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Spanning from World War II to the present, Taken journeys through generations of three families tied together by alien abductions, many of which come from well-known alleged incidents.

After chasing "foo fighters," WWII pilot Russell Keys (Jason Quartermaine) gets abducted from his plane. From there the story moves to the alien crash in 1947 Roswell, New Mexico and into the future. Narrated by Russell Keys's great-granddaughter Alley Keys (Dakota Fanning) the story weaves the journey of the abductees, their families, and the people seeking power from these phenomena.

An X-Files-ish style blends with the narration by the adorable and talented Fanning to take you right into the story. Relating the Roswell incident with such reasonableness, you have to wonder if it's really fiction. Or does the military just want us to believe it's fiction?

The quick scenes of the aliens probing their abductees have been played before, but it still sends chills down the spine. We must have something embedded in our minds that makes us cringe at skinny green (or in this case, white) balloon-headed big-eyed freaks sticking tubes in our nostrils. Maybe it's the lack of genitalia.

Making it a little more intense, Taken places a surprisingly high emphasis on telepaths, psychics, and special people. True to X-Files form, it only hints at what's really going on, never quite giving you the big picture. But then, you wouldn't keep watching if they just spilled everything.

Joel Gretsch plays Owen Crawford, the villain in the series. His agenda seems simple enough: power. Arrogant, he will do anything to get power. While chasing Mr. John "Doe… I presume" (Eric Close), a pretty funny name for an alien to assume, Crawford goes to great lengtghs to manipulate the people of 1947. How easily the public listens and obeys, proving things haven't changed that much in fifty-five years. Without using the media, Crawford lurks around town with his soldiers, claiming they are looking for a deserter. Everyone tries to help him nab Doe.

Fortunately for the alien, he's good looking, and he ends up shacking up with Sally Clarke (Catherine Dent), and then… poof. He goes home. Wham bam, thank you Ma'am. But not without also getting a gift from Sally, a star-shaped earring that she wants him to take home.

This series really taps into the fears of the time. Do they come in peace? Or will you go in pieces? With plot ties that will unravel more as the series progresses, this pilot successfully etches the key element that it needs to become a Close Encounter of the Television Kind. Despite its dancing around, it has a simple plot, providing a great introduction to all the things you need to know for now.

With a title like Steven Spielberg Presents Taken it has built-in hype. But is Sci-Fi Channel really up to par with HBO's Band of Brothers, or the WB's Animaniacs?

Give in and give it a shot. You won't be disappointed, with a simple and quick run. Every day (for twenty days) brings a new episode, and reruns all the time. It has everything you could want from a Spielberg mini-series: suspense, drama, and things that make you go hmmmmm.

Mish'al Samman

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