SF Obscure: Alien Nation TV Movies

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I did a post long ago on ALIEN NATION. If you haven’t seen ALIEN NATION watch it before you read. ๐Ÿ™‚ It focuses on a group of aliens, the Newcomers, whose slave ship crashes on Earth and they become part of the population of L.A. It’s a combination of SF and crime drama. The episodes follow two detectives, Matthew Sikes(human) and George Francisco(Newcomer) as they navigate the human and Newcomer (Tenctonese) worlds. The series only lasted one season, but there were a series of TV movies to continue the story.

DARK HORIZON begins where the series leaves off. George’s wife Susan and his daughter Emily are attacked with a engineered virus to exterminate Newcomers. All of the cast is back. Cathy, the Newcomer nurse, is a doctor now. (Newcomers adapt and learn quickly). Matt and George have to find a cure for the virus as well as deal with a Tenctonese agent, Ahpossno, sent by the Overseers, to reinslave them. It’s a good show. The two parallel plots are well paced and engaging-although the Overseer Agent plot takes over if only because the character of Ahpossno is engaging. I also liked the richer exploration of Tenctonese culture explaining its matriarchal origins and life before their enslavement.

BODY AND SOUL follows George and Matt as they investigate what appears to be a hybrid human-Tenctonese child. Because the Tenctonese are bred for adaptability, this may be the beginnings of a new race. This episode also explores the beginnings of Matt and Cathy’s sexual relationship and differing attitudes towards sexuality. It fairly heavy on the social commentary about sexuality and politics, but I think it does the job nicely while keeping and engaging plot.

MILLENNIUM follows George and Matt as they investigate a Tenctonese influenced cult that George’s son Buck falls in with. It’s entertaining, but lacks some of the strong social themes that gave the previous two its impact. Also, the characters of Buck and Emily, George’s kids, never seem to have a consistency to them. I am not sure if its the characters or the writing but their personalities seem to change with the plot, which makes their adventures less convincing. Still, it has its moments and the cult leader, Jennifer, really steals the spotlight.

THE ENEMY WITHIN focuses on a group of Tenctonese called the Eenos who are discriminated against and treated as untouchable. They were forced to do the worse jobs of waste extraction and sometimes survived on carcasses. As a result, other Tenctonese refuse to accept them. The movie begins with an escaped Eeno girl left to die as other Tenctonese refuse to help. Matt is shocked at George’s open bigotry; and George has to confront his discomfort with his slave past. As a subplot, George is asked help father a child. Among the Tenctonese, two males are needed to impregnate a female. George’s wife, Susan, deals with her own feelings of jealousy as human and Tenctonese value systems clash within her. This is a return to Alien Nation’s social themes and a stronger movie than the previous one.

THE UDARA LEGACY is the last of the TV movies. It focuses on a resistance movement of sleeper agents among the Tenctonese. It is the most action SF of all of the movies. There is more screen time given to Emily Francisco and a continuation of some to the relationship of Matt and Cathy. Like the third movie, it moves away from the social themes and as a result, is not as interesting. Alien Nation can get preachy, but it does that well and is most effective in that element. This is still not a bad TV movie, but not my favorite.

 

Well, it’s almost time for the holidays. I haven’t had time to do much TV watching, thought I did get to see BLADE RUNNER 2049 (twice) and THE LAST JEDI. And a few mysteries here and there. (ENDEAVOUR!!) I’m looking forward to BRIGHT- a Netflix series starring Will Smith with elves. I am a fan of anything with elves, pretty much. And the holidays are always the season for my Lord Of the Rings Marathon.

Happy Holidays!

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3 thoughts on “SF Obscure: Alien Nation TV Movies

  1. Another of those Obscure SF series that I have in my personal collection. The entire Alien Notion collection from the original movie with James Caan to the short run series to the above mentioned movies. Yep! Liked this one! I need to watch it again.

    You have seen Blade Runner 2049 twice? Must be an okay movie. I haven’t seen it yet. I don’t get to the movies too much these days. It is on my list. As it The Last Jedi. I suspect that as soon as each are available on video they to will be added to my personal collection. I LOVED Rouge One!

    Cannot remember if I have seen Endeavour or just had it on my watch list because it was Inspector Morse, the early years. I think it was on my watch list. Loved Inspector Morse, except how it ended, although it did end rather than leave us wondering. And yes, I too look forward to Bright. Will Smith and orcs. That is what got me. ๐Ÿ˜€

    I am not sure what my daughter and I will be watching. We are still negotiating on that. Could be Star Wars. OR Star Trek movies. Or just random movies. Don’t know yet. But we have agreed it will be movies.

    You and yours have a happy!

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  2. ROGUE ONE is my favorite Star Wars movie. I even like the books.
    I actually haven’t seen many of the Inspector Morse, but Endeavour is very good.
    I hope you and your daughter have fun! That sounds like a great way to spend the holidays.

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