Tim Minear to Revive Alien Nation for Sci Fi Channel

This is good news for sci-fi fans. Variety reports that The Sci Fi Channel (soon to change its name to SyFy) has hired former Angel, Firefly, and X-Files writer Tim Minear to revive the 1980s-90s alien TV show Alien Nation for them. You remember Alien Nation, don’t you? The show spawned a number of made-for-TV movies after the series was canceled. It has a pretty big fan following, and concerned a group of alien slaves whose ship arrives on Earth. The aliens, called Newcomers, must assimilate with the human population, oftentimes with great difficulty.

Instead of taking place three years after the aliens touch down in Los Angeles, the new show will instead take place 20 years after the arrival, with the alien population having multiplied to a few million citizens. Says Minear about his ideas for the new show:

“It’s genre mixed with procedural mixed with funny and mixed with big, giant scary. I love serialized stuff, but this is also a cop franchise. That ‘Starsky and Hutch’/’Lethal Weapon’ buddy cop comedy is absent from TV right now.

You can take (the original ‘Alien Nation’) a step forward and really do a show that encompasses the clash of civilizations, and the idea of a ghettoized minority. You can touch on racism, terrorism, assimilation, immigration. And there’s room for satire.

Twenty years (after ‘Alien Nation’), TV as a whole has evolved, and you can explore issues and go deeper with subject matter than you ever could before. On cable, you can play with ambiguity. This is a place I want to be.”

Much of the show will be based on the 1988 movie “Alien Nation” (written by future Farscape creator, Rockne S. O’Bannon) starring Mandy Patinkin and James Caan as a Newcomer cop and his distrusting human partner, respectively instead of the TV show.

Below: Trailer for the original “Alien Nation” movie.

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