Friday, May 27, 2011


'Law & Order: Los Angeles' ends its run on June 27th......

It wasn't around for very long, less than a full seaon, but in its disrupted, revamped run, 'Law & Order: Los Angeles' displayed the spectrum of the population for the City of Angels: Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, immigrants, rich, poor, religious fanatics, the homeless, and members of the LGBT community. But there was one group of L.A.'s society that was never represented in any of the episodes.

The Tenctonese.

The Tenctonese, an alien race derisively called Slags and Spongeheads by the native human population, landed on Earth Prime-Time in the early 1990s, just outside the Los Angeles area. Over 300,000 of them had been held captive aboard a slaver ship but had rebelled, forcing the ship to land in the desert. When we first saw them in the TV series 'Alien Nation', it was around the year 1995 (although the series aired earlier in the real world).

By the time the series started, the Tenctonese had established themselves as part of the Los Angeles population (although not fully accepted), not partitioned away like the Prawns in "District 9". But I don't think many ventured farther than California, to other states in America, in their expansion.
Since the series ended after its first season, the Tenctonese should have been at least visible in background scenes in other TV shows that were set in Los Angeles - or so it would be if this was a perfect Toobworld. I'm not saying that a whole plotline from 'Law & Order: Los Angeles' had to be about the Tenctonese, but why didn't we see any at crime scenes as police officers (if not detectives like George Francisco)? As bystanders at those crime scenes? Or back at the headquarters for the district attorney, working as members of the secretarial pool at least?

Dick Wolf certainly missed an opportunity with the casting of Corey Stoll......

Sorry about that, Chief.....
Why haven't we seen the Tenctonese in shows like 'Arrested Development' and 'The Bold & The Beautiful'? In the jury pool of 'Murder One', in the audience at a late night taping as seen on 'The Larry Sanders Show', or even a deceased Tenctonese being prepared for viewing on 'Six Feet Under'? Once 'Columbo' returned to the airwaves in 1989, we could have seen a few of these aliens in some of the later episodes, and along the same lines, in one of the TV movie reunions for 'The Rockford Files'. (Although I think they would have avoided Jim's trailer on the beach since the combination of salt and water is deadly to them, which could have led to a murder mystery investigated by Dr. 'Bones' Brennan.)

The Tenctonese could have been buying their variant of 'Weeds' in Agrestic (although sour milk is their drug of choice.)  Wouldn't they be perfect as the focus in a 'Fringe' case, or one of 'The X-Files'? And if there was one place in Southern California where they would not seem out of place, it would have been Sunnydale (as seen in 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'.)
But in those fifteen years since we know they were well-ensconced in the area, those oversized, spotted craniums without ears are nowhere to be seen in the state.

I think there can be only one splainin - somehow they were all loaded up into another space-ship (or their original one was refitted and made space-worthy again) and transported to a new world on which they could recreate their former lives on Tencton.

It may even be that the Gallifreyan Time Lord known as the Doctor got involved, preferably the Eighth incarnation seen in "Doctor Who - The Movie". That old girl the TARDIS could have taken them all to a new planet somewhere in the galaxy. As big as it was on the inside, it may still have needed a few trips to get the job done, but the Doctor could have played the part of the ferryman in less than a day.
A few Tenctonese may still be around on the main Toobworld, even whole families, and I think at the very least every one that was part of the main cast on the 'Alien Nation' TV series would have chosen to stay behind (just in case any more TV movies should occur.) But otherwise this will stand as the Toobworld Central position on the matter - the majority of their species departed Earth Prime-Time to lived elsewhere among the stars.

Each episode of 'Law & Order: Los Angeles' was named after a different location in the Los Angeles area - "Echo Beach", "Hayden Tract", "Zuma Canyon", etc. If they had done an episode involving the Tenctonese, they would have had two options: "Little Tencton" or "Slagtown".....

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