They Came from Outer Space (tv review)

When I was 10 years old, must see television existed for me in the shape of They Came from Outer Space. Weekly appointments on the local channel 9 syndication network were mandatory for me… and probably just me, as there are only 20 glorious episodes which aired from 1990 to 1991.

They Came from Outer Space is one of those shows where I feel l can never go home again, so to speak. I have such fond memories of watching this show (not specific memories, just that I remember the fun I had watching it), and I’d hate to rewatch it and find out it was terrible.

(This sorta happened to me with Voltron. I still have fond memories of watching Voltron, but let’s be real – as an adult, Voltron is garbage. It’s padded and cheap (they reuse the same animation over and over and OVER) beyond measure – it looks even cheaper than He-Man. OK, I’ll back off that last statement – let’s not say things we can’t take back! But – yeah… form Voltron already!)

Dean Cameron (who I will always remember fondly as Chainsaw in Summer School) plays as Bo, the comic relief/foil to co-star Stuart Fratkin as Abe (he’s done a guest spot on like every television series that was even remotely popular in the 90s), the straight man. These two alien brothers as hanging around California and having a good time. They’re supposed to be traveling all over the world to learn about earth, so when they skype (yeah, this show invented skype) with their parents, they always have a fake background behind them of some famous landmark so they can pretend they’re doing as they’re told.

Bo and Abe are aliens hailing from the planet Crouton and boy howdy, the Croutonians are an interesting species. They’re all born fraternal twins, they have an extremely high metabolism (these dudes can eat – and they drink stuff for a buzz that would kill a human such as window cleaner), they’re empathic, and they feel each other’s pleasure and pain, but not their own. Also, when they are sexually aroused, they emit a sound like boiling water and smoke that looked suspiciously like dry ice vapor. They also have super powers: telepathic animal communication, energy transfer to move faster (which consequently makes the drained brother move slower), this weird ability to project their consciousness into an inanimate object and of course, object teleportation, which was super handy. As far as I can remember, all of the powers required both brother’s cooperation.

Doesn’t this sound like fantastic television to you? To the best of my memory, it was AMAZING.


I like to think that They Came from Outer Space would have lasted at least a few seasons if more people knew it existed and more practically, it’d been a 30 minute format instead of an hour – then it would have been cheaper to produce.

Anyway, They Came from Outer Space is available on Hulu and YouTube and on DVD. If you want to see some silliness with a late 80s/early 90s flair, check it out.

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on January 9, 2015, in tv review and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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