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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, November 29, 2002

'Taken' an entertaining sci-fi epic

By Tom Long
Detroit News

For such a dinky cable network, the Sci-Fi Channel sure thinks big.

"Taken," whose executive producer is Steven Spielberg, is a 20-hour romp through three generations' encounters with extraterrestrials.

Gannett News Service

"Taken," an alien abduction miniseries, whose executive producer is Steven Spielberg, takes place over 10 weeknights, beginning 7 p.m. Monday, continuing at that hour through Friday, then continuing Dec. 9-13 from 9 to 11 p.m. This makes it the biggest production of its kind ever. Of course size isn't everything, but based on two episodes made available for review, "Taken" looks like a solid guilty pleasure for those who can find it.

Beginning in World War II, when a blue light envelops a fighter plane while in the midst of a dogfight, "Taken" follows three generations of Americans caught up in a virtual alien frenzy.

One family, the Keys, struggles with a history of being sucked up into spaceships and prodded, poked and probed (forget the fuzzy-wuzzy loving aliens of Spielberg's "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"; these aliens are fairly nasty creatures). Another family, the Crawfords, are ruthlessly intent on proving the existence of aliens (the Crawfords are fairly nasty creatures as well). And a third family, the Clarkes, are trying to deal with their inner alien. The Clarkes aren't nasty at all, but they can do really cool tricks.

Yes, it's part "X-Files," part "Roswell" and more than a few parts little green men. But thanks to a solid cast the size of a small army, and a number of nice period touches — in the '50s everybody chain smokes, in the present they don't — this elaborate sci-fi soap opera seems like it might be worth the time.

Actresses Catherine Dent and Heather Donahue, who begin and end the series, deserve notice, and young Dakota Fanning, as Allie Keys, is the narrator — and point — of the entire epic.

And epic this is — weighing in at 20 hours. Those who don't want to spend two weeks locked to their tube can wait for the inevitable special box DVD set. Either way, "Taken" will likely prove to be an entertaining and lively waste of time.

There are few things as reliable as little green men.