Journey of Allen Strange, The

Tagged: TV

US tv series (1997-2000). Lynch Entertainment for Nickelodeon network. Created by Tommy Lynch. Produced by Paul Hoen and Robert C Mora. Directors included Topper Carew, Hoen, Shawn Levy, Jason Marsden and Lev L Spiro. Writers included Suzanne Bloch, Jean Gennis, Lynch and Phyllis Murphy. Cast includes Dee Bradley Baker, Erin J Dean, Arjay Smith, Shane Sweet, Jack Tate and Mary Chris Wall. 39 25-minute episodes. Colour.

After stowing away on an interstellar transport Starship, a juvenile Xelan Alien is stranded on Earth when the craft departs without him. After some wandering he takes on human form as an African-American (Smith) and meets Robbie Strange (Dean), who befriends him and introduces him to her younger brother Josh (Sweet) and father Ken (Tate). The family adopts him as Allen Strange, with only Robbie and Josh knowing he is an alien; Ken never realizes this. Allen possesses various Superpowers sometimes resembling Magic, including the ability to absorb the contents of a book simply by laying his hand on its cover, and to bring inanimate objects to life. He does the latter with a store mannequin which he passes off as his "father", Manfred Strange. In his true form, Allen looks something like a blue ooze; presumably he can Shapeshift into various other forms. At home he sleeps in a cocoon in the family attic. His primary antagonist is Phil Berg (Baker), an obsessed journalist constantly attempting to expose Allen as an alien. Berg is eventually captured by another alien race hostile to the Xelans, called the Trykloids, who re-program his mind to gather information on Earth for them. In the final episode, Allen makes contact with a craft from his home world, and is expected to depart Earth shortly.

Nine Tie novels adapting various episodes were published during and after the programme's run; authors include Mel Odom and John Vornholt, each contributing one title. [GFi]

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