Set in Los Angeles in 1995,
was both a futuristic cop show and a thinly veiled commentary on racial
Matt and George were partners on the
L.A.P.D., whose backgrounds were, literally, worlds apart. Matt was a divorced,
streetwise, hardened cop, just trying to survive. George was a Newcomer, one of
the hundreds of thousands of "people" from the planet Tencton whose spaceship -
a slave transport in transit to another planet - had crashed in the Mojave
Desert a few years earlier. the Newcomers, who were derisively referred to by
the prejudiced as Slags, had taken on Earth names and tried to assimilate into
the population of Los Angeles. Although generally humanoid in appearance, they
had enlarged craniums (they were smarter than humans), mottled skin pigmentation
instead of hair, and vestigial ears. Newcomers learned faster then humans, aged
much more slowly, and were physically much stronger - all traits that did
nothing to endear them to the Purists who wanted them out of Los Angeles and off
George was the first Newcomer to
rise to the rank of detective on the L.A.P.D. He was generally gentle, quiet,
and introspective. His analytical approach to crime fighting was often at odds
with Matt's impulsive tendency to violent action. George's wife, Susan, worked
at an advertising agency, and their two children, teenage Buck and preteen
Emily, were both in school. It was through the eyes of the Francisco family that
viewers saw the problems of cultural prejudice.
Other Newcomers in the cast were
Cathy Frankel, a biochemist who lived in Matt's building (to whom Matt was
attracted, despite his confusion over what to do about it), and Albert Einstein,
a maintenance man at the police station where Matt and George worked.
One of the most unusual story lines
dealt with the pregnancy of the Francisco's. Susan only carried the fetus for
the first part of the pregnancy, with George carrying it to term and actually
giving birth to the little Vesna late in the season.
Fox aired reruns of
during the summer of 1991. Adapted from the 1958 movie of the same name starring
James Caan and Mandy Patinkin.