Alien Nation Returns to Television

Alien Nation Returns to Television
The SciFi Channel has announced, via Variety, that it's developing a new version of Alien Nation with Tim Minear (Angel, Wonderfalls, Firefly, Dollhouse). Dealing with 250,000 Tenctonese slaves that arrive on earth, and told through the eyes of human cop Matt Sikes and Newcomer officer San Francisco, Alien Nation explores the assimilation of one society into another and all of the challenges of that, all wrapped up in a police procedural.
AlienNation     Offers Fox 21's Chris Carlisle, "It's absolutely perfect timing fo this type of show. They're [SciFi Channel] looking for more grounded sci-fi and close-ended episodes, and at the heart of Alien Nation it's a cop movie. It's grounded. And it has a tremendous amount of dramatic possibilities and humor." To which the network's Mark Stern adds, "It's very much in keeping with what we've been looking to do -- find themes that are more than just hard sci-fi, something that feels contemporary and relevant and invites a broad audience in."
   Notes Minear, "It's genre mixed with procedural mixed with funny and mixed with big, giant scary. I love serialized stuff, but this is also a cop franchise. That Starsky and Hutch/Lethal Weapon buddy cop comedy is absent from TV right now."
 Alien Nation - Caan and Patinkin    According to the article, the new version will take place approximately 20 years after the first ship of aliens (actually bred as slaves) arrive on earth. "By the time the show begins, some time in the 2020s," notes Variety, "the alien population has multiplied from a few thousand to 3.5 million. And much of the 'newcomers' live their own segregated existence, in what Minear compares to the North African ghettos in France."
   Alien Nation - Pierpoint and Graham Minear points out, "You can take the original a step forward and really do a show that encompasses the clash of civilizations, and the ideas of a ghettoized minority. You can touch on racism, terrorism, assimiliation, immigration. And there's room for satire. Twenty years [after the series], TV as a whole has evolved, and you can explore issues and go deeper with subject matter than you ever could before. On cable, you can play with ambiguity. This is a place I want to be."
   Previously, Alien Nation was a 1988 feature film starring James Caan and Mandy Patinkin, a 1989 TV series (devleoped by "V"'s Kenneth Johnson) and five subsequent TV movies starring Gary Graham and Eric Pierpoint, and was the subject of a series of novels and comic books from Malibu.
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