Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Alien Unseen: Part Two - Production Storyboards

In part two we will be taking a look at the deleted, unfilmed and alternate scenes from the production storyboards which are based on the June 1978 draft.  These storyboards were drawn before scene revisions to the June 1978 draft. The idea is to give the reader a view of the unseen world of Alien and the ideas and directions the film was going to and could have gone during the early stages of the films production.

Note:  A large number of storyboards are missing, due to some being roughly drawn during production, from the Alien Quadrilogy/Anthology boxset.  I've decided just to add the alternate/deleted storyboards that are availableI will be adding to this as I go along.

Original awakening sequence:
The awakening sequence ran much longer. Starting off with a close-up of Kane's nostril followed by his Cryo-tube opening. Kane wanders into the Gallery. He switches on a monitor above the table which has a view inside the Hypersleep vault. He proceeds to the auto chef and prepares coffee. While doing this, he watches the monitor hearing the sound of the Cryo lids opening one by one, guessing who's who and whose next. This scene was supposed to introduce the Nostromos crew one by one for the audience.  The scenes of Kane entering the Gallery were filmed but not all of this sequence was.  This sequence was also Ridleygramed.

It was intended for Ridley to have the cast naked during the awakening sequence. Fox executives deemed this to pornographic and was rewritten. It is believed that some scenes were filmed with the actors fully nude which would have made the film banned in at least five countries, In the end the actors wore white shorts, and the women had surgical tape covering their nipples.

Actually there was also some nudity in the script in the beginning of the movie. When we all wake up we were supposed to be naked. It was very provocative visual concept to see these people moving through such a very harsh environment in just their natural state. But that was changed later.

- Sigourney Weaver

Dallas and Ash visit Mother:
Originally it took two people to operate Mother's computer Annex, in this version both Ash and Captain Dallas visit mother.  Dallas has to ask Ash for his code key to activate MU/TH/UR.  Later rewrites changed this so it was Ripley Dallas had to ask for his code key.  This  is the version that is storyboarded.

Rock Formation:
Lambert, while using her finder to follow the signal of the Transmission source, losses it once or twice. They arrive at a large rock formation and the signal disappears.  They take shelter under the rock formation before the signal returns. As they continue along we see the fossilized remains of the Space Jockey. The crew doesn't see it, but Ash does. He freezes and enlarges the image on his monitor. Due to budget constraints this sequence was never filmed but is storyboarded.

Ripley radios Ash to check on the progress of the crews expedition. She asks if Ash has put the Alien transmission through ECIU. Ash's monitor isn't visible to Ripley, so she doesn't see the image of the dead Space Jockey. She begins to work on the Alien Transmission which can be heard over the Bridges speakers.

First Glimpse of the Derelict:
The three crew members continue forward. Kane comes over the horizon seeing the Derelict Ship. The Alien Transmission can be heard, and is deafening to all three. They have to shout to communicate with each other. Dallas informs Ash what they see, Ash cannot pick up any readings from the craft and tells Dallas the source of the transmission is inside. Dallas thinks for a moment and decides to head towards the craft.  Ash is still examining the Image of the dead space Jockey. While adjusting the image,  Dallas's communications fade in and out.  Ash tries frantically to keep communications with Dallas but to no avail.

Entering the Derelict:
The Crew enter the Derelict and enter a chamber (There is no Space Jockey, as originally it was inside the rock formation the crew sat under and missed *above scenes*). Dallas discovers a hole in the ground, pitch black he shines his light into the hole but can't see the bottom. They look around further. Dallas finds an 'Urn' type object, shining his light something else catches his eye, an automated machine still functioning. Dallas snaps it off and continues to investigate the hole in the floor. He then builds a tripod and lowers Kane down into the depths of the ship.

It's a warning:
Ripley is notified about the Alien Transmission, radios to Ash and informs him of the results. It's a warning, she tells Ash to warn the others, but he can't. Ash tells Ripley he's lost contact with the crew and can't get hold of them. Ripley wants to go out after them, but Ash talks her out of it.  Unknown to Ripley is the image on Ash's monitor. A picture of the Space Jockeys head from the rock formation.

Hauling Kane:
Dallas tries to contact Kane but there's no answer. Switching on the winch motor Dallas begins to haul Kane up from the bowels of the derelict. The line is slack until it suddenly tightens with a jerk, and the motor struggles to haul Kane up due to the added weight of the facehugger. As Kane approaches the surface, Dallas goes to grab him but recoils in horror at the site of the facehugger on his face. Dallas and Lambert both carry Kane to the derelict entrance when Dallas begins to assemble a travois.

Alternate Ending:
In the following storyboards, Ripley opens the hatch to the Narcissus and ends up in outer space, attached to a cable, along with the alien. While outside the shuttle using a weapon, Ripley shoots the alien in the head and manages to climb back into the shuttle closing the hatch behind her. The alien still trapped outside Ripley straps herself in and ignites the shuttle's thrusters setting the alien on fire drifting away it explodes.


  1. Cool stuff, remember seeing an interview with Ridley Scott that another alternative ending for Alien was that the Xenomorph kills Ripley and then operates the computer console - to show intelligence.

  2. Yes, the Alien was supposed to talk in Ripley's voice if memory serves. However, this was thought up while Ridley was drunk one night lol.


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