List of 3rd Rock from the Sun characters

Below is a list of characters in the U.S. television comedy series 3rd Rock from the Sun:

CastEdit

Actor Character Seasons
1 2 3 4 5 6
John Lithgow Dick Solomon Main
Kristen Johnston Sally Solomon Main
French Stewart Harry Solomon Main
Joseph Gordon Levitt Tommy Solomon Main Recurring
Jane Curtin Mary Albright Main
Simbi Khali Nina Campbell Recurring Main
Elmarie Wendel Mamie Dubcek Recurring Main
Wayne Knight Don Orville Recurring Main

Main charactersEdit

Dick SolomonEdit

Though the High Commander and head of the expedition to Earth, Dick is often the most childlike member of the group, being the youngest of the crew, despite being the oldest family member (at least appearing to be the oldest due to his body). Much of the behavioral or societal-based troubles faced by the crew in their mission while on Earth frequently arise from some juvenile act perpetrated by Dick, troubles which in turn are forced to be overcome by the entire troupe with a great deal of reluctance.

Sally SolomonEdit

With a rank of lieutenant, Sally is the security officer and second-in-command. She has been called Dick's sister, but was sometimes introduced as Tommy's sister earlier in the series, and, on one occasion, claimed to be his mother, although never Dick's daughter and certainly not his spouse; failure to clarify the exact relationship between Tommy, Harry, and Sally led to humorous confusion whenever either Harry or Sally attempted to act as Tommy's guardian. Sally was chosen to be the woman because she apparently lost some sort of contest and was not too thrilled about it; while the alien species is described as asexual, Sally seems to have a harder time trying to figure out womanhood than the others do manhood. She files a request to be made male early in the mission, though later decides she liked being a woman. A later episode had Dick and her switching bodies on orders from the Big Giant Head, which caused much confusion both on their parts, as they had gotten used to their respective genders while on Earth, as well as the other characters, as they could not get used to Sally acting like Dick and vice versa.

Harry SolomonEdit

Originally, Harry was not part of the mission, but just happened to go for the ride because an extra seat was available. Later, it becomes known that a chip is in his head, and he becomes the Communicator or Transmitter. Occasionally, he gets a message from the Solomons' leader, the Big Giant Head, and shakes violently in the middle of a sentence and squats down, with his arms at 90° angles, declaring "Incoming message from the Big Giant Head!", before going through the motions of delivering the message, which always ends with a violent sneeze. He poses as Dick and Sally's brother, and Tommy's uncle. Harry is often known to be the simplest family member, is occasionally impulsive and misunderstands people. He is also prone to misfortune. Though he seems to fit in on Earth with the earthlings better than anyone else, this is implied because he is seen as dimwitted. Whether he is really dimwitted or just more sensitive to his surroundings is unclear, however.

Tommy SolomonEdit

Information officer and third-in-command behind Sally, Tommy plays the role of Dick's adolescent son, yet he is the oldest and smartest of all the aliens. Throughout the series, Tommy continually reminds the others of his superior intelligence and greater age. Gordon-Levitt left the series (after the fifth season concluded) as a primary character, only appearing as a recurring character in just over half the episodes of season six. In the show, this is explained by Tommy's graduating from high school and moving out to college.

Dr. Mary AlbrightEdit

Dick's colleague and on-and-off girlfriend, Mary is aware that Dick is an insensitive idiot, but appreciates his joie de vivre and quirkiness. Reference is often made to the insecurity caused by her bad parenting, and the fact that before Dick arrived, she was known for sleeping around, and had even been nicknamed "Dr. Slutbunny".

Don OrvilleEdit

As Sally's boyfriend, Don is an underachieving, spineless police officer, who has a talent for romanticizing his rather mundane job. Sally is completely enraptured by his stories, and is reduced to simpering and giggling around him.

Mamie DubcekEdit

Mrs. Mamie Dubcek (usually referred to as 'Dubcek' by the Solomon family) is the landlady who rents an attic apartment to the Solomon family for the duration of the series.

Mrs. Dubcek lives below the Solomon family and is portrayed as a loose and carefree woman who is prone to having many sexual partners. For this reason, she often acts as a bizarre and unlikely guide for the Solomons in handling problems in their love lives.

Mrs. Dubcek's daughter Vicki is introduced in the Thanksgiving episode, Gobble, Gobble, Dick, Dick.[1] During this episode, Vicki is established as a love interest for Harry, and as the series progresses, the pair consider having a baby together, before the Big Giant Head intervenes and impregnates Vicki himself.[2] Mrs. Dubcek also has an unnamed son, as mentioned in the Season 2 episode, My Mother the Alien. She apparently has an illegitimate granddaughter named Melanie, possibly from her aforementioned unnamed son, in the Season 2 episode, Will Work for Dick.[3]

Although Mrs. Dubcek is unmarried throughout the course of the series, she often refers to former husbands. In the episode Dick Like Me she describes her ethnicity as "a little Czech, a little Romanian; I'm your basic Slavic mutt."[4]

