Taken, also known as Steven Spielberg Presents Taken is a science fiction miniseries which first aired on the Sci-Fi Channel in 2002 and won an Emmy award for Outstanding Miniseries. Filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, it was written by Leslie Bohem, and directed by Breck Eisner, Félix Enríquez Alcalá, John Fawcett, Tobe Hooper, Jeremy Paul Kagan, Michael Katleman, Sergio Mimica-Gezzan, Bryan Spicer, Jeff Woolnough and Thomas J. Wright. The executive producers were Leslie Bohem and Steven Spielberg.
Actors appearing in the program include Julie Benz, Emily Bergl, Terry Chen, Steve Burton, Eric Close, Heather Donahue, Dakota Fanning (who narrates, as well as starring as Allie Keys), Matt Frewer, Joel Gretsch, Ryan Hurst, Adam Kaufman, Ryan Merriman, Michael Moriarty and Anton Yelchin.
Over the next 60 years, the Artifact remains in the possession of the Crawford family, the guide of each member's efforts to understand the aliens' mission on Earth.
The Artifact's true nature isn't revealed until 2001, when the head of the Project, Mary Crawford, discovers new writing is still being formed on the Artifact's surface. This reveals to the government that the Artifact is the recording device of the aliens' great genetic experiment: to create a hybrid being possessing the aliens' powers and more-evolved consciousness, and humankind's emotional core, which will lead them to the next step in their evolution. It has been continuously recording the events of the aliens' experiments over the decades since its arrival on Earth.
When the hybrid Allie Keys departs with the aliens, the Artifact is teleported away with them.
The implants remained undiscovered until 1962, when Russell Keys' head was x-rayed to determine the cause of his seizures. The doctors treating him initially believed it was a tumor, but his son Jesse, suspecting it might be related to the aliens, demanded he have the same x-ray, and a similar implant was discovered.
Hoping to find a way to neutralize the implants and be finally free of the aliens' interference, Russell and Jesse arranged a meeting with Colonel Owen Crawford, knowing he was head of the UFO investigation project. Russell, in private, offered up his implant, despite knowing it would most likely lead to his death. Owen accepted, and Russell was escorted to a secret surgery facility. Upon his arrival, Russell realized Owen, who was desperate for physical evidence of the aliens' manipulation of humankind, had betrayed him, but he was overpowered by the guards and sedated. The project's doctor successfully removed the implant from Russell's brain. Seconds later, it was revealed that the implant exerts some form of negative psychic effect on human minds. The scientists and guards were driven insane, with one guard firing his machine gun at nearby oxygen tanks, causing the entire trailer to explode, killing Russell, Kreutz, and all within.
Learning from their mistakes, the UFO Project took precautions while retrieving and analyzing more implants from other test subjects or from their corpses. Eventually, a sophisticated tracking system was created by Doctor Chet Wakeman, which was used to great effect in tracking down abductees.
The aliens also kept using the implants as part of the experiment, ultimately using them to bring the Clarke and Keys families together, in the form of Allie Keys.
When it was confirmed by the aliens that Allie possessed, and could handle, their abilities, they realized their experiment was "an unqualified success" and began preparations for retrieving her, commanding all the other implants in other humans to deactivate and leave the abducted humans' bodies through nosebleeds, as they no longer had any use for them.
