Since there has been lots of talk of remakes, including a proposed remake of British SF cult classic Blake’s Seven , I thought about lots of old SF series’ that may actually be due for a new version. In that vein, I thought about a podcast I enjoy Alien Nation: The Newcomer’s Podcast. There were rumors for some time of a remake of the series, Alien Nation about the same time as V (rather lackluster IMO). But the original series, Alien Nation, was an original, thought provoking show. It didn’t last for many episodes, but did have some spin-off comics and the like and lots of discussion and ideas.
To recap for those who are not familiar with Alien Nation franchise: Alien Nation was a 1988 science fiction film centering around two LA police detectives Matthew Sykes (James Caan) and George Francisco ( Mandy Patinkin). George Francisco is a Newcomer, one of a group of aliens whose slave ship created to Earth. They are characterized by large, spotted craniums and a few other biological differences. Since the crash, they have slowly been integrated into society. The film is a buddy cop genre movie, but the series allows the audience to learn more about the Newcomers, their lives as slaves, and their culture. In this version, George Francisco (played by Eric Pierpoint) often focuses both on work and family; and the episodes concern issues such as racism, discrimination, illegal immigration, even sexuality. Matthew Sykes (played by Gary Graham, who later played Ambassador Soval in Enterprise) develops deeper relationships with other Newcomers include a single, Newcomer woman named Cathy.
Alien Nation: The Newcomer’s Podcast is hosted once a month by brothers Kenny and Michael Mittleider. Each podcast covers an episode in detail including summary, themes, cast notes, etc. This thorough approach is welcome for fans of the series, esp. those of us who are presently surprised to reminisce. Discussion is interspersed with audio clips from the show and the brothers often have lively discussion of the social themes presented in each episode.
AVAILIBILTY: iTunes, Stitcher. New podcast once a month. Suitable for general audiences.
What do you think of the use of science fiction to confront social issues? Do you think it works?
Connect with R.K.: I love hearing about new podcasts and new stuff in the SF/paranormal romance field. If you have a suggestion for a podcast or a great new read feel free to follow at @mrsbookmark. I’d love to follow you.