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Old July 9 2013, 03:00 AM   #31
Mike Farley
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Re: Alien Nation fans?

What exactly was the relationship between the original movie and the series? Was it like Stargate, where the series was a more or less straight in-continuity continuatio of the movie? Or was it more like, say, MASH where the movie was more of a springboard for characters and ideas, but definitely not in continuity with the series?
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Old July 9 2013, 03:15 AM   #32
Star Wolf
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Re: Alien Nation fans?

Mike Farley wrote: View Post
What exactly was the relationship between the original movie and the series? Was it like Stargate, where the series was a more or less straight in-continuity continuatio of the movie? Or was it more like, say, MASH where the movie was more of a springboard for characters and ideas, but definitely not in continuity with the series?
As I recall it was a mild reboot with Francisco family members changing their names and Detective Sikes changing from Skyes.

But early on in the TV series other concepts were introduced like the humans wearing hats to protect themselves from the environmental damage. I think they introduced Francisco as the new, maybe first detective and partner on TV but its been years
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Old July 9 2013, 03:37 AM   #33
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Re: Alien Nation fans?

There were some minor differences; notably the alien makeup was simplified, making them more human in appearance. (In the movie, there was a fuller head/face makeup and prosthetics to alter the shape of the rib cage, while in the show the makeup left the face exposed and didn't affect the body.) The drug featured in the movie wasn't mentioned in the show, though nothing overtly contradicted its existence. (It is mentioned in at least one of the tie-in novels.) And yes, the spelling of Sikes's name was changed, probably for some sort of legal reason.

But aside from those few tweaks, it was meant to be in continuity with the movie. In fact, stock footage of some of Roger Aaron Brown's scenes in the movie was incorporated into the series pilot as flashbacks. So yeah, it's basically like Stargate.
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Old July 9 2013, 03:54 AM   #34
Hober Mallow
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Re: Alien Nation fans?

Star Wolf wrote: View Post
Mike Farley wrote: View Post
What exactly was the relationship between the original movie and the series? Was it like Stargate, where the series was a more or less straight in-continuity continuatio of the movie? Or was it more like, say, MASH where the movie was more of a springboard for characters and ideas, but definitely not in continuity with the series?
As I recall it was a mild reboot with Francisco family members changing their names and Detective Sikes changing from Skyes.

But early on in the TV series other concepts were introduced like the humans wearing hats to protect themselves from the environmental damage. I think they introduced Francisco as the new, maybe first detective and partner on TV but its been years
I'd argue there's very little relationship between the original movie and the TV series continuity. The year was changed from 1991 to 1995 (although the later TV movies based on the series pushed the year forward even more), there's never any mention of George ever being named Sam Francisco, and even though there's a flashback to movie events, it happens in the context of Matt telling George how his old partner died. In the movie, George is an active part of the events, so he wouldn't need Matt to explain things. In the movie, the aliens who've enslaved the Newcomers used a drug to keep them in line; in the series, a gas was used that made them submissive.

As I recall, the first Alien Nation novel, "Day of Descent," did a pretty good job of stitching together the disparate elements of the film and the series.
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Old July 9 2013, 04:30 AM   #35
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Re: Alien Nation fans?

Hober Mallow wrote: View Post
there's never any mention of George ever being named Sam Francisco
I believe there is a single reference to it, albeit an obscure one. In at least one episode, George has a "I Love San Fransisco" mug which has been altered to say Sam.

Christopher wrote: View Post
And yes, the spelling of Sikes's name was changed, probably for some sort of legal reason.
I asked Kenny Johnson about that once, and the real reason is simply that he spelled it like he heard it without consulting the movie and goofed.
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Old July 9 2013, 05:31 AM   #36
Hober Mallow
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Re: Alien Nation fans?

Tosk wrote: View Post
Hober Mallow wrote: View Post
there's never any mention of George ever being named Sam Francisco
I believe there is a single reference to it, albeit an obscure one. In at least one episode, George has a "I Love San Fransisco" mug which has been altered to say Sam.
I remember the scene with the mug, but I don't remember it having been altered in any way. It's been so long since I've seen it, though, I could be wrong.

I do remember one movie element that made it into the pilot episode before being dropped for the rest of the series -- Sike's name meaning "excrement" and "cranium" in Tenctonese. Johnson brought back the joke for "Millennium," which he wrote, but no other Alien Nation writer ever brought it up.
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Old July 9 2013, 02:31 PM   #37
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Re: Alien Nation fans?

While AN was on the air, I thought it was the best "actual" science fiction series on at the time. TNG was in, what season 2 or 3 at the time, and mostly doing action/adventure in space. AN was busy doing morality plays and social allegory, and examining human nature from an outside perspective.
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Old July 9 2013, 02:44 PM   #38
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Re: Alien Nation fans?

