Alien Alert
Shows featuring alien influences on Earth


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24 episodes (1984-85) 120/60m


Reptilian alien 'visitors' disguise themselves as humans and tell everyone that they're here to help. They're not… and yet another alien resistance movement has to fight to save the day. It all seemed over by the second mini-series dubbed The Final Battle, but a brief 19 episode series dragged things out for a while longer. A well-received 'reimagined' TV series emerged in 2009.





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Alien Nation
21 episodes plus 5 TV movies (1989-90) 60/120m


Based on the 1988 feature film, a group of enslaved aliens crash on Earth, survive the anti-immigration lobby, and settle in LA. A cop is assigned an alien as a partner and they go about analysing prejudice and discrimination while fighting crime. With the recent rise of far-right racism, the series seems more relevant than ever. A series of five television movies were aired from 1994-97.





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The X-Files
202 episodes (1993-2002) 60m


The truth is out there… but trust no-one while trying to find it. The now familiar Mulder and Scully investigate the FBI's X-Files, which seem to contain a pattern of alien activities. Nebulous cover-ups and conspiracies, however, appear to be keeping the entire operation under wraps. Mixed sci-fi with the paranormal, in the process taking science fiction TV to a whole new level.





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Earth - Final Conflict
110 episodes (1997-2002) 60m


Tried and true premise has a group of benevolent alien 'Companions' arriving on Earth and generally doing all the great things we should be doing ourselves. An underground resistance movement forms when someone remembers the "never trust a nice alien" rule. The hero lives out the danger of being a double agent. Canadian series based on premises developed by Gene Roddenberry.





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Roswell
61 episodes (1999-2002) 60m


Sci-fi soap has clandestine aliens staying close to the fabled 1947 crash site in Roswell, New Mexico. There's lots of teen relationship drama and romance while the main characters try and get in touch with their alien selves. The series is based on the popular Roswell High books by Melinda Metz and, at the time, had an exceptionally strong following with younger audiences.





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Invasion
22 episodes (2005-06) 60m


Following a hurricane some aquatic ETs do the body snatching thing in small-town Florida. The timing couldn't have been worse, as real-life Hurricane Katrina made TV execs nervous, never quite managing to get the marketing back on track. Healthy early ratings deteriorated rapidly and, despite the best efforts of a sizable cult following, the show didn't make it past its first season.





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Torchwood
41 episodes (2006-2011) 60m


Edgy Doctor Who spin-off about a covert group of vigilantes working to keep extraterrestrial incursions in check while scavenging alien technology at every opportunity. Their leader, Captain Jack Harkness, is an action-oriented immortal time traveller. His bisexuality highlights the show's adult themes and represents a significant departure from traditional Doctor Who fare. Superb overall.





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22 episodes (2009-2011) 60m


A "re-imagining" of the 1983 miniseries that many see as an allegorical take on the presidency of Barack Obama - or at least its early days of hope and change. A well-produced effort with relatively broad appeal - aliens in giant spaceships show up simultaneously over Earth's major cities. Initial panic gives way to acceptance after we find out that they're only here to help. Yeah… right.


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