Alien Nation

(United States | Fox | 1989 – 1990)

Alien Nation
Series Background

Based on the 1988 movie of the same name, Alien Nation told the story of the extraterrestrial Newcomers, whose slave ship had crashlanded in the Mojave Desert and who, subsequently, became part of the community in Los Angeles.

The major characters were George Francisco (Eric Pierpoint), a Newcomer recently promoted to detective in the LA police force, and his partner, Matt Sikes (Gary Graham), who... well, let's just say that he initially wasn't entirely sympathetic towards either the Newcomers or his new colleague. Also featured heavily were George's wife, Susan, their two children, Buck and Emily, and Sykes' neighbour Cathy Franklin, also a Newcomer.

Despite proving to be above average fare, the series was axed after just a single season, although it did return to the air a few years later in the form of five TV movies, two of which were based on scripts which had been developed soon after the cancellation of the series, and saw all of the major cast returning to their roles.

The series was produced by Kenneth Johnson, whose earlier successes had included The Bionic Woman, The Incredible Hulk and the original V mini-series. Johnson also wrote and directed the opening story for Alien Nation as well as directing all five of the later TV movies, one of which, Millennium, he also scripted.
DVD Releases

The complete Alien Nation television series has been released on DVD in both the UK and the United States.

The five TV movies have so far only been released on DVD in the United States under the title Ultimate Movie Collection.
Alien Nation: The Day of Descent

by
Judith and
Garfield Reeves-Stevens
Cover image: Alien Nation, Day of Descent, Pocket Books (1993)
Country United States
Format Paperback
Publisher Pocket Books
Publication Date March 1993
Original Price $4.99
ISBN 0671735993
Cover Artist UNKNOWN
Book Number 1

The Day of Descent is an original novel, mainly set before the start of the television series.

Back Cover Blurb
"That was the scene in California's Mojave desert five years ago — our historic first view of the Newcomer's ship..."

Thus began ALIEN NATION
— the groundbreaking and thought-provoking television series that was part science fiction, part hard-hitting police drama, and critically praised for taking on tough social issues.

Now the excitement, action, and intrigue of that acclaimed series continues in an all-new line of original novels, beginning with the exciting untold story of how it all began.

Los Angeles, the present. Rookie detective Matt Sikes begins his first murder investigation and stumbles onto a deadly conspiracy that threatens his life, his daughter and his world. At the same time, onboard a nightmarish starship hurtling towards the Earth's sun, Stangya Soren'stazhh — a courageous Tenctonese slave destined to become Detective George Francisco — is swept into his people's last desperate struggle for freedom against the ruthless and mysterious Overseers.

When the great ship lands on Earth, the future of the Tenctonese and all humanity depends on two unlikely heroes, Matt and George — who must work together for the first time to prevent a disaster that could destroy both their peoples.
Notes
Cover image: Alien Nation, Warner Books (1988)
  • The Day of Descent was the first book based on the Alien Nation television series to be published, although a novelisation of the original movie, written by Alan Dean Foster, had been released in the United States in paperback by Warner in 1988.
  • Unlike the movie, which had been set in 1991, three years after the Newcomer arrival, the television series followed a slightly different timetable, being set in 1995, some five years after the spaceship carrying them had arrived.

    The bulk of The Day of Descent details the arrival of the Newcomers on Earth, with the framing material being set between Green Eyes, the final episode of the TV series, and Dark Horizon, the first of the five TV movies. Both stories were novelised in Dark Horizon, which was the second book in the Alien Nation series to be published.
Alien Nation: Dark Horizon

by
KW Jeter
Cover image: Alien Nation, Dark Horizon, Pocket Books (1993)
Country United States
Format Paperback
Publisher Pocket Books
Publication Date August 1993
Original Price $4.99
ISBN 0671736000
Cover Artist UNKNOWN
Book Number 2

Dark Horizon is a novelisation of the final episode of the television series and the original unproduced Dark Horizon script.

