The Derelict

Chris Foss' Derelict

Leading From
The Derelict,
Pre-Production
and
Chris Foss' art



black and white image of Foss' derelict from Skeleton Crew August, 1990


a) Chris Foss's Derelict Ship. Foss possessed a colorful and flamboyant style O'Bannon considered ideal for the derelict ship and its benign aliens. His design actually bears a resemblance to the description given in Dan O'Bannon's original script which was something comparable to a titanic lobster and happened to be the one that Dan approved of the most.

concept for derelict by Chris Foss, no.1

"Through billowing dust-clouds, a huge SHAPE appears. The dust clears, and THEY SEE:
A GROTESQUE  CRAFT, nose down in the sand like some titanic lobster"

(1)Dan O'Bannon's DVD version of the early Alien script.
concept for derelict by Chris Foss no.2
b). Pictures number 1 and 2 both have the same front, one can see nearly the whole body of the 1st resting upon the sand,  and the 2nd like the 3rd is half buried in the sand, (perhaps both would come across as concepts easier to put on screen than the 1st.)  The 2nd also has a fin like structure poking out of the sand behind it roughly similar to the third one. The 3rd one can also be seen to be a reinterpretation of Chris Foss' design for a Harkonnen Flagship from Jodorowsky's Dune ill fated Dune project in 1975. Both ships have a main central body vertical with arms branching to down the side ending vast bauble like engines

1) Visit Chriss Foss's website: ChrisFossArt.com
2) Read about the Unseen Dune at the the Dune Info website: DuneInfo.com

derelict no.3


Quote sources

  1. Foss possessed a colorful and flamboyant style O'Bannon considered ideal for the derelict ship and its benign aliens. (Cinefex 1, p36)
  2. Dan O'Bannon "I conceptualised the derelict as a gnome's castle - colorful and interesting and bizarre as hell, but not morbid. Chris Foss did a wonderful painting of the ship, which is still my favourite, bronzed lobster like thing sitting in the sand, very technological, very odd looking, very difficult to work out how it would fly" (Cinefex 1, p64)

Foss's unused 1975. Harkonnen Flagship design
earlier sketch of unused 1975 
Harkonnen Flagship design

Foss' derelict pt B

leading from 

Chris Foss' derelict no.3 
(no number has been given by the artist)
First draft storyboards for special photographic effects displays images of a Chris Foss's derelict ship no.3.  The storyboards presented in the Alien Anthology Blu-Ray set released in 2010 were put together by Ron Cobb and Chris Foss

A question that arises is whether or not the image is based on the painting that O'Bannon finally settled on from Foss design of the derelict?

a) The first image here shows a silhouette of the derelict  in the storm 
b) The second shows the derelict after the clouds have cleared and a side entrance is seen. 
c) The third shows a high angle shot looking over the top of the derelict down onto the men approaching, 


d) The fourth shows a low angle close up of the top and the curved arms bridging across , the men's point of view as the approach the vessel. 

Ron Cobb's Derelict Ship Concepts

From:

a) Dan O'Bannon admired the art of Ron Cobb but his only problem as a designer was that he was a rationalist and it came to Dan's attention when they started designing the Alien picture back in Los Angeles. All the things that Ron was doing were coming out so well that Dan had him take a crack at the derelict ship, asking for an irrational shape, but Ron became very disturbed to the point of not being able to handle doing such a thing. And it went that Ron would continuously come up with convincing technology for a flying saucer or some other kind of UFO
  1. Dan O'Bannon: "The only problem was that he was a rationalist. I noticed this when we first started designing the picture. All these different things he as doing were coming out so well that I decided to have him  take a crack at the derelict spaceship. But when I asked him to come up with an irrational shape he got very disturbed. He couldn't handle that. He kept coming up with convincing technology for a flying saucer or some other kind of UFO." (Cinefex 1, p43)
b)  Two paintings by Ron that featured his designs for derelict space crafts.