Nina CampbellEdit

Nina is the professional assistant of Dr. Mary Albright and Dr. Dick Solomon at the fictional Pendelton State University. At times, she and Dr. Albright are friends, while at others they seem to dislike each other. She stated in the episode "Dick, Who's Coming To Dinner" that she is a student of Pendelton.[5]

Nina does not usually get on with Dick but eventually he grows on her. She quits working for him in the episode "Will Work for Dick", which causes him a great deal of angst and resulting in his hiring and firing Harry. He convinces her to return to him in the end of the episode.[3]

Sally tends to regard Nina and Vicki Dubcek as her two best friends and are often seen asking them for advice and discussing her problems. In one episode, she moves in with Nina and they share an Odd Couple-like relationship until Sally moves back to the loft.[6]

Nina is sarcastic in dealing with both Mary and Dick and was particularly angry when Mary's promotion left her with just Dick to manage. Despite this, Nina can be kind to both of them, particularly to Mary whom she encourages to be more firm with Dick. It was Nina who encouraged Mary to stop tormenting Dick and go out with him in the episode "See Dick Run".[7]

Recurring charactersEdit

Dr. Judith DraperEdit

Judith Draper is a fictional character in 3rd Rock from the Sun, played by Ileen Getz. She is the professor of Women's Studies at the fictional Pendelton State University. She appeared in a promotional video for Pendelton, alongside Dick's son Tommy (who played a teenager saying he is applying for Pendelton) after Dick and Mary, the original stars of the video, sabotaged the entire production.[8]

Little is shown about Judith's life, as she is usually seen in purely academic situations, such as in the office or at Pendelton staff meetings or parties. She is known for her husky and unrestrained laugh after she makes a joke, although nobody else laughs at her jokes. She generally speaks in monotone.

Judith was shown to be neurotic, cynical, and possibly a closeted lesbian. She claimed to have a boyfriend named Trent, but Mary believes that he's imaginary.[9] She admitted that she once believed there was a hidden camera in the ladies restroom at Pendelton, and even went as far as to dismantle the ceiling tiles in her search for it.[10]

August LefflerEdit

August Leffler is Tommy's steady girlfriend. She has a habit of demanding a lot of Tommy while not always giving anything in return. However, Tommy attempts to break up with her a couple of times to pursue other women (e.g. one of which is his music teacher in the episode "Fourth and Dick" in Season Two). They continue to hang out together until she decides to move on (third-season episode "Moby Dick"). She confirms this in the fourth-season episode "Citizen Solomon" when confronted by Tommy. This is part of a story arc that involves all the aliens breaking up with their significant others. However, while the other broken relationships (Dick and Mary, Sally and Don, etc.) are ultimately resolved, Tommy and August's is not. In the fourth season, Tommy begins dating Alissa Strudwick, who soon takes August's place on the show.

In the episode "Just Your Average Dick", August says that she is of Dutch ancestry. Her family emigrated to the United States on a schooner in 1852.[11]

Portrayal

August was generally portrayed as an icy and disdainful female, a scholar and a feminist. She tended to play games with Tommy, making sure he would come at her beck and call. She was a studious high schooler who was especially contemptuous of prettier girls whom she regarded as shallow and unintelligent. She was known for being able to easily manipulate Tommy and was clearly the one in charge of their relationship. She treated him as more of a pet than a boyfriend. For instance, in her first episode "Lonely Dick," she told Tommy, who was unsure when it would be appropriate to be physically intimate with her, that she would "decide that as we go along."

August was often shown to have a lot of the same highbrow interests as Tommy, and her perceived intellectual superiority over him (and the "shallow" girls whom she disliked) seemed to give her a degree of elitism. She was also known for her rather quaint neo-feminist views, such as her belief, stated in "I Brake for Dick," that cosmetics are a way for men to "decorate the women they own and turn them into vacuous playthings." She seemed to also have similarly unusual opinions about other topics (according to Tommy in "I Enjoy Being a Dick," August got out of the Girl Scouts because she thought the cookie selling verged on racketeering).

Break-up with Tommy

August eventually left Tommy due to her annoyance with what she regarded as his immaturity. She was seeing another boy, Kevin, behind his back. August appeared in two fourth-season episodes after Tommy began dating Alissa, the first of which was "Citizen Solomon". In the following episode, "Alien Hunter", she appeared as a guest at Dick's birthday party, but didn't have any lines. Her appearance in this episode (as well as Alissa's absence) wasn't explained.

Vincent StrudwickEdit

Vincent Strudwick is first a friend, and later the arch-enemy of Dick. In the first seasons of the show, Dick and Strudwick appeared to be friends, and were seen playing physics-related games together in the second season episode Dick Behaving Badly.[12] Also, in the fourth season episode Power Mad Dick, Mary is made Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and Dick believes that this gives him her authority, and one of the changes he makes is giving Strudwick a pay raise.[13]

Strudwick's rivalry with Dick came into play after he released a bestselling book about physics, and Dick, as another physics teacher, became jealous of his achievement and from then on appeared to detest him.[14] In the season five episode Dick For Tat it was revealed that Mary had had a fling with Strudwick. Their rivalry continued until the very last episode of the series, in which the aliens held an alien-themed farewell party, that Dick misled Strudwick into arriving at dressed for a masquerade ball recreating the court of King Louis XIV.[15]


Alissa StrudwickEdit

Alissa Strudwick becomes Tommy's long-time girlfriend after he breaks up with August. She's the daughter of Vincent Strudwick, a colleague of Dick, at Pendelton State University.

