Hard Time on Planet Earth

Hard Time on Planet Earth Cast

Series Description

The Hard Time on Planet Earth TV show was a 60 minute sci-fi/action series on CBS about an alien who had been genetically enhanced to be a superior warrior. After serving in an interplanetary war, he was found guilty of war crimes and punished by being transformed into a much weaker human form and then banished to Earth. He would have to remain there until authorities were convinced that he had become more compassionate. He also had a "parole officer" in the form of a floating robotic "eyeball" that kept watch on his behavior. Each week, Jesse (the alien's earthly name) would help humans in need in order to show he had overcome his harsh genetic engineering. The series often became comical when Jesse had to deal with some human behavior or emotion that he didn't really understand.

Hard Time on Planet Earth Cast

Martin Kove .... Jessie
Danny Mann .... The Voice of Control

Opening Dialog:

Narrator: "The penalty for rebellion against the council is termination. But because of your heroic services as a warrior, you are exiled to the primitive planet Earth. There to dwell in human form until you learn to restrain your hostility. This control unit will monitor you."

Control Unit: Hostility. Not good!

Narrator: The sentence is passed.


The setting where Hard Time on Planet Earth took place was, "Los Angeles, California".

In the very first episode, "Stranger in a Strange Land", Charles Fleischer did the voice of control. Danny Mann took over for the remaining twelve episodes.

While Hard Time on Planet Earth didn't win any Awards, it did come close a couple of times! In 1990, David Miller came in 2nd place at the "International Monitor Awards" for "Best Video Special Effects from Film Originated Entertainment". That same year, Jacob Vargas was nominated for "Best Young Actor Starring in a TV Movie, Pilot or Special" at the "Young Artist Awards".

You might be more likely to remember Martin Kove as the super honest cop, "Detective Victor Isbecki" on "Cagney & Lacey" or maybe as the villian, "Ericson" in the film, "Rambo: First Blood Part II". He was well cast as a former Alien super-warrior as he had black belts in Okinawa-te, Tiger Kenpo, and Kendo. Besides acting, Martin had once worked as a substitute Math teacher at the "Ward Melville High School", located on Long Island.

Jesse got his "Earthly" name by stealing a mechanic's coverall. The theft was necessary because his "judges" sent him to Earth naked! The mechanic's name was Jesse and it was on the coverall so he just kept it!

Episodes List With Original Air Dates

The First And Only Season

  1. Stranger in a Strange Land (a.k.a. "Pilot") (3/1/1989)
  2. Something to Bank On (3/8/1989)
  3. Losing Control (3/15/1989)
  4. Way Home (3/22/1989)
  5. All That You Can Be (3/29/1989)
  6. Battle of the Sexes (4/5/1989)
  7. Death Do Us Part (4/12/1989)
  8. Dog Man (4/26/1989)
  9. Jessie's Fifteen Minutes (5/3/1989)
  10. Rodeo Show (5/10/1989)
  11. Not In Our Stars (5/31/1989)
  12. All Americans (6/14/1989)
  13. Wally's Gang (6/21/1989)

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