The Journey of Allen Strange

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The Journey of Allen Strange
The cast of The Journey of Allen Strange
The cast of The Journey of Allen Strange
Created byThomas W. Lynch
Starring
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes57
Production
Running time22 minutes
Production company(s)Lynch Entertainment
Nickelodeon Productions
Release
Original networkNickelodeon
Original releaseNovember 8, 1997 (1997-11-08) –
April 23, 2000 (2000-04-23)

The Journey of Allen Strange is an American television series that aired on Nickelodeon's SNICK block of programming for three seasons from November 1997 to April 2000.[1][2]

Premise[edit]

The series follows the story of a young Xelan alien (Arjay Smith) who is stranded on Earth, and meets up with a young girl Robbie Stevenson (Erin J. Dean), her younger brother Josh (Shane Sweet), and their father Ken (Jack Tate). This family eventually adopts him, giving him the name "Allen Strange". He has extraordinary powers, including the ability to turn into his alien form, which allows him to hover. He uses his abilities to bring a mannequin in a sporting goods store to life; this "animated mannequin" poses as his Earth father, Manfred, for events like parent-teacher conferences. He also possesses extremely high intelligence and can read incredibly fast by simply placing his hand on the cover of a book. He also seems to have advanced dexterity and athletic muscle memory, as he once observed a neighborhood basketball game and perfectly duplicated the trajectory of shots when he attempted this himself. He has an affinity for canned cheese, and lives in the family's attic in a strange alien cocoon.[3] Allen's ultimate goal is to return to his homeworld of Xela, but he admits that may be a long time as he stowed away on an exploratory ship which was studying Earth, which had to flee out of fear of discovery.

Allen said he "chose" to disguise himself as an African-American boy as the first Earth people he spied upon were some African-American men playing basketball, and figured this was a way to acculturate. His naivety on the subject (bringing in plain black posterboards for his Black History Month presentation) sparked a Black History Month episode, featuring him learning information about slavery and the Civil Rights Movement.

In the weeks leading up to the series' premiere, Nickelodeon ran a series of teaser ads which would at first appear to be promos for other shows, or for Nickelodeon in general, when a blue ooze would fill the screen as an announcer said cryptically, "Something strange is coming to SNICK. November 8". It would then clear out and the interrupted promo would conclude as if nothing had happened.

Characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Allen Strange (Arjay Smith) – A Xelan alien disguised as a human – all he wishes to do is to go back to his planet.
  • Roberta "Robbie" Stevenson (Erin J. Dean) – A 15-year-old girl who enjoys surfing and helps show Allen how to fit in with humans.
  • Joshua "Josh" Stevenson (Shane Sweet) – Robbie's 10-year-old younger brother and a science whiz.
  • Kenneth "Ken" Stevenson (Jack Tate) – Robbie and Josh's divorced father who is unaware of Allen as an alien.

Recurring[edit]

  • Gail Stevenson (Mary Chris Wall) – Robbie and Josh's mother who is separated from their father, but always comes to visit them.
  • Manfred Strange (Robert Crow) – Originally just a store mannequin, but was brought to life to serve as Allen's earth father. He often helps Allen out of dangerous situations and is a good friend of Ken who nicknames him "Manny".
  • Latanya (Jaquita Ta'le) - Robbie's best friend who shares the same interests.
  • Harold "Moose" Johnson (Sean Babb) – The captain of the high school wrestling team and also a bully. Allen tries several times to befriend him after he unintentionally upsets him, but his strange habits only annoy him.
  • Phil Berg (Dee Bradley Baker) – Allen's recurring arch-enemy, a crazed alien hunter and journalist who constantly tries to capture Allen and expose him for a top news story. He was later captured by Xelan's enemies the Trykloids and used as a pawn for information on earth.
  • Shaw (J. Kenneth Campbell) - Allen's second arch-enemy, another sinister alien hunter whose face is never seen and appearance is hidden with a big black fedora and a trench coat. He is the leader of the secret government agency ARC (Alien Retrieval Commission). He wants to capture Allen and lock him up to prove to the world that aliens exist. He sometimes teams up with Phil Berg to achieve this goal.

Episodes[edit]

Series overview[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
113November 8, 1997 (1997-11-08)February 26, 1998 (1998-02-26)
226August 31, 1998 (1998-08-31)April 28, 1999 (1999-04-28)
318December 5, 1999 (1999-12-05)April 23, 2000 (2000-04-23)

Season 1 (1997–1998)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"Arrival"Paul HoenThomas W. LynchNovember 8, 1997 (1997-11-08)
22"Entry"TBATBANovember 15, 1997 (1997-11-15)
33"Space"TBATBANovember 22, 1997 (1997-11-22)
44"Gronpoly"Shawn LevyThomas W. Lynch and Bruce KalishDecember 6, 1997 (1997-12-06)
55"Starwalk"TBATBADecember 13, 1997 (1997-12-13)
66"The Visit"TBATBADecember 27, 1997 (1997-12-27)
77"Battle"TBATBAJanuary 3, 1998 (1998-01-03)
88"The Guardian"TBATBAJanuary 10, 1998 (1998-01-10)
99"Collision"TBATBAJanuary 17, 1998 (1998-01-17)
1010"Compute"Lev L. SpiroLawrence H. LevyJanuary 24, 1998 (1998-01-24)
1111"Rescue"TBATBAFebruary 21, 1998 (1998-02-21)
1212"Home, Part 1"TBATBAFebruary 24, 1998 (1998-02-24)
1313"Home, Part 2"TBATBAFebruary 26, 1998 (1998-02-26)

