Just as Battlestar Galactica was reimagined as a series with resonance for the post 9/11 world, Sci Fi (or, SyFy as of July 7th) has set its sights on a re-do of another science fiction series that may resonate with the current world: Alien Nation.
Variety reports that Tim (Angel) Minear is heading a new take on the property which launched as a feature film in 1988 before spinning off as a television series on the then-fledgling network, Fox. Following the single season of the series, Alien Nation spawned five made for television movies, between 1994 and 1997.
The property is a loose allegory of modern day America set in the near future after an alien race (the Newcomers) have immigrated to earth. As such, the stories Alien Nation told often revolved around racism and bigotry as well as an outsider view of culture and society and the conflicts of immigrant culture. The film and series focused on the relationship between Detective Matthew Sikes, a Los Angeles police officer and his Newcomer counterpart, George Francisco as they investigated crimes in a world where humans and Newcomers live side by side.
Fox 21, the alternative production arm of 20th Century Fox TV, will produce the series for Sci Fi.
"It's absolute perfect timing for this type of show," Fox 21’s Chris Carlisle told the trade. "They're looking for more grounded sci-fi and close-ended episodes, and at the heart of Alien Nation, it's a cop movie. It's grounded. And it has a tremendous amount of dramatic possibilities and humor."
According to the trade, the new series will most likely be set in the Pacific Northwest and will be set roughly 20 years after the first alien ship landed on earth, when the Newcomer population has reached 3.5 million.
"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," Minear said. "You can touch on racism, terrorism, assimilation, immigration. And there's room for satire."