dead spots, telepic is a gawker’s dream, with just the right topic to attract viewers.

Children of the Dark

(Sun. (17), 9-11 p.m., CBS)

Production: Filmed in Los Angeles by Steve Krantz Prods. in association with Multimedia Motion Pictures. Executive producers, Steve Krantz, Tony Etz; producer, Richard L. O'Connor; co-producer, Art Schaefer; director, Michael Switzer; writers, Jeff Andrus, Charles Wilkins, Janet Brownell.

Crew: Camera, Kees Van Oostrum; editor, Mark Rosenbaum; production designer, Leonard A. Mazzola; sound, Charles R. Beith; music, David Michael Frank.

Cast: Cast: Peter Horton, Tracy Pollan, Roy Dotrice, Natalija Nogulich, Eric Pierpoint, Sam Horrigan, Lindsey Haun, Annalise Ashdown, Ramon Bieri, Annie Corley, Mary Pat Gleason, Lenore Kasdorf, Glenn Morshower, Kenneth White, Virgil Frye, Daniel Collins, Dave Powledge, Olivia Virgil White, Susan Ware, Tom Kopache, Patricia Idlette, Elyse Donalson, Jana Arnold, Jesse Switzer, Lois De Banzie, Victor Dimattia, Adam Hendershott, Nicholas Weiland, Bradley Pierce, Anne O'Sullivan, Ashley Malinger.

More TV

  • Alfonso Cuaron71st Annual Writers Guild Awards,

    Alfonso Cuarón on Academy's 'Inevitable' Reversal on Televised Oscar Categories

    Alfonso Cuarón isn’t exactly surprised that the Academy reversed its decision and will now air all the Oscar categories during the live show on Sunday. Feb. 24. Calling the decision “inevitable,”Cuarón tells Variety that he thinks the Academy should take things even further. “Let’s stop calling them technical categories!” he told Variety on Sunday night [...]

  • Desus Nice The Kid Mero

    TV Shows to Watch the Week of Feb. 18, 2019: Academy Awards, 'Desus & Mero'

    Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV. Each week, Variety’s TV team combs through the week’s schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch them. This week, the Academy Awards air and Desus & Mero make their debut on Showtime. [...]

  • WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01

    BBC Takes Stake in New Company Set Up by ‘Luther,’ ‘Bodyguard’ Exec

    BBC Studios has taken a minority stake in Firebird Pictures, the new drama indie being set up by BBC execs Elizabeth Kilgarriff and Craig Holleworth. Kilgarriff’s credits include “Luther,” “Poldark,” “McMafia” and upcoming Richard Gere-starrer “MotherFatherSon.” She commissioned breakout drama hit “Bodyguard.” Holleworth will be the new company’s COO, having run business and operations for [...]

  • Punisher Jessica Jones

    Marvel's 'The Punisher,' 'Jessica Jones' Canceled at Netflix

    The last of Netflix’s Marvel shows are officially ending. “The Punisher” has been canceled after its second season, and the upcoming third season of “Jessica Jones” will be its last, Netflix confirmed on Monday. The announcement comes after Netflix gave the ax to its other Marvel series: “Daredevil,” “Iron First,” and “Luke Cage.” “Marvel’s ‘The Punisher’ will [...]

  • SND Boards Comedy Series 'Family Shake'

    SND Boards Comedy Series 'Family Shake' With 'Desperate Parents' Producer

    SND, the commercial arm of the French TV network M6, has acquired worldwide distribution rights to “Family Shake,” a comedy series written by Baya Kasmi and Michel Leclerc. SND is the latest vertically integrated French film group to start handling live-action series, following TF1 Studio, Studiocanal and Gaumont, among others. Produced by Gaëlle Cholet at [...]

  • 'Super Shiro' Anime Series Inspired by

    'Super Shiro' Anime Series Inspired by 'Crayon Shin-chan'

    The enduringly popular Japanese cartoon franchise “Crayon Shin-chan” has inspired a new animated TV series, “Super Shiro.” “Crayon Shin-chan” has been on air since 1992 and inspired 26 feature films. “Super Shiro” is a fast-paced chase series, for kids, based on original IP by Yoshito Usui and scripted by on Kimiko Ueno.  The series is [...]

  • Us Television Writers and Producers Maria

    ‘Mad Men’s’ Andre, Maria Jacquemetton Set for Series Mania’s UGC Writers Campus

    MADRID — André and Maria Jacquemetton, the Emmy and WGA Award-winning writer-producers of AMC’s “Mad Men” and consulting producers on Amazon Studios’ “The Romanoffs,” will serve as Guests of Honor at Series Mania’s UGC Writers Campus, a workshop whose participants include Denmark’s Christina Miller-Harris and Israel’s Noy Carmel. The Jacquemettons will deliver a masterclass and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content