CineSavant Column

Tuesday February 1, 2022



We know it’s a Cuckoo world out there, but advisor and co-conspirator Gary Teetzel sends along some links that suggests that Cuckoos Never Die. We loved the old MGM productions, filmed in England, of John Wyndham’s classic novel The Midwich Cuckoos — 1960’s Village of the Damned and 1964’s Children of the Damned. Neither were perfect, but they handled some pretty extreme content for their time — genuine ‘dangerous ideas’ — with uncommon style. John Carpenter’s later revisit didn’t do much for us, but we like the various Triffids remakes, and we’re always ready for someone to take a Wyndham classic and do it better.

Enter an upcoming 8-part Sky TV series under the original title The Midwich Cuckoos, apparently filmed in England. From the look of the
Midwich Cuckoos promo-trailer the children have dark hair and retain the racial characteristics of their mothers; Wyndham’s scientist hero Gordon Zellaby is now Dr. Susannah Zellaby, played by Keeley Hawes.

It’s due in 2022, no date yet set (I think). I like the story enough to give it a shot. But using the call of a cuckoo bird at the end of the promo … was that a good idea?


Gary Also sends along a second link, to the first episode of a Radio Adaptation of The Midwich Cuckoos, from 1982. I can see where it would make a really good radio show … although I’ll just have to imagine the creepy glowing eyes.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson