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Western Animation / Alienators: Evolution Continues

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Alienators: Evolution Continues (a.k.a. Evolution: The Animated Series for British audiences) was an animated series that ran from 2001 to 2002 on Fox Kids, based on the 2001 movie Evolution. The story picks up after the events of the film, following the continuing adventures of Ira Kane, Harry Block, and Wayne Grey, and also introduces a fourth hero in the form of a Blue Beret soldier named Lt. Lucy Mai and a Team Pet named Gassie, as well as SCOPES, leader of an army of Starfish Aliens called the Genus.



  • Action Girl: Lieutenant Lucy Mai, which isn't at all surprising given that she's a Blue Beret.
  • Adaptational Name Change: Wayne Gray in the film was renamed Wayne Green.
    • The two dumb students in the film, Deke and Danny, are renamed Deke and Derrick in the show.
  • Adaptational Villainy: It was inferred in the film that the aliens were merely wild and freaked out beasts reacting to their new, strange environment. In the series it's made explicit (via SCOPES, once he becomes intelligible) that they're malevolent invaders.
  • Admiring the Abomination: Ira has a really bad habit of doing this. His fascination with the evolution of the Genus often distracts him from his job of destroying them.
  • Aliens Speaking English: In the second episode Ira listened to a recording of SCOPES' roars and deduced that SCOPES was in fact speaking in binary. He then translated it into English to reveal some generic megalomaniacal threats. The next time SCOPES appeared he'd become fluent in English.
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  • Always a Bigger Fish: Invoked with the fish-like Genus in "Meltdown", where they start as piranha-like forms, mutate into three-headed eels, which in turn spawn a giant anglerfish that itself spawns a shark: with each successive generation eating the previous one.
  • Animated Adaptation: Hence the UK title.
  • Ascended Extra: Gassie can best be described as the movie's three-eyed smiley face logo fleshed out into an actual character.
  • Badass Adorable: Gassie is primarily a detector for Genus organisms, but on occasion takes part in the fighting to help save his friends: even if it's as simple as holding an alligator Genus's jaws shut.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Wayne's infection with the Genus DNA allows him to gain random mutations, some helpful, others not so much.
  • Big Bad: SCOPES is the leader of the Genus invasion on humanity.
  • Call-Back:
    • The selenium in the shampoo used in the original film features prominently in the film as their primary weapon.
    • Genus are often shown reproducing by regurgitating evolved offspring, referencing the "dragon-bird" creature from the movie that orally gave birth to an oxygen-tolerant offspring before dying of asphyxation in Earth's atmosphere.
    • Flatworms are the first evolutionary stage of the Genus, as with the original film.
    • The final form of the more advanced aliens are once again primates: though instead of being blue and noseless they are brown with purple spikes.
  • Captain Ersatz: The Genus are essentially very similar to the Zerg, with a purple wormlike "larval" form that can mutate into a wide array of different forms, function with a Hive Mind and Genetic Memory, and are spawned from "pods" which function similarly to a Zerg Hatchery. They are also able to absorb genetic material from other organisms and mutate instantly.
  • Catchphrase: Most of the main characters have at least one.
    • Ira: "I'm a genius"
    • Wayne: "Wicked!"
    • Lt. Lucy: "Why do I even bother?"
  • Da Chief: General Woodman and Allison Reed, moreso the former, with the latter acting as Mission Control.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: If you thought Allison Reed was a little chilly in the film, Mai takes it even further. Despite this, Ira still seems to be all over her. General Woodman is a potential male example, being a Jerkass Obstructive Bureaucrat who slowly turns into a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Scopes is constantly going on about how the Genus are a perfectly harmonious super organism, and at one point makes a beeline for Ira's parents while yelling, "You have wiped out my family, now I shall wipe out yours!" after a batch of fellow Genus are taken out in "Ira Knows Best." Considering Scopes is kind of the Hive Queen, this is also a potentially literal case of A Father to His Men. It also counts as Not So Above It All, considering that same episode had Scopes earlier mock humans and their "weak family units."
  • Evolutionary Levels: Played straight with the Genus, which Ira describes as having "Precambrian" invertebrate levels, "Mesozoic" reptilian levels and "Cenozoic" mammalian levels. Best demonstrated in "Junkyard Dogs" where the purple flatworms first mutate into slug-like forms, then into two-headed lizard-like forms, then into four-headed rat-like forms and finally into eight-headed dog-like forms.
  • Exact Words: In one episode Harry and Ira are in a military jail with Lucy as the guard. General Woodman orders her to not let "those clowns" out. Since Harry and Ira are not "clowns", as in literal circus clowns with funny shoes and red noses, she lets them out after trolling them for a minute.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: While missiles and similar munitions looked and acted normal and an attack helicopter was at one point shown firing what appeared to be mundane machine guns, in the last few episodes the military was shown using Frickin' Laser Beams that are As Lethal As They Need To Be.
  • Flanderization:
    • Wayne isn't just a fireman in-training now - for some reason he's an engineering genius who soups up their fire engine on a daily basis, even though by his own admission in the film his knowledge of science extended to doing some chemistry in high school. He's also portrayed as being far more like a child in the series, despite being 17.
    • Harry Block wasn't really interested in sports - he was interested in women's sports because... it was funny. In a Fox Kids show that's completely unthinkable, so he's just a sports nut. He was a funny guy but he was still a qualified teacher, something that the series only brings up twice.
    • Ira seems to be much younger and has become so stupidly into science to the exclusion of almost everything else that it's not even funny.
    • Woodman didn't hate Ira before; he was just an arrogant Jerkass who looked down on him because he had been fired, and for a good reason. Now he hates Ira for being an irresponsible loose cannon who nonetheless managed to receive a medal directly from the President. He gradually stops being an obnoxious hardass, however, something most apparent in "Itching for the Genus."
  • Four-Man Band: Lucy is the Only Sane Man, Harry is the Casanova Wannabe, Ira is The Smart Guy and Wayne is the Butt-Monkey.
  • Gasshole: Gassie, who can be described as a flatulent three-eyed Pikachu made of slime.
  • Genetic Memory: The Genus has this as part of a Hive Mind basis with SCOPES acting as a sort of Hive Queen. SCOPES himself is destroyed at the end of every episode he appears in, but strangely new Genus eventually evolve back into him, with the same personality but occasionally different forms (notably, a wasp queen form in "The Swarm", a centaur-like form in "Roman Holiday" and a yeti-like form in the finale trilogy, "Reaper".
  • Happy Ending Override: At the end of the film, Wayne was dubbed an honorary fireman by the governor, but in the three-part pilot episode Wayne claims that he is still a "fireman in-training." Just because you're an "honorary" fireman doesn't mean your training's finished.
  • Herbivores Are Friendly: Subverted in "Fire And Ice", where a bunch of fir-tree eating, beaver-like Genus are dismissed by Wayne as being harmless "vegetarian monsters". They still do, however, cause mass destruction, and later regurgitate yeti-like offspring that do attempt to prey on humans.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Ira does this at the end of "REAPER 3: Alpha Omega", but gets saved in the nick of time.
  • Horde of Alien Locusts: The Genus are sapient, but have no apparent culture or society, with their existence seemingly revolving entirely around propagating, consuming, and destroying (which means that the humans are as fine with wiping the Genus out as the Genus are with wiping them out). They're practically Always Chaotic Evil, with the only exception being Gassie, and that's only because Gassie was grown in a lab and modified on a genetic level to prevent him from being like a true Genus.
  • How We Got Here: "To Carthage Then I Came" begins with Lucy carrying an unconscious Wayne through the deserts of Tunisia as she narrates a flashback on what happened to them, Ira, Harry, and Gassie earlier that day.