Alissa first appears in "Indecent Dick," sitting in Tommy's science class. Alissa and Tommy are mutually attracted, but are too shy to do anything about it. After Alissa catches a cold, Tommy brings her chicken soup and Alissa asks if Tommy always gives chicken soup to girls he likes, to which Tommy replies, with a "macho" attitude: "I don't like you."[16] However, in "Sally Forth" Tommy gets himself sent to detention class so he can ask Alissa out on a date.[17] When Tommy refers to Alissa as his girlfriend, Harry calls him crazy, so Tommy decides to prove it by joining Alissa babysitting at the Wheelers' house. This turns out to be a disaster, because Harry and Vicki come in, having a huge argument about having a baby together. But after this, Tommy and Alissa become boyfriend and girlfriend.[18]

When Tommy becomes class valedictorian, he and Alissa discuss what he should say in his end speech. Sally accidentally overhears Alissa suggesting something about moving on and saying goodbye to friends and because of this she thinks that Alissa wants to break up with Tommy. Sally decides that she should dump Alissa, for Tommy, before Alissa dumps Tommy.[19] Tommy gets mad at Sally after she tells him that she broke up with Alissa for him because she was going to dump him. When Tommy tries to talk to Alissa she tells him to get lost.[20] Tommy tries to get back with Alissa, saying that she still has the beer tap which they rented for the senior party and he needs to return it, as an excuse to see her again. He gets Alissa to watch a scary movie with him, hoping that the movie would be so scary that she needed a big strong man to hold on to. This plan is ruined by Harry and Sally trying to make the movie scarier and by Dick, Strudwick and Albright who thought that Tommy and Alissa ran away from home together, which culminated with Alissa getting a restraining order taken out on Tommy. This is the last time we ever see her.[21]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Gobble, Gobble, Dick, Dick". 3rd Rock from the Sun. Season 2. Episode 10. 24 November 1996. NBC.
  2. ^ "Dick's Big Giant Headache - Part II". 3rd Rock from the Sun. Season 4. Episode 24. 29 May 1999. NBC.
  3. ^ a b "Will Work for Dick". 3rd Rock from the Sun. Season 2. Episode 22. 4 May 1997. NBC.
  4. ^ "Dick Like Me". 3rd Rock from the Sun. Season 1. Episode 16. 23 April 1996. NBC.
  5. ^ "Dick, Who's Coming to Dinner". 3rd Rock from the Sun. Season 5. Episode 6. 23 November 1999. NBC.
  6. ^ "Dick-In-Law". 3rd Rock from the Sun. Season 3. Episode 4. 15 October 1997. NBC.
  7. ^ "See Dick Run". 3rd Rock from the Sun. Season 1. Episode 20. 21 May 1996. NBC.
  8. ^ "The Tooth Harry". 3rd Rock from the Sun. Season 3. Episode 26. 20 May 1998. NBC.
  9. ^ "Gwen, Larry, Dick and Mary". 3rd Rock from the Sun. Season 5. Episode 10. 25 January 2000. NBC.
  10. ^ "Sally and Don's First Kiss"
  11. ^ "Just Your Average Dick". 3rd Rock from the Sun. Season 3. Episode 22. 28 April 1998. NBC.
  12. ^ "Dick Behaving Badly". 3rd Rock from the Sun. Season 2. Episode 19. 23 March 1996. NBC.
  13. ^ "Power Mad Dick". 3rd Rock from the Sun. Season 4. Episode 2. 7 October 1998. NBC.
  14. ^ "Dick v. Strudwick". 3rd Rock from the Sun. Season 4. Episode 21. 11 May 1999. NBC.
  15. ^ "The Thing That Wouldn't Die". 3rd Rock from the Sun. Season 6. Episode 20. 22 May 2001. NBC.
  16. ^ "Indecent Dick". 3rd Rock from the Sun. Season 4. Episode 8. 9 December 1998. NBC.
  17. ^ "Sally Forth". 3rd Rock from the Sun. Season 4. Episode 13. 9 February 1999. NBC.
  18. ^ "The House that Dick Built". 3rd Rock from the Sun. Season 4. Episode 15. 23 February 1999. NBC.
  19. ^ "The Big Giant Head Returns Again: Pt. 1". 3rd Rock from the Sun. Season 5. Episode 21. 23 May 2000. NBC.
  20. ^ "The Big Giant Head Returns Again: Pt. 2". 3rd Rock from the Sun. Season 5. Episode 22. 23 May 2000. NBC.
  21. ^ "Fear and Loathing in Rutherford". 3rd Rock from the Sun. Season 6. Episode 2. 31 October 2000. NBC.