Alien: The Garage - "Treasure Room" - Temple Environment

Leading from

a) "The treasure room"
The ship is creaking. The garage of the ship is the treasure room. Because it's one of the equipment rooms, Ridley got fairly exotic looking digging equipment of the appropriate size, small bulldozers and small earth movers. He has them sprayed all gold and somehow it worked as very high tech pieces of equipment. One vehicle was a combination of pieces of equipment, such as tank tracks with some shell casings.

Despite the fact that Ridley decided that the Nostromo was a vehicle towing a refinery rather than something that went on missions looking for minerals on other planet, Giler and Hill decided that these vehicles as part of the crew's gear as truck drivers in space and the machines stayed on. Ridley hoped to find a reason to get them outside but in the end it was too impractical an idea.

b) Harry's Closeup
In the Garage, Brett says "here kitty, here kitty kitty kitty...what's this kitty crap, ...Jones!"

Ridley did a closeup on Harry that he loved and would later say to Ridley at the premiere "Thanks for the close up"

In the background was a sound that was organic, a sort of a pulse which might be a very very pullback heartbeat.

c) Discarded Skin
Brett picks up the discarded skin, like something that a snake would discard. Now it was obvious that Brett was going to die

Brett and the alien skin
d) Creating the temple environment
Ridley Scot decided to transform the landing leg room of the Nostromo into a temple environment
Roger Christian went out and bought two Canberra bombers and dismantled them.  The jet engines became the columns of the room which gave it the feel of a temple. Inspired by the way the Apollo Lunar Lander was partly covered in gold foil, the walls of the room accompanying the vehicle; land crawlers, helicopters and other flying machines and equipment that the crew would use in their work on and around the refinery, and when they land on various planets. were covered in gold paint would become like "the Egyptian treasures". Tutenkhamun's treasures would still have been fresh on the minds of the public at the time

Source Quotes
  1. Ridley Scott: We got hold of marvelous actual parts of actual huge jet engines and installed them, and they're like coppery metal with some steel. We used them as four main supports, like columns, and they give a lot of feeling of a temple. We played the same music we used in the derelict alien craft and we had two temples. The idol I wanted was through these massive gold doors which were as big as a wall, with a gap in them through which the claw can be seen, When the set was dressed, it looked like Aladdin's cave. (Fantastic Films, #12, p25-26)
  2. Ridley Scott: A lot of the stuff we used here, see that egg crating , that's all just standard, um, industrial pallets, we just created most of the sets out of the pallets, and the rest were tube and exotic looking pipe work and conduits from aircraft. In fact, at one stage, Roger Christian went off and bought two Canberra  bombers and just (58:00) dismantled them. And of course on each bomber is millions of parts.(Alien director's commentry dvd)
  3. ("here kitty, here kitty kitty kitty...what's this kitty crap, ...Jones!")

    Ridley Scott: I love this cue here, love this cue, Now you know Harry's going to die.
    You can hear the ship creaking. There's the treasure room. Yuh, we actually, because this is one of the equipment rooms, l just got fairly exotic looking digging equipment of the appropriate size, small bulldozers and small earthmovers. l just sprayed them all gold, and er, somehow it works as very high-tech pieces of equipment.

    (Close up of Harry)
    Harry always loved that closeup, he thanked me, saw the premiere, and he came to me
    (1:02:00) said "Thanks for the closeup" ( laughing) And you hear the sound, yet that sound's organic again, now that sound, I think is a pulse. Now this is a combination of pieces of equipment of a...existing equipment tank tracks with some shell casings
    (Harry picks up alien skin)
    and there you have the pulse, which maybe very very pullback heartbeat and the skin, the
    discarded skin like a snake would discard it's skin... of something.
    (Alien Legacy dvd commentary) 
  4. Ridley Scott: Just the remains of a helicopter there sprayed gold, er, jet engines there sprayed turned on end and sprayed gold with gold foil on them just to make it more peculiarly , um, hi-tech.  (Alien Quadrilogy and Blu-Ray commentary dvd) 
  5. Ridley Scott: Just outside the claw room is a huge maintenance area, a garage, filled with the equipment that the crew would use in their work on and around the refinery, and when they land on the various planets - land crawlers, helicopterers, other flying machines. (Fantastic Films, #12, p25-26)
  6. Ridley Scott: As I was working with the art director I decided to make it feintly glittery, I wanted to have anodized gold everywhere. Not steel, gold. Did you know that space landing craft are covered with gold foil. Amazing! So I thought, Why make this out of steel? Let's make it all warm, oppressive, massive and gold. (Fantastic Films, #12, p25-26) 
  7. Ridley Scott:Now we go into a room, there's a big argument about this room. They said "How would you have water dripping inside this room?", And my argument was "it's condensation from the air conditioning" (giggle) but this is a landing leg room where the floor would open and that leg would down and, you know, support the ship. (Alien Legacy dvd commentary) 
  8. Fantastic Film: Was there ever a plan to use any of the machinery we see around the "C" deck garage?

