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Series / Tracker

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Cole (Adrian Paul), on the hunt for fugitive aliens.
"This is Cirron, my home. One of six planets in the Migar Federation. There was a prison break. Two hundred eighteen of the most violent fugitives have disappeared into the city of Chicago. Finding them won't be easy. They aren't human. Fortunately for Earth, neither am I."
Cole, opening narration

A syndicated sci-fi series that aired during the 2000–01 U.S. TV season. Tracker centered on an extraterrestrial bounty hunter named Daggon, known as Cole on Earth, who was sent to find and capture 218 alien fugitives hiding in human bodies in the city of Chicago. He is found soon after his arrival by Mel Porter, owner of a Chicago bar called the Watchfire, and she quickly begins aiding Cole in his quest. Over the course of the series, they form a close friendship and discover secrets about Mel and her family. Other characters include Cole's nemesis, Zin; Mel's on-again off-again boyfriend, Detective Vic Bruno, and Mel's best friend, Jess.

This series contains examples of:

  • Agony Beam: Mostly alluded to. Cole says he can make the collection process very painful.
  • Alien Autopsy: Cole almost ends up the subject of one.
    • Zin tells Remel the story of a Vardian, who crash-landed in Lake Michigan during The '50s and was captured by the government and studied.
  • Alien Among Us: Both Cole and the fugitives hiding in human bodies.
  • All There in the Manual: They never had time to reveal the part about Mel's father dying in a boating accident or the Cirronian part of her heritage being her grandfather, but it was in the show's 'bible'.
  • Area 51: Cole breaks into a version of it in "Roswell" (which also makes the classic mistake of mixing up Area 51 and Roswell)
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Cirronians don't sleep.
  • The Bus Came Back: Jess. She left the series and then returned for one episode in "Fever of the Hunt".
  • Cassandra Truth: Cole tries telling Vic the truth about himself and the aliens in one ep. Naturally, Vic thinks he's nuts.
  • Celibate Hero: Cole believes he could get distracted and injure himself and Mel if he acts on the feelings he has for her.
  • Chameleon Camouflage: Nestov and other Dessarians. They can both blend into any enviroment in a more general sense and literally disappear into the background of it.
    • Said "environment" also includes social ones, meaning Nestov is a party animal.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The key. It's just an odd trinket with Vardian writing at first, and Mel hangs it on the wall. Later, the vault with the weapon turns out to be hidden under the bar.
  • Classy Cat-Burglar: Zareth in her human form. It also helps that, as a Desserian, she can literally hide in plain sight.
  • Clip Show: "Remember When". It used triggering Cole's memory as an excuse to look back over the first-and only-season of the show.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Played with, as both Cole and a fugitive pretend to be these in "Long Road Home".
  • Collector of Forms: Cole actually has to model his new physical form on someone, and decides on a handsome human male in an underwear advertisement. By contrast, the escaped prisoners he's hunting down are more inclined to take over human bodies by touching them.
  • Disappeared Dad: Mel's dad; Word Of God says he died in a boating accident.
  • Doomsday Device: The Strada Brac which can destroy a whole planet.
  • Energy Beings: Cole for sure, and possibly the others as well.
  • Energy Weapon: Cole uses one in the beginning of "Trust".
  • Exploited Immunity: One episode had an assassin who exposed himself to a deadly virus which could kill by touch but didn't harm him as long as he killed often enough. Except in human form, where it turned into a Mate or Die thing.
  • Exposed Extraterrestrials: Cole, for much of the first episode.
  • Evil Overlord: Zin, who really doesn't care much about Earth, but wants to take over his homeworld with the weapon hidden here.
  • Faked Kidnapping: 'Trust' centered on on of these.
  • Fanservice: Cole, in the striptease scene.
  • Fantastic Drug: The Enixian eyedrops drug, which had a nasty side effect of nearly killing humans.
  • Fantastic Fighting Style: Cole's alien martial arts moves.
  • Foot Popping: Tina (a girl who Cole saves in one of the episodes) does this when she reunites with her Dad.
