“The Visitors are not our friends.
They’ve come to rape our planet and kill us.
They’re not who they appear to be.”
-Dr. Juliet Parrish, “V”, 1983
If we are ever invaded by aliens from space we will never know it. They are now, as we speak, walking among us and we are not aware of them because they have taken on the form of humans. What space alien look actually lies underneath that human outer shell? With the reincarnation of the 80s hit TV show V reappearing on November 3, 2009 on ABC, I wanted to visit some aliens that look like humans we have seen on TV. Of course, this is not a complete list of human-looking aliens on TV; this is just a few of my all-time favorite human-looking TV aliens. Who is your favorite human-looking alien?
TV Aliens That Look Like Humans
(Dr. Who TV Series, 1963-1989; Dr. Who on BBC)
To the human eye the Doctor looks like a regular Earthly human, but underneath the skin is his true alien being. What makes the Doctor alien and different than humans is he possesses two hearts, has a body temperature of 60 degrees and has the power of reincarnation, although the new body never looked like the old one.
The Doctor has no formal name; he is known simply as “The Doctor.” The Doctor is a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey, thus making him a space alien to humans. Time Lords control the secrets of the fifth dimension known as Time. When the Doctor became bored with merely being an observer he commandeered (stole) a time travel unit known as a TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space) and set out on a never-ending adventure to explore and interact, not merely observe the universe. When his fellow Time Lords caught up with him, the Doctor’s punishment was to be exiled to 20th Century Earth for an indefinite period of time. But the Time Lords decided to change their policy concerning non-intervention and allowed the Doctor to travel through time to battle evil and right wrong-doings.
(The Adventures of Superman TV Series, 1952-1958; Superboy TV Series, 1988-1992; The New Adventures of Superman TV Series, 1966-1970; Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman TV Series, 1993-1997; Smallville TV Series, 2001-Present)
Kal-El is the given name of the human-looking alien we know as Superman or as mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent when he is blending in with the human race. Kal-El was sent to Earth in a rocket ship before his home planet of Krypton exploded. He crash landed on Earth near Smallville, USA where farmers John and Martha Kent found him and raised him as their own. They soon discover that Clark is special when he begins to discover his super powers at an early age. He is definitely an alien in human skin, but they all keep that their little secret.
Kal-El’s super abilities include having super human strength, running very, very, very fast, being able to see through objects with X-ray vision (except for lead), laser vision to heat up things, a super cold breath when he needed it, the ability to fly, hear and see things from very far distances. But every space alien has to have a weakness. Superman’s weakness is the radioactive-charged substance known as Kryptonite, fragments from the explosion of his home planet. Prolonged exposure to this greenish element causes weakness, unconsciousness and possibly the death of him.
When the human-looking Kal-El wants to blend in with the Earthly humans his disguise consists of a pair of glasses. That’s it. Just put on a pair of glasses and no one will know who you really are. But Kal-El’s alter ego known as Superman wears an outfit with much more flair to it; blue body stockings, red boots and trunks and a yellow belt with a gold buckle. On his chest and his red cape was a scarlet “S” emblazoned on a shield of yellow. Clark’s Earth mother fashioned him this costume from the fabric found in his crashed rocket. It was acid, fire and bullet-proof. (I guess she got her son Clark to use his super laser vision to cut the pattern). When there is a call for help, a telephone booth is a favorite place for Clark Kent to enter and reemerge as Superman.
(The Powers of Matthew Star TV Series, 1982-1983)
The human-looking Prince Matthew Star (Peter Barton) has been exiled to Earth from the planet Quadris. This makes him another alien from space that looks human on the outside. Matthew has to stay on Earth and blend in until he can regain control of Quadris that has been overthrown by extraterrestrial tyrants. Yes, even the space alien has space aliens attacking his home planet. He blends in with the Earthly human race as a teenager attending Crestridge High School. He faces the same struggles a normal teenager does such as the responsibilities that come with growing up along with the not-so-common fear of being attacked by outer space assassins. Matthew soon develops an arsenal of un-Earthly like powers that include telepathy, telekinesis, transmutation and astral projection.
