open/close all folders
- Mass Effect Clash Of Civilizations has a meeting between two of them, one comprised of Liara, Tali, Saren, Mordin, and a few others and the other being the crew of UNSC Hades Gate.
- Played with in The Next Frontier; the Kerbals can't send a full team of anthropologists, linguists and so on along on their first interstellar mission because the ship just isn't big enough, but thanks to the FTL communications system they have the anthropology and linguistics departments of every university on Kerbin and Duna for Mission Control. The actual in-person contact team are three veteran astronauts, one engineer who helped create the Alcubierre Drive and one skilled Communications Officer who's supposed to scan for radio and TV signals so they can start picking up the language if they do find some aliens.
- In Sphere by Michael Crichton, when an alien ship is discovered at the bottom of the ocean, the government sends a team composed of a psychologist, a mathematician, a biologist, and an astrophysicist. Later becomes a subversion: the psychologist who wrote the "Emergency First Contact Plan" admits that, after having been approached by the government to produce the plan, he thought it was so ridiculous that he lazily based all his recommendations on popular science fiction.
- According to Agent Kay in the movie Men in Black, first contact with aliens was made in 1961, with 9 humans present: "7 agents, 1 astronomer, and 1 kid who got lost on the wrong backroad", who was, in fact, Kay himself.
- In The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) when they can't do a world leader group meeting with Klaatu, due to everyone's squabbling, they send in the best people from a number of different fields for the big formal meeting with him.
- Played with in Close Encounters of the Third Kind: the aliens are recruiting a First Contact Team from the humans via subliminal communication. The government has its own team ready, but the only human the aliens will deal with is Roy Neary, who is the only one of the alien-recruited humans to actually make it all the way to the contact site.
- In Communion of Dreams by James Downey, when an artifact is discovered on Titan (Saturn's largest moon), the government sends a team similar to the Sphere example, but also includes an anthropologist, an expert on Game Theory, and an artist.
- In Blindsight, by Peter Watts:
Who you do send to meet the alien when the alien doesn't want to meet?
You send a linguist with multiple personalities carved surgically into her brain.
You send a biologist so radically interfaced with machinery that he sees x-rays and tastes ultra-sound, so compromised by grafts and splices he no longer feels his own flesh.
You send a pacifist warrior whose career-defining moment was an act of treason.
You send a monster to command them all, an extinct hominid predator once called vampire, recalled from the grave with the voodoo of recombinant genetics and the blood of sociopaths.
And you send a synthesist - an informational topologist with half his mind gone - as an interface between here and there, a conduit through which the Dead Center might hope to understand the Bleeding Edge.
- In the novel Contact, an international team is assembled in order to make contact with the aliens who sent the signal.
- In The Voyage of the Space Beagle, the eponymous ship is staffed with a wide selection of specialists, including a Nexialist, a scientist who specializes in the general use and assimilation of knowledge.
- In the Salvadorean novel Yo Soy La Memoria ("I Am The Memory") by Hugo Lindo there is a team comprised of the wisemen from several different fields, tasked with checking upon some wreckage. It included: an Astrologer, a Physics man, a Biologist, a walking memory log, and a Medic.
- In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, The Essential Guide to Alien Species reveals that the Old Republic had these.
- In John Hemry's The Lost Fleet series, the fleet is sent into alien space with xenologists who had attempted to work out how to contact aliens if they ever found them. They turn out to be much less useful than a general-turned-politican who had been sent along as an official ambassador, and who had many fewer preconceived notions.
Live Action TV
- Any Star Trek episode that revolved around first contact, from any season, often had this with the away team, although they avert it almost as much.
- Stargate SG-1 had the main team be a pretty balanced collection in their team leaders: a military officer with sufficient authority to represent the United States to foreign powers, a physicist who can perform preliminary analysis of alien technology encountered, an anthropologist and linguist who can help with establishing friendly relations with any cultures they encounter, and an alien defector knowledgeable about the greater galaxy that Earth is stepping into. Also somewhat present in the Stargate movie.
- Similar to SG-1, the team in Stargate Atlantis is frequently sent out on first contact missions, though they eschew an anthropologist in favor of a "native guide" in the form of Teyla.
- The pilot episode of the short lived sci-fi show Threshold starts with one of these being organized.
- In the Modesty Blaise storyline "Take Me To Your Leader", a respected scientist and government advisor encounters what he believes is a first contact situation, and Sir Gerald Tarrant is given the job of selecting a small discreet first contact team. Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin are his first and only choices; their ability to sniff out a scam is an obvious qualification, but Tarrant suggests that he would have picked them even if he didn't suspect a hoax — of all the people he knows, they have the broadest range of interests, solid grounding in the basics of many disciplines, and open and enquiring minds, which he considers more likely to be useful than any number of experts whose expertise might be about to be proven useless.
- Warhammer 40,000
- First contact is usually a minor event to the galaxy at large, since most species couldn't hope to match the power players in the galaxy. For the Imperium, First Contact is usually done by Rogue Traders or the Adeptus Mechanicus. If the alien species proves useful, they'll be allowed to survive, for a time. If not, or if first contact is made by a militant body, the Imperium will wipe away the alien species soon afterwards.
- The Tau have the friendliest First Contact policy, trying to negotiate with minor species and try to bring them into their stable of client species. Some species simply prove too aggressive and have been exterminated as a matter of pragmatism.
- Most species to make first contact with the other major galactic powers will find themselves killed, and maybe eaten afterwards. The major exception is the Craftworld Eldar, with historical precedent suggesting that they prefer to remain unseen and would ignore most species unless they can prove useful. Eldar have regarded some individual humans in a manner that's arrogant, but helpful, and might generously be called friendly, so they might consider new species in a similar manner.
- The Journal Entries have White's Teams, which are often based on White's Ships, named for White's Theorem: "A space-faring species' first encounter with another space-faring species is most likely to be a distress signal." This occurs multiple times both on-screen and in backstories.
- First Contact Teams were mentioned in passing in Mass Effect 2 as envoys from Council space to any newly discovered species. In this instance, the species in question was the Yawg, and the incident got the Yawg blacklisted and their world blockaded.
- Humanity never had the benefit of First Contact teams, as we had expanded far space and ended up meeting the Citadel species by accident. Specifically, the Turians, who caught humans illegally reactivating mass effect relays, and assumed we were pirates. The ensuing war was brutal and brief, and made more bitter by a number of misunderstandings which nearly escalated the situation into a galactic crisis. The other Citadel species caught wind of the situation, stepped in and brokered a cease fire, paving the way for humanity to join the Citadel. The incident was a point of contention between humans and Turians for years after.
- Although only one of them is in on it at first, the three protagonists of The Dig are such a team. Ostensibly, they were organised in order to stop an asteroid collision, but the government also picked them on the basis that the asteroid had intelligent beings behind it - and it did.
- In Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, the expedition into the Schwarzwelt consists of both scientists and soldiers. It's not initially conceived of as a First Contact Team, but they end up making contact with intelligent life within the Schwarzwelt, and their varied skills help see the mission through to completion.
- Any diplomatic mission meant to travel beyond the sphere of a given ruler's sphere; to chase an interesting rumor, for instance, or to begin relations with a previously isolated people. These were usually sent for utilitarian rather than scientific purposes and some behaved quite brutally. Yet in fact they were a first contact team and may have been the inspiration for this Trope.
- Vasco De Gama was sent around the Cape of Good Hope for instance; in his case the mission was botched through bad intelligence. They found India and found it had been almost as rich as legends painted. Unfortunately they hadn't planned for that just yet and had only trade beads in for gifts because they were expecting to meet local tribes; and of course beads were just insulting to the Grand Mogul. In this case they were able to settle for another kind of means which was good enough for the purpose as no local prince had much of a navy.
- The Polo family had the patronage of the papacy which thought they might be able to find a potential ally against the Moslems.
- One of the first explorers in history was a Chinese courtier sent to an unmapped kingdom which was famous for horses (which the Chinese army was short on), and rumored to have a grudge against some of China's enemies.
- Commodore Perry was America's first contact team to Japan. Other than a small Dutch presence on an island just offshore of Kagoshima who were only allowed to trade in Japan once a year, it was the first large-scale Western presence in Japan in 250 years of Tokugawa Shogunate rule (Japan having all but shut itself off from the rest of the world as a result of adopting its sakoku policy).
- Once Japan realized just how far behind it was technologically, the shogunate sent its own embassy on a tour of Europe, eventually setting the stage for its very rapid industrialization in the Meiji Era.
- Truth in Television: A lot of various governments and intergovernmental organizations do indeed have contingency plans in the event that extraterrestrials ever land on their part of Earth, though (of course) these plans do tend to change as various administrations come and go. A number of these plans specifically include assembling a welcoming party including certain prominent scientists and/or certain prominent religious and political leaders to greet these visitors. (Some of these plans also involve arresting the extraterrestrials and impounding their ship; which might explain why extraterrestrials in range, if there are any, have been keeping their distance from us.)