Dr Mary Albright PhD
- the fifth member of the crew -

The character of Mary Albright is played by actress Jane Curtin. She is a professor of anthropology at Pendleton University. In this interview Jane Curtin recalls the role and the experience of playing Mary Albright:

Interview with Jane Curtin


When the aliens arrive on Earth, Dick takes a post as professor of Physics at the same university. As a result of this arrangement, they end up sharing an office. Their professional relationship quickly becomes personal and they remain intimate and close throughout the six seasons, despite break-ups and rocky patches.

Over the course of the show's run we discover that Mary is both talented and together, but also insecure. We learn that she drinks a lot, is pre-occupied with her weight and that she had a previous reputation for sexual promiscuity. It is her insecurities that seem draw her to Dick and indeed why she stays with him, even though he constantly humiliates, belittles and demeans her in public and in private - always unintentionally of course. Dick even exhibits a penchant for physically striking Mary. Their relationship is in many ways the very depiction of an abusive one. However, because it is presented in a comedic way the dark side of this is only ever hinted at; it never fully comes to the surface.

Mary's relationship with the rest of the unit is frosty at best. The other aliens take to calling her 'Albright' and frequently express the view that Dick is spending too much time with Mary, to the detriment of the mission.

In the series finale, Mary discovers Dick's alien origins and considers returning with him to his home planet when the mission is recalled. She decides against it in the end and Dick helps to ease the sadness of his departure by erasing all memories of him from her mind - a task which he accomplishes by hitting her on the back of the head.

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