Tim Minear, the former Angel and Firefly writer/producer, will be heading up the remake, which is still following essentially the same story as the original. “It’s absolute perfect timing for this type of show,” Chris Carlisle, an executive at Fox 21, told Variety. “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 humour.”
The story follows a group of alien refugees who crash-land on Earth and attempt to assimilate into human society, but face large amounts of prejudice along the way. A human police officer finds himself partnered with an alien officer, and learns about both cultures in the process. The news of an Alien Nation remake comes as Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 gears up for release, although the latter is a far more sinister analogy for apartheid and racial prejudice by all accounts. Despite that, Minear appears to be taking the story to a darker place, as he tells Variety. “You can take (the original Alien Nation) a step forward and really do a show that encompasses the clash of civilisations, and the idea of a ghettoised minority,” he said. “You can touch on racism, terrorism, assimilation, immigration. And there’s room for satire.”
Alien Nation originated as a 1988 movie by Rockne S O’Bannon, that was spun-off into a television series. There is no word yet on a possible release date. The Sci-Fi Channel recently found success in its ultra-modern reboot of Battlestar Galactica, and following a swathe of new remakes in cinema and television of classic properties, including V and Red Dawn, the channel will be hoping that it can cash in on the appetite for updated version of retro shows.