I quite enjoyed the movie but the two decades later District 9 dealt with this kind of problem in a much more believable way. While it's lovely to think of aliens living among us as equals, the District 9 scenario rang true.
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Old July 9 2013, 02:57 PM   #39
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Re: Alien Nation fans?

More believable is some ways, at least.

I have often wondered if the makers of District 9 intentionally aped some of the ideas from Alien Nation or if it was a subconscious thing.

Hober Mallow wrote: View Post
I remember the scene with the mug, but I don't remember it having been altered in any way. It's been so long since I've seen it, though, I could be wrong.
No, I am more than likely wrong...I tend to be a lot these days. (My mind is going!) I may very well have imagined the "Sam".

Last edited by Tosk; July 9 2013 at 03:11 PM.
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Old July 9 2013, 03:14 PM   #40
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Re: Alien Nation fans?

Deckerd wrote: View Post
I quite enjoyed the movie but the two decades later District 9 dealt with this kind of problem in a much more believable way. While it's lovely to think of aliens living among us as equals, the District 9 scenario rang true.
Okay, you appear to have forgotten the hell out of Alien Nation. While attempts were being made to integrate the Newcomers into American society, because that's what America aspires to at its best, the reality was that they were very, very far from being treated as equals, and the pervasive racism and intolerance they faced was a central thread of the series. The main recurring villains were Purists who wanted to exterminate them altogether, Final Solution style. Not to mention that they had originally been segregated in internment camps for a fair amount of time before being allowed to integrate.

And personally I think it's very believable that we'd be more willing to attempt integration with aliens who looked and sounded mostly human than we would with ones who looked like great big bugs. It's also very believable that 1990s America would be more willing to attempt integration than 1980s South Africa, before the end of apartheid, would've been. So I don't see any credibility gap between the two premises. They're similar thought experiments, but with different initial conditions, and thus different outcomes.
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Old July 9 2013, 03:22 PM   #41
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Re: Alien Nation fans?

District 9 was set in present day SA.
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Old July 9 2013, 03:31 PM   #42
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Re: Alien Nation fans?

Deckerd wrote: View Post
District 9 was set in present day SA.
Still Alien Nation was set in an America which had just assimilated a similar number of refugees from Southeast Asia and then from Cuba. Along with that the Newcomers were humanoid enough for some members of the races to have actual physical attraction and develop emotional relationships beyond seeing the other race's hooker for the kick of being with something different.
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Old July 9 2013, 03:37 PM   #43
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Re: Alien Nation fans?

Alien Nation The Series was set 5 years after The Newcomers' arrival. I forget, was District Nine taking place years after their arrival?

Alien Nation, it seems, treated The newcomers no differently in the beginning then District Nine did, it's just that we joined the story 5 years later in Alien Nation and saw The Newcomers struggle with their freedom and their quest for Equal Rights
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Old July 9 2013, 03:56 PM   #44
Christopher
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Re: Alien Nation fans?

Deckerd wrote: View Post
District 9 was set in present day SA.
An alternate present-day South Africa, a generation after the aliens had arrived in 1982. That's the point. When the aliens arrived, apartheid was still fully in force, and the consequences of their arrival caused South Africa's history in the D9 universe to unfold differently than it did in our universe. In our reality, apartheid was overthrown (though much discrimination remains), while in the D9 universe, a new form of apartheid was imposed on the aliens and remained in force up to the present.

Like I said, it's about initial conditions. The D9 aliens arrived in 1982 South Africa, a place and time where racial segregation was normalized and institutionalized, and their arrival only reinforced those patterns. The Tenctonese arrived in 1990s California, a place and time where the society and its laws and institutions were attempting to eliminate and overcome the racial segregation of the past and cope with a society that was already a rich mixture of different ethnicities and cultures coexisting in the same community. Thus, the conditions upon the aliens' arrival made it harder for a policy of isolation and internment of immigrants to take permanent hold.

Of course, both works were social allegories. AN was an allegory for the immigrant experience in America and the turbulent racial politics of 1990s Southern California (remember, this was only a few years before the 1992 LA race riots). D9 was an allegory for the decades-long history of apartheid, and the legacy thereof that South Africa was still dealing with even decades after it had officially ended. So the treatment of the aliens in the respective works differs in the same way that the racial history of the two countries differs. It's not about one being more "believable" as if there's only one possible way for human beings to behave. They're both believable in the context of the different countries, eras, and cultures in which they take place, because they were both created to be reflections of the real-life racial issues in those cultures.
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Old July 9 2013, 04:33 PM   #45
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Re: Alien Nation fans?

I don't think people are that different wherever they are. I think there would be very strong resistance to integration of an alien species unless there was a clear benefit for humanity and even then it would be a big ask for most people. A more likely scenario would be to put them in concentration camps and hope that someone else will deal with it. Either that or put them in self-governing reservations in the back end of nowhere.
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