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The Skins are first introduced in the episode 'Skin & Bones', as alien enemies of Max, Michael, Isabel and Tess. The Skins are under the leadership of Nicholas on Earth, and are the troops of Khivar, who ursurped Zan's throne on Antar. They were sent to Earth to find the Royal Four, (who were sent to Earth to be reborn) and return Vilondra (Isabel) back to the planet.

The skins came to Earth in 1950 to search for the Royal 4. They can't go home until the Granolith is found. It was a one-way trip.


They are called Skins because the Earth's atmosphere is toxic to them and they must wear protective husks or skins. This is what Courtney says - It's basically a shell. It protects us from the environment. This planet's atmosphere is hostile to our race. The husks are a lifeform technology that we can genetically manipulate to resemble human bodies. Our relationship to it is essentially parasitic.

Congresswoman Whitaker tells Isabel a little about the husks
We can't exist here like you...not in our natural state. We don't have the DNA. All we have are these...uh, skins. Our limit is 50 years.

When the husks reach the end of their life, they start to shed layers of skin. This can be slowed down by keeping the husks moisturized. Nicholas says they have a moisture chamber

The husks are very strong, and even hold together when being shot. But they do have a weakness. There is a seal on the husk on the lower back, that is covered by a thin flap. Courtney shows it to the gang, and tells them to hit it as hard as they can to break the seal, and destroy the husk, and the Skins disolve in a burst of dust.

In the episode 'Harvest', Courtney tells Michael that the husks good for about 50 years, but now they are dying. That is what is causing all the peeling. The Skins have been growing new ones for the last 20 years. The husks are finally ready, and all the Skins have gone back to Copper Summit, AZ for the 'Harvest'.

The Skins have some kind of links to their husks. When Courtney destroys the machine that is growing the new husks, the Skins can feel it.


In the episode 'Surprise' Congresswoman Vanessa Whitaker takes Tess hostage to lure Isabel to her, and reveals that she is a Skin.

Whitaker tells Isabel that she killed Nasedo to protect Isabel, because Isabel helped them in her last life. She says - Your name was Vilandra, and you were beautiful...even more beautiful than you are now. You had a great love...and for him...for betrayed your brother, your race. You sacrificed him. You sacrificed everyone...even yourself. And history, my dear, always repeats itself.

Also in 'Harvest' Nicholas reveals to Isabel that her lover is still waiting for her on their planet. He says - You're safe here with us, Vilandra. Your destiny is with us. With Khivar. He's waiting to hear that we've found you.

The royal four. If only the people could see you now. Clueless teenagers groping for their own identities. You'd lose some of that legendary aura that's sprung up over the years.

It's what you want. You just can't remember. I'm here to take you back to him, Vilandra. The leader of the rebellion. The man who currently sits on your brother's tarnished throne. The man for whom you sacrificed a kingdom. Your lover, Khivar.

Michael Worshippers

Michael discovers that Courtney is a Skin in the episode 'End of the World', but she doesn't follow Khivar like the others. She is in a special group that follows Michael politically, and wants him on the throne. Maria calls them the Michael worshippers.

Courtney explains it to Michael -

We're not with the other skins. We're renegades who believe that if you were in charge instead of Max in the first place, that none of this would have ever happened.

The short that our planet was on the brink of a golden age, and then it all fell apart. You were the one who could have united our planet, pulled together the warring factions, brought peace. But you weren't on the throne.

You wouldn't betray him. That loyalty cost your lives and those of everyone you loved. Please, just don't let history repeat itself. You're the one we need. You're our leader, our salvation.

Congresswoman Vanessa Whitaker's Diary

On the site the Silver Hand Print were posted pages from Congresswoman Vanessa Whitaker's diary that chronicled the 'Skins' time on Earth.

Whitaker's diary mentions several facts about their anatomy. That humans have only one opposible (thumb), meaning they must have more.

Sound cuts out at certain frequencies because of the shape of the human ear, meaning they have a different shaped ear, and can hear a larger range of sounds.

She also complains that it is too hot, meaning they are used to a cooler temp on their planet

Inside the 'Skins' their motor functions are difficult, and their sight is bad because they need to protect their eyes from the planet's infra red light.

Below I have posted a brief overview of the entries from the diary.
If you wish to see the complete diary click here Vanessa Whitaker's Diary (SHP)

Feb 5, 1950
1st day in the skins, motor functions difficult, sight bad, too hot

Feb 13, 1950
Nicholas names the husks Skins

Mar 8, 1950
Vanessa's cover story is that she is the 30 year old adoptive daughter of Ida & Walt with a younger brother Nicholas, 14.

July 4, 1950
Looking for the Royal 4 for three months, discovered the Earth's radio communication system

Oct 4, 1957
Nicholas sent half of the troops out across the planet to look for the Royal 4, they have suffered 20% casualties, and morale is low. They can't go home until the Granolith is found.

Jan 8, 1958

Nov 3, 1962
Still can't talk about it.

Feb 12, 1963
It is taken 5 years to deal with what happened. It appears that Nicholas killed her best friend in front of her for attempting to desert. Possibly Whitaker was trying to as well because Nicholas wanted to kill her too, but he spared Whitaker's life because Ida begged him too.

It is confusing seperating their roles from reality. Nicholas was a General in the Palace on their home planet, and he is ruthless and kills his own.

Sept 23, 1968
The Skins are starting to peel. Nicholas still doesn't trust Whitaker completely, but he is considering sending her out to look for the Royal 4.

Mar 23, 1970
Nicholas summoned Whitaker home because he is starting a plan for replacement Skins. He wants his troops to clean up their 'human' existance and get rid of human ties. It appears that Whitaker killed her human husband.

May 14, 1978
Nicholas plans the Harvest. They will have a symbiotic relationship to the new husks. Nicholas took cells from each person to clone a new skin, and it will take 20 years until they are ready

Oct 11, 1984
Nicholas ordered Whitaker to be a Senator

April 29, 1994
Whitaker married John Whitaker, a Congressman from NM

May 18, 1996
Whitaker's husband died in a 'tragic' plane crash

May 5, 1999
Even with hundreds of people at her disposal Whitaker still can't find the Royal 4. She started a friendship with Pierce. He wants congressional support, and she wants to look at his alien files.

April 18, 2000
Pierce is going to Roswell to investigate possible alien activity, but Whitaker thinks it is a waste of time. Nicholas is obsessed by deserters.

Sept 25, 2000
Pierce sold out Whitaker at the Congressional hearing. He said there was no such thing as Cadmium X, and he didn't fight the disbandment of the Special Unit. Whitaker is suspicious.

Sept 29, 2000
Pierce is gone, his apartment is empty. Whitaker is headed to Roswell to investigate.

Oct 5, 2000
Whitaker is set up in Roswell with a new assistant, Liz Parker. Bones are unearthed in the desert and the local Sheriff is reluctant to investigate. Nicholas is still talking about deserters.

Oct 7, 2000
Whitaker realizes the shapeshifter is playing Pierce. She followed him and saw him meet with Max, so she knows Max is part of the Royal 4. She can smell Max on Liz, so she knows Liz is involved. She is going to record Liz's calls. And she killed Nasedo.

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