Alien derelict
b i) An alien derelict:
A design for the alien derelict space craft made up from curved shapes that could easily contain the space jockey design that he created.
  1. Future life #23 in an article about Ron Cobb, it mentions briefly that craft was to be destroyed, without any further word about this. (this needs to be found to make sure it's documented properly)
Manmade derelict -"Black Ship and Cylinder"
b ii) "Black Ship and Cylinder"
A concept painting showing the remains of a manmade ship and a cylindrical tower with human explorers wandering around shining their torches.  This was for a version of the script in which the crew of the spaceship find a lost Earth base where previous travelers fought a losing battle with aliens
(See: The Cylinder script)

Sources
  1. The Book of Alien says about this picture that the searchers find a lost Earth base where previous travelers fought a losing battle with aliens.
  2. At the bottom of the painting as shown in the Alien from the Quadrilogy DVD set released in 2003, there is a copy of the picture and presents at the bottom of the picture the ominous words "Black ship and cylinder". This painting was a concept for a version of the Alien script known to some as the Cylinder script

Ridley's Criteria for the Derelict

From
Ridley was probably talking about George Adamski's photographs of flying saucers such as the 
Venusian Scoutship that were taken in the early 1950s. See photograph of flying saucer on the right).
When Ridley joined the project, Chris Voss's lobster derelict had been the design that O'Bannon wanted, however it didn't satisfy Ridley and he then went through a number of different ideas for the ancient derelict ship before he settled on the concept that finally interested him that we see in the final movie. 
  1. Fantastic Films: "What are the criterian for credibility in the design of alien spacecraft?"
    Ridley Scott : "I have come to accept a wide variety of possibilities. And strangely enough, the more mundane something is, the more it can sometimes stagger people. Simplicity can be more powerful than you think. Take a UFO for example. How do you design it so people believe it? One of the best UFO shots is one from the thirties with the portholes. It looks like an inverted plate with a sort of cap on it . And oddly enough it's rather archaic, it appeals to me as a solution, rather than an incredibly refined, sleek spacecraft. I like the idea of a spaceship where you've got no idea what kind of energy drives it and you've never seen anything quite like it before. "

    Fantastic Films: "Like Giger's instead of the Foss conceptions?"

    Ridley Scott : "Foss' ideas were interesting but they tended to all look alike. Giger's craft was definitely not of this world"  (Fantastic Films (UK)# 3, (US) No.12, p27)

Chris Foss's lobster derelict ship


Moebius' Alien derelict exterior

From
a) Moebius' derelict exterior
When Moebius arrived on the project and stayed for a short time, Ridley had him design a derelict ship and Moebius came up with a view of the vessel in the distance on a landscape and a closeup of the vessel's observation dome. The shape of it might be comparable to a space rocket capsule or an inverted spinning top.

Moebius's derelict ship (from SFX December 2014 preview of The Alien Archives book)


b)  Ridleygram of Moebius derelict
In the Ridleygram of the derelict being revealed,  Ridley drew more than one of Moebius' derelict and connects the pods with long bridge tunnels.He drew it as an interpretation of Moebius design, but also we know that he has been using the Giger's Necronomicon as a bible. Ridley was not satisfied with these ideas, and he thought that Moebius design looked too Victorian so he was keen to take it a step in new direction.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_8sv9gYsuLwc/TIR0MtBP6iI/AAAAAAAAAUU/DhpjDcuh94c/s1600/vlcsnap-derelictcloseup2.png
Ridlegram: Derelict is revealed
c) Moebius' Derelict Exterior's Relationship to Giger's Egg Silo
The way that Ridley drew the derelict closer up makes it look organic as if it has been slight Gigerised and because of the shape resembles Giger's egg silo. At this stage, Ridley's own design for the egg silo was based on Giger's Castle Harkonen from Dune shown in Giger's Necronomicon. Giger's breast shaped egg silo was initially a pyramid that soon undergone an extreme transformation in design to something more organic looking.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_8sv9gYsuLwc/TIR_Rg-LdrI/AAAAAAAAAUc/JKYYj1fFPEk/s1600/378.jpg
Giger's Egg silo design, work378

Quote source
  1. Ridley Scott: This was a Moebius idea of the derelict. It's actually rather nice and slightly archaic and faintly Victorian for some reason or other. I quite liked it but we finally decided, it simply wasn't strange enough - not unearthly enough. It was too normal, so therefore Giger came up at a much later stage and did another one (p28, Fantastic Films (GB) #2/(US) No.12)

Moebius' Alien spaceship concepts for Alien part 2


a) Moebius concept sketches for Ridley Scott, that remained safe in the drawer of Jean-Marc L'Officer who would later discovered them there and published them in Ashcan Comics #4

