TV review: Neverland on SyFy

Jesse Tigges, Columbus Alive

Every so often SyFy rolls out a "miniseries event." The latest is "Neverland," the backstory of Peter Pan and Captain Hook.

Generally, SyFy's miniseries are hit or miss. "Tin Man," the reinterpretation of "The Wizard of Oz" starring Zooey Deschanel, was not impressive, but 2006's "The Lost Room" with Peter Krause and Julianna Margulies was utterly fantastic.

Despite inconsistent execution, the one constant in SyFy's miniseries is strong casting, and "Neverland" follows suit. Rhys Ifans stars as a pre-captain James Hook, and he's joined by Anna Friel ("Pushing Daisies") and the legendary Bob Hoskins.

The story begins in a Dickensian London, where Hook serves as mentor to a group of pickpockets led by Peter (Charlie Rowe). Hook and his boys are tasked with stealing a magical orb that whisks you away to another world - Neverland.

When the heist goes awry, the boys and Hook are transported to this strange land where there's an ongoing war between pirates led by Elizabeth Bonny (Friel) and the Kaw tribe. The pirates want access to a mysterious power guarded by the Kaw.

When Peter and Hook wind up on opposite sides of this dispute, their loyalty and pseudo father-son relationship is put to the test.

If you don't set expectation too high for the two-night "Neverland," it's mostly enjoyable. The special effects are mostly mediocre, but the acting is pretty strong, with Ifans giving it his all.


9 p.m. Sunday on SyFy

2.5 stars