Audio Drama Wiki
Chidhoods end

Childhood's End by Arthur C.Clarke
Dramatized by Tony Mulholland
Directed at Pebble Mill by Brian Lighthill
Music composed and performed by Jeff Mearns
BBC Radio 4 - Classic Serial - 02.11.1997 - 09.11.1997
2 x 60mins episodes


Alone many miles above the Earth, Jan Rodricks, the last surviving human, is witnessing the end of the world. As he watches, he records for the benefit of history how mankind was doomed...
The massive spaceships appeared over every city on Earth, bringing the Overlords, a seemingly benign race vastly superior in technology and intelligence. Led by the enigmatic Karellen, they promised a new age of peace and prosperity, and with the help of UN Secretary General Stormgren, they eradicated poverty, disease and war. But contentment has its price...
As the years pass, culture, science and religion start to die, and there are those who question the road down which the Overlords are leading them. For it seems the apparently benevolent and omnipotent masters of the Earth are themselves only the servants of a greater power: a power they have no choice but to obey...
Steven Pacey stars as Jan Rodricks with Peter Jeffrey as Karellen in this powerful BBC Radio 4 dramatization of Arthur C. Clarke's apocalyptic vision of the future. First published in 1953, Arthur C. Clarke's tale of the evolution and eventual end of humanity has come to be seen as one of the great SF works.


Part 1 - 02.11.1997 - Beginning - The world is at war. Self-destruction seems inevitable. Then the overlords arrive, but what is it they really want? Part 2 - 09.11.1997 - End - The Overlords have remained unseen, ruling the world from a distance, for over fifty years. Now they are about to reveal themselves.


  • Steven Pacey
  • Philip Voss
  • Peter Jeffrey
  • Sarah-Jane Holm
  • Ianna Veinstein
  • Alison Petitt
  • Patricia Perry
  • Bernard Lloyd
  • Lynne Farleigh
  • Paul Webster
  • Paul Birchard
  • Leon Canna
  • Joylacca Owen
  • Catherine Messenger
  • Christian Rodska
  • Suzanne Hitchmo
  • James Richards
  • Gerrard McDermott
  • Cornelius Garrett
  • Kim Durham
  • Graham Paton
  • Sonny Ormonde

Critical Reception[]


Details from recording of broadcast