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Series / The Aliens

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The Aliens is a Channel 4 comedy/drama/sci-fi series that first aired in March 2016.

The story follows life in Britain in an alternate universe, one where an alien spaceship crash landed off the British coastline in the 1970s, and the aliens subsequently integrated into the human population. The aliens, known as "Morks", look exactly like humans (with a few anatomical differences), but despite the similarity, the two species didn't get along. It was discovered that the aliens' body hair can be smoked as a hallucinogenic drug by humans, and many humans disliked their new neighbours. Because of these problems, a wall was erected in 1990, and since then the aliens have had to adhere to a strict curfew, along with wearing tags and being sprayed so their hair is unsmokeable.


However, in practice, the segregated system does not really work. The alien zone, dubbed "Troy" by the aliens, has become much like a ghetto, with appalling conditions and gang rule. There is a huge black market for the alien hair, known as "fur", and at least one tunnel to the human side of the wall exists.

Enter Lewis Garvey (Michael Socha), a human who is young enough to have never known of life before the aliens arrived. He lives a rather normal life, sharing a house with his alcoholic father and working as a border guard. Like most humans, Lewis has an ingrained dislike of the aliens, including his alien colleague, Dominic (Jim Howick), who really would rather Lewis did like him. But after an incident at work, he learns that he is the world's first half-alien, something that has, up until now, thought to have been impossible. And when alien Lilyhot (Michaela Coel) tells him who his real father is, Lewis is dragged into the alien underworld, and causes conflicts that could change the way the British people think of the alien population.


This series provides examples of:

  • Agony of the Feet: Happens to Lewis when he is tortured by Fabien.
  • The Alcoholic: Lewis' step-father.
  • Aliens Speaking English: All of the aliens speak English, even to each other. It is unknown if they have their own language, but as the younger generations are the children and grandchildren of the original aliens and were born on Earth, they could easily have grown up learning English as their first language.
    • It's also possible that their native language has been forgotten. In Episode 4, Dominic mentions that their "forefathers suffered from amnesia" and forgot their home planet. They also refer to their own species as simply "Aliens", with "Mork" appearing to be a pejorative term.
  • Brick Joke: When Lewis reveals to Dominic that he's half-human, half-alien, Dominic asks if he inherited the aliens' long penis, then comments that it's more trouble than its worth. Skip to a few episodes later, when there is full frontal nudity of a male alien.
  • British Brevity: The show ran for only six episodes (given its cancellation, that is).
  • Brown Note: The sound grenades used against the aliens are extremely painful for them, and, at a specific frequency, can make them lose control of their bowels.
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  • Comically Missing the Point: People the "Silence Crew" steal from are more likely to point out that their name sounds more like "Silent Screw", then actually cooperate and give them what they want.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Lewis had very little luck with Lilyhot. It's possible this was intended to change in Series 2, but the show only lasted one series before being cancelled.
  • Disappeared Dad: Antoine was this to Lewis, because he was imprisoned for decades on drug dealing charges. Lewis didn't even know about his real paternity for most of that though.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • The way the aliens are treated is suspiciously similar to the current migration problems in Europe.
    • When the aliens find out that Truss is somewhere inside Troy, a gang of them set off and try to find him (and kill him), and act suspiciously like a lynch mob. It's even lampshaded by Dominic.
      Dominic: In Germany, in the 1930s, there were people who went door to door.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: Dominic suggests that he and Lewis "pretend to be two gay men kissing" to evade people who may or may not be following them. He does it so badly that it becomes obvious that he's just doing it as an excuse to kiss Lewis.
  • Fantastic Ghetto: Troy is a walled-off town where the aliens live separate from humans. It's a wretched hive abounding with crime and crushing poverty.
  • Fantastic Racism: Humans towards aliens and sometimes vice-versa. A main theme of the series.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Lewis, who finds out that his birth father was an alien.
  • Human Aliens: The aliens appear exactly like humans, to the point that they have to be wear tags when on the human side of the wall so they can be identified. The only ways to identify them include:
    • They react with severe pain or loss of bowel control, depending on the frequency, when the sound grenades are activated, whereas humans cannot hear the sound at all.
    • They can get high from eating dishwasher tablets.
    • Their hair turns green when set on fire and can be smoked by humans to get high. However, their hair has no effect on them if they smoke it.
    • They sniff loudly when smelling things, which may be more of a cultural thing than a biological thing, as it is left unclear.
    • DNA tests, which is how Lewis learns he's half-alien.
  • Interspecies Romance: Or at least, affair, between Lewis' human mother and alien father. Which many people consider either gross or amusing.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: Fabien shows this after getting interrupted while having sex with Lily, showing that what Dominic said about the alien men having larger penises on average than humans is true (for him at least).
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: Many people, on learning that Lewis' parents were an alien and human, are pretty disgusted by the idea.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Lily to a tee. She's constantly manipulating people around to get her way. Usually this involves playing on men's desire for her, but not always. Antoine seems to be the only one who sees through this, and he won't go for it.
  • Missing Mom: Lewis' mum died, leaving him with an alcoholic father and drug-addicted sister (or step-father and half-sister, as he discovers). It seems likely the family would be less dysfunctional if she had lived.
  • Playing Sick:
    • Dominic drinks bleach to make him sick so he can get off of work early.
    • This is the basis for the plan to break Antoine out of prison, although the 'playing' part is debatable, as the tablet he swallows seems to make him seriously ill.
  • Potty Failure:
    • Lewis learns that the "dog whistle" sound grenades that are used to incapacitate the aliens can have this effect on them when at a certain frequency.
    • The other border guards do this to Dominic as a joke, but it very nearly happens to Lewis.
    • Fabien's son wets himself when scared.
  • Straight Gay: Dominic. At first he shows pretty undisguised attraction toward Lewis, who is not interested. A drug dealer he follows also turns out to be gay and an example as well though, inviting him off for sex. He accepts.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: We get to see exactly what happens when Lewis pukes into his wastepaper basket.
    • Happens again, this time to Dominic, in episode six, after he kills someone for the first time.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The humans have no problem bullying, attacking and ridiculing the aliens.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Lewis' mother cheated on her husband with an alien, and conceived him in doing so.
  • Your Mum: Some people think it's funny to pull this on Lewis regarding the fact his mother slept with an alien.

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