Saturday, August 25, 2007

Warmed over aliens

Ah, TV aliens. Once so much funny clothing but now quite a lot of fancy make up but almost exclusively shaped like humans. Still, I don't think that the new makeup has really improved the aliens.

It's not that apparently only one ethnicity has ever survived on any alien world. That's part of the big background stuff you don't really see on a moment by moment basis. It's not that everything is in a non-alien language. To insist that your aliens speak among themselves in alien languages is just trying to be unnecessarily difficult.

It's the culture of the moment to moment that makes an alien actually alien. The ticks and fidgets that we all display. We tap our fingers, pace, wink, sniffle, and clear our throats. It seems aliens generally do too. They stress the same words and though a wink may be difficult for them to understand, but they're quite happy with the nods that aren't even universal among those of Earth.

There have been a few aliens with alien ticks, but very few. Possibly more quite early on when they did not have the luxury of really good masks. Sure, illustrate it with the back story and the mask, but sell it with the tendency to rub the hands rather than tap the fingers and all the other little things.

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