Season 2 (1998–1999)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
141"Passage"TBATBAAugust 31, 1998 (1998-08-31)
152"The Day of the Beagle"Topper CarewSuzanne Bolch & John MaySeptember 2, 1998 (1998-09-02)
163"Haunted"TBATBASeptember 7, 1998 (1998-09-07)
174"Pride of the Dolphin"TBATBASeptember 9, 1998 (1998-09-09)
185"Strange Culture"TBATBASeptember 14, 1998 (1998-09-14)
196"Two for the Road"Pat Williams (director)John May & Suzanne BolchSeptember 16, 1998 (1998-09-16)
207"The Broken Puzzle"TBATBASeptember 23, 1998 (1998-09-23)
218"Portal, Part 1"Jason MarsdenTeleplay by: Mark Palmer
Story by: Thomas W. Lynch & Mark Palmer
September 28, 1998 (1998-09-28)
229"Portal, Part 2"Lev L. SpiroJohn May & Suzanne BolchSeptember 30, 1998 (1998-09-30)
2310"The Truth About Lies"TBATBAOctober 5, 1998 (1998-10-05)
2411"A Room of My Own"TBATBAOctober 12, 1998 (1998-10-12)
2512"Cash Crunch"TBATBAOctober 21, 1998 (1998-10-21)
2613"Father & Son"TBATBANovember 4, 1998 (1998-11-04)
2714"A New Leaf"TBATBANovember 23, 1998 (1998-11-23)
2815"Secret of the Deep"TBATBANovember 30, 1998 (1998-11-30)
2916"Dances with Moose"TBATBADecember 2, 1998 (1998-12-02)
3017"Baby on Board"TBATBADecember 14, 1998 (1998-12-14)
3118"Eye of a Stranger"TBATBAFebruary 8, 1999 (1999-02-08)
3219"Unmasked!"TBATBAMarch 10, 1999 (1999-03-10)
3320"Fast Friends"Allison LiddiDavid Pitlick & Barry GursteinMarch 17, 1999 (1999-03-17)
3421"Space Bugs"Lev L. SpiroRobin RiordanMarch 24, 1999 (1999-03-24)
3522"All Apologies"TBATBAMarch 31, 1999 (1999-03-31)
3623"Strike Out"TBATBAApril 7, 1999 (1999-04-07)
3724"Down the Tube"TBATBAApril 14, 1999 (1999-04-14)
3825"Bust a Move"TBATBAApril 21, 1999 (1999-04-21)
3926"Shadows in the Sky"TBATBAApril 28, 1999 (1999-04-28)

Season 3 (1999–2000)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
401"First Day of School"TBATBADecember 5, 1999 (1999-12-05)
412"Split Decision"TBATBADecember 12, 1999 (1999-12-12)
423"Mother and Child Reunion"TBATBADecember 19, 1999 (1999-12-19)
434"Twist of Fate"Paul HoenThomas W. LynchDecember 26, 1999 (1999-12-26)
445"As the Millennium Turns"TBATBADecember 31, 1999 (1999-12-31)
456"A Day at the Races"TBATBAJanuary 2, 2000 (2000-01-02)
467"Hamilton's Missing"TBATBAJanuary 9, 2000 (2000-01-09)
478"Science Friction"TBATBAJanuary 16, 2000 (2000-01-16)
489"Blue-Up"TBATBAJanuary 23, 2000 (2000-01-23)
4910"Out on a Limb"TBATBAJanuary 30, 2000 (2000-01-30)
5011"A Burp in Time"Lev L. SpiroKathryn BakerFebruary 6, 2000 (2000-02-06)
5112"Love Stinks"TBATBAFebruary 13, 2000 (2000-02-13)
5213"Allen on TV"TBATBAFebruary 20, 2000 (2000-02-20)
5314"Out to Lunch"TBATBAFebruary 27, 2000 (2000-02-27)
5415"Bringing Up Baby"TBATBAMarch 5, 2000 (2000-03-05)
5516"Heroes"TBATBAApril 9, 2000 (2000-04-09)
5617"Life of the Party"TBATBAApril 16, 2000 (2000-04-16)
5718"Message from Beyond"TBATBAApril 23, 2000 (2000-04-23)

Book series[edit]

An eight-book series, based on the episodes, was also printed,[4] written by several authors, including John Vornholt and Mel Odom. A list of these books is available at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rose, Devin (October 13, 1998). "Strange Is A Trip Worth Taking". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-09-03.
  2. ^ "Allen Strange Makes Rocky Journey to TV Movie Format". The Los Angeles Times. December 4, 1999. Retrieved 2010-09-03.
  3. ^ Mangan, Jennifer (November 20, 1997). "New Comedy From Nickelodeon Explores Serious Issues". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-09-03.
  4. ^ "Journey of Allen Strange". fantasticfiction.co.uk. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
  5. ^ http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pe.cgi?12591
Book references

External links[edit]