Mork from Ork
(Mork & Mindy TV Series, 1978-1982; Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/Fonz Hour TV Series, 1982-1983)
Mork (Robin Williams) is the ever smiling human-looking space alien from the planet Ork. Mork is an advance scout for the Orkan race who are thinking of migrating to Earth in the future. He lands his spacecraft, “The Flying Egg” near Boulder, Colorado where he takes up with a local earthling known as Mindy (Pam Dawber). Mork reports back to his superior’s weekly using mental telepathy. The planet Ork is about 200 million miles from Earth and sports 3 moons. The inhabitants of Ork evolved from chickens, but look like humans. (How can that be?) Orkans have no hearts, no lungs, and no sense of humor. Mork, however, has a sense of humor and is the reason the Orkans are glad to get rid of him. He just doesn’t fit in on Ork. But, even though he looks human, his alien quirkiness makes it hard for him to blend in on Earth. Mork gets his nourishment from eating plastic, flowers and coffee grinds. He drinks water through his bloinks (fingers), gets drunk on ginger ale, tells time with a wrist watch strapped to his ankle, sits on his face, spits to say thank you and sleeps upside down. Some choice Orkan phrases are “Na-Nu, Na-Nu!” (Hello!) and “Shazbot!” (Damn!).
Martin the Martian
(My Favorite Martian TV Series, 1963-1966)
While trying to avoid a high speed collision with an X-15 doing a test flight, a Martian professor of Anthropology (Ray Walston) is forced to crash land on Earth. The space alien is soon discovered by newspaper reporter Tim O’Hara (Bill Bixby), who allows the alien to stay with him (and keeps it a secret) until said alien can get his spacecraft repaired. Living incognito with Tim, the Martian, who surprisingly is not green and looks very human, poses as Tim’s “Uncle Martin,” thus becoming the first Irishman from the planet Mars.
Martin is 450 years old in Martian years. His Martian name is Exagitious 12 and 1/2. Martin has a normal blood pressure of 218 and an average body temperature of 131. What alien can resist using his alien abilities on Earth? Martin certainly can’t. He can levitate any object within his sight just by pointing his index finger. He can read minds as long as the person is unaware if him doing it. And he can become invisible. All he has to do his raise his Martian alien antennas from the back of his head and concentrate. But in the event of a thunderstorm Martin needs to be properly grounded or the electrical activity could cause him to disappear and reappear uncontrollably thus earning him the nickname “Popsy.” If exposed to the metal silver, Martin the Martian’s nervous system gets out of whack, drains him of his powers and leaves him acting like a human moron.
(Star Trek: The Next Generation TV Series, 1987-1994)
Q is a term applied to anyone living in the Q continuum which is an alien world of omnipotent beings. This means they are God-like. Not God, but God-like, meaning they have certain abilities. They can move about in time and space like we humans move from the couch to the kitchen looking for a snack.
This particular “Q” (John de Lancie) is a conniving human-looking alien being who delights in testing the resolve and determination of the humans of the starship Enterprise-D and Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) is his favorite target. Not familiar with the human race, Q sets up situations of stress and decision and to see how humans perform, even to the point of taking a few human lives in the bargain.
(V TV Series, 1984-85)
Sirians are human-looking aliens that hail from the planet Sirius IV. They appear all at once hovering over all of Earth’s major cities in an armada of enormous spacecraft. In the initial contact with Earth’s representatives, the Sirian aliens assure us Earthlings that they are just Visitors here to share their advanced technology in exchange for minerals they need for their planet.
The first deception the aliens pull on humans is their appearance. On the outside they look as human as you or I. But underneath the humanoid facade is a scaly face and body of two-legged reptiles with forked tongues. The reality of their visit is that they need to use humans as a food source to take back to their planets’ reptilian inhabitants.
The Visitors’ master plan was uncovered by a crusading broadcast journalist, Mike Donovan (Marc Singer) and a brilliant scientist, Dr. Juliet Parrish (Faye Grant), who formed a unit of Freedom Fighters to battle the alien occupational forces. Diana, (Jane Badler) the ruthless leader of the aliens, reveled in the torture of her human captives.