  • Flash Step: Hyperspeed does this.
  • Friend on the Force: Vic, who was Mel's former boyfriend and was a detective on the Chicago PD
  • Government Conspiracy: It's revealed that the government (or at least an agency known as the U.S.D.A.S.) is aware of the existence of aliens and has been at least since the Roswell crash. Another ship from the Migar System crashed in Lake Michigan a few years later, and the surviving Vardian pilot was interrogated and, probably, experimented on. No wonder they picked up the wormhole and started tracking the fugitives so quickly.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Or one quarter, in Mel's case.
  • Healing Factor: Cole can heal injuries.
  • Hell Hound: Mederan, in his scary monster dog form.
  • Hybrid All Along: Mel. The series bible said her great-grandfather was Cirronian.
  • Hyperspeed Ambush: Cole can use his hyperspeed ability to surprise his targets.
  • Hyperspeed Escape: Cole used this to escape from the fugitives several times.
  • Impersonating an Officer: Cole and Mel, at least once. Mel had some old police badges hanging on the wall of the bar, and she and Cole used them to get info about a Cirronian in a teenager's body.
  • Innocent Aliens: Cole, especially before he knows much about living on Earth.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Guy, as Cole’s species normally doesn’t wear clothes, being Energy Being aliens. He spends a lot of the pilot in his underwear.
  • Jack the Ripoff: Suudor, in "Fever of the Hunt". He studied famous Earth killers, including the Ripper, and impersonated them.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Lodestone and cold both cause problems for Cole.
  • Legendary Weapon: Strada Brac. note  It was the subject of Vardian and Cirronian legends about how it was made during an ancient war and then stolen by the Migar council and hidden on Earth to keep it away from the Vardians. By the modern era, most of their peoples believed it was simply a myth. Cole and Mel obviously proved them wrong.
  • Life Energy: Cole collects the fugitives' life forces in his collector device.
  • Lights Off, Somebody Dies "Eye of the Storm". a fugitive knocks off someone during a brief power outage, and Cole and Mel have to figure out who the fugitive is, since Cole's sensing abilities are weakened.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Mel gets Cole's fake last name from a parking spot.
  • The Mafia: "A Made Guy". Zin was employing the mafia for his means, and Cole went undercover as a gangster to figure out what they were up to.
  • Mate or Die: Tevv, who was infected with an alien virus. In his real form, he could get rid of it with a touch, but in human form, sex was required to keep him from dying of it.
  • Meat Puppet: The human bodies the fugitives took over
  • Mind over Matter: The Vardians, like Zin, have limited telekinetic abilities.
  • The Mole: Nestov, who agreed to help Cole find the other fugitives in return for not collecting him.
  • Monster and the Maiden: Downplayed: Mel Porter thinks she's an ordinary woman when she gets pulled into helping an alien bounty hunter track down fugitives on Earth, though she later finds out she's actually part alien herself.
  • Monster of the Week: Only one or two episodes didn't have a fugitive for Cole to go after.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Cole, whose human form is modeled on an underwear model.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Jess and Mel.
  • It turned out to be a faked kidnapping, but it was being streamed to the girl's parents on a website.
  • Named After Their Planet: All of the races
  • Oh, Crap!: Nestove has a big one right after Mel discovers her heritage secret. Cole tosses her the collection device and she uses it on a fugitive, much to the shock of Nestov, whom she's always threatening to hurt anyway for hitting on her.
  • Power Palms: Cirronians can project energy with their hands. This can range from stun blasts to electronics manipulation. Zin can also project energy from his hands, even though no other Vardian is shown to be able to do that.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: The fugitives, though the human host died when they moved in.
  • Right-Hand Attack Dog: Mederan, literally. He was Zin's bodyguard stuck in a dog's body.
  • Roswell That Ends Well: A mix, actually, of Roswell and Area 51, with the crash site being near the government area.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: Naturally. An episode involved an elderly Native American man with whom Cole feels kinship, claiming they're both trackers (the man is able to read trails in the woods like a book). The man is looking for his son's killer, who turns out to be one of the alien fugitives.
