1. Film (1988). 20th Century-Fox. Dir Graham Baker, starring James Caan, Mandy Patinkin, Terence Stamp. Prod Gale Anne HURD, Richard Kobritz. Screenplay Rockne S.O'Bannon. 90 mins. Colour.
   Los Angeles, 1991. The Newcomers, or Slags, are 300,000 humanoid ALIENS, genetically engineered for hard labour, survivors of a crashlanded slave ship, grudgingly accepted but disliked by humans, and ghettoized. Working in partnership with a human (Caan), Sam Francisco (Patinkin) becomes the first alien police detective in LA. There are murders related to the use of alien drugs. A stereotyped buddy-cop story follows (uneasy relationship between races deepens as tolerance is learned). This is an efficient, unambitious adventure film whose observations of racial bigotry towards cultural strangers - effectively boat people - are good-humoured but seldom rise above cliche. The novelization is Alien Nation (1988) by Alan Dean FOSTER.
   2. US tv series (1989-90). Kenneth Johnson Productions for Fox Television. Starring Gary Graham and Eric Pierpoint. 100min pilot episode dir and written Johnson, plus 21 50min episodes. The short-lived tv series that followed the film combined routine crime stories with mild SATIRE of NEAR FUTURE Los Angeles and lessons about civil rights. The bizarre-looking but adaptable Newcomers act and talk exactly like humans, portraying housewives, teenagers, used-car salesmen, criminals, police and other stereotypes. The exception is George (no longer Sam) Francisco, whose earnest, humourless approach and precise speech recall Spock of STAR TREK. A few episodes involve the pregnancy of the male Newcomer hero. Johnson also produced the much harder-edged V. The cliffhanger ending of the series was not resolved until Oct 1994, when a well-made two-hour tv movie, Alien Nation: Dark Horizon was broadcast on Fox TV, scripted by Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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