» » Alien Nation Alien Nation (1989–1990)

Short summary

A bigoted human policeman in the L.A. of the future and his alien partner learn to live with each other's differences while attempting to solve a drug conspiracy hidden in the subculture of Los Angeles' newest immigrant population: extraterrestrials.

The alien ship that lands is called the Gruza. "Gruza" is a Russian word that means "cargo".

The flashbacks to Sgt. William "Tuggs" Tuggles' death were clips from Alien nación (1988) mixed with newly shot footage of Gary Graham in place of James Caan as Matt Sikes (spelled Sykes in the film). Roger Aaron Brown, who played Tuggs in the film, did not return for the series and only appears in archive footage. As such, Sikes and Tuggs are never seen on screen at the same time.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Kison
    'Alien Nation' was probably was one of the best sci-fi shows of its time, taking the buddy cop idea and adding in aliens.

    A television series, based on the 1988 James Caan film, revolves around Detective Matt Sikes and his alien partner George Francisco. George's people were slaves who managed to escape their masters and are now making a new life for themselves on Earth, where they sought refuge. The aliens' arrival not only bring about much bemusement as human struggle to adapt to their new guests, who have many quirks such as getting drunk on soured milk and the fact it takes three for them to have a child, but there is much prejudices between the two races.

    'Alien Nation' had the humour and action that you'd expect of any cop series but with the added intrigue of how humans would cope with such an event, touching upon racial tensions between the two races that are clearly analogy of what America was like in the Sixties as black people fought for their right to equality. That said, the serious issues raised doesn't detract from this being a fun and entertaining show as we see the situations reckless Matt gets into with the calmer, family man George.

    It's just a shame it was cancelled only after one series (although Fox obviously realised their idiotic mistake as they revived the characters in the Nineties with a number of made-for-TV films). Why do decent shows never get a chance to prove themselves?
  • comment
    • Author: watchman
    This was one of the best TV series made. It featured excellent stories and some of the finest acting for any show on that year. The characters were developed with care and they added more to each of them in every episode. I was very sad when they canceled the show. The TV movies they made were good, but I wish the series could have stayed on. The story arc about the conception and birth of the alien children was brilliant! I give this series an A+.
  • comment
    • Author: Velellan
    At least not until the real aliens arrive and set us straight about their culture and history. For now, we have to make do with the inspired creations of talented science fiction writers, actors and directors who produce such shows/movies as Alien Nation, Star Trek, 2001, a Space Oddessy,Close Encounters of the Third Kind, etc etc.

    Alien Nation, the TV series and -to a lesser extent-the movie is one of those brilliant and creative attempts to look at a different culture in an intelligent and non-judgmental way, to find the truth in our collective dreams (and fears) about the future and the actual aliens we will one day encounter.
  • comment
    • Author: Yozshujinn
    Alien Nation was the best show ever made that took people inside the ugly world of racism and helped combat it. The viewers could relate to Matthew Sikes, who was prejudice against the newcomers because they looked strange and were taking ``our'' jobs away from us. As Matt and the viewers got to know more about the newcomers, through George Francisco and his family, we began to love them and to realize how easily racism takes control of our emotions and that we must do everything we can to fight it in ourselves. The writers and producers did an excellent job of introducing us to a new culture that was fascinating and made us want to learn more. I would recommend the show to everyone; especially those who believe they have no prejudices.
  • comment
    • Author: The Apotheoses of Lacspor
    I love this series, it's a shame it didn't last too long. Great acting by the main cast, and most importantly GREAT STORIES :)

    Thank god the Alien Nation universe is still being continued through TV movies.

    The relationship between George and Sikes is fun to watch, as they get closer and closer as friends.

    The alien culture is also great, and believable.

    A joy to watch.
  • comment
    • Author: mr.Mine
    Like many other series before - and since - "Alien Nation" was adapted for the small screen from a big screen motion picture, in this case starring Mandy Patinkin and James Caan, if you can believe that. Gary Graham reprises the role played by Caan of Det. Sgt. Matt Sykes, a bigot LA cop. Graham, of course, is probably best remembered for the good job - well, okay, adequate job - he did in "The Hollywood Knights" and the not so good job in "Robot Jox". Like the movie, the series concerns itself with a shipload of basically human-looking aliens, who are in fact escaped slaves, that arrive on Earth and try to adapt to human culture. They have their quirks, like getting drunk on sour milk, and their weaknesses, like dying horribly on contact with salt water, but basically they just want to get along. In their efforts to do just that, they adopt human-sounding names, which leads to one of the show's running gags. Sykes' alien partner, for example, is Det. Sam Francisco. Once, it's cute. But more than once, or even occasionally, it can easily get out of hand, and did, with characters like Pete Moss, Mike Raphone, et al ad nauseum. Did this show get silly and tedious at times? Yup, but no more so than other sci-fi series, like "Timecop", the brainchild of Harve Bennett (yes, THAT Harve Bennett), "RoboCop", "Mantis", "Viper", and a whole raft of other sackrace losers that all fell out of a Crumbum Tree and hit every branch on the way down. Having said this, we actually liked this show, and didn't for one centon believe Fox's reason for cancellation, to wit: the makeup costs of the actors prosthetic headpieces for a weekly show were just too high. Tell it to someone who believes it. This was, in the last analysis, a pretty good show as these things go, and really deserved better
  • comment
    • Author: Mr.jeka
    At long last this series is getting some DVD attention. Waiting on the follow up movies patiently though! Alien Nation was first shown in Europe in the mid nineties. I was enthralled from the first episode. I love the way the series never shied away from real issues like prostitution, drug abuse, cultural and racial discrimination and slavery. This show had brilliantly imagined characters and a superb cast. It had the potential to go on for many seasons and the stories, as proved in the follow up movies, were there. How trash like Buffy and Angel can have lasted for as long as they did is beyond imagination. The follow up movies were good and had almost all the original cast. Still felt a little let down the series was canceled. 23 episodes was just not long enough for a show of this calibre. The immediate movie after the series 'Dark Horizon' was excellent. Continued the story really well, and provided a good back story too. Alien Nation, sadly gone but never forgotten..........
  • comment
    • Author: Xar
    Another cool show killed before it's time. Every time a cool show comes on they kill it after a season. Well acted and good stories to boot. At least the films have kept it going in fine fashion.
  • Episode cast overview, first billed only:
    Gary Graham Gary Graham - Detective Matthew Sikes
    Eric Pierpoint Eric Pierpoint - Detective George Francisco
    Michele Scarabelli Michele Scarabelli - Susan Francisco
    Lauren Woodland Lauren Woodland - Emily Francisco
    Sean Six Sean Six - Buck Francisco
    Terri Treas Terri Treas - Cathy Frankel
    Molly Morgan Molly Morgan - Jill Molaskey
    Jeffrey Marcus Jeffrey Marcus - Albert Einstein (as Jeff Marcus)
    Jeff Doucette Jeff Doucette - Burns
    Ron Fassler Ron Fassler - Captain Bryon Grazer
    Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs - Sergeant Dobbs (as Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs)
    L. Scott Caldwell L. Scott Caldwell - Lyddie
    Diane Cary Diane Cary - Jill's Mother
    William Frankfather William Frankfather - Purist Leader
    Ketty Lester Ketty Lester - Teacher
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