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3rd Rock
All you'll ever need to know!
The Premise: Four extraterrestrials take human form and are sent by their leader, the Big Giant Head, on a mission to Earth to learn about humanity and its so-called advanced civilization. The aliens settle in the fictional town of Rutherford, Ohio and pretend to be an ‘ordinary’ family. Led by the High Commander Dick Solomon (John Lithgow) the team includes Sally (Kristen Johnston), his second-in command; Tommy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), the intelligence officer; and Harry (French Stewart), who is the only one of the group able to communicate with the Big Giant Head. Although they possess superior intelligence, the Solomons are unfamiliar with human customs. Such naiveté results in most of their comic misadventures including Dick’s attempts at romance with his human co-worker Doctor Mary Albright (Jane Curtin)...High-ranking Dick

Background: Created by the Emmy Award-winning husband and wife writing team Bonnie and Terry Turner, 3rd Rock is produced in America by Carsey-Werner Productions, LLC for NBC Television.

First Run: 9th January, 1996.

Number of Episodes: The series began as a mid-season replacement with a shortened first season of only 20 episodes, while its second and third seasons each have 26. Season Four (1998-1999) began in America this September.

The Good Guys: Besides the four aliens there is the Solomons’ eccentric landlady Mrs Dubcek (Elmarie Wendel); Nina Campbell (Simbi Khali), Dr Solomon and Dr Albright’s personal assistant, confidante and referee; Sally’s love slave police officer Don Orville (Wayne Knight); Tommy’s liberated girlfriend August Loeffler (Shay Astar); and university professor Dr Sutor (Harry Morgan).

The Bad Guys: Dick himself when the Big Giant Head replaces him with an evil duplicate in See Dick Run. Also, in 36!24!36!Dick! real-life supermodel Cindy Crawford leads an invasion force of beautiful Venusians determined to conquer the Earth..

And Isn’t That... Monty Python’s John Cleese as Liam Neesam, a visiting professor who comes between Dick and Mary in Dick and the Other Guy. George Takei, Star Trek’s Mr Sulu, appears as himself in Hotel Dick.

Overdone Clichés: Mrs Dubcek’s overactive libido; not all television landlords or landladies have to be sex-crazed in order to be funny.

Fashion Statements: Mary dons a hot little space maiden’s outfit in order to seduce Dick when they attend a Science Fiction convention in Hotel Dick. Dick pokes fun at a television “starship captain” when he uses a corset to help conceal his expanding waistline in Moby Dick. .

Photo © Alliance
Gobble, Gobble, Dick, Dick
Harry and Mrs Dubcek’s niece Vicki (Jan Hooks) cook up their own Thanksgiving feast in the Solomon’s kitchen.

Eleven Angry Men and One Dick
A clever and amusing parody of the 1957 film 12 Angry Men in which Dick is cast as the indecisive juror.

Auto Erodicka
A one-night stand teaches Dick a valuable lesson in sensitivity and discretion. Meanwhile, Sally, Tommy and Harry are seduced by the purring engine of a brand new Viper.

In Pickles and Ice Cream Harry’s pet adopts human form and visits him on Earth. This episode should have stayed in orbit. The Solomon family become average in Just Your Average Dick in order to better blend in with society. Average Solomons equals boring Solomons.
Steven Eramo

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