|1||"Beyond the Sky"||A mysterious extraterrestrial race simply referred to as the Alien Visitors, comes to Earth to perform a genetic experiment of monumental proportions upon its primitive human population. Upon their arrival, the Aliens show up in the midst of an air battle during World War II over the skies of Germany, abducting B-17 pilot Captain Russell Keys and his entire crew. Russell loses all memory of the incident and goes on with his life, retiring a highly-decorated war hero, settling down with his childhood sweetheart Kate and having a son, Jesse. Eventually, Russell realizes he is still being abducted and, desperate for answers, tracks down the sole surviving member of his bomber crew (all the others having died under mysterious circumstances), Lieutenant Lou Johnson. Johnson, in his final moments, makes him realize the "German doctors" experimenting on them and subsequently killed by the resisting Russell were Aliens using their abilities to disguise themselves. Not wanting to bring the Aliens down upon his family, he abandons them and flees for his life. Meanwhile, in Roswell, New Mexico, Captain Owen Crawford discovers one a crashed saucer, which is soon retrieved and becomes the initial subject of a new "Project" intent on discovering the Alien Visitors' purpose on Earth. After Owen is frozen out of the investigation, he is given a mysterious Alien Artifact, seduces and marries his superior's daughter Anne, and uses both to blackmail the Project's leader (and Anne's father), Colonel Thomas Campbell. He gets a promotion to Major and becomes leader of the Project. Owen also attempts to locate the fifth member (and only survivor) of the spaceship crew. This alien, in human disguise and calling himself "John", enjoys a relationship with the lonely Sally Clarke, who sheltered him (despite learning of his true nature later on) and ended up pregnant by him.|
|2||"Jacob and Jesse"||Twelve years have passed since the initial encounters between the Clarke and Keys families and the Alien Visitors, whose experiments are as mysterious as ever. Russell, hoping to find a way of evading the Alien Visitors' countless intrusions upon his life, ekes out a meager lifestyle as a drifter, and his efforts are soon shown to be in vain. On one of his many abductions, he sees his teenage son Jesse, another abductee. Russell later approaches Jesse, much to the chagrin and outrage of Kate and her new husband (and Russell's former-best friend) Bill Walker. They escape together on Christmas Eve, but Jesse is captured not long after by the Alien Visitors, and Russell, having apparently fulfilled his purpose to them, is left at the mercy of Bill and the police. Owen Crawford, meanwhile, has attained the rank of Colonel and continues being overall head of the Project at Groom Lake (Area 51). He is using increasingly amoral methods and teaming up with unscrupulous characters in his mission to discover the secrets of the Alien Visitor's experiments. His research centers on the captured saucer, though all attempts to make the vessel fly fail, leaving him in dire straits with the current administration unless he can find someone to fly it. Meanwhile, Sally is alone with her half-human, half-Alien son Jacob (Tom and Becky having left the nest) and desperately searches for a way to contact John. Her efforts are soon found out by Owen, who, after realizing Jacob's nature, goes undercover, schemes and worms his way into Sally's confidence in order to enlist Jacob's aid before the Project is shut down. Jacob, however, possesses Alien Visitor abilities, and instantly realizes Owen's intentions for him. When Owen indeed makes his move, Jacob uses those abilities to send Owen into a horror-induced panic attack, driving him away. Tom and Becky, upon retrieving Jacob, agree with Sally to send him away for his own safety, and fake his death in case Project agents return for him.|
|3||"High Hopes"||New President John F. Kennedy is threatening to shut down the Project, due to his beliefs that the Aliens are not as dire a threat to the United States as Owen Crawford is making them out to be. With 30 days to prove otherwise, and having failed to previously recruit Jacob Clarke in his attempts to activate the crashed Alien Visitor ship, the pressure is beginning to mount, especially when Anne, Owen's wife, becomes increasingly unstable and threatens to expose his Project secrets. Hoping to give their superior some peace of mind, Marty Erickson and Howard Bowen, Owen's subordinates and lackeys, go in search of Jacob, despite his supposed death. In the end, they fail because of Jacob's abilities (which he uses despite warnings by the Alien Visitors to avoid them, lest they may degrade his health). Irate that the Project is relegated to an office-based department by Kennedy and hoping to silence his wife, Owen arranges the death of Bowen and Anne by his own hands. Meanwhile, Jesse, still being abducted by the Alien Visitors, reunites with his father Russell and talks him into finding and approaching Owen for help. But, with Owen's desperation for proof of the Alien's "true" intentions, it results in fatal consequences for Russell.|
|4||"Acid Tests"||When Owen Crawford is finally ruined by Tom Clarke's revenge efforts, his legacy passes onto his sons Eric and Sam. While Eric is a staunch believer in his father's activities and holds a leadership position on the Project, Sam believes the "Alien Visitors" are merely a cover story for the government's own illicit activities on the unsuspecting population, and as such, the two brothers find themselves in opposite positions. When Sam finds the Artifact, however, he learns and accepts the truth, but he believes entirely the opposite of Eric and their father: namely, that the existence of the Alien Visitors should be known by the entire world. Upon reading in a newspaper that symbols found in a newly-discovered, mysterious, Native American mummy tomb match those on the surface of the Artifact, Sam immediately journeys to Alaska to gather additional information on the Aliens. Though he succeeds, it has dangerous consequences for some involved. Meanwhile, Jesse Keys, now an adult and hardened Vietnam veteran, returns home addicted to heroin and is haunted by his Alien Visitor-manipulated past and military career. He eventually finds peace with the nurse Amelia, who helps him get over his addiction. This episode marks the deaths of Owen Crawford, Sam Crawford, and the birth of Mary Crawford.|