Moebius concept sketch for ridley scotts Alien
(source: http://theairtightgarage.tumblr.com)

b) Derelict inspired by Chris Foss derelict and  Space 1999 Eagle Transporter?
The upper drawing is perhaps a concept for the derelict, one might compare it to Foss's elongated Derelict ship and take notice of the raised neck on the left 

 Moebius sketch of derelict #1 (File scanned by Jean-Marc L'Officier)


black and white image of Foss' derelict with
raised neck from Skeleton Crew August, 1990

c) Comparison between to Eagle Transporter
One can also make a comparison to the Eagle Transporter from the hit TV series Space 1999 originally aired from 1975-1977 because the central compartment looks very much like the removable passenger capsule/ service pod located in the middle the Eagle Transporter in the hit TV series Space 1999 that was aired from 1975-1977. The toy version of this spacecraft by Dinky features opening stairways in the side of the passenger pod. And at the rear the of the ship in the drawing are bulbous sections with a grid that also vaguely resemble the sort of shape used as a cockpit of the Eagle Transporter.

Eagle transporter from Space 1999

d) Moebius Derelict is combination of at least two Foss derelicts
The lower drawing of a derelict ship takes inspiration from Chris Foss' derelict ships. 
Compare the windows on the front pod of the ship to the pod extending from the front of the above Chris Foss derelict ship that resembles a prawn or lobster with it's head sticking out towards the right and also compare it to the derelict by the Chris Foss shown at the bottom which that has a central body positioned vertically with its tail in the air connected by pylons to large bulbous engines buried in the ground. So it is a combination between at least two.

 Moebius sketch of derelict #2 (File scanned by Jean-Marc L'Officier)

Chris Foss Derelict

source quotes
  1. Jean-Marc L'Officier: -- and I printed two small b&w spaceship designs (which I found in an old drawer) in ASHCAN COMICS #4.((https://groups.yahoo.com/ 11th, February 2000)

Ridley chooses shapes from
Giger's Necronomicon for the derelict

Leading from

Giger had drawn something up that looked almost like a musical instrument
( Work 280: Mordor IV)
a) If we look at the picture Mordor IV to the right, the central face at the top appears to be putting it's mouth to the opening of a croissant shaped thing, so I take this to be the picture and upon this structure are a series of four valves, which could easily be seen as the entrances to the derelict interior but Ridley decided to reduce the number of entrances to three (and then the number three appeared to come through as a repeating theme all over the alien pilot's chair and the body of the alien monster itself)

 Morder IV detail, 4 valves lower centre
b) Giger wanted to do some research for the alien ship and Ridley Scott realised that he had too much to do as it was, so he took it onto himself to find something in Giger's Necronomicon that was going to serve as the basis for the design of a ship that he wanted, and so he studied one of the paintings and found something like a musical instrument such as a saxaphone, he drew around it and as he recalls, said "What about this, it looks like a giant croissant" and then perhaps it looks like a boomerang. This was to be the basis of derelict ship that Giger would further develop. He first came up with a design that resembled a saxophone and Ridley Scott recalls that his response was "No, this one goes a little too far in the unusual." So a second version of the design was accomplished which Ridley accepted.

detail from Giger's Mordor IV
detail from Giger's Wreck Entrance: work 375


source quotes
  1. Ridley Scott:" Au départ, Giger voulait se lancer dans des recherches de designs pour le vaisseau étranger, mais je lui ai dit “Non, tu es déjà beaucoup trop occupé par tout ce que tu as à faire. Si tu ajoutes cela au rest, tu ne finirais jamais ton travail à temps!“ J’ai décidé d’y réfléchir de mon côté. J’ai repris son album Necronomicon , et je me suis attaché à scruter les détails de ses grands dessins pour y trouver une forme basique qui pourrait être celle du vaisseau. J’ai pensé que c’etait une démarche logique, car elle nous permettrait de rester dans son universe graphique. J’ai déniché un détail intéressant que j’ai soumis à Giger et à mon équipe de décorateurs, et au début, ils m’ont présenté quelque chose qui avait le form d’un saxophone! Je leur ai dit “Non, là on va un peu trop loin dans l’insolite“. Ce n’est que dans un second temps qu’ils ont conçu ce superbe objet courbe. Une fois que cet aspect a été finalisé, j’ai donné au vaisseau étranger le surnom de “cuirassé“, parce qu’il a l’aspect d’un bateau de guerre."(Ecran Fantastique Hors-Serie #29, p13)
    Translation
    Ridley Scott: "Initially, Giger wanted to go into research designs for the alien ship , but I told him "No, you're already too busy with all that you do. If you add this to the rest, you never finish your work on time "I decided to reflect on my side. I picked up the album Necronomicon, and I am attached to scrutinize the details of his large drawings to find a basic form which could be that of the vessel. I thought it was a logical step, as it would allow us to stay in his graphic universe. I found a interesting detail that I submitted to Giger and my team of designers, and at first they showed me something that had the form of a saxophone! I said "No, this one goes a little too far in the unusual."It is only in a second time they have designed this beautiful curved object. Once this has been finalized, I gave the foreign vessel the nickname "battleship", because it has the appearance of a warship"
  2. Ridley Scott : "I took the drawing of the space ship off a section of one of Giger's Necronomicon, and he'd drawn something up that almost looked like a musical instrument, so I kind of drew around that, and said "what about this? it looks like a giant croissant", but actually it worked, like a boomerang. paintings, 'cause we couldn't work out what the hell the spaceship was going to look like, and so I was staring at his book, the... " (Alien DVD commentary)

Changes to the derelict

leading from

 
Giger's wreck detail work 396

a) Changes
There was talk about changes that needed to be made to the derelict's design, the information about this is not exactly clear in the quotes below, we find Giger's explanation revealed that there was some confusion about whether the ship could be told apart from the landsdcape and then we also discover another side to it, that his derelict space ship design didn't make sense in three dimensional terms for the modellers so Giger had to do some pictures to explain the structure even further. Giger mentioned that there were several reasons given for the need to change it but not one of the ones given was the most talked about how there was some trouble getting the design accepted but nothing about the problem regarding how to interpret it's dimensions.

Giger's derelict arm before completion behind Giger and alien eggs

b) Were these two events or one event seen from two extremely different points of view about the need to change the design? We might wonder perhaps if the earlier concern about whether they could be interpreted took place at an earlier time as described in the first Giger quote in "Initial Work". It was Brian Johnson who compared Giger's painting to an Escher optical illusion but going by the content of his interviews Escher's work was something he liked to think about. However Giger produced two other paintings to explain the shape of the derelict as seen from the side, works 396 and 397, and perhaps 382.

"Waterfall" by Escher
Quote sources
  1. H. R Giger (Friday, 14th July 1978): Long discussion with with Carroll, Scott and Seymour. I am supposed to modify the Alien spacecraft, i.e. it should have the same entrance area as the one they are currently constructing in in the H stage. My current spacecraft is supposedly too reminiscent of a bone and would thus blend into the landscape. But this alien spacecraft is from another planet and should consequently look different from the bone landscape. The changes come from G. Carroll, who is the mouthpiece of O'Bannon and Shusett. If these people would only decide on something. ( Giger's Alien diaries, p249)  
    Giger's Wreck Entrance , work 375
  2. H. R. Giger (19 July 1978, Shepperton Studios) " They ask me to the office, where Scott, Seymour and Carroll are waiting for me. Carroll says I will design another derelict. The entrance passage and the landscape can stay the same as those that have been built in Sound Stage H, but the rest will have to be changed. As it is now, it is too reminiscent of a bone (work 378*) and might make people think it was an organic part of the landscape. There will also be technical difficulties in building it. I am astounded to hear this from Carroll, of all people, who had been enthusiastic about my derelict when he first saw it. I suspect that Shusett and O'Bannon are behind it. Even good friends can often infuriate one. I try to convince Carroll that the dimensions and the aerodynamic shape are enough in themselves to distinguish the derelict from the landscape, and moreover the technical details ought not to be too obvious in case they spoil the biomechanical character of a space-ship built by non-humans. I simply can't see how I can improve on it; I regard it as one of my best pictures. Carroll proves unyielding and finally practically orders me to conjure up something else out of the ground. They seem to think I can just shake good ideas out of my sleeve - the bitter fate of a creative artist. Scott keeps quiet during the discussion, and in silent opposition demonstrates a quite ordinary, banal crashed aircraft, its tail fins pointing skyward. I understand  and, promising to try something different, go back to my work. This is an occasion when time will work for me. "(Giger's Alien, p24, ) (* Giger makes a reference to work 378 in his book Giger's Alien but this an error because this is the painting of the egg silo exterior, so maybe he is still talking about work 374)
    work 397
  3.  H. R. Giger: "I liked the derelict very much and Ridley did also - but then they wanted it changed for several reasons. But I said I could not. Once I have a good design, I cannot change it to something I think is not so good." (Cinefex 1)
  4. Ridley Scott: "There's a great tendency in this business not to use the first thing you come up with. As a result, people often just work something to death - I've been accused of this time and time again. What we were looking for here was a totally alien-looking spacecraft. I didn't think it would something with a lot of lights on it and stuff like that. I figured it would be like nothing anyone ever imagines; either that, or extraordinarily familiar and slightly archaic looking. And Giger's first drawing was just a knockout. I took one look at it and said '"That's it." Other people couldn't quite see it though, so I had to keep digging my heels and saying, ' You wont get a better derelict - don't screw about with it.' You know, Giger is a special case, and when something's that good, you have to recognise it and leave it alone." (Cinefex 1)
  5.  Brian Johnson: "It's a wonderful design, but as it turned out, we couldn't build it. It was like an Escher optical illusion. As a two-dimensional painting  it look very logical, but there was not actual way you could build it in three dimensions. To get a rough idea of the shape, we took about a nine-inch piece of polystyrene and then carved it with a little device that looks like a tuning fork with a wire stretched between.  When you heat it up, the hot wire just melts its way through the polystyrene and you can carve the right sorts of shapes very quickly, You can't get the sorts of detail you can with clay. But somehow the derelict form just didn't work, so I got together with Giger and we talked about possible modifications. Then he went off and did the drawing. From that we produced another polystyrene shape which he though was pretty good."(Cinefex 1)
  6. Brian Johnson: We took Giger's sketch and sculpted a small replica without any detail, just the basic shape, for a test. It's a common problem. A director will come to you with drawing; "Hey I've got this great sketch!" But it's a two-dimensional drawing, and when you put it into three dimensions it never looks the same. You have to be able to look at the sketch  and say, "That's going to look like a pile of rubbish. Why don't you let me have a go at making something similar, but might have a totally different shape in three dimensions?"We showed the rough sculpted form of the Giger sketch to Ridley, who said that it was somewhere near what he would like. Then we built a huge one about 12 feet across that would be used for background establishing shots. (Starlog. October 1979, p68) 

