Alien Explorations

Prometheus: Fifield found rolled up

leading from
Mutant Fifield with legs wrapped over his shoulders (Cinefex #130, p49)
a) Fifield found transformed
When Fifield in his transformed state returns to the Prometheus, he is found with his legs hideously bent over over his shoulders. My initial thought was that this was a play with the idea of what the organic box Alien scene that Dan O'Bannon mentioned had been filmed and cut out, but Walter Simonson had seen it in a rough cut and so included it in Alien: The Illustrated story. Ridley's original storyboard simply states that he is crouching and had the idea of the character possibly being in a pit and dressed in other body parts. With his lower body in a put, they draped dummy legs over his shoulders.

Ridley's Storyboard



b) Differences from Fifield
The alien as a box is a little bit different from what is happening to Fifield, his whole body appears to be bent backwards below ground level in a way that isn't human, and the upper legs are bent backwards as well. So what Walter Simonson saw in the alien folded up into an organic box seat appears to have the same sort of impact to tell us that there's something not quite humanoid about the body of this vaguely humanoid (See organic box like thing)


"organic box-like thing " from Alien the Illustrated Story

c) Froudian curiosity
The idea seemed to be very much carried over from an idea from Ridley Scott's Tristan And Iseult where a goblin labeled as a "Froudian" after Brian Froud is seen crouching curled up with its knees over its shoulders. (See also Origins of Ridley's compacted alien idea?)


"Froudian" (detail from image from Tristan And Iseult)

Prometheus: Ultramorph

leading from

a)  Introducing the Ultramorph
In his Alien Engineers script, Jon Spaihts included the monster creature The Ultramorph, it erupts from the space jockey/ engineer in the derelict as a chestburster and withing a short time grows to man height before leaving the confines of the crashed derelict ship known as the Juggernaut, and then hunts the character Shaw down amongst the wreckage of the Magellan, (soon to be renamed at the Prometheus). The creature impales her thigh with its tale as if it were a spear, and as this thing is about to kill her she rams a diamond bladed saw into it's face and kills it. It bleeds green acid blood. Despite this thing bleeding such a corrosive substance, she brings the head with her as a hunting trophy to hang over the door at the Vickers module. In this version of the script, he didn't actually describe it with any particular detail.



b) Ultramorph as the spacejockey's chestburster
It appears that Carlos Huante initially worked on some designs for the creature known as the Ultramorph,  the fully grown biomechanical version of the alien that was supposed to have chestbursted itself from an Engineer, and in the earlier script, this Engineer would have been the space jockey from the original Alien movie but one that was a tall humanoid within a suit that gave the Space Jockey it's strange look. Perhaps this creature would have grown to about fifteen feet in height assuming that the humanoid in the pictures below is of regular human height.
 


c) The return to Necronom IV
Designing these Ultramorphs meant going back Giger's painting Necronom IV and designing and Alien creature with a head even more similar to the one shown in Necronom IV than Giger's Alien would finally have. Carlos went as far as to include the bulbous black eyes in one version however in other versions he would include a greater swelling in the front of the dome around the face as if it had a bulbous forehead. Carlos kept on with designing variations of this it for a while before he had thoughts with Ridley about taking the creature concept in a different direction.




d) Ultramorph as being the evil angels
Carlos wrote in his notes about how The Ultramorph - unlike the "Alien" from the first Alien which were covered / or had an exoskeleton, the Ultramorph should still be covered with skin as genetically it is still "New"... and its host are the engineers. It would be an evil variant of the Engineers that would be in a sense Angels.  Also it was decided that the Ultramorphs should still have a regal Quality about them as that quality has been inspired by their host. So, to carry the "No Bones" motif.



e) Ultramorphs being clean and skin covered
However instead of the Ultramorphs being clean and skin covered, after some discussion with Ridley and what needs to happen sequentially with the story of how we end up with this "Alien" in the first film. Carlos thoughts about what if the engineer technology is all that ribbing and boney architecture that's all over the ship  and the "Alien" itself. So... the "Aliens" that come out or are born out of the humans should be clean and the skin covered because they are not saturated with he Genetic material of the source (Engineers) yet. So, they are more human looking, the "Ultramorphs" should be the first we see of the boney Exoskeleton on a creature.


f) Engineer technology would form as water
Almost as if he were talking about casting the alien suit in latex rubber, he imagined that the engineer technology would form as water (Milky Liquid) that pours unnaturally upward and over them (The Engineers) to form boney plating or ribs, and architectural surfaces. As if they they control it at a molecular level. How though the biomechanics becomes infused with the alien ultramorph itself remains unclear.
Quote sources
  1. Carlos Huante (talking about the development of the Deacon by way of the Ultramorph): The genesis of that character came after a  conversation I had with Ridley about a design progression of the  creatures to the Xenomorph of the first film. I went home and thought  about it but kept on with the Gigeresque Ultramorphs. Then as I worked I thought “wouldn’t it be cool if these Aliens who are born  of humans and haven’t been mixed genetically with the Engineers yet would look  more human and less biomechanical“, of course this was for a  different version of the script but that’s where the Deacon (or Bishop, as he was originally named) came from. He later became an Ultramorph and as the script changed slightly after I left the show, it became that thing at the end.   (Carlos was talking about the development of the Deacon by way of the Ultramorph in an interview with ThisBethesdaSea for www.avpgalaxy.net)
  2.  Carlos Huante: The Ultramorph - unlike the "Alien" from the first Alien which were covered / or had a exoskeleton, the Ultramorph should still be covered with skin as genetically it is still "New"... and its host are the engineers. it would be an evil variant of the (ANGELS) Engineers. Ultramorphs should still have a regal Quality about them as that quality has been inspired by their host. So, to carry the "No Bones" motif. (Carlos Huante's Prometheus notes)
  3. Carlos Huante: Okay, so instead of the Ultramorphs being clean and skin covered, after some discussion with Ridley and what needs to happen sequentially with the story of how we end up with this "Alien" in the first film. I'm thinking that what if the engineer technology is all that ribbing and boney architecture that's  all over the ship  and the "Alien" itself. So... the "Aliens" that come out or are born out of the humans should be clean and the skin covered because they are not saturated with the Genetic material of the source (Engineers) yet. So, they are more human looking, the "Ultramorphs" should be the first we see of the boney Exoskeleton on a creature. The engineer tech should form as water (Milky Liquid) that pours unnaturally upward and over them (The Engineers) to form boney plating or ribs, and architectural surfaces. Like they control it at a molecular level.(Carlos Huante's Prometheus notes)
  4. INT. JUGGERNAUT - PILOT CHAMBER On the floor, DAVID’s eyes open. With his jaw he hitches his severed head around. Gets his eyes on the Sleeper. In the pilot chair, the Sleeper convulses. An ALIEN erupts from his chest. Big as a wolf even at its birth. Dark gray, armored, lethal. More hideous than any chestburster we've seen. An ULTRAMORPH. It wails hideously. The Sleeper dies. The Alien slithers free (Alien_ Engineers, Jon Spaihts, p110)
  5. LATER Watts is awakened by a beeping alarm. She looks at her wrist. Her suit flashes an oxygen warning: 20 MINUTES REMAINING. She looks up. The Juggernaut's doors are wide open in front of her. The ULTRAMORPH ALIEN emerges from the Juggernaut. As large as a man already. It sees her. With a sob of terror she pulls herself to her feet and runs.(Alien_ Engineers, Jon Spaihts, p112-113)
  6. EXT. MAGELLAN CRASH SITE - DUSK Watts flees through the storm, across the burning debris field. A wilderness of lightning, fire, and twisted metal. A thunderstorm with dust instead of rain. She looks back through the darkness. In a strobe-light flicker of lightning, she sees a gray demon approaching through the wreckage. She scrambles through a section of ductwork...under a hull fragment...running and clambering... The Alien hunts her, cat-and-mouse, among the fragments of the Magellan: corridors that go nowhere, shattered compartments. Jetsam. Her eyes sweep frantically through the stormy night: searching for a weapon. A hiding place. An answer. She stumbles into the remains of the Magellan's laboratory. A hypersleep freezer lies on the barren ground. Watts climbs inside. Pulls the lid shut. The Alien passes by, inches away. She watches it through the plexiglass, holding her breath. The Alien roots in the wreckage. Finds the rotting Engineer's head among the shards of its vat. It begins to feed on the head - GROWING as she watches. Her suit’s oxygen alarm goes off again. 15 MINUTES REMAINING. The beeping draws the Alien away from its dead meat. Watts is paralyzed. The Alien noses closer. Sniffs at the plexiglass case. With sudden, horrific violence, it lashes out. Sends the freezer flying. Watts tumbles out. Lurches to her feet and runs. The Alien follows. Ravening. She leads it a twisting chase through fragments of burning metal. Watts trips and falls hard. Picking herself up, she sees she’s tripped over a HULL SAW - the same diamond-bladed tool DAVID used to dismantle the terraforming engine. She seizes the saw - straining to manage its weight. Hides in the hollow of a massive girder. The Alien passes by. Scenting the air. She freezes. Her arms trembling with the weight of the saw. Waiting for it to pass. Almost it leaves. But a tiny rattle of metal from the quivering saw brings it back. Out of options, Watts powers up the saw. The blade whines up to speed. They lunge at one another in the same moment. The diamond blade shears off one of the Alien’s claws. The monster screams and recoils. Its lashing tail sends Watts sprawling. She loses the saw. The Alien comes after her, slinking low to the ground, injured arm tucked to its chest. All vengeful fury. Watts scrambles for the saw. The Alien leaps for her. She rolls aside - and like a scorpion the Alien impales her thigh with its spear-tipped tail. Nails her to the ground. Watts screams in agony. Reaches for the saw, still buzzing on the ground. Its grip tantalizing inches from her fingertips. The Alien stoops over her, slavering face inches from her faceplate. Its hideous jaws open. With all her strength, Watts pulls against the spike in her leg. Drags the point of the spear through the dirt. Excruciating pain. She snarls through her teeth. The Alien strikes - just as Watts GRABS the saw. She meets the Alien’s head with the buzzing blade. IMPALES THE ALIEN’S SKULL. A gout of green acid onto Watts’s helmet. The Alien falls aside, thrashing its death-throes, the saw still growling. Watts sees ACID COMING THROUGH HER HELMET - fast. With frantic haste she unlatches her helmet. Wrenches it off as it crumples and melts. She stands bare-headed in the toxic air. Desperate, she looks around with tearing eyes. In the distance she sees an intact module of the Magellan. She runs for it. Slaps the door switch. Incredibly, it opens. (Alien_ Engineers, Jon Spaihts, p113-114)
  7. EXT.VICKERS MODULE-DAY
    Watts arrives at the Vickers module. The ultramorph Alien’s head has been fixed like a grisly trophy above the door. (Alien_ Engineers, Jon Spaihts, p116)

The Deacon

Deacon puppet
a) Originally known as the Ultramorph, this final incarnation of the Prometheus mutations was always intended to be a missing link of sorts between this film and the films of the Alien series. Effectively the unholy offspring of all the infected victims who came before it. Ridley Scott dubbed this creature the Deacon, based on the pointed shape of its head, similar to a Bishop's hat.

b) This thing would represent the beginning of Giger's alien, although it did not directly resemble the creature. They went through a long design process with Ridley, who was really wanted something as good as Giger's design, and they were trying to see what they could come up with.

c) Ivan Manzella has been established as one of the key sculptors along with Julian Murray. Together they created the deacon sculpture over a weekend late in the production schedule and they went to a fill-sized sculpt. Ridley came in several times to give them feedback and direction, and they ended up with a creature about the size of a six-year old child

d) Scanlan's team built two versions of the deacon, a soft puppet that fit inside an embryonic sac, and an articulated  rod puppet, both produced in silicone. Supervising mold modeler Daniel Meaker compressed the soft puppet into a three-foot-diameter latex bal­loon, and then added a mixture of metallic and organic based pigments and silicone birth matter. The balloon fit inside a hollow animatronic dummy of the dead Engi­neer, which Vanessa Bastyan and Catherine Fleming fabricated with an articulated ribcage and internal organs. Puppeteers operated the Engineer dummy from beneath the set, causing the body to convulse and emit the newborn.


e) The Deacon's pointed head burst through the ribcage and split it open. Then with an enormous heave, it rolls out onto the floor like a calf being born. They they brought in the rod puppet,  which had a lot of visible controls, but Ridley loved it. He ignored the technicalities and just went with it.

f) Richard Stammers staged clean plates of the deacon camera setups, but the birth played mainly as a practical effect with digital enhancement. The first shot after the birth is practical,  but with digital rod removal. With the puppert serving as blocking for performance, they matched the CO animation to the puppet. Weta replicated the deacon and augmented tendons in the creature's neck, which tense as the creature stands on fragile legs and then emits a roar, revealing a telltale second inner jaw based on the long protrusible jaw of the deep sea Goblin Shark, the Deacon's secondary jaw ends the film with the nightmarish hint of possible horrors to come.

g)  Ridley actually wanted the secondary mouth animation to reference the action of a goblin shark, which can dislocate it’s jaw and launch it forward to catch its prey. They needed to redesign the whole mouth and lower jaw to give the structure to build in the mechanics of this action. For this they went back to reference Giger’s original work and added in his details, which their sculpting team led by Florian Fernandez designed.

h) The deacon’s skin is slightly pearlescent. They wrote a custom shader for the way the pearlescense reacts with the light. There is also a layer of blood, mucus and liquid all over the skin, which gave them a layered shading model to get the complexity of the material qualities of the skin. The lighting was a continuation of the strobing lighting and was carefully matched to the clean plates by leads Florian Schroeder and Adam King

The Deacon maquette

i) In a version of the script by Jon Spaihts, Alien: Engineers, as the Ultamorph, after Shaw and she impales impales an Alien creature's skull with a diamond bladed saw and kills it.  This creature would be renamed in the scripts as the Deacon and quite possibly would be said to be a creature filling out a different role from that of the earlier intended Ultramorph. It is said in the picture gallery in the Prometheus Blu-Ray set that the Deacon creature was originally intended to have more screen time, pursuing Shaw and David to the second Juggernaut ship, narrowly missing them as they leave the planet at least not showing how easy it was to kill.

j) Deacon Blues
The final Deacon creature for some reason is coloured blue. We might think about the band Deacon Blue with the name inspired by the song title Deacon Blues by Steely Dan, and that song also contained the name Crimson Tide (See: Abstract connections with blue deacon)
  1. Originally known as the Ultramorph, this final incarnation of the PROMETHEUS mutations was always intended to be a missing link of sorts between this film and the other entries in the Alien series. Effectively the unholy offspring of all the infected victims who came before it. Ridley Scott dubbed this creature the Deacon, based on the pointed shape of its head, similar to a Bishop's head-dress. This creature was originally intended to have more screen time, pursuing Shaw and David to the second Juggernaut ship, narrowly missing them as they leave the planet. (Prometheus Blu-Ray gallery notes)
  2. The original Alien's trademark secondary jaw can be found in more undeveloped form with the Deacon. Based on the long protrusible jaw of the deep sea Goblin Shark, the Deacon's secondary jaw ends the film with the nightmarish hint of possible horrors to come. (Prometheus Blu-Ray gallery notes)
  3. Interviewer: What was your approach with the Proto-Alien that emerges from the Engineer?
    Martin Hill: Similar to the baby trilobite, the deacon was a real puppet built for the performance on set, so we started by replicating its build digitally. We quickly discovered that we needed to augment the model considerably for articulation of the muscles and joints to make it feel more like a natural, physical creature. Ridley wanted the secondary mouth animation to reference the action of a goblin shark, which can dislocate it’s jaw and launch it forward to catch its prey. We needed to redesign the whole mouth and lower jaw to give the structure to build in the mechanics of this action. For this we went back to reference Giger’s original work and added in his details, which our sculpting team led by Florian Fernandez designed.
    Interviewer: Can you tell us more about the challenge of its particular skin?
    Martin Hill: The deacon’s skin is slightly pearlescent. We wrote a custom shader for the way the pearlescense reacts with the light. There is also a layer of blood, mucus and liquid all over the skin, which gave us a layered shading model to get the complexity of the material qualities of the skin. The lighting was a continuation of the strobing lighting and was artfully matched to the clean plates by leads Florian Schroeder and Adam King. (http://www.artofvfx.com)
  4. Neither combatant survives. When the battle con­cludes, both lie inert until the Engineer’s body erupts as another lifeform hatches, created from a cocktail of human, Engineer and trilobite DNA. “We called it the ‘deacon’ because the head was shaped somewhat like the hat of a deacon,” said Neal Scanlan. “It represented the beginning of Giger’s alien, although It did not directly resemble that creature. We went through a long design process with Ridley, who was really throwing the Giger card out there, trying to see what we could come up with.” Ivan Manzella and Julian Murray created the deacon sculpture over a weekend late in the production schedule. “We went straight to a full-sized sculpt. Ridley came in several times to give us feedback and direction, and we ended up with a creature about the size of a six-year-old child.” Scanlan’s team built two versions of the deacon, a soft puppet that fit inside an embryonic sac, and an articulated rod puppet, both produced in silicone. Supervising mold modeler Daniel Meaker compressed the soft puppet into a three-foot-diameter latex bal­loon, and then added a mixture of metallic and organic based pigments and silicone birth matter. The balloon fit inside a hollow animatronic dummy of the dead Engi­neer, which Vanessa Bastyan and Catherine Fleming fabricated with an articulated ribcage and internal organs. Puppeteers operated the Engineer dummy from beneath the set, causing the body to convulse and emit the newborn. “The deacon’s pointed head burst through the ribcage and split it open.” related Scanlan. “Then, with an enormous heave, it rolled out onto the floor like a calf being born. We then brought in the rod pup­pet, which had a lot of visible controls, but Ridley loved it. He ignored the technicalities and just went with it.” Stammers staged clean plates of deacon camera setups, but the birth played mainly as a practical effect with digital enhancement. “The first shot after the birth is practical, with rod removal,” noted Richard Stammers. “We then went to full CO; but the puppet served as blocking for performance, and we matched the CO ani­mation to the puppet.” Weta replicated the deacon and augmented tendons in the creature’s neck, which tense as the creature stands on fragile legs and then emits a roar, revealing a telltale second innerjaw. (Cinefex 130)

"Doctor Who and The Tomb of the Cybermen"
echoes in "Prometheus"?

leading from 



a) Comparisons to Doctor Who and The Tomb of the Cybermen

Comparisons can be made by between Prometheus and an old Doctor Who series "Tomb of the Cybermen" starring Patrick Troughton as the Doctor shown on TV in 1967. What it comes down to is the story of scifi twist on a Mummy horror film featuring an archeological expedition soon hijacked by the accompanying power hungry people who funded it an it's who want to bargain with the sleeping cyborg giants that have been asleep for hundreds of years in a tomb like complex but the cyborg giants don't give in to their plans.



b) Discovery of the ancient tomb

In Tomb of the Cybermen,  humans from Earth would be out to look for the remains of the Cybermen's civilisation on the desert like planet of Telos. Rather than a siege story, the writers came with a story about a trap for only the cleverest human to spring for the benefit of the cybermen who were going to convert him into a cyberman making use of his intelligence.  The story was also inspired by the interest in Egyptology, mainly interest in the tomb of Tutenkhamun. The writers turned to the old Universal Horror movie The Mummy starring Boris Karloff back in 1932 which was remade in 1959 with Christopher Lee as the mummified pharaoh who is resurrected from the dead by a group of archaeologist , and seeks to resurrect his lover an Egyptian princess

c) Deep Frozen Cybermen

The cybermen had put themselves into a frozen state to survive and the human race would be drawn in by their inquisitiveness. What actually forced them to do this wasn't really made clear. Because the Doctor had destroyed their planet and then their machinery and supply of replacements had depleted, they were becoming extinct. Something that seemed to be important at the time of the making of this Doctor Who story was the fact that there was a big rumour in the newspapers in 1966 about Walt Disney's body been frozen, put into a state of cryogenic suspension, waiting for a cure for cancer and Walt Disney would have a second coming.

Christopher Lee and Peter Cushion
in Hammer's The Mummy (1959)


d) Von Danikenization
So with that there seemed to be a lot of interest in Erich Von Daniken investigating where spacemen could have landed and his book Chariots of the Gods would come out in 1968, the years after Tomb of the Cybermen was released. Gerald Davis back then was aware of Daniken's concept that there was the idea was that Spacemen in Pre-History had perhaps left clues which the human race would find out when they had advanced to a sufficient stage and this was the general idea behind Tomb of the Cybermen. The humans in the story only got inside because of their knowledge and primitive people would not have been able to get in, so the Cybermen would have use it as a trap to get these intelligent people and use them. It seemed almost as if the Prometheus scriptwriters had read the scriptbook for the Tomb of the Cybermen and noticed the Davis' words about about how the Cybermen left clues for the human race to find , pertaining to Von Daniken's idea.






In Prometheus,  the characters Elizabeth Watts and her partner Charlie Holloway archeologists discover reoccurring signs of a pattern in a cave painting and ancient tablets and other forms of ancient art.  It's assumed that these images being left behind as an invitation and once the human race had advanced enough, they might considered to be the strange circles in the pictures to be star systems and find one that looks similar leads to them to a planet across the galaxy.  And so they encounter a place that is a building left behind by another civilisation on a seemingly barren and deserted planet, and perhaps with the discovery of dead bodies, it might be nothing more than a tomb. As it happens though, when the humans awaken the sleeping giant, he doesn't seem to be interested in them at all other than having an urge to swat them like flies

e) See: Wreckless behaviour as catalyst for further events 

http://alienexplorations.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/prometheus-wreckless-behaviour-as.html


f) See: Hammerpede's Origins in Dr Who And The Tomb of the Cyberman's Cybermats

http://alienexplorations.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/prometheushammerpedes-origins-in-dr-who.html



g) Making a deal with the biomechanical giants
In Tomb of the Cybermen, Kaftan a member of the Brotherhood of Logicians, along with her colleague Klieg, and they have financed Doctor Parry's expedition to Telos, they turn out to be interesting in nothing but the actual Cybermen rather than the interior of the tomb like building. It comes to a point where Kaftan and Klieg hijack the mission with the use of force. Klieg working out the controls revives the Cybermen who have been in hibernation for 500 years. The leader is a fairly gigantic humanoid perhaps looking about seven foot, and the Klieg wants try to bargain with the Cyber Controller to gain power but in doing so meet their own doom. The Cybermen are an intelligent possibly humanoid race, who have replaced most of their body parts with plastics and mechanical parts. Their leader the Controller who is the most threatening of all, appears like a seven foot giant.
The Cybercontroller with enlarged veined dome.
The Cybercontroller grabs Klieg by the arm and almost crushes it, reducing him to his knees before throwing him backwards on the ground. The cybermen have set this whole thing as a trap to bring people of superior intellect in so that they could be turned into cybermen.

One of the Earth spaceship pilots who asks what they're going to gain from all of this. Kaftan replies "We are going to build a better world "

The Cyber Controller's plans are only to transform the human race into more cybermen


In Prometheus,  Once David has discovered a living giant asleep in his Egyptian sarcophagus like hibernation crypt, Peter Weyland the man who has built Weyland Corporation whose company slogan is "Building better worlds" is the person who has financed the expedition and has been revived from hibernation. This tall humanoid wears a suit that appears to be organic and technological but one can not work out wear it ends and the giants own flesh begins. Peter Weyland immediately takes over the expedition and to wake up the giant out of his hibernation and ask him how to extend his own life, but since the giant human is angered and everyone he can lay his hands on.

And then as it seems that the Engineer only has plans to take off in his spacecraft to travel to Earth and unleash on it a cargo of black stuff that perhaps will transform the human civilisation perhaps in the way that Fifield and Holloway had both begun to transform.



Source Quote
  1. This time the writers did not want to imagine a future rocket base or moon station, but get to explore Telos, the world of the Cybermen. For once , this was not going to be a siege story since the object was for the humans to get inside the base. Whether they would emerge from it depended upon the whims of the writers, They took their starting point  a classic horror movie called The Mummy, a film made in 1932, and remade more recently in 1959, where a group of archaeologists wake up an ancient evil. In the case of the Cybermen, it was going to be a trap for only the cleverest human to spring. It was a chance for the writers to imagine elaborate set up, and for Gerry to explore his favourite fear of claustrophobic tunnels based on a childhood experience in a coal mine, Above all , it gave them a chance to write another spooky horror serial, with a healthy dose of melodrama added to the mix. (The Tomb of the Cybermen, Marcus Hearn, The Essential Doctor Who: Cybermen)
  2. Egyptology is a very attractive image for children, so the deserts of Egypt would be the basis for the sandy wastes of Telos. There would be a sarcophagus of sorts in the Cybermen's recharging room, and bas relief illustrations of Cybermen were plastered all over their base. Since mummies are embalmed dead with some of their internal organs removed and kept in jars. It does not stretch the imagination too far to imagine how this relates to the Cybermen. They were to be found frozen in suspended animation within ice tombs deep below the surface of their city. Inevitably they would be awoken , and emerge from their tombs in a set piece scene. "There was something very evocative of the image of the Cybermen being all frozen up and breaking through the honeycomb-like membranes, "Gerry Davis explain in 1988. (The Tomb of the Cybermen, Marcus Hearn, The Essential Doctor Who: Cybermen)
  3. The Planet Telos , Five hundred years after the Cybermen were believed to have died out, a group of archaeologists from Earth visit the creatures' adopted planet and search for the entrances to their city. They uncover, instead , what appears to be their tomb. (The Tomb of the Cybermen, Marcus Hearn, The Essential Doctor Who: Cybermen)
  4. The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria join them in their exploration of the antechambers and Victoria finds an inactive device which the Doctor describes at a Cybermat. Upon discovering that their rocket has been sabotaged, the crew members are forced to spend the night in the central chamber. Possibly motivated by curiosity, the Doctor surreptitiously helps Eric Klieg to solve the logic puzzle at the main controls, and the gateway to the underground tomb swings open. (The Tomb of the Cybermen, Marcus Hearn, The Essential Doctor Who: Cybermen)
  5. The Doctor and his friends descend a ladder into the freezing tomb, and Klieg's fellow logician Kaftan closes the hatch behind them. Once underground, Klieg activates the levers that awaken the cybermen. They slowly emerge from their honey comb-like cells closely followed by the imposing form of their controller. (The Tomb of the Cybermen, Marcus Hearn, The Essential Doctor Who: Cybermen)
  6. The cybermen controller orders the release of the rat-like Cybermats to attack the humans on the other side of the hatch, but Klieg and Kaftan are undeterred. Klieg takes an x-ray laser from the weapons testing room, and opens the hatch. He keeps the Controller at bay with the gun, and offers him an alliance. The weakened Controller agrees, and Klieg allows him to stagger into a revitaliser for some much needed energy.(The Tomb of the Cybermen, Marcus Hearn, The Essential Doctor Who: Cybermen)
  7. Toberman follows the controller out of the tomb, but it soon becomes clear that he's been partially converted into a Cyberman. Toberman turns on the controller and Cybermen begin to swarm towards the reopened hatch. Jamie repels them with the X-ray laser, but the death toll leads the Doctor to a grim conclusion. Preparing to seal the Cybermen in their tomb forever, he once more descends underground. (The Tomb of the Cybermen, Marcus Hearn, The Essential Doctor Who: Cybermen)
  8. This time the writers did not want to imagine a future rocket base or moon station, but get to explore Telos, the world of the Cybermen. For once , this was not going to be a siege story since the object was for the humans to get inside the base. Whether they would emerge from it depended upon the whims of the writers, They took their starting point  a classic horror movie called The Mummy, a film made in 1932, and remade more recently in 1959, where a group of archaeologists wake up an ancient evil. In the case of the Cybermen, it was going to be a trap for only the cleverest human to spring. It was a chance for the writers to imagine elaborate set up, and for Gerry to explore his favourite fear of claustrophobic tunnels based on a childhood experience in a coal mine, Above all , it gave them a chance to write another spooky horror serial, with a healthy dose of melodrama added to the mix. (The Quest for Pedler: The Life & Ideas of Dr Kit Pedler)
  9. Egyptology is a very attractive image for children, so the deserts of Egypt would be the basis for the sandy wastes of Telos. There would be a sarcophagus of sorts in the Cybermen's recharging room, and bas relief illustrations of Cybermen were plastered all over their base. Since mummies are embalmed dead with some of their internal organs removed and kept in jars. It does not stretch the imagination too far to imagine how this relates to the Cybermen. They were to be found frozen in suspended animation within ice tombs deep below the surface of their city. Inevitably they would be awoken , and emerge from their tombs in a set piece scene. "There was something very evocative of the image of the Cybermen being all frozen up and breaking through the honeycomb-like membranes, "Gerry Davis explain in 1988. (The Quest for Pedler: The Life & Ideas of Dr Kit Pedler)
  10. Naturally, Kit build his own versions, Mark Pedlar remembers 'Dad used to build electric cats, mice, little Heath Robinson devices, very sophisticated for those days that would react to light. They were on wheels and their heads would move. He used to bring them home."
    (The Quest for Pedler: The Life & Ideas of Dr Kit Pedler)
  11. Gerry Davis : Tomb of the Cybermen was all very Freudian, with the symbolism of going down into the catacombs. It was an old-fashioned horror story with the breaking of the foetal membranes an added touch. That also gave us more scope with the Cybermats, who were based on silverfish. Although we devised them thinking mainly of the merchandise, they were also pretty horrific, with red eyes and the ability to leap up at you. (https://drwhointerviews.wordpress.com/category/gerry-davis/
  12. The original concept for the story was that, for an unspecified reason (following a presumably calamitous defeat), the Cybermen had retreated to their Tomb, their main idea for this story was that there had been lay a trap, designated to operated only after beings of a certain level of intelligence located the entrance to the tombs. (Doctor Who Scripts: The Tomb Of The Cybermen)
  13. Gerry Davis: At the time, there was a lot of interest in Erich Von Daniken investigating where spacemen could have landed. The idea was that Spacemen in pre-history had perhaps left clues which we would find out when we had advanced to a sufficient stage. This was basically the idea behind the Tombs. They only got inside because of their knowledge - primitive people could not get in. The Cybermen could then use the intelligent people. That was the theme, the trap... (Doctor Who Scripts: The Tomb Of The Cybermen)

Perfect Organism podcast no.75, Section dealing with "ADI's interaction with Giger during Alien 3" transcript

Jaime Praeter: Giger's involvement with Alien 3, I know there's a lot of history about that. We have various questions because we know that Giger wasn't included on the credits of course which is
Alec Gillis:
He was included in the credits very specifically

Jaime Praeter: And in the first

Alec Gillis: The film

Jaime Praeter:The first time

Alec Gillis: In the film, yeah

Jaime Praeter: Because I mean, we were there

Alec Gillis:
We were very specific, by the way, I'd love to talk about this because Cinef, er what was it, Cinefa, what was the name of that er magazine, Fred, Frederick Clark's magazine

Tom Woodruff: Cinefantastique

Alec Gillis: Cinefantastique did a real hatchet job on us and our relationship with Giger which was fine up to a certain point, and it's unfortunate because that's the historical piece that people pull up, go back and read

Jaime Praeter: And they say "Screw these guys!"

Alec Gillis: Yeah, there was, there was even a video of a girl online "Tom Woodruff," no, what's'e saying "Tom Gillis and Alex Woodruff Jr should be put in jail because they claim to have to have designed the Alien, " we never did. In fact, the the credit that we insisted upon out of respect for Giger, and we don't control Giger's credits, that was up to him to negotiate, but we said "For us, make sure you say Alien effects created by..." because there's a difference between an Alien effect" and "Original Alien design by..." that's the credit that Giger got, as I recall

Tom Woodruff: And I, and I would go further because I was going back and forth, we were fighting to get our credit, an up front credit on this film and and basically the uh, the time our lawyer said "well they're not going to give it to you" so this went on my own and I had to dig up, I had to show them "Look, Stan Winston had a credit, and and this is the level of movie, and at that point, that's when I told them that that Gi... not only should ours say "Alien Effects" because we're not claiming to have invented the Alien, but in addition to make it clear, make sure Giger has a credit up front that says "Original Alien Design" because again like Alec said, we don't know what Giger's involvement was in doing his own deal. Everything we knew, going back to Aliens was that production was hands off at that point with anything to do with Giger, um, I. He wasn't involved in any of the design and he wasn't, he was doing work at the very beginning of Alien 3

Alec Gillis: But sorry

Tom Woodruff: But he wasn't, he wasn't brought in in a capacity to design stuff that we were, that we were building. In fact, it ultimately, er er, Fincher had us just doing our own designs, and it, it was just, it was not clear, it was not made clear, no clarity with Giger that while he was doing his design which we would have loved to have seen first hand but Fox said, "No, you guys, you can't go over, you can't have any contact with Giger." Well, we had a couple of phonecalls but erm, that they didn't know about, but it was, you know his, his feeling was that he was being kept out of the picture and from my limited perspective, I don't disagree with that. There was not a lot of information going back and forth
Alec Gillis: And and and and, for the record, we think Giger is, you know, if you're going to put a, you know, if you're going to choose three people who are geniuses, absolute game changing geniuses of creature effects, Giger has definitely got a spot there, because the guy came at design from a completely different angle that anybody else did on the first film and I was a fan of his stuff back on you know, Brain Salad Surgery and all those and all those old albums cover works, I, I didn't know him by name but I knew his work and when Alien came out, I was like "That's that guy. That.. Who is this guy?" right. So, I get chills now when i think that we were told "You're going to be doing Alien 3" and we're talking to Giger, because we tried to convince Stan and Jim Cameron to bring Giger in on Aliens and and Jim was like "No, no, this is my deal. This is, I want, I want my own movie, I love Giger but this is going to be my thing," and Jim designed the queen, right and you can't argue with that because that's an absolutely gorgeous creature as well. So for us, we were like, "Oh, good, we're going to get to work with Giger, that's going to be a trippy experience, because he's a genius" and then we discover he wont leave, er, erm, Switzerland, he's going to stay in his house, and we're like "Okay, that's, okay then that's that kind of takes sculpture out of the arena, he's not going to be sculpting. It's not going to be practical to move sculptures back and forth" so we guess he's going to be doing airbrushings and we're going to see some of that stuff, and what we were getting was Fincher showing, Fincher pinning up faxes. Giger was drawing in ball point pen and I think some of those have been out, I've seen, but Fincher, it was back in the day when you had those roles of faxes like hot whatever it was, but he would pin those up and he would, and Fincher would candidly say with us, "here's what I like about this and here's what I don't like. Don't do that, don't do that, don't do that" and I think the thing that really, the thing that really survived the most in terms of the design, things that we made, was purely, more purely Giger, was the bambi burster in the first iteration of the directors cut, the first version

Tom Woodruff: Big long gangly legs

Alex Gillis: Gangly legs, big bulbous head, and it's pretty much what Giger drew and that's what we did. Where the the the the bifurcation started was that um, Fincher would show us what Giger was doing of the Alien warrior and say I'm not crazy about this, his his, I, he's going off, he's doing what he did with Ridley Scott, Giger is doing what he did with Ridley Scott which was to provide tons of ideas, all this, you know, brilliant insanity, and Ridley would kind of corral him right,  so , I think, I think, that is what Giger expected, from what I've read about Giger, that's what he thought this relationship with David Fincher was going to be, but he never had to leave his house, you know, and when it didn't turn out that way for various reasons, some of which Tom alluded to, which was the studio going "yeah yeah" and all that, erm, you know and and we like this, we don't like that, it, then at some Giger decided we were the culprits because he had a great relationship with Fincher, but Giger was not, he was not a, kind of a like a, he was a fine artist, he was a genius fine artist, and you either took what he did and used it, as Ridley Scott did, but he's not really the kind of guy where you go "You know what. do this, do that and change it" we are, because we're crafts people, and and in that case, we don't consider ourselves Fine Artists. We are the guys who go "What do you want? How can we help" You know, we're team players, you know, we're blah blah blah, so that's what we were doing, we were following that and all, and I think Giger, at least from what I read in in from some of these magazines had started thinking that um "Messrs, Misters Woodruff and Gillis must have put a worm in um, in Fincher's ear" and we were like 'What? We only talked to him three times on the phone, two or three times, and it was great, and now we're going like "What? What exactly happened?" And then we were, we were just as surprised as anybody in the, I think it was a Cinefantastique Article where it showed him signing er er sending something to Fox with a pentagram, well like this is er why the studio is afraid of you, right,

Tom Woodruff: [Giggle]


Alex Gillis: Because they don't understand, they're not like us, we would look at that and go "Wooh! Fucking Giger sent me a letter with a pentagram on it. This is awesome! And we would try to, you know, we would use that in a positive way." Send that to a lawyer. What happens? You know, so, I, I, I've,, we've always felt bad for Giger, I'\ve always felt that there was a bunch of miscommunications. His relationship with us, you know, never really existed, so it didn't really matter if he didn't like us ultimately, or thought we had done him wrong or anything because we weren't really players on the scene, I felt bad for him that he that he cut, that he felt that he was cut out of the loop by the studio and , and then, and then we can talk about the inclusion, Oscar inclusion is what was a big deal with him I think, er, because the rules did not erm, you know, favour him, the Oscar rules don't don't, did not favour him, I think he was upset about that.

Jaime Praeter: Anyway and there was that sculpture that he did that's on the wall in his.. which is of this beautiful beautiful
Alex Gillis: Mmhmm

Jaime Praeter: Beautiful

Alex Gillis: The Sphinx
Jaime Praeter:  Yeah, um, and the question was posed, erm, was there a time wen like you know we're not going to do this design, we're going to take some of those ideas, because you guys did do the lips, you know, they're similar the way the legs look on the puppet was similar, but what there a time when like, you can't really do this specifically, so we're going to have to do a version  of it, or was that always the a... the case

Tom Woodruff: It was always, it was always the case,

Jaime Praeter:
okay

Tom Woodruff: it was always the case of of Fincher, who, in a, in our work ethic, everything goes through the director, so Fincher you know, in in in pointing out what he liked and what he didn't like, the first time I ever heard of, of the alien having lips was when Fincher said "Give it lips, give it, give it these beautiful gorgeous" er, erm " lips"

Alec Gillis:
Michele Pfeiffer

Tom Woodruff: Michele Pfeiffer's lips, and and we thought, first of all I remember thinking, Fincher's funny, is, wait does he really mean Michele Pfeiffer, but you get the point, right, and the erm, the er, the er, the er, the way the leg was, was built and was articulated from our end, it was, you know,  Fincher, saying I want this thing to move fast like, think of it like a leopard, you know, running round, so. That means it's going to have a different leg configuration and there's only so many leg configurations so, the idea that that we looked at Giger's art and and took things is not accurate, it's like like, we and Fincher looked at Giger's art and Fincher said "You know" we want this, but I don't want this, i don't want this, I don't want this. but I don't know that, I don't know what Fincher didn't have separate conversations with Giger anyway, you know, being the director and and and wanting to have his own David Fincher film, erm, I would think that the he would have been very specific. I know that we also were invited by Giger to come see his sculpture, he sculpted in his basement, it was too big to move out of his house and that's again was when Fox, you know, just from the point of view of being a fan, right, to be, to have to have HR Giger invite you to his home in Zurich and see his art first hand and then to have to turn him down because of political reasons you know is really messed up. Erm, there's no way to get around it.

Jaime Praeter: Yuh, I remember, I don't know if it was a documentary that Charles De Lauzerika did, but I remember you, I remember you talking with him in that thing, he invited you over, but in that point in production, you guys just didn't have the time to go over

Alec Gillis: We didn't have the time and as Tom was saying, I remember there was a production manager going "You know what, erm, erm, things are a little strained with Giger right now, it would be better if you guys did not engage in, you know ", and we were like, "we don't know what that's about" but erm you know, it's, we were working for them so

Jaime Praeter: Yes,

Alec Gillis:
That's what we do.


Perfect Organism Podcast No75 cane be found at : https://perfectorganism.podbean.com/

Prometheus: aliens in suits that look like aliens

 Leads from: 

"Engineer" sized space jockey suit
a) Space Jockey is a suit
Once we have seen the film, we understand that Ridley Scott has been telling us that the Space Jockey we had seen in the original Alien film was a suit. There might still be a way to turn the idea around because of the dissimilarities between the space jockey in Alien and the space Jockey suits in Prometheus.  

However Ridley asked the question and out of that came the answer that it must have been a suit and for Ridley this happened from his perspective around 1995, or near enough twenty six years after Alien going by Ridley's memory.

b) Hollywood reflections
What ideas were these floating around in Hollywood at the time?  

My own explorations about the matter brought me to think about the alien space suits seen in the movie Fire In The Sky back in 1993, but this movie was preceded by the film Communion which featured the idea of aliens that were suits containing a different sort of an alien within. 

A few years before that, there was the TV series V which featured reptilian extra-terrestrials disguised in an outer body that looked like a normal human. 

A few years after Communion, Fire In The Sky came out featuring a concept that was similar and this was later followed by Independence Day which developed the idea even further of an alien in a space suit that might have been mistaken for an alien life form itself.  (Refer to: Prometheus: The "Space Jockey as a suit" question links)


engineer sets the controls from his seat
c) Possible French connections
Another thought is about illustrations by Patrice Garcia's and others for Luc Besson's The Fifth Element starting from 1992 for the Luc Besson film The Fifth Element released in 1997, as they worked on illustrations of the Mondoshawan/Sheridan characters that were often alien creatures or bald humanoids inside exoskeletons, some of which echoed the idea of the space jockey

d) Older thoughts
Meanwhile Sylvain Despretz recalled that Ridley Scott talked about  "a spaceman/pilot inside the shell" long before Besson's project came into being, perhaps one might want to explore this further.

But if from Ridley's perspective the idea came to him in the middle of the 1990s, perhaps one might ask if the idea he was having was being reshaped by these films

engineer as his helmet is being put on

e) Thinking about the nature of the Prometheus
I might be asking if perhaps the idea of the spacejockey in its seat being a sort of a shell could have gone back to the Alien production since Ridley drew the entity looking like a chrysalis sitting on seat and if that was like a chrysalis, what was inside?

Whatever the original space jockey was, as an item being built. it was always a hollow sculpture and if anyone was inside it, it would be like a shell.

As news about the ideas in Prometheus came to the surface, Ridley revealed that the Space Jockey in Alien was a suit and so we would find the engineers in Prometheus were those types of suits.

In the latter film, there are the Engineers wearing what are known as flight suits, there are those seen as if they are statues along a corridor of the Juggernaut and there are the engineers whose holograms are seen running along the corridors.

The dead remains of one Engineer is found by an entrance to a chamber, with the suit across the floor, and the empty decade suits of dozens more Engineers are found later in another corridor.

They wear what are known as pressure suits which the Engineer who emerges from his hibernation crypt is seen to wear and when he gets to his chair, we see a suit coming out of the chair to wrap itself around him and enclose him.

Perhaps it means that the flight suits are not necessarily used for the purpose that we think they are, and the only one used for flying in the juggernaut is part of the chair itself, or the chair takes the suit to pieces and fits it back together again for the next wearer.

f) Memories of gods like Mars
Also, while we've heard from Ridley about how the space jockey was perhaps one of the gods of war in the way we might think about the Roman god Mars.

What were the much earlier ideas for the Engineers that he had and when did he first have the ideas?

There were only a few fragments of ideas given by Ridley that changed over the decades.

See:  Alien: The end of the line and back to the distant past

Quote sources

  1. (37:35) Simon Mayo: Now as we have people spalling back in their minds to this character that you're talking about, this is the, there's a mysterious being this giant creature, I know it became known as the space jockey, but erm, could you, could you just describe him so that people can picture him.
    (37.53) Ridley Scott: "He was perceived, the giant was perceived as skeletal and erm, I kept staring at the skeleton which was kind of a wonderful drawing by H R Giger, and erm, then I thought, twenty, thirty, twenty, actually twenty six years on (1995?), I thought what if this is not a skeleton, but, because we only see it as a skeleton, because of our own, the way we see things in our own indoctrination, and er now I thought, what happens if its another form of protection or a suit? If its a suit then what's inside the suit" ( Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo's Film reviews, BBCRadio 5 live, 01 June 2012.)
    engineer with head encased in helmet
                                      
  2. Often Scott will have a trigger image in mind when he begins prepping a film. With Prometheus  it was the Space Jockey. "The big guy sitting in the seat, " he recalls.
    'Somebody said it's a skeleton and I said it doesn't have to be, it could be a degraded suit. It's only you saying that because you think you're looking at bone structure and a rib cage. Why isn't that a suit? It's been lying there disintegrating for two or three thousands of years in deep cold, that could be a suit. The suit works great as a kind of organic, very sophisticated spacesuit." (Prometheus: the art of the film, p20))       
  3. Sylvain Despretz: On the one hand, I think Patrice is a truly creative person, and a fountain of ideas. It cannot be overstated but when we did a body-count of all the designs in The Fifth Element with the Production Designer, it turned out that over 60% of the creations selected for the film were designs by Patrice, and NOT by any of the high profile contributors. Similarly, he created a lot of material in the upcoming Valerian. Patrice was highly influenced by Giger, no doubt, but the idea of a spaceman/pilot inside the shell, to my knowledge, was an old one, from Ridley's perspective. I very much doubt that there is any connection here. I recall Ridley telling me about his idea for the engineers way back, before the Fifth Element was even a thing. I haven't seen the new Alien, but based on Prometheus, his original thoughts were far more intriguing than what he's done in the end. (22 May at 12:07  comment from AlienExplorations at Facebook from this thread https://www.facebook.com/214223655261622/photos/a.1398752670142042.1073741835.214223655261622/1705426852807954/?type=3&theater)                                        

Alien Covenant: The Mouth Burster sack

leading from 

a) Odd Studios: "Alien: Covenant. The Mouth Burster sack. Emily James painting up the hollow hot melt vinyl sacks. Sculpted by Damian Martin based on Giger's artwork." ( January 14th 2018 https://www.facebook.com/oddstudiopl/photos/a.221830154631033.1073741826.112871958860187/942038242610217/?type=3&theater)




b) The artwork by Giger for the vomit creature from Poltergeist 2 was used in the design for the Mouth Burster sack for Alien Covenant. In the Poltergeist 2 movie, it would transform quickly into a limbless humanoid that crawls beneath a bed and transforms into the great beast

 
The Vomit  p6 for Poltergeist II