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PHOTOGRAPHY

ALIEN NATION the Complete Series

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 989 minutes, 22 episodes on six discs, audio commentary, featurette

STUDIO: FOX

RELEASE DATE: 1-3-2006

DISC 1, SIDE A: TV MOVIE PILOT

DISC 1, SIDE B: FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH, LITTLE LOST LAMB

DISC 2, SIDE A: FIFTEEEN WITH WANDA, THE TAKEOVER

DISC 2, SIDE B: THE FIRST CIGAR, NIGHT OF THE SCREAMS

DISC 3, SIDE A: CONTACT, THREE TO TANGO

DISC 3, SIDE B: THE GAME, CHAINS OF LOVE

DISC 4, SIDE A: THE RED ROOM, THE SPIRIT OF '95

DISC 4, SIDE B: GENERATION TO GENERATION, EYEWITNESS NEWS

DISC 5, SIDE A: PARTNERS, REAL MEN

DISC 5, SIDE B: CROSSING THE LINE, REBIRTH

DISC 6, SIDE A: GIMME, GIMME and THE TOUCH

DISC 6, SIDE B: GREEN EYES, featurette

ALIEN NATION wasn't a bad cop movie with displaced Aliens, but the TV series didn't interest me years ago when it was on. I did watch the TV movies and I had some issues with them. Now I revisit the series years later and I like ALIEN NATION better than I did years ago. The best way to look at the series is what is it trying to say about the human race and the issue within our culture and history. ALIEN NATION even allows us at laugh at us. The Newcomers are a race of alien slaves left on Earth and they have blended into our society after five years. The series gives a look at their culture from sex to how they conceive children (need a third sex to fertilize the eggs and the male carries the child for the second half of the pregnancy) to people hating them (the Purist Party). Detective Matt Sikes (Gary Graham) is teamed up with the first Newcomer police detective, George Fransisco. Also Matt has to deal with his growing attraction to his Newcomer neighbor, Cathy, who has moved into his apartment building. The first few episodes were trying to find a balance between drama and social commentary. That balance is achieved after the first few episodes as we learn about George's nightmares on the slave ship (THE GAME) and off (THE RED ROOM). ALIEN NATION is sci-fi drama at it's best while also being an interesting cop show.

VIDEO: 1:33:1 (Full Frame)

Image detail is solid and sometimes a little soft/. A little artifacting is present, but aliasing is more noticeable. A little dirt is present here and there during a few episodes. I do wonder why FOX choose to use double sided single layer discs instead of dual layer single sided discs.

AUDIO: English 2.0 Stereo, Spanish 2.0 Mono

Subtitles: English, Spanish

Dialogue is clear and the music track is strong and loud. I have noticed on the Sony DVD player that I played it in that Spanish subtitles do come on during translations of Newcomer dialogue after having the subtitle option on and turning it off.

EPISODE CHAPTERS: Beware sometimes you can skip the title credits and start with the episode, but a few episodes have the first chapter ending anywhere from a few seconds to a almost a minute after the end of the title credits.

SPECIAL FEATURES: The audio commentary for the pilot movie is by writer/director Kenneth Johnson. He packs tons of info into the track including spoilers for the whole series and TV movies. He wanted to do a unique series and not like the movie which he says was like Miami Vice with coneheads. Also you get a short Behind The Scenes featurette.

FINAL ANALYSIS: ALIEN NATION is sci-fi at it's best. Despite some of the early episodes being a little too preachy or campy at times, ALIEN NATION finds it's balance. Hopefully, a DVD release of the five TV movies is forthcoming and more extras would be a plus.

this article is (c)1-5-2006 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com