The Saline Solution

By Tim Gathercole

Hello all! Welcome to another Saline Solution.

For those who haven't got the Internet equipment to notice, I have been rather quite both on the world wide web and on the Alien Nation mailing list, over the last few months. Now, while this is in part due to the fact that I was - and still am - snowed under with design and software projects, it was also due to the fact that my old computer had seen better days. Having to reinstall Windows for the third time in two months proved to be the last straw and resulted in me handing over some hard earned cash for a new machine. Hopefully my new machine with its go-faster strips and four times more storage capacity (not to mention a move to the Windows NT operating system) should mean that I wont loose all my work, every time I try to update my Alien Nation web site. I just hope I can find all of the disks that I have archived it onto. Of course, there is one thing you probably wont be able to notice, but the dictation program that I am using to write this column isn't really any faster and is probably slower than just typing it. I always did have a fondness for gadgets. I'm still waiting for a really good video phone, just like the one Susan had in "Dark Horizon".

However, my like of the latest gadget doesn't mean that I don't like books. One of my greatest disappointments in the Alien Nation universe was that almost half the Alien Nation novels so far produced have been so incredibly bad. Actually, when it comes to Barry B. Longyear and K.W. Jetter (who went on to also do a hatchet job on the Bladerunner sequel) that should read BAD. Bearing in mind that Longyear had the excellent "The Change" episode script to work from, I fail to see how he could have produced such a tired and banal book. For those with a connection to the Internet, my web site contains a copy of the original script for "The Change", along with a number of other Alien Nation scripts. Personally I find them to be as well written as a novel, as well as providing some insights into how episodes were developed. Not all of the scripts are the final shooting version, so you can see how scenes have been cut or changed, for instance, check out the ending of the original pilot episode.

I noticed someone discussing "Liar, liar" on the Alien Nation mailing list, a few days ago. Frankly, not a very good film, but it did feature Eric Pierpoint doing a good-guy role as the husband of the wife from hell. Sadly most of the film avoids Eric and instead concentrates on Jim Carrey's overacting. At the end of the film they show out-takes where even one of the bit part actors shouts, "Over-actor" at him. Anyway, what go me onto this subject was the news that Terry Christian, who is a big Eric Pier point fan, will be holidaying in Britain next month. I am sure Pete, I and other Alien Nation fans on this side of the pond are looking forward to seeing him.

Finally, I would like to join with Pete and I am sure all of the rest of you, in saying a fond farewell to Connie's column. She has been one of the great defenders off Alien Nation and contributed many excellent pieces to the Tencton Planet. She was always at the forefront in the fight to bring back Alien Nation and so, with Pete, must be given their due credit for the five films so far produced.

Finally, remember to write to Fox - SAVE THE ALIEN NATION!

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