Giger's derelict exterior

Leading From


  Giger's derelict painting (Work 374: Wreck) that bears qualities of an Escher drawing
Initial Perceptions
When researching the development of Giger's derelict design, I read Giger's discussion about how he imagined it to be like something like a plant on the verge of maturing as he came up with the image. I took note of how Ridley took note of Giger's Mordor IV painting showing some shapes being played like musical instruments, and also how Ridley like to refer to the derelict as a croissant, while Brian Johnson who appeared to be see everything in terms of Escher's work thought that the derelict looked as incomprehensible to make as an Escher drawing.

Stretching Out
I would come to think about Dan O'Bannon wanted a derelict ship to resemble a lobster which was why he was content with Chris Foss' derelict so much and how one of Giger's unused sketches resembled a lobster with its outstretched claws. Then I took a another look at Foss' image and saw how Giger might have simplified it's shape and used it as the left half of his ship and then added something new to the right half. When trying to work out the right half, I came to think about perhaps Giger's use of the French Curve set , loosely croissant like shapes with curved nodules extending from the sides.

Relating to Symbolism
I later stumbled upon an image of a 45rpm record adapter that gave me a bigger insight into the development of the shape which also reflected upon Giger's interest in forms reminiscent of the three legged triskellion symbol. In the need to connect the form with Ancient Egyptian symbolism, I would connect it with the Barge of a Million Years, and then wondering what might have been the inspiration for the hammer tip, it dawned on my that one of the Was-sceptres with representations of the god Set on the top I had researched a few years ago had that hammer like odd shape. In view of that, I'd hazard a guess that the engine on the left may non-specifically incorporate forms from Ancient Egyptian falcon head imagery.

a) Giger has the derelict idea 

b) Giger's derelict concept sketches

c) Comparison to Foss' lobster
e) Changes to the Derelict 

f) Battle between O'Bannon and Scott over the derelict

g) Comparison to a Record Insert Adapter and the Triskellion

h) Influence from the Ancient Egyptian barge of a million years

j) Influence of Was-Sceptre on design of derelict's engine



The Derelict during construction

Leading from:

a) Giger visits Bray in September
On the 20th September, H R Giger is driven to Bray Studios by Seymour where the special effects group are working. In the middle of the main hall is the framework of his tried and trusty derelict with a nucleus of steel tubes. The whole surface is covered in netting.

