Wizards vs. Aliens, a CBBC Science Fantasy series for children from Russell T Davies and Phil Ford. The premise is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. The evil Nekross, who eat magic, have come to Earth, the last place in the universe where their foodstuff still exists. They are opposed by young wizard Tom, his Muggle friend Benny, and Tom's eccentric grandmother Ursula.
The series has a bittersweet genesis. It was initially intended as a six episode "replacement" series to air instead of The Sarah Jane Adventures while Elisabeth Sladen, who played Sarah Jane, recovered from cancer. After her death, it served as its Spiritual Successor. The Series 2 episode "The Thirteenth Floor" originated as an unproduced script for Sarah Jane Adventures, never made because of the cancellation of the series.
Three series have been made so far; the show has been on an indefinite hiatus due to budgeting issues since late 2014.
This show provides examples of:
- Accent On The Wrong Syllable: Varg always stresses the second syllable of Bennys full name.
- Adipose Rex: The Nekross King. We only ever see his gigantic head.
- Catchphrase: "THE NEKROSS SHALL FEAST!!!"
- Co-Dragons: Varg and Lexi often play this role to their father, the Nekross King, though not strictly heirarchally - there are others of more authority and political power under him, so the siblings are generally Those Two Bad Guys and The Heavy more of the time. Lexi's apparent HeelFace Turn in the Season 2 finale has uplifted this though.
- Covered in Gunge: Aliens that explode in showers of orange goo when killed? Check.
- Darker and Edgier: This show might be geared towards children, but the tone is positively bleak at times (see Downer Ending below) and can be shockingly frightening with high stakes each story arc. Notable because the show it follows in the footsteps of, The Sarah Jane Adventures, could also get similarly gritty tonally and make a mess of one's emotions, but this one takes it further with more adult themes and even less restraint in leaving the audience feeling broken down (though admittedly one of the stories, The Thirteenth Floor, was originally an SJA story before being rewritten to fit into this universe and setting). It also has a more continuous Story Arc with the Nekross always being present, as opposed to the Monster of the Week stories of the other show (though it had story arcs of its own, they were looser and the two-parters were more self-contained aside from some recurring villains and Foreshadowing).
- Downer Ending: Stories such as 100 Wizards and The Thirteenth Floor must be viewed with tissues at hand. The latter's depressing ending is later rectified in the next story, with Tom and Lexi's memories of the 20 years they spent in the Neverway being restored, and then the Season Finale gives Tom the power to fix it completely - he saves Lexi's life by truly making her human, and he brings their son, Benny Junior, back into existence. So the original Downer becomes, by all appearances, an Earn Your Happy Ending for Lexi and her son, though it's unclear about their presence in Tom's life (as he's still fighting the Nekross and might be keeping his distance to protect them... making it a Bittersweet Ending at the worst.)
- Dragon-in-Chief: Lexi and Varg to the Nekross King, as his extreme obesity stops him from leaving his chamber on the Zarantulus and so all the physical work and planning goes to them.
- Dragon Ascendant: Varg takes his fathers place as King in the third season.
- Enemy Mine: The heroes and Varg team up after Tom and Lexi are kidnapped:Nekross King: A COALITION?!?
- Energy Absorption: Since the Nekross feed on magic, only very powerful spells can work on them.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Randal Moon refers to the injury on Tom's hand as "the Devastation."Benny: What's the Devastation?Randal Moon: (exasperated) It'll be what it'll be sounding like!
- Extra-Long Episode: Season 3 opened with its first two episodes joined together, as opposed to being broadcast separately.
- Fantastic Racism:
- The Nekross seem to share the prejudices humans suffer from concerning skin color. The orange-skinned royal Varg, upon finding out the red-skin Jathro is the son of the white skin Kooth, brands it as 'blasphemy'. Benny rhetorically asks what's wrong with it.
- Aside from eating magic, it seems like the Nekross have a dim view of magical beings in general, calling it an "abomination" when Varg temporarily gains Ursula's powers.
- Insistent Terminology:
- Interspecies Romance: Tom and Lexi. They go all the way in one story.
- Large Ham: Given that the King of the Nekross is voiced by BRIAN BLESSED, it's only to be expected.
- Mana: Wizards can cast at most three spells in a day...
- Portal Door: With the appropriate incantations, the door that normally leads to Ursula's downstairs lavatory gives access to her magical chamber.
- Rapid Aging: The draining of a wizard's magic causes them to age until they are old and decripit, implicitly giving it the appearance of their life force being sapped from them until they've no life left to live.
- Reality Ensues:
- Tom has spent years getting by on being one of the cool kids and using his magic for multiple things he could do himself. So when hes forced to conserve his magic for more practical purposes, his reputation as The Ace suffers, with his grades slipping and the football team losing a vital game.
- The Nekross make their appearance by kidnapping 4 wizards from 2 prominent families and announce their intent to eradicate magic. So of course, the wizards begin to take up precautions to stop them when word gets out, casting a shrouding spell to conceal their magic and taking precautions to ensure they arent captured. When an orphaned wizard almost blows The Masquerade on live TV, wizards from across the area fill the audience to try and prevent it.
- Regenerating Mana: A wizard's magic is recharged at sunrise.
- Replacement Scrappy: In universe with Jazz, a new black Unenchanted who ends up caught up in Tom Clarkes world.Varg: I preferred Benjamin Sherwood.
- Rhymes on a Dime: The Hobbledehoy can only speak in rhyme (all the time!) and can only understand people who do the same (isn't that lame?) The characters find it a challenge to come up with rhymes off the top of their heads!
- Rule of Three: Magic runs on it.
- Spiritual Successor: To The Sarah Jane Adventures, as the series was produced after Sarah Jane's actress passed away. One storyline, "The Thirteenth Floor", was adapted from an unfilmed Sarah Jane script and many behind-the-scenes personnel were carried over. Word of God is that the series was commissioned when it became known that Sarah Jane star Elisabeth Sladen's health was going to delay production of her show; it became a permanent replacement when Sladen died and the BBC retired SJA.
- Stock Unsolved Mysteries: In the "The Cave of Menla-Gto" episode, Moon mentions that the Great Fire of London was caused by a dragon who thought that there were actual puddings in Pudding Lane.
- Teleport Interdiction: Magical teleportation can't breach the hull of the Nekross' ship. Justified, since they feed on magic.
- Tonight, Someone Kisses: Tom and Lexi in "The Thirteenth Floor".
- Villainous Glutton: Pretty much the Nekross entire motivation, especially the king. Though as the series goes on it starts to get more personal with the main character.
- Wizards from Outer Space: Apparently there used to be a lot of them, but aside from Earth the Nekross have devoured all the magic in the universe.