  9. SCOTT: Well. Waiter Hill and David Giler had looked upon the crew of the Nostromo as truck drivers in space. The vehicles were part of their gear. When I came up with the refinery idea, the machines stayed on,

    Fantastic Film: Were there scenes laid out for the use of these toys?

    SCOTT: I didn’t want the crew to just sit around onboard. I hoped that we might find a reason to get them outside and away from the ship. Perhaps for repairs on Nostromo or onto the refinery itself. But it worked out as too impractical an idea.
    (Fantastic Films 11, p19)


  1. There is a ritualistic feeling to this scene. Brett moves inexorably towards sacrifice, through the portal of the landing bay doors of his own free will, then cleansed and anointed by the gentle rain. The creature descends in a messianic pose, arms outstretched, pierces Brett then carries him aloft towards the light.

    Scott and Rawlings were playing conspicuously with these themes and images in this scene. The more I read of their comments, the more apparent this becomes- it was deliberate. It almost reads like a scene from the Wicker Man.

    On a side note, Ripley's cursory inspection of the garage area, conducted as Parker and Brett are fixing the electrics for the storage room door, set up the sense of false security whereby Brett could stroll carelessly into deadly peril. She makes a few blunders on the way to becoming a hero...

    1. Bit of a late response, but I'm just wondering to what degree things unconsciously took form without people realising it and perhaps it was so obviously there when they realised what was going on and they couldn't avoid it. Of course, Ridly designed some of these sets as temples like environments, but what the context was and how it should relate to anything else is something to wonder about. So it looks as if the whole of the set of the upper level of the Nostromo looks as if it almost wanted to transform into a Kabbalic Tree of Life. It's confusing. I'm thinking about that Jones Town Massacre that took place the year Alien was made. Odd things were possibly in the air.

    2. I have to say all these years later that looking at this scene in terms of the original version of the tomb sequence from The Adventures of Tintin: The Pharoah's Cigars as published in Le Petit Vingtième back in the 1930s, I don't bother to think about the idea of sacrifice so much (other than Kane becoming like the sacrificial victim in the alien life cycle from O'Bannon's original script), it's like a drug hallucination that opens up the mind to deep memories and inspires weird and unearthly fears in the person's mind, and the image of the pharoah in the Tintin story looks as if he's ready to touch Tintin on the head, and so curiously becomes the alien beast . I do look at the idea that Ridley was often busy trying to basically construct the film as best as he could in the limited time given and that there wasn't always time to have a sensible back stories for every little thing, but a scene like this spews out so many ideas as if they must have been on the tips of everyone's tongue and perhaps they were making use of these associations at every moment. Today we can think that every time the man in the alien suit is posing, it looks as if the alien must be becoming one thing or another, such as with arms stretched out becoming a cross like formation, and anything associated with that. But I suppose there are these multiple sides to the scene to explore with the idea that this Alien is somehow the devil, the antichrist or even some sort of messiah. Of course they were talking about it. I suppose it seem as if they were setting up dream like chains of events leading to deaths, as if we're dealing with another version of The Omen, or it could even be the Wicker Man. As we know there was never really any valid reason why the alien should be in the Narcissus other than to get to the end of he film, but they played with it in the most interesting ways they could as well. There is also now a scene from a 1970s Pink Panther comic book which I connect with Brett's death as well. Will I find something else that no one will dare talk about?