Back Cover Blurb
On July 31, 1991, the final episode of ALIEN NATION, "Green Eyes" aired, ending the series with a blockbuster finale and an exciting cliffhanger. In "Green Eyes" the Newcomers were faced with a deadly new bacteria created by a ruthless group of humans called Purists, who were determined to rid the Earth of the alien Tenctonese. As the story closed, all of the ALIEN NATION characters were in crisis, and the Francisco family was infected with the bacteria, facing certain death. This story was never resolved... until now.

DARK HORIZON was a two-hour ALIEN NATION script commissioned by Twentieth Century Fox. The story would have resolved the cliffhanger and kicked off ALIEN NATION's second season. With the final cancellation of the series, the script was put away and fans were left with their questions unanswered.

Pocket Books is now proud to present a novelization by critically acclaimed author K.W. Jeter of the entire action-packed story that began with "Green Eyes" and ended with "Dark Horizon". As the story opens, George Francisco and Matthew Sikes stand watch over George's family, while the Earth faces a new threat. A ruthless Overseer has come from space to recover the Tenctonese slaves, and he will stop at nothing to see that the Newcomers — as well as the entire human race — are enslaved forever...
Television Episodes
Green Eyes
   Script: Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider
   Transmission: 07/05/90

Dark Horizon
   Script: Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider
   Transmission: 25/10/94
Notes
Cover image: Alien Nation, The Lost Episode, Malibu Comics (1992)

Cover image: Alien Nation, Body and Soul, Pocket Books (1993)

Cover image: Alien Nation, The Change, Pocket Books (1994)

Cover image: Alien Nation, Passing Fancy, Pocket Books (1994)
  • While the back cover blurb to Dark Horizon is correct in saying that it is based on an unproduced script, a number of the details given are actually somewhat inaccurate — not least the airdate of Green Eyes, which is over two years out!

    At this point, a few notes on the history of Alien Nation's cancellation and subsequent resurrection are probably in order.

    Like most television series, preparation for the anticipated Season 2 of Alien Nation had actually begun during the production of Season 1, with storylines being developed and new scripts being drafted and readied for production. Sadly, Season 2 of Alien Nation was never to be, and the series was cancelled in the spring of 1990 with Fox hoping to achieve better ratings with several new sitcoms. In the event, the sitcoms flopped badly, pulling in fewer viewers than Alien Nation had done...

    At the point of Alien Nation's cancellation, this left four completed Season 2 scripts:

    1. Soul Train — Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider
    2. On Seperate Ways — Tom Chehak
    3. The Change — Steven Long Mitchell & Craig W Van Sickle
    4. One Nation: Invisible — Deborah Zoe Dawson & Victoria Johns

    At least one other storyline from David Spencer and Bruce Peyton was also in development at the time the plug was pulled. And as Spencer would later explain is his introduction to Passing Fancy, the story had been only days away from being formally commissioned when the series was axed.

    Of the completed scripts, the most notable loss was Soul Train, which would have resolved the cliffhanger ending to Green Eyes.

    In the event, none of these scripts was ever to be produced in their original form, and the next step in Alien Nation's existence was the commissioning by Fox later in 1990 of two TV movies (Dark Horizon / Body and Soul) which it was intended would tie up the loose ends from the series. Both scripts were written by Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider, with the first of the two essentially being a re-worked and expanded version of the abandoned Soul Train.

    Sadly, Fox rejected both scripts, and Alien Nation would be forgotten about as a TV concept for several years. In the meantime, however, Malibu Comics, who had been publishing a series of comics based on the Alien Nation format, released a one-off special based on the unused script to Soul Train, which was released in June 1992 under the title Alien Nation: The Lost Episode, with the script being adapted by Bill Spangler and with black and white artwork by Terry Pallot.

    After the comic strip adaptation, things then fell quiet again until 1993, when Pocket Books began publication of their series of eight Alien Nation novels, four of which would be based on unused scripts and storylines.

    By 1994, a new regime was in place at Fox and the time had finally come for the series to be revived, with Dark Horizon and Body and Soul both eventually being filmed, albeit with revisions to the original 1990 scripts. The following few years would see three further Alien Nation TV movies produced before the curtain finally fell on one of the most underated science fiction series to have come out of the 1980s.

