US sci-fi drama to shoot in Melbourne

Childhood's End,  a US science fiction mini-series based on a classic Arthur C. Clarke novel, will begin filming in Melbourne in November.

HayPop Pty Ltd’s Jeff Hayes and Brett Popplewell will produce the six-part series adapted by Matthew Graham (creator of BBC's Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes), for Universal Cable Productions. The director is Brit Nick Hurran, whose credits include Doctor Who and Sherlock.

Published in 1953,  Clarke's novel details life on Earth while it is under the benign control of a race of aliens, the Overlords. From their hovering UFOs, the Overlords spend decades turning Earth into a Utopia, which in the process also destroys humanity's identity. 

The executive producers are Mike DeLuca (Captain Philips, Moneyball, The Social Network) and Akiva Goldsman (Lone Survivor, Paranormal Activity, I Am Legend).

The 13-week shoot will take place at Docklands Studios and at locations around Melbourne, and the series will debut on the US Syfy network next year.

The Victorian government is financially supporting the production, which it estimates will generate $20 million in production expenditure in Victoria, employing a local crew of 380, including up to 15 heads of department.

"We look forward to bringing Childhood’s End to life with the support of the Victorian government with whom we’ve enjoyed a collaborative and mutually beneficial relationship,” said Mark Binke, executive VP of production for Universal Cable Productions.