The newcomer's guide to Newcomers
Alien Nation is set in the city of Los Angeles at a time in the near future. A few years previously the Spaceship Gruza, carrying a quarter of a million extraterrestrial slaves had crash landed in the Mojave desert, and the Tenctonese (which is what the slaves call themselves) are now trying to integrate into human society.
The Alien Nation series focuses on George Francisco, who is the first Tenctonese to be made a police detective and his human partner, Matt Sikes. The series focuses heavily on Francisco family and their attempts to adapt to their new environment. The series is by turn: dramatic, comic, gritty and touching.
Due to George's race, he and Matt are generally given all of the murder cases involving Newcomers. As they work on the case we usually learn something new about the aliens, who are shown as individuals, with varying attitudes and religions.
Alien Nation's greatest strengths are that it has true to life characters, who grow and change over the course of the episodes and while it deals with important social issues it does so with subtlety, never preaching.
The aliens have not only their own customs and traditions, but also their own language and alphabet. Please see the Tenctonese alphabet section of the page on the Tenctonese for more information. Also available on this site is TencTran, an old Tenctonese translator program.
For more detail of the Tenctonese and the series' characters please see the Alien Nation Encyclopedia
Alien Nation was produced as first a single motion picture, then a T.V. series of 22 (23 if the pilot film is split into two) episodes, which ran for one season, before being canceled by "Killer Diller" (see Return of the Newcomers). Alien Nation is in good company, this guy also canceled Star Trek! Alien Nation was returned to our screens as a series of 5 T.V. films.