POLL: Do You Trust Aliens? [TV Edition]

Alf, Tok'ra, Rebel Jaffa, My Favorite Martian, Asgard, To Serve Man, Classic V, The Invaders, Reimagined V, The Neighbors, The Volm

I have been thinking lately about how to decide which aliens are trustworthy and which ones will eat us. This is mostly because there are a lot of trust issues on the program Falling Skies, and one main dilemma is whether or not the new alien species, the Volm, are here to help us or have their own personal agenda that will end very badly for us. Of course, it could even be a little of both. After all, just like with a genie, you need to be careful what you wish for!

The Neighbors, My Favorite Martian, Alf

Looking back at my youth, there were science fiction programs that usually cast aliens in an evil role. This does not include the comedy shows, like My Favorite Martian (1963-1966) or Alf (1986-1990) and more recently The Neighbors (2012-2013), where the aliens were kindly presences stranded here by a crashed ship.

Classic V, Reimagined V, The Twilight Zone, The Invaders

Many of you have hopefully seen my favorite cautionary tale – the original Twilight Zone episode, “To Serve Man (1962).” And of course then there was The Invaders (1967-1968), and the classic V (1984-1985), and the reimagined V (2009-2011). Either they hide among us by changing their natural appearance, or the aliens present themselves as a friend of humans, here to help us by curing cancer or giving us limitless energy. These are very tempting gifts.

Every TV drama and action series adds in doubts about who you can trust to ratchet up the drama and excitement. Writers like to throw in twists, and the viewing audience seems to like being kept guessing, so doubt works out well for all involved. This is true even in shows that have no alien presence. So, since we already have doubts about each other, how easy it is for us to mistrust aliens!

Oh, sure, among humans we can find examples of people who do not do anything unless it is to their advantage. It sometimes seems that they outnumber the people that do something just because it is the right thing to do, out of a pure sense of love of neighbor. So, why should we expect aliens to be any different than us? Call me an eternal optimist, but I like to think that the more advanced the race of beings becomes, the more enlightened their attitudes become, and that there is hope for an alien race to be here just to help. Hey, it has to happen sometime!

Asgard, Tok'ra, Rebel Jaffa - Stargate SG-1

It is also important to consider that in shows depicting an alien invasion it becomes necessary many times for there to be a friendly alien species, since by definition, if earth is attacked, the alien invaders have more advanced technology than we do. Fighting against their ray guns with the equivalent of water pistols makes for a very short, undramatic fight, so there is the need to bring in allies for us. It is also common for the invading aliens to have a splinter group that opposed the invasion and killing of earthlings. These two scenarios have been popular in TV shows, for example the Asgard, Tok’ra and Rebel Jaffa in Stargate SG-1 (1997-2007).

 

So, where do you fall when it comes to trusting aliens? Are you with me, among those that trust the aliens and will likely end up being the first eaten by the invasion force? Or, are you more cautious, holding out to see proof? Or maybe you never trust them no matter what they do! Register your vote below, and then tell me about it in the comment section below.