  • "King Kong" Climb: A gasoline-eating Genus that uses a gas station as an armored shell in "Genus in Your Tank" ends up scaling the Empire State Building before being shot down by Ira and his crew.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The drama and stakes were definitely upped with the introduction of General Granger. The Genus relied largely on Zerg Rushes, with a slightly more sophisticated plan here and there, but now they had a human ally whose cunning and resources turned an invasion that a Five-Man Band could reliably fend off into a genuine global threat.
  • Les Collaborateurs: General Granger as part of his New World Order scheme teams-up with the Genus. SCOPES however planned to have him Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: In "Year of the Genus", Lt.'s uncle in Hong Kong tells of a prophecy of a dragon arising to destroy the city on the coming of the new year. True enough, a Genus monster mutates on the strike of midnight when it's activated by the firecrackers: and it flies, breathes fire, and for all intents and purposes IS a dragon, though Ira refuses to call it as such. In the end, it's revealed that the supersitious-sounding uncle is actually a biochemistry professor at Hong Kong University, further blurring this trope.
  • Meaningful Name: Gassie, who is a Gass Hole.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The Genus are known to create hybridized forms from the DNA of Earth animals, such as in "Roman Holiday" where the Genus absorb DNA from zoo animals, producing forms like a gorilla-elephant hybrid and a leopard-goat hybrid, or in "Ira Knows Best" where they absorb DNA from farm animals and become monstrous hybrids of cow, horse and poultry.
  • Multiple Head Case: Wayne's mutation allows him to occasionally sprout a second head, which subverts this trope as he gets along perfectly fine with himself.
    • Several of the Genus sprout multiple heads, notably a two-headed dragon creature in "Year of the Genus" and a pack of eight-headed dog-like Genus in "Junkyard Dogs". They don't seem to have any distinct personalities, however.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: In "Meltdown", while fighting some shark-like Genus, Wayne mutates webbed hands, gills and a fish tail instead of legs, essentially turning him into a merman.
  • Never Say "Die": Genus aren't so much killed as they are "devolved", with defeated Genus shrinking back into starfish-like "Genus Cells" instead of dying outright.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: In "Year of the Genus", the final mutant form of the Genus is a colorful, flying, fire-breathing creature that is for all intents and purposes a dragon. Ira refuses to call it as such, even despite Lt.'s uncle constantly speaking of a prophecy about a "dragon".
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: The Center for Impending Disasters has one in the form a Neutron Bomb because the lab used to be used for studying viruses and it needed to prevent an outbreak in the case of an emergency.
  • Shout-Out: The final Genus monster of "Slick" is a turtle-like creature resembling Gamera.
  • Spiritual Successor (no pun intended): To The Real Ghostbusters (Will Meugniot even worked on both shows!). Also Godzilla: The Series with similarly alien-looking monster designs and focus on a special anti-monster squad as the main protagonists.
  • Tailfin Walking: Wayne in "Meltdown" after transforming into a merman-like form is able to stand upright on his tail on land, though it's not shown how he moves on land even though he appears out of water a couple of times.
  • Team Pet: Gassie, a tame and Mode Locked Genus that the team use as an Evil-Detecting Dog.
  • Tomboy: Lt. Lucy Mai.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: In a homage to The War of the Worlds, the genus are finally destroyed once and for all via a modified strain of the common cold. The irony is that this is because the cold virus beats the aliens at their own game and mutates so quickly that not even 'they' can become immune to it before it destroys them.
    • Selenium from shampoo from the original film, though the aliens develop a resistance to it as time goes on.
  • Weaponised Car: The team's ride, an old fire engine that Wayne found and refitted Ecto-1 style.
  • Xenomorph Xerox: The Genus creature encountered in "Reaper: Part 2", which resembles a Xenomorph and stalks around in an abandoned space station.
  • You Don't Look Like You: The three main recurring characters from the film are scarcely recognizable, with Ira having a more youthful look, Harry having long dreadlocks and Wayne being a straight-up teenager and far more childlike than he was in the film.