George Francisco

Name bestowed upon a Tenctonese alien named Neemo a.k.a. Stangya Soren’tzah (Eric Pierpoint) when he first came to Earth on the sci-fi series ALIEN NATION: THE SERIES/FOX/1989-91.

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George Francisco worked with Earth detective Matthew Sikes (Gary Graham) in the little Tencton section of Los Angeles. Together they handled all the problems arising from the assimilation of the 250,000 Tenctonese aliens (The Newcomers”) who had landed in the Mojave desert in the year 1990 in an alien ship called the “Gruza” (Russian for “Cargo”).

The series focused on the acculturation of these humanoids and in particular with George Francisco, a.k.a. Neemo or Stangya Soren’tzah (Eric Pierpoint); his wife, Susan, a.k.a. Oblakah (Michele Scarabelli); daughter, Emily, a.k.a. Dareveen (Lauren Woodland); son, Buck, a.k.a. Feniksa (Sean Six); and their Bohemian uncle, Moodrie (James Greene).

[Newscaster voice] “That was the scene in California’s Mojave Desert five years ago–our historic first view of the Newcomers’ ship. Theirs was a slave ship, carrying a quarter million beings, bred to adapt and labor in any environment. But they’d washed ashore on Earth, with no way to get back to where they came from. And in the last five years, the Newcomers have become the latest addition to the population of Los Angeles.”

Working in a futuristic Los Angeles, George Francisco teamed with a human police detective, Matthew Sikes (Gary Graham) to deal with the Tenctonese community and its problems of assimilation.

One of the Newcomer’s worst problems was the hatred expressed by humans called “Purists” who feared the alien presence on their planet. These folks used the pejorative term “Slags” or “Spongehead” when referring to our interstellar refugees. At the finale of the 1990 season, members of such a hate group exposed the Francisco family to a lethal bacteria designed to wipe out the aliens.

Initially, when their Newcomer ship Gruza landed in the Mojave Desert in 1992, the U.S. government quarantined the aliens for several months and with the assistance of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) each newcomer was given a human name.

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Because of the huge numbers of aliens that needed processing, the INS at times chose whimsical names (reflecting historical or literary characters and geographic settings) as if to relieve the boredom of the immense task before them. Some examples: Albert Einstein, Wyatt Earp, Betsy Ross, Albert Einstein, Emma Bovary, Silas Marner, Dorian Gray, Kenny Bunkport, Norman Conquest, May O’Naise, and Phil Dirt.

The Newcomers bizarre biological differences included having two hearts; pink blood; and a number of organs that humans don’t have (such as the spartiary gland). They also have no fingerprints, bald heads (both male and female) with large irregular spots; get drunk on sour milk; need large doses of ultra-violet light to increase energy levels; skin that dissolves if exposed to simple salt water (it was like acid to them); and eat uncooked rodents (weasel, beaver, muskrat), organs (spleen, pancreas), and insects

The cultural history of the Newcomers was preserved in many of their legends such as those of Celine and Andarko but the strangest one was that of the story of Tagdot, a mass murderer who cut off his victims hands and placed them on metal ceremonial basins. The slave ship overseers used such tales along with hallucinogenic nerve gases to induce fear and keep the Tenctonese slaves submissive (the slaves outnumbered the overseers 10,000 to 1).

The overseers wore jagged wrist tattoos on their arms. These markings were a badge of righteousness onboard the ship but when the overseers where removed from the ships, the tattoo became their scar of damnation. One elder alien named Paul Revere sought out the aliens with tattoos and killed them. He used the legend of Tagdot to cover his trail of dead overseers.

Uncle Moodrie, the Francisco family’s Bohemian uncle was one of a few Tenctonese who knew the secret of a small unique ceremonial black box. Anyone attempting to open the box usually ended up dead. To humans and the uninformed, it was a object of death. To those who knew its secret, the box was the repository of Tenctonese culture. One of its powers included the ability to project a life-sized holographic projection of their planet and all of the wonders it had to behold.

Note: The TV series ALIEN NATION was based on the 1988 theatrical movie of the same name starring James Caan and Mandy Patinkin.

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In the movie Alien Nation Neemo was given the name “Sam” Francisco by the processing authorities who handled all the incoming aliens (Newcomers).

A series of made-for TV movies continued the show’s storyline with Alien Nation: Dark Horizon (1994); Alien Nation: Body and Soul (1995); Alien Nation: Millennium (1996); Alien Nation: The Enemy Within (1996) and Alien Nation: The Udara Legacy (1997).

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About

Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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Posted in Personal Nicknames, Police

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