Tenctonese - Alien race featured on the sci-fi series ALIEN
Known as the "Newcomers," these refugees (some
300,000 alien slaves) from another galaxy landed on Earth in the
1990s in an alien ship called the "Gruza" (Russian for
The series focused on the acculturation of these humanoids
and in particular with George Francisco, a.k.a. Neemo or Stangya
Soren'tzah (Eric Pierpoint); his wife, Susan, a.k.a. Oblakah
(Michele Scarabelli); daughter, Emily, a.k.a. Dareveen (Lauren
Woodland); son, Buck, a.k.a. Feniksa (Sean Six); and their Bohemian
uncle, Moodrie (James Greene).
[Newscaster voice] "That was the scene in California's Mojave
Desert five years ago--our historic first view of the Newcomers'
ship. Theirs was a slave ship, carrying a quarter million beings,
bred to adapt and labor in any environment. But they'd washed
ashore on Earth, with no way to get back to where they came from.
And in the last five years, the Newcomers have become the latest
addition to the population of Los Angeles."
Working in a futuristic Los Angeles,
George Francisco teamed with a human police detective, Matthew
Sikes (Gary Graham) to deal with the Tenctonese community and its
problems of assimilation.
One of the Newcomer's worst problems was the hatred expressed by
humans called "Purists" who feared the alien presence on their
planet. These folks used the pejorative term "Slags" or "Spongehead"
when referring to our interstellar refugees. At the finale of the
1990 season, members of such a hate group exposed the Francisco
family to a lethal bacteria designed to wipe out the aliens.
Initially, when their Newcomer ship Gruza landed in the Mojave
Desert in 1992, the U.S. government quarantined the aliens for
several months and with the assistance of the Immigration and
Naturalization Service (INS) each newcomer was given a human name.
Because of the huge numbers of aliens that needed processing, the
INS at times chose whimsical names (reflecting historical or
literary characters and geographic settings) as if to relieve the
boredom of the immense task before them. Some examples: Albert
Einstein, Wyatt Earp, Betsy Ross, Albert Einstein, Emma Bovary,
Silas Marner, Dorian Gray, Kenny Bunkport, Norman Conquest, May
O'Naise, and Phil Dirt.
The Newcomers bizarre biological differences included having two
hearts; pink blood; and a number of organs that humans don't have
(such as the spartiary gland). They also have no fingerprints, bald
heads (both male and female) with large irregular spots; get drunk
on sour milk; need large doses of ultra-violet light to increase
energy levels; skin that dissolves if exposed to simple salt water
(it was like acid to them); and eat uncooked rodents (weasel,
beaver, muskrat), organs (spleen, pancreas), and insects
The cultural history of the Newcomers was preserved in many of
their legends such as those of Celine and Andarko but the strangest
one was that of the story of Tagdot, a mass murderer who cut off
his victims hands and placed them on metal ceremonial basins. The
slave ship overseers used such tales along with hallucinogenic
nerve gases to induce fear and keep the Tenctonese slaves
submissive (the slaves outnumbered the overseers 10,000 to 1).
The overseers wore jagged wrist tattoos on their arms. These
markings were a badge of righteousness onboard the ship but when
the overseers where removed from the ships, the tattoo became their
scar of damnation. One elder alien named Paul Revere sought out the
aliens with tattoos and killed them. He used the legend of Tagdot
to cover his trail of dead overseers.
Uncle Moodrie, the Francisco family's Bohemian uncle was one of a
few Tenctonese who knew the secret of a small unique ceremonial
black box. Anyone attempting to open the box usually ended up dead.
To humans and the uninformed, it was a object of death. To those
who knew its secret, the box was the repository of Tenctonese
culture. One of its powers included the ability to project a
life-sized holographic projection of their planet and all of the
wonders it had to behold.
The TV series ALIEN NATION was based on the 1988 theatrical movie of the same name starring
James Caan and Mandy Patinkin. In the movie Alien Nation Neemo was
given the name "Sam" Francisco by the processing authorities who
handled all the incoming aliens (Newcomers). A series of made-for
TV movies continued the show's storyline with Alien Nation: Dark
Horizon (1994); Alien Nation: Body and Soul (1995); Alien Nation: Millennium (1996); Alien Nation: The
Enemy Within (1996) and Alien Nation: The Udara Legacy (1997).
See also -
PHRASES - "George Francisco-isms" and
ALIEN SEX - "Tenctonese
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