3rd Rock from the Sun

Show generally

Question: I'm watching this show on an app called "Tubi TV" and none of the 1st season episodes have the opening narration from James Earl Jones. I remember watching this on TV, but it would have been reruns and I can't remember hearing the narration then either (granted, I may have forgotten hearing it, but it's so distinct and unique that I don't think I would have forgotten it). When the show was in rerun syndication, was the narration removed? Why? Just to ad 30-seconds of ad time? Why would the narration be removed on streaming services where ad time isn't an issue? Do they not have access to the originals? Has anyone seen the narration removed anywhere else?


Answer: I have the entire series on DVD, and season 1 doesn't have the narration on it either. Perhaps the studio cut it to avoid having to pay residuals to James Earl Jones. Some episodes on my DVDs also seem to be missing scenes or parts of scenes that appeared in original airings, but were removed in syndication, so it seems just as likely that all episodes that were supplied for DVD replication or for streaming services received versions that were the edited for syndication.

Phaneron Premium member

Thank you for this insight. Interesting the DVDs don't have it.


A Nightmare on Dick Street (1) - S2-E25

Question: Don says if he nabs Karl Borsky he makes detective. (I'm pretty sure I've seen other shows where a cop says if he does something or brings someone in he'll make detective, or some rank). Is that how some police departments promoted officers to detective? I thought it just a matter of necessary years of experience and passing a test (and maybe having a vacancy) and not about having a certain number of high profile arrests or accomplishing a certain feat. Granted Don may be exaggerating, but taking what he said at face value, how true is it?


Answer: Being promoted within the police department is usually a result of time on the job, combined with demonstration of talent and ability. When a character "cracks the big case" or "nabs the bad guy" this means that their superiors will take notice and possibly promote them if possible. In Don's case, he may already have the required years of service, but has yet to show sufficient ability.

Dick and Taxes - S4-E12

Question: At the end of their audit, the Solomons are ordered by the IRS to pay back-taxes, some of which for years they weren't even on the planet. Can the IRS actually make people pay taxes for years in which they had no income?

Phaneron Premium member

Answer: No, the IRS cannot make you pay taxes during years in which you had no income but this family hasn't reported any income for years. You are still required to report your income every year, and if you fall below a certain threshold you don't pay federal income taxes. The IRS is assuming they are humans who have a house and careers but they have only filed taxes for a couple years (if at all). To the IRS it looks like simple tax evasion.


Chosen answer: Officer Don ended up appearing in 100 of 139 episodes, but I would say season 3 is when he become permanent as Wayne Knight's name appears in the opening credits. However, as he did appear throughout season 2 (first appearance S01E17), it's possible they already considered him permanent at that time since season 3's opening credits also included Simbi Khali (Nina) and Elmarie Wendel (Ms. Dubcek).


More mistakes in 3rd Rock from the Sun

See Dick Run (1) - S1-E20

Sally: You know, I just really resent how we're supposed to jump every time the Big Giant Head sends a message.
Dick: I know. Everyone knows he only got the job by kissing the big giant butt.

More quotes from 3rd Rock from the Sun
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