  • Secret Legacy: Mel finding out she's from a line of Doomsday Device guardians with alien lineage.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Zin, by the end of the series. Also the fugitives after they were captured.
  • Sensor Character: Cole can sense the fugitives' life forces most of the time.
  • Serial Killer Baiting: An alien serial killer, who was voluntarily infected with a virus as an assassin, is in a Mate or Die situation because of it. Human women he's having sex with die thereafter. Mel insists on being bait to lure the killer out. The operation does not go smoothly. Because of a mistake by his ally Nestov, Cole doesn't notice the moment Mel goes missing. He barely manages to reach their location in time and to save Mel from being raped and infected. When, later, Mel's alien heritage is revealed, this is also a source for Fridge Horror as Mel would have suffered a fate worse than the human victims.
  • Sleuth Dates Cop: Mel's on-and-off boyfriend is a police detective. He is constantly doing favors for her, hoping to rekindle their relationship. He even searches for her missing fiancé, who disappeared years ago. He is distrustful of Cole, whose quirky personality and speech patterns don't help matters.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Aliens: All of the species, really. They have much better technology than Earth does. The Vardians have been developing planet-busting weapons for thousands of years.
  • Super-Senses: Enixians have super sensitive eyes and need to wear sunglasses on Earth.
  • Super-Speed: Cirronians can both move faster than normal and enter hyperspeed. The latter can only be done once per day, lest they grow weak. Zin also proves to be able to move fast during his and Cole's climactic fight in "What Lies Beneath".
  • Techno Wizard: Cole can use household appliances to make high-tech computers.
  • That One Player: Nestov used his Dessarian intellect to make a bundle off one of the bar's video games.
  • The Federation: The Migar Alliance, the group of five planets that both Cole and the fugitives came from.
  • The Sleepless: Cole, and any other Cirronian; they don't have to sleep.
  • Time Stands Still: When Cole enters hyperspeed, everything else appears to be frozen in place. In one episode, Cole uses this to fake Mel's ex-boyfriend's death (by first taking his form) when a mobster tries to shoot him in the back of the head. He enters hyperspeed at the moment of the gunshot, moves his head, waits for the bullet to slowly pass, puts the head back to where it was, and resumes normal speed. He then falls off the pier to complete the illusion.
    • In another episode, Zin's people manage to develop a device that allows anyone to do the same. In fact, the device (in the form of a small orb) is better, as it takes only minutes to recharge, while Cole needs a whole day.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Cole, in "Remember When" loses his memory when he knocks his head into something during a power surge.
  • Truth Serum: Cole is given truth serum in "Dark Road Home". He snuck into a mental hospital to find a dangerous fugitive who was hiding out there in the body of a psychologically troubled human. The nurses give Cole the serum to see if he'll tell something, but it backfires. He starts talking about the alien stuff and just seems to be saying more crazy things.
  • Twin Telepathy: Orsian twins communicate with each other on Earth by wearing metal jewelry; each set of twins is naturally telepathic.
  • Undercover as Lovers: "Love Cirronian Style" had Cole and Mel infiltrating a couples' retreat to catch a pair of Orsians.
  • Uneven Hybrid: Mel. Her grandfather was Cirronian, making her 3/4 human and only 1/4 Cirronian.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: All over the place with Mel and Cole. They obviously have feelings for each other, but Cole fears distraction if he acts on his.
  • Useless Superpowers: Cole is rendered powerless by an energy weapon in "What Lies Beneath".
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Dessarians can shift to blend with their environment naturally, and aliens like Cole can take on the forms of other species since they are energy beings.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Cole is weakened by cold, even something as simple as a blast of compressed air. In contrast, Nodulians are severely weakened and dehydrated by heat. Enixians are disoriented by bright lights and loud sounds.
  • Witness Protection: Mel's ex-boyfriend Rod has to disappear after stumbling onto a mod dealing.