b)  Giger loves the Derelict
Dick Butten, one of the modellers, had built the shape of the craft up, Martin Bower noted that the person who created the 12 foot wide polystyrene shape over a steel framework was an outside contractor. and the Peter Voysey spent a month covering it with a coat of plasticene and fitting it out with cables and technical accessories. Martin Bower believed that several hundred pounds of plasticene were used, and they cleaned out every florist, toy and craft shop around. This was applied and sculpted all over the model with thousands of EMA pipe bends pressed and then spray painted directly over. The final thing would be fine for filming as long as no one pressed too hard  Giger is delighted with the way they have built it up from his plasticene models. He tells the group of his delight and they seem very pleased. Giger admired the work of Peter Voysey very much and his work exceeded Giger's wildest dreams.

c) Helped by O'Bannon's absence?
Giger. however much he considered Dan O'Bannon a friend, he openly acknowledged his disputes with him and Dan's displeasure with his derelict design and wondered of that the fact there was success with this model was due to Dan's departure in August


Peter Voysey working on Alien derelict ship  (photo by Dennis Lowe)
Source quotes
  1. H. R. Giger: 3 August, 1978, Shepperton Studios. Next day O'Bannon
    flies back to America. Mia films him as a souvenir. (Giger's Alien, p24, ) 
  2. H. R. Giger: 20 September, 1978, "Seymour drives me to Bray Studios, where the special effects group works. In the middle of the hall is my tried and trusty derelict, or at any rate the framework of it, with a nucleus of steel tubes. The whole surface is covered with netting. Dick Butten, one of the modellers, has built it up, and now Voysey has to cover it with a coat of plasticine and fit it out with cables and technical accessories. I'm delighted with the way they have done the job, built up from my plasticine models, I say so to the group, and they seem very pleased. Extraordinary -suddenly they are working from my designs. Has O'Bannon's departure got something to do with it? As always there simply wasn't time to make any other design. (Giger's Alien, p26) 
  3. Martin Bower :"At this time we were joined by Peter Voysey. He had been working on the sets, in particular the huge "space jockey" over at Shepperton. Now he set about detailing the Alien derelict. An outside contractor had built a huge 12 foot wide polystyrene shape over a steel framework based on one of Giger's (pronounced Geeger)drawings. Now he had a job of detailing it! I cannot tell you exactly how many pounds of plasticene he used by I believe it was several hundred. I know we cleaned out every florist, toy and craft shop in the area! This was applied and sculpted over an entire models with thousands of EMA pipe bends pressed into it and then spray painted directly over. It was filmed that way and was fine as long as no one pressed it too hard! " (scifi and fantasy models, Alien The Models: The Definitive Story part Two, p37) 
  4. Nick Allder :"The model was built of polystyrene with a fibreglass 'skin'." (Starlog, October 79, p68)
  5. H.R.Giger (22nd November 1978) : "Voysey has been very busy for over a month with covering the derelict, a job calling for a lot of patience and a lot of skill. He makes such a perfect job of it that it exceeds my wildest dreams."(Giger's Alien, p26, )

Alien derelict ship (photo by Dennis Lowe)

Alien derelict ship (photo by Dennis Lowe)
On the board in the background, a poster or at least someone's rendition of the artwork by 
Robert McCall for 2001 A Space Odyssey can be seen. (see also :
Possible Robert McCall inspiration for refinery platform)
derelict ship engine (source Giger's Alien p24)
Alien derelict ship (source: Giger's Alien, p26)
derelict ship engine (source Giger's Alien p24)
derelict ship engine detail (source Giger's Alien p26)
Alien derelict ship (image found at Propsummit)
Alien derelict ship (Giger's Alien p26)
Alien derelict ship (Giger's Alien Diaries)
Alien derelict ship (photo by Dennis Lowe)

The front of the Nostromo is seen in the background but here we are introduced to the features on 
the side of the main body of the derelict and seen in detail below, two blisters like  windows.  
(photo by Dennis Lowe)
closeup of side detail the derelict (photo by Dennis Lowe)
derelict arm (Giger's Alien p27)
derelict arm (Giger's Alien p27)
Derelict entrance (source: Giger's Alien p24)
Derelict entrance (image found at Propsummit)
Derelict entrance (image found at Propsummit)
Derelict entrance (source: Giger's Alien p24)