The Freedom Fighters developed a red-powdered dust chemical that is safe to humans but deadly to the alien reptiles. The aliens are suffocated when the red dust bacteria penetrates their alien’s gill tissues. With this weapon, the Freedom Fighters slowly began to win back the Earth from the alien domination.
Meanwhile, before she realizes his true form or intentions, the human female known as Robin Maxwell (Blair Tefkin) has fallen in love with one of the Sirian aliens. Her interplanetary romance produces a hybrid child with strange powers…powers that the alien empire wants to exploit.
(3rd Rock from the Sun TV Series, 1996-2001)
These human-looking space aliens are known to us Earthlings as the Solomon family. They are here to observe our planet and have taken on a human form in order to blend in with the natives. They are lead by their High Commander Dick Solomon (John Lithgow) who is an oversexed alien that poses as a physics professor at the local college. Joining the alien High Commander on the mission are colleagues Tommy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), an alien military officer and the eldest of the aliens who pretends to be the horny teenage son of Dick; Sally (Kristen Johnson), a tall blonde who has her eyes on the robust policeman named Office Don (Wayne Knight); and the bizarre squinty-eyed geek known as Harry (French Stewart). Apparently all these aliens think about is sex.
The Solomon family gathers facts about humans by interacting with them on a daily basis. Humans they have daily contact with include Dr. Mary Albright (Jane Curtain) who is Dick’s colleague at college and his romantic interest; Nina Campbell (Simbi Khali) Dick’s college assistant; Mrs. Dubcek (Elmarie Wendel), the owner of the home in which the Solomon’s lived; and August Loeffler (Shay Astar), Tommy’s pushy girlfriend. They then report their observations back to an unseen alien on their home world known as “The Big Giant Head.”
(Starman The Movie, 1984; Starman TV Series, 1986-87)
In 1984, Starman (Jeff Bridges) crashed his alien spaceship on Earth. His energy form discovers the Wisconsin home of a recently widowed woman (Karen Allen) and uses his alien powers to clone the human’s deceased spouse from a piece of hair he found in a scrapbook. The widowed woman is shocked to see her dead husband suddenly walking about and soon discovers the alien’s true identity. Despite this, she helps him to get to a rescue spacecraft in the Arizona desert. Along the way the alien and human have a romantic interlude that leaves the barren widowed woman pregnant with a half alien child.
In 1986, Starman (Robert Hayes) returns to Earth when he hears a call for help from his half-human/half-alien teenage son, Scott Hayden (C. S. Barnes) who is now an orphan. Scott was saved from a deadly car crash that killed his foster parents by a mysterious alien-like blue energy force that originated from a golf ball-sized silver sphere that Starman had given to Scott’s mother Jenny (Erin Gray) on his first visit to Earth.
To blend into the Earth’s society once again Starman assumes human form. This time he duplicates the human form of photo-journalist, Paul Edward Forrester whose was killed in a helicopter crash while on assignment photographing volcanic eruptions near Seattle, Washington. Starman clones the body from drops of blood left in the snow at the wreckage site.
When Scott and Starman meet they begin to search for Jenny. Scott and his “Starman” father find Jenny living in Seguaro, New Mexico under the assumed name of Karen Isley. She had become an emotional loner after giving her son up for adoption. To support herself financially, Jenny had earned money by painting Starscapes which contained the configuration of Starman’s galaxy.
“Dr. Who” TV Series, 1963-1989
“Dr. Who” on BBC
A Brief History of Time (Travel)
“Adventures of Superman” TV Series, 1952-1958
“Superboy” TV Series, 1988-1992
“The New Adventures of Superman” TV Series, 1966-1970
“Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” TV Series, 1993-1997
“Smallville” TV Series, 2001-Present
“The Powers of Matthew Star” TV Series, 1982-1983
“Mork & Mindy” TV Series, 1978-1982
“Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/Fonz Hour” TV Series, 1982-1983
“My Favorite Martian” TV Series, 1963-1966
“Star Trek: The Next Generation” TV Series, 1987-1994
Official Star Trek site
“V” TV Series, 1984-85
“3rd Rock from the Sun” TV Series, 1996-2001
“Starman” TV Series, 1986-87
“Starman” The Movie, 1984