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"This was our first view of the Newcomer's ship....."
on 24 December 2006
In the late 80's there was a small resurgence in science fiction television series and one of the best to reach our screens was the excellent Alien Nation.
Created by Kenneth Johnston, the mastermind behind the seminal V, we get a very differnent interpretation on first contact with an alien race. Unlike V where the aliens were invaders, in this show the Tenctonese, or Newcomers to us, are refugees whose ship has 'crash landed' here.
Following on from the movie, the pilot introduces us to the characters and also makes links back to the film and with the help of some cleverly shot material makes it seem as though Gary Graham was actually in the film, even though his role was played by James Caan.
The series essentially focuses on human cop Matthew Sykes (a very funny word in Tenctonese) and his Tenctonese partner George Fransisco. It has all the elements of a standard cop action series with a science fiction element in the mix. That aside you find well scripted and very 'human' stories which cover a full run of 22 episodes.
As you progress through the season the real reason why the Newcomers crashed here is revealed and several more subtle and darker plotlines begin to emerge. The show builds to a gripping cliffhanger (resolved in the Alien Nation movie Dark Horizon) which leaves you wanting more.
The cast are excellent, the characters dimensional and real and the developing friendship between Matt and George is believable and very well written.
There is also an excellent supporting cast of characters, both human and alien, which delivers a show that satisfies on all levels.
It was such a shame that it only ran for one season and was cancelled but at least the fans kept the series alive long enough for the 4 television movies to be made in the early 90's.
So if you're looking for a good sci-fi show with some genuine surprises, edge-of-your-seat scenes and some laugh-out-loud funny moments then this is the show for you.