|5||"Maintenance"||Eric Crawford, true to his nature as his father's son, manipulates and blackmails his way into the head office of the Project; he continues investigations into the Alien Visitors' activities on Earth. To this end, Eric continues his pursuit of Jacob Clarke and Jesse Keys, hoping for answers about the Aliens, and he achieves this by enlisting the aid of eccentric scientist Dr. Chet Wakeman; he also seduces Becky Clarke. Meanwhile, Jesse realizes the Alien Visitors are still taking him, and he seeks aid in finding a way to escape their manipulation before they come for his son Charlie. His efforts not only prove futile, but also attract the attention of the Project, and his efforts to defend his son from the Aliens leads them to drive him completely insane. Charlie and Amelia are forced to hide from the Project and leave him behind. This episde marks the death of Sally Clarke, the last of the three original major characters (Russell and Owen being the other two).|
|6||"Charlie and Lisa"||Over the next 16 years, Charlie Keys and Lisa Clarke, the latest generation of their respective families, gradually come into play as they, as the children of Jacob Clarke and Jesse Keys (who die of natural causes related to the Alien Visitors) become increasingly important in the Aliens' plans. They soon attract the attention of the Project, which is resurrected when the government (having shut it down after all of its evidence, including the crashed ship and bodies, were taken back by the Aliens during a failed move to a newer facility) realizes the Aliens are a true danger. Eventually, the Alien Visitors bring Charlie and Lisa together during their abductions and conclude their part in the experiment. This episode marks the deaths of Jacob Clarke and Jesse Keys, and the birth of Allie Keys.|
|7||"God's Equation"||Charlie Keys and Lisa Clarke, having fulfilled their part of the Alien Visitors' experiment by being led to conceive a child, are finally free of their manipulation and continue with their lives. Charlie desperately seeks answers to his family's manipulation by the Alien Visitors, while Lisa enjoys a musical lifestyle and shares a special bond with her daughter Allie. All are unaware that they are under surveillance by the Project, with a special focus on Allie. Mary Crawford, now in a leadership position in the Project under her father (who she sees as weak and not up to the job), correctly believes her to be the centerpiece of the Alien Visitors' experiments. Allie displays almost God-like abilities, and Mary lays the groundwork for her capture by the Project. Eventually, the truth is learned by Charlie and Lisa, but they are unable to act, as they find themselves in a hostage situation, along with Allie. In the end, Allie uses her superhuman intelligence and inherited calming abilities to solve the crisis, and, after sending her parents and their comrades to safety, she surrenders herself to the custody of Mary and Wakeman, in exchange for her parents' lives. This episode marks the death of Eric Crawford (the last of the three major characters of the second generation).|
|8||"Dropping the Dishes"||With Allie in the hands of Project leaders Chet Wakeman and Mary Crawford, the military, at the direction of the imperious and xenophobic General Beers, arrives and claims custody of the child. They set up a trap on an abandoned North Dakota farm for the aliens, intending to bring one of their ships down and interrogate the Visitors about their experiments. While Wakeman is allowed to travel with the military, Mary is effectively frozen out, but she resolves to use the Artifact to work her way back inside. Charlie and Lisa frantically search for their daughter, evading Project agents intending to "tie up loose ends." They eventually succeed in tracking Allie down, but not before her contact with the Artifact summons an Alien Visitor ship, which is promptly shot down.|
|9||"John"||Mary and a group of soldiers are dispatched into the crashed alien Mothership to seek an audience with the aliens. Nothing is achieved, as the ship re-activates and, upon dispatching the humans, departs, taking Allie along. But just as it seems the military has failed in its mission, it's discovered that Allie has used her powers to deceive them. On the run with her parents from the military and their civilian aides, Allie is approached by an old acquaintance of the Clarke family, who offers his help...the alien "John."|
|10||"Taken"||With the military in hot pursuit, Charlie, Lisa, and Allie rendezvous with Tom for aid in escaping the United States altogether, with John providing much-needed help in evading Project agents and understanding the aliens' purpose on Earth. While awaiting transportation to Buenos Aires, the fugitives seek sanctuary in the old Clarke farmhouse, where the experiment began, and John is forced to depart, giving Allie a chance for a normal life. Unfortunately, the military tracks them down and surrounds the farmhouse. They are thwarted when a large collection of the "Taken" and other people associated with the Clarke and Keys families arrive to defend Allie, who in turn provides them with the peace of mind they have been long seeking. That evening, when the opportunity for escape arrives, the military launches an attack, and blood is shed. Allie is forced to forsake her place with her parents and any chance of life on Earth, and she uses her abilities to summon the Alien Visitors, whose entire armada of Motherships arrive and teleport her away, their experiment on Earth concluded. The Project disbands, the military retreats, their mission a failure, Mary Crawford is arrested and imprisoned for life for her crimes, and Charlie and Lisa mourn the loss of their daughter (until they find one of the Clarke star-earrings in the field where Allie vanished). They are heartened by the prospect that Allie will return one day. This episode marks the death of Chet Wakeman and is the series finale.|