Prometheus by way of Tintin,
Thunderbirds and Quatermass And The Pit.

Quatermass And The Pit (BBC TV 1958)

a) "Prometheus" and "Quatermass And The Pit"

One thing about Prometheus was that Quatermass and the Pit film was influenced by the film Quatermass And The Pit based on a script by Nigel Kneale.

The film has a character named Barbara Judd, played by Barbara Shelley,  who was the assistant to the paleontologist Dr. Mathew Roney who discover the buried spacecraft in the story.

In the story of Quatermass And The Pit, they discover an ancient space capsule buried for the last 5,000,000 years.

They discover the remains of the Martian occupants in the cockpit that appeared to have re-engineered human kind millions of years ago.

When the capsule is fed enough energy, it comes to life in some way and has caused hauntings in surrounding places, or visions of ghosts of the ancient occupants of the capsule are seen.

Then it appears that ancient ancestral memories of the martians are being experienced by those who are descendants of the human ancestors brought back to Earth from Mars after being genetically altered.

Mind film from "Quatermass and The Pit" showing genetic memