Series / Dark Skies

Political aide John Loengard has a run-in with extraterrestrial forces, and ends up tracking a body-snatching alien invasion as part of the super-secret agency Majestic 12. This series was launched at the height of the paranormal mania created by The X-Files. Notable for its 1960s setting and a pre-Star Trek: Voyager role for Jeri Ryan as a Russian sexpot agent. Cancelled after one season.

Not to be confused with the 2013 horror film of the same name, though both are about aliens.

This series provides examples of:

  • Alien Abduction: multiple examples of this throughout the show; the aliens sometimes find humans who are resistant to parasite takeover, and label them as "throwbacks." Loengard actually stages his own alien abduction in the Season Finale so he can infiltrate the mothership and rescue his son.
  • All Theories Are True: Especially UFOlogy and other '60s Conspiracy Theory lore.
  • Bad Boss: Frank Bach is ruthless but he really does want to save the planet from a horrifying alien menace. Unfortunately his ruthlessness takes him beyond Properly Paranoid and into Jerk Ass territory quite often. He also clearly plays favorites with his underlings.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: The events of the show are shown to be interconnected with historical events.
    • The most extreme example is in the final episode "Bloodlines", in which the Hive infested Jim Steele murders a hippie and assumes his identity: Charles Manson
  • Cliffhanger: The series-ending kind. Loengard stages his own alien abduction, finds his son as a captive on the alien mothership, but has no immediate means of escaping back to Earth.
  • E.T. Gave Us Wi-Fi: The show, and the conspiracy folklore it's based on, supposes that modern technology was invented by reverse-engineering material from the famous Roswell incident.
  • Exposed Extraterrestrials: the Greys do not wear clothing. The uninfected Grey in the transmission from Planet X toward the series' end appears to wear some kind of shawl, but is otherwise naked like the rest of his species, so it's probably not due to the Hive's influence that Greys don't wear clothes.
  • Fake Guest Star: Conor O'Farrell (Lt. Commander Phil Albano) appears in 18 of the series' 20 episodes, missing only "Dreamland" and "The Last Wave", but remains a guest star throughout the series. In fact, he is generally quite low in the guest list.
  • Flying Saucer: the ships used by the Hive (which are implied to have been originally built by the Greys) are roughly flying saucer-ish rounded deltas; a human project connected with Majestic uses a different type of vehicle, somewhat more egg-shaped, inspired by the alien technology. The huge mothership is darker and more triangular. An ancient Grey flying saucer from before the Hive took over also appears in one episode, and is more classically saucer-like.
  • Government Conspiracy: Majestic in the US and Aura-Z in the Soviet Union. Both organizations are secretive, ruthless, and powerful. There's something of a detente between them. Loengard starts out as a recruit of the conspiracy, then rebels, but is forced into an Enemy Mine relationship, working for Frank Bach again, as a Majestic agent later in Season 1 after Kim is abducted and infected with a Hive parasite.
  • The Greys: a (presumably) peaceful race that was taken over by the parasitic Hive. They and their technology are used by the Hive to menace Earth. Members of the species who are not infected and taken over by Hive parasites, when they are encountered, tend to be helpful to humans fighting against the invasion. Their treatment in-story is that they are sympathetic beings whose free will was tragically stolen from them by their enemies who now use their bodies and technology to conquer other worlds.
  • Historical-Domain Character: Many, many, from The Beatles and Jim Morrison, to Carl Sagan and Colin Powell.
  • Hive Mind: The appropriately named "Hive" aliens have this. They exist as individuals linked by telepathy and a shared need to expand and conquer. They're not quite the Borg of Star Trek, as individual Hivers still exhibit personality traits that vary, but they share a sense of ruthless purpose that is quite unlike the bickering, contentious humans in the series.
  • Insufficiently Advanced Alien: The Hive are parasites who tooks over the bodies of the Grey aliens as well as the Greys' technology. While they do appear to understand how the technology works, it's never clear if they have managed to improve on it or are stagnant since they stole everything they use. In their natural form, they are tiny, frail, and lack opposing thumbs, so it's likely that most if not all of their advanced science and technology was pilfered.
  • Real Event, Fictional Cause: Several episodes purport that various events of The '60s were a result of the alien conspiracy. For example, the accidental activation of an alien device is blamed for the 1964 earthquake in Homer, Alaska.
  • Roswell That Ends Well: They landed. They met with the President. They told him to surrender. He refused. They shot the ship down.
  • Who Shot JFK?: The Hive assassinates JFK because he was about to spill the beans on the government conspiracy, meaning their existence and plan to infiltrate and take over Earth would be common knowledge.
  • The Virus: The Hive acts like this, spreading by infecting humans (and other useful lifeforms like monkeys, or the humanoid alien Greys) with a parasitic larva. They have a hive mind and can even make use of freshly dead bodies as hosts if necessary.