Steven Spielberg's alien abduction opus Taken is what happens when you cross-breed Close Encounters of the Third Kind with The Waltons. Obviously flushed with the success of the TV mini-series Band of Brothers, Spielberg's Dreamworks studio has created an equally epic 10-part story chronicling 50 years of habitual abduction over several generations of three American families. Beginning with the most notorious alien cover-up in US history, the 1947 "crash" at Roswell, New Mexico, Taken introduces the "Greys" and the families they routinely abduct, probe and, in a couple... of cases, impregnate over the course of the ten hour-and-a-half-long episodes. The three families are: the Keys, from which first Russell, then his son Jessie, then grandson Danny, are all abducted; the Clarkes, who are descended from a liaison between lonely put-upon housewife Sally Clarke and one of the Roswell crash survivors; and the Crawfords, the ruthless G-men who are committed to uncovering the purpose behind the alien visitations at any cost. But even though the Greys' actions are at best ambiguous and at worst hostile, Taken is basically a soap opera, lacking the sinister undercurrent of either Dark Skies or The X-Files despite its science-fiction trappings. Nevertheless, this is an engaging series which has decent performances--most notably Joel Gretsch as psychotic Owen Crawford--special effects and an engaging enough storyline to make it entertaining, if somewhat disposable, TV. --Kristen Bowditch [show more]
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