One nice thing that science fiction can do is to delve into the human condition by depicting non-humans. Here are three classic TV series that did that well.
Star Trek, in all of its incarnations, had a variety of interesting alien characters. These included Spock, the half human half Vulcan First officer of the original Enterprise who had to balance his emotional human half and his logical Vulcan half. Star Trek the Next Generation featured Worf, a somewhat tame Klingon, a warrior race which was an antagonist in the original series, but had become allies by the time of Next Gen. Worf also was featured on Star Trek Deep Space Nine, which also featured Odo, a “changeling”, Dax, a humanoid-symbiote being whose symbiote part is virtually immortal due to being implanted in successive generations of humanoids, and Quark, a Feringi, a race that had elevated capitalism to a religion. Star Trek Voyager featured Tuvok, a black Vulcan and B’Elanna Torres, a half human half Klingon. Star Trek: Enterprise had among its cast T’Pol, a female Vulcan, and Flox, a Denubian Doctor.
Alien Nation had a beautiful premise, that sometime in the recent past a huge ship filled with escaped alien slaves landed in the Mojave Desert. The alien refugees were granted asylum and were allowed to live among humans, mainly in Southern California. The series was structured as a cop show (of course) with a human and an alien partnered together. Alien Nation did some clever social commentary about race relations and alien cultures. The series was short lasting, but spawned a number of made for TV movies.
The main alien character was Detective George Francisco. His wife Susan, a cute daughter named Emily, and a rebellious teenage son named Buck. George’s human partner was named Matthew Sikes, who starts the show as a casual racist, but soon mellows toward his alien partner and friends. One of those friends is Kathy, with whom Matthew eventually has a more romantic relationship, The complications of human alien mating are handled in a rather humorous fashion.
Babylon Five, a science fiction series set mostly aboard a huge space station known as-of course-Babylon Five had a number of interesting alien characters.
Delann was a female of a race called the Mimbari, a both spiritual and warrior race, which had almost destroyed Earth in an interstellar war. Delann underwent a procedure that gave her human genetic characteristics in order to gain understanding of the humans. It also allowed her to become the spouse of Captain John Sheridan, the commander of Babylon Five in all but the first season.
Londo was of a race called the Centauri, a decadent people which once had a great interstellar empire. G;Kar came from a race that had been enslaved by the Centauri and had freed itself. Kosh was a of a mysterious and ancient race called the Vorlons,
Babylon Five was outstanding in its story lines focusing on the interplay between the human and alien characters, with a scale that shortly went far beyond the confines of the Babylon Five station, both in time and space. Babylon Five’s aliens were the most fully realized alien characters, in every sense of the word, in television science fiction history.
Star Trek: The Original Series (Remastered) – Three Season Pack, Paramount
Star Trek: The Next Generation – Complete Series (1987), Paramount
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Complete Series (Seasons 1-7),Paramount
Star Trek Voyager: Seasons 1-7, Paramount
Star Trek: Enterprise: The Complete Series, Paramount
Alien Nation – The Complete Series, 20th Century Fox
Babylon 5 – The Complete Television Series, Warner Home Video