    A number of other unproduced Alien Nation scripts are also known to have been written, and these include Ultimatum by Jonathan Betuel, which was originally intended for early in Season 1, and City of Angels by Kenneth Johnson, which would have been produced as the sixth TV movie had the green light been given.
  • KW Jeter has also written tie-in novels based on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, as well as several authorised Blade Runner sequels. He would later write the final book in the Alien Nation series, Cross of Blood.
  • Green Eyes was the only episode of the original TV series to be novelised.
Alien Nation: Body and Soul

by
Peter David
Cover image: Alien Nation, Body and Soul, Pocket Books (1993)
Country United States
Format Paperback
Publisher Pocket Books
Publication Date December 1993
Original Price $5.50
ISBN 0671736019
Cover Artist UNKNOWN
Book Number 3

Body and Soul is a novelisation of the script which would eventually be produced as the second Alien Nation TV movie in 1995.

Back Cover Blurb
ALIEN NATION was a ground-breaking and thought-provoking television program that was part science fiction and part hard-hitting police drama — taking on tough social issues. Despite raves from critics as well as a loyal following, ALIEN NATION was canceled but not before additional scripts were created. Now, Pocket Books is proud to present the novelization of one of those never-before-seen scripts.

Matthew Sikes and his Tenctonese partner George Francisco try to unearth the truth behind the hysteria generated by the reports of the birth of the first half-human, half-Tenctonese child. Meanwhile, Sikes and his Tenctonese friend Cathy find their relationship heating up and realize they can no longer deny their feelings. They quickly learn just how dangerous human-Tenctonese love can be, and how far it can go...
Television Episode
Body and Soul
   Script: Diane Frolov & Andrew Schneider and Harry & Renee Longstreet
   Transmission: 10/10/95
Notes
  • Like Dark Horizon, Body and Soul was based on an unproduced script which had been commissioned after the cancellation of the series in order to tie up all the storylines. The script which would eventually be filmed for transmission in 1995 was substantially re-written by Harry and Renee Longstreet, who would go on to script The Udara Legacy, the fifth and final Alien Nation TV movie. Prior to this, Harry Longstreet had already directed three episodes of the series (Chains of Love / Spirit of '95 / The Touch), and together with his wife had been partly responsible for the storyline to the middle part of V: The Final Battle.
  • Peter David is probably best known for writing books based on the various Star Trek series, including Vendetta, Imzadi and the ongoing New Frontier range. He has also written a number of novelisations and original novels based on Babylon 5, including the Legions of Fire trilogy, and has also dabbled in the world of Doctor Who, penning the short story One Fateful Knight for the Short Trips: The Quality of Leadership anthology. Body and Soul was his only contribution to the Alien Nation range of books.
Alien Nation: The Change

by
Barry B Longyear
Cover image: Alien Nation, The Change, Pocket Books (1994)
Country United States
Format Paperback
Publisher Pocket Books
Publication Date March 1994
Original Price $5.50
ISBN 0671736027
Cover Artist Dru Blair
Book Number 4

The Change is a novelisation of an unproduced script.

Back Cover Blurb
THE CHANGE is one of a small number of scripts developed by the producers and staff of ALIEN NATION — scripts never televised because of the show's early demise. A piece of history for ALIEN NATION fans, THE CHANGE provides an incredible glimpse at an ALIEN NATION story that never was.

Critically acclaimed science fiction author Barry B. Longyear brings to life an exciting story in which newcomer Police Detective George Francisco undergoes a startling metamorphosis that will either mean his death or the beginning of a new life. In the midst of this time of change, George must also face a vicious unstoppable killer from his past who has sworn a deadly revenge on George and everyone he cares for...
Notes
  • Like Dark Horizon and Body and Soul, The Change was based on an unproduced script, this time from Steven Long Mitchell and Craig W Van Sickle. Unlike the other two stories, however, The Change wasn't later to be produced as a TV movie by Fox.
  • Bary B Longyear would go on to write one further novel for the Alien Nation range, the completely original Slag Like Me, which would be the next book in the series just a few months later.
Alien Nation: Slag Like Me

by
Barry B Longyear
Cover image: Alien Nation, Slag Like Me, Pocket Books (1994)
Country United States
Format Paperback
Publisher Pocket Books
Publication Date July 1994
Original Price $5.50
ISBN 0671795147
Cover Artist Dru Blair
Book Number 5

Slag Like Me is an original novel.

