Gordon Shumway was just another orbit guard from the planet Melmac until his planet was destroyed and his spaceship was tossed through space, eventually landing in the garage of an average white family in Southern California. Although he would always be known as Gordon to his own kind (most of whom died in a nuclear inferno the likes of which the universe has seldom seen), his new family called him ALF (Alien Life Form).
The story of what happened to him next doesn’t need to be retold here, and is chronicled in the biographical television series based on ALF’s life that is now available on DVD. What I would like to discuss, briefly, is what happened to ALF after the series ended. In 1990, the “final episode” of the original series ended in a cliffhanger where ALF was abducted by the American Military. The final words of the series were “To Be Continued…”, but the series never was. It wasn’t until six years later that a made-for-TV movie answered some of the questions posed by the original series.
ALF made a brief comeback as a talk-show host, but was never quite the same. So, what really happened to ALF during those intervening six years? Perhaps the world will never truly know, but I have a theory.
As many Fuzzkill readers might remember, there was just one thing that ALF consistently desired from his human captors. He wanted to eat the cat, Lucky. On Melmac, eating cats was considered a right, not a privilege, so much so that “In 1643, Sandra Shumway became the mayor of sector 17…She ran with the promise of a cat in every pot and a turnip in every shoe.” In fact, eating cats was a cultural institution on Melmac. According to ALFnet.tv, “ALF’s Uncle Goomer once worked as an actor. He appeared in such films as Cat on a Hot Microwave Dish, Gone with the Fish, and Luncheon Counters of the Worst Kind.”
In a bizarre coincidence, ALF’s slave name is identical to the acronym for the Animal Liberation Front. At the same time that Melmac was being destroyed by the “consequences of nuclear warfare,” animal rights activism was getting violent: “In February 1989, an explosion damaged the Senate House bar at Bristol University . . . In June 1990, two days apart, bombs exploded in the cars of Margaret Baskerville, a veterinary surgeon . . . and Patrick Max Headley, a psychologist at Bristol University.”
Now I’m NOT saying that the A.L.F. destroyed Melmac. I’m also NOT saying that the A.L.F. posed as the U.S. military, kidnapped ALF, and held him hostage for six years in the 90s, torturing him and eventually murdering him, only to replace him with some lame talk-show substitute so as to blunt his pro cat-eating agenda. I’m just saying that if they DID, and if you like cats, you may have indirectly killed ALF. That’s all I’m saying.