Follow TV Tropes


Series / Starman

Go To
Robert Hays as Paul Forrester

Starman is a Science Fiction series that aired for one season (198687) on ABC. It was spun off from the 1984 film of the same name.

The starman from the film returns to Earth 15 years later, meets Scott, the son he fathered in the film, and spends a lot of time on the run from the government as they search for Scott's mother, Jenny Hayden.

This series provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: In "One for the Road", Paul is a chaperone at a school dance. At first he refrains from dancing when invited by one of the teachers because he doesn't know how, but when dragged onto the dance floor he soon picks it up (as he tends to do with skills and languages). As he gets into it, he briefly adopts the "Staying Alive" Dance Pose Hays famously parodied in Airplane!.
  • Alien Among Us: The whole premise of the show is about an alien who came to Earth 15 years ago for three days and met a woman named Jenny. Now he's back to take care of their son while looking for her.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Paul is quite fluent in the space of hours, even if idioms frequently leave him utterly confused. And then he learns basic Spanish faster than that.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: As in the film, Starman takes on human form while visiting Earth.
  • Amplifier Artifact: Paul and Scott use alien spheres to channel their energy. It's showed in various moments that Paul can manipulate matter in a smaller scale without his sphere, though.
  • Coincidence Magnet: Almost all episodes have law enforcement characters who will always run a check on Paul Forrester. It doesn't help that when it isn't someone looking into Paul, Fox will find them by pure coincidence.
  • Convenient Escape Boat: Justified in "The Wedding", since the owner of the boat is friends with Paul.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Scott is actually Scott Jr, named after his deceased (biological) father.
  • Energy Beings: This is what Paul is supposed to be on his true, blue self.
  • Flashed-Badge Hijack: Fox does this in "Grifters".
  • Grammar Correction Gag: Scott corrects Fox's grammar in the middle of a hostage exchange.
    Fox: Go on. Slow.
    Scott: The word is slowly. It's an adverb.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Scott is the son of an alien dad and a human mom. Since the alien dad took on the DNA of a human man, the genetics are not that hard to explain, even if it is implied that deep down there is something alien about Scott. Technically, he has three genetic parents.
  • Hilarity Ensues: Many of Paul's misunderstandings lead to this for the viewer.
  • Innocent Aliens: Paul is baffled by anything from greetings to sneezing.
  • Instant Sedation: Both Scott and Paul are shot with sedatives from an helicopter and are almost instantly unconscious.
  • Intrigued by Humanity: Paul questions everything to the point that he can be perceived as rude. His unintentional insights do come in handy for a lot of people who see the problem from an entirely new perspective.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Scott, who knew it was going to happen and went for it anyway.
  • Keeping Secrets Sucks: For someone who has lived 14 years as a normal boy, finding himself a human-alien hybrid and on the run with his alien dad sucks on a lot of levels.
  • Lineage Comes from the Father: Everything special about Scott. No one ever says anything remotely "you get this from your mother".
  • Masquerade: A whole conspiracy is going on to keep quiet that an alien came 15 years ago, and now is back walking among us.
  • Missing Mom: The main plot arc in the first (and as it turned out only) season was trying to find out what had become of Scott's mother, Jenny. Although the series was a Short-Runner, Starman and Scott do find Jenny in the two-part episode "Starscape."
  • The Nth Doctor: As in the film, Starman takes human form by adopting the identity of a recently-deceased human, thus neatly explaining why he's played by a different actor this time around. Fox and Jenny, on the other hand, are Other Darrin-ed.
  • Psychic Powers: Everything Paul and Scott do comes from psychic powers, the most common ones being telekinesis and hologram-like images.
  • Room 101: Where Scott and Paul are taken during the "Starscape" episodes.
  • Secret-Keeper: Jenny, obviously, but also Liz Barnes, who keeps sending Paul jobs to help him out. In a lesser degree, everyone who ever finds out the truth and helps them escape from Fox anyway.
  • Series Goal: Paul returns to Earth when he learns the son he had with Jenny is in distress. Together they set out to find her, sometimes following clues and sometimes laying low to hide from Fox.
  • Stern Chase: Fox is always looking for Paul and Scott, to the point he has no personal life outside his job.
  • They Would Cut You Up: the main reason they run from the government.
  • Time Skip: Fifteen years have passed since the film.
  • Tranquillizer Dart: Fox seems to carry one of this all the time. And then, he finally uses it...
  • Walking the Earth: Because Paul and Scott are looking for Jenny all over the United States, they can't settle down in one hiding place. (The flags on the map in Fox's office show they stick to the states west of the Rockies throughout the show, with the exception of the offscreen delivering of a car from Texas to a state west of the Rockies and the place Scott was in the first place before the run.)