...this tale has been compared to the style of Ray Bradbury(maybe a whiff of Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed) , and while I see that-it also begs to have been made into a Twilight Zone episode...the easy answer to the question of nutso or alien is "she's battier than a church belfry", but I add my vote to those voting for "aliens"....and let me stretch that a bit more and bring up the thought-could they be offspring of Cthulhu?....
It's by no means my favorite, either. I enjoyed it for its straight-forward Bradbury style (as GNTLGNT said) but I like better the stories where King elicits that childlike marveling in me, stories like "The Monkey", "Uncle Otto's Truck", and "Mrs. Todd's Shortcut", to name a few from a different collection. He could write about a gumball machine and I'd be hooked. He's fearless; he asks himself the 'what if' question and, like Thad Beaumont sitting before his scratch pad at the sound of sparrows, he embarks on the mission to answer it, or die trying.
For sure. I think that thread is intentionally present until the very end of the story. Without that ambiguity, I think the story would come off as shallow and cheap, but instead, I think there's effective tension throughout, and then the satisfaction at the end when you find out the truth.
Just found this post when searching John Wyndham — The Midwich Cuckoos is one of my favorite SF novels. Although Wyndham was reportedly pleased (or was it satisfied?) with Village of the Damned, I’m not so happy with it. I love George Sanders, but I want to burn Hollywood down for that horrible title. Maybe Wyndham should’ve written something in the book about the (non-)parenting habits of cuckoos; maybe then the original title would have made sense to the powers-that-be. I have hope that one day it will be filmed properly.
The Chrysalids OTOH has never been filmed. Perhaps the harsh treatment of the strictures of a Christian religious sect puts producers off … or perhaps it’s the depiction of telepathy. I once read that Oliver Stone was interested in making Alfred Bester’s The Demolished Man but didn’t think that it was possible to depict telepathy on film. Well, HBO’s True Blood proved that Yes it could, and very well.
Have you seen the Alfred Hitchcock Hour presentation of Wyndham’s novella Consider Her Ways? I just watched it again and it’s very well done. .
It could be remade for the make-up and costumes — Shallow Hal proved that fat suits and make-up effects have come a long way since 1964. But they could probably keep the script intact, except near the end when the Doctor gives Mother Orchis/Dr. Waterleigh the injection; it should have been another dose of the synthesized drug. Watch it and be patient through all the commercial interruptions. Any fan of John Wyndham will love it. I guarantee it.
Some miniseries I’d love to see made:
The Midwich Cuckoos
The Demolished Man
The Stars My Destination
The Space Merchants
Lest Darkness Fall
And there’s plenty more.
I’ve been reading that both Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land and Clifford D. Simak’s Way Station are in either production or pre-. I don’t think Stranger can possibly be properly made but I’d love to be proven wrong. Way Station will be ruined with unnecessary CGI and un-Simak-like violence.
IMO Mr. King is very familiar with the Golden Age classics. He musthave read them. I know that he read Lest Darkness Fall — as I wrote in a previous post, he accorded it the high praise it deserves, in his comments in the Afterword (was that where?) to 11-22-63. I really wish he’d take it upon himself (or assemble a team of trusted Merry Men) to make these Golden Age classics … sort of a Stephen King Presents, similar to the Alfred Hitchcock Hour or Rod Serling’s Night Gallery or even The Twilight Zone. Many have attempted to replicate those series, none successfully. I’d love to hear Mr. King introduce those tales to a new audience, giving them the presentation they deserve.