Fans of Dan O’Bannon’s 70’s Sci-Fi “Alien” and it’s associated art-direction (notably Giger’s involvement at Bannon’s request) will have taken a lot back home with them that night they finally caught up with Ridley Scott’s Sci-Fi Prometheus. Bags of it. Stuffed their pockets full of it no doubt. Spilling out onto the soil under their feet.
Aside from the religious, spiritual mythological metaphors of Prometheus’ story, creatures, characters and locations there are hints hither and thither that Prometheus is indeed a solid member of the Alien script and film family. From small in-jokes, little glimpses and huge cues to the film’s obvious design heritage and front story.
In addition to this, I was flicking through a friend’s bookcase recently and stumbled across “The Book of Alien” published in 1979.
The books contains numerous references to dropped scenes from Alien and backs them up with original concept art and quotes from O’Bannon himself.
More intriguing was how all but one of the dropped scenes references in this 33 year-old book made it some-way into Prometheus. With a little help from my imagination and optimistic interpretation maybe?
I’d like to share some of these (shot rather badly on my camera phone for full xenomorph authenticity) and let me know what you think of the tenuous genetic links I’m making.
Here’s the bad boy in all it’s glory.
Give it a little click.
Ooh so 70’s. Check that typeface. Yes, there’s some familiar and not-so familiar concept art on the cover, including Giger’s Pyramid, which you can google if you wish (including his Dune concepts which obv influenced the Prometheus Pyramid).
And that’s my thumb on the left. It’s not a concept from the original film, but it is from that decade.
Arguably, you could call my existence a concept. At least a concept in my father’s eye all those years ago when he hit that fifth pint of mild while looking fondly at my mum’s backside.
So there’s a actually a couple of references to a “pyramid” on the cover – bottom left and bottom right from concept artist Cobb and from mad-man Giger himself, as stated before I needed to pad a little.
Click on the cover and have a little look people. It won’t bite. Not with it’s inner jaws anyway.
Anyway, I’ll come back to the pyramids in a bit. Remember the Engineer’s head? I mean the headless engineer’s head?
Good – remember Shaw was pretty off her tits with excitement and insisted it was brought back to the ship. Mad cow.
Well let introduce this little nugget from n-n-n-n-n-nineteen seventy nine.
“In the original screenplay, the reconnaissance party returns to the Nostromo with the head – proof of another intelligent culture”.
Remember the three apostles? In this thing?
Okay so that might be a little wishy-washy. It get’s better before it gets any worse, so bear with me.
How about this little fella…
“The planetoid’s endless dust storm has briefly settled”
Yeah I know. But in any other context a dust storm wouldn’t be quite as obvious. Prometheus has a dust storm. Okay, I’ll carry on…..
“He finds a giant chamber that seems like a tomb or maybe a place of worship. “.
In Prometheus, as you fucking well know, Holloway finds a mural and says “This is just another tomb.”
Ahhh I’m having a lot of fun now. Oh, did I mention “Mural”?
“There are weird statues and some sort of hieroglyphics (which later prove to be representative of Alien reproductive cycles).”
Well how about this from the 1979 concepts HATERS!!! Maybe I’m going over the top here a little now. Harumph.
“the interior of the temple from the original script. Alien spores lie in waiting in the base of the altar”
Errr base of the altar? Remember me? …
And finally, a little beauty which incorporates not only our best friend “cuddles” but also Holloway’s dumb-ass decision to remove his helmet ON AN ALIEN PLANET!! NUTTER!!
“in O’Bannon’s script, the temple had an oxygen atmosphere. Cobb drew an octopuslike Face Hugger attacking a helmet-less Kane”.
Well if you weren’t as excited about these links as I was, and maybe thought it was all a little bit of a let-down: no less a flight-of-fancy with no substance , well that’s shame. Shame on you.
This film will continue to divide us and I respectfully disagree with you.
Because you’re probably wrong. Again.