Back Cover Blurb
Detective Matthew Sikes and his Newcomer partner George Francisco must track down a missing human journalist, named Micky Cass, who has gone undercover as a Newcomer to expose racism and discrimination against the Tenctonese. From the beginning, the journalist's articles about his experiences ignited fierce controversy. When Micky Cass disappears, the controversy explodes and violence wracks the city.

It is now up to Sikes and Francisco to solve a case that has the entire city caught in a grip of hate. Finally, as the city burns, Matt Sikes must go undercover as a Newcomer and place himself at the center of the worst violence Los Angeles has ever known...
Alien Nation: Passing Fancy

by
David Spencer
Cover image: Alien Nation, Passing Fancy, Pocket Books (1994)
Country United States
Format Paperback
Publisher Pocket Books
Publication Date December 1994
Original Price $5.50
ISBN 0671795171
Cover Artist UNKNOWN
Book Number 6

Passing Fancy is based on a storyline by David Spencer and Bruce Peyton which had been in development for Season 2 of Alien Nation.

Back Cover Blurb
In an all new ALIEN NATION novel, a chance encounter with a mysterious woman from his past propels Detective Matt Sikes into an investigation of a lethal Newcomer drug, and forces the woman he loves to risk her life for someone she's never met.

Meanwhile, tension mounts between Sikes and his Newcomer partner, George Francisco, as each is forced to deal with the range of emotions evoked by this unusual case. As they delve deeper into the intricate maze of L.A.'s illegal drug market, Francisco and Sikes discover that some Newcomers will do anything to assimilate into human society — even face the horrifying and deadly consequences that could destroy them all.
Alien Nation: Extreme Prejudice

by
LA Graf
Cover image: Alien Nation, Extreme Prejudice, Pocket Books (1995)
Country United States
Format Paperback
Publisher Pocket Books
Publication Date March 1995
Original Price $5.50
ISBN 0671795708
Cover Artist UNKNOWN
Book Number 7

Extreme Prejudice is an original novel

Back Cover Blurb
On a business trip to Pittsburgh, detective Matthew Sikes and his Newcomer partner, George Francisco, stumble on what appears to be an unusual homicide. It isn't long before the case leads them to a frightening world of abuse and violence that set in motion the series of horrifying murders born of an unremitting hate — murders that target only the innocent.

With bodies piling up and time running out, Sikes and Francisco must race against the clock to stop the killing — and face a terrifying monster from beyond the stars.
Notes
  • LA Graf is a pseudonym for Julie Ecklar and Karen Rose Cercone, who have also been responsible for writing a number of Star Trek novels and novelisations.
Alien Nation: Cross of Blood

by
KW Jeter
Cover image: Alien Nation, Cross of Blood, Pocket Books (1995)
Country United States
Format Paperback
Publisher Pocket Books
Publication Date July 1995
Original Price $5.99
ISBN 0671871846
Cover Artist UNKNOWN
Book Number 8

Extreme Prejudice is an original novel

Back Cover Blurb
The pregnancy of Newcomer Cathy Frankel by her human boyfriend, Matt Sikes, ignites tensions city-wide as extremist groups who fear the implications of the birth of the first half-human/half-Newcomer child threaten Cathy's safety. The danger escalates when the medical facility treating Cathy is attacked, forcing her into seclusion.

Meanwhile, George Francisco is drawn into a Newcomer cult headed by a mysterious messianic figure. Obsessed with the cult, George quits the police force to devote all his time to his new religion.

Now, with his partner gone, Sikes must defend his newborn baby from a hostile band of criminals determined to destroy anyone who's different — even an innocent child.
Notes
  • Cross of Blood was the second book in the Alien Nation series to be written by KW Jeter, who had previously written Dark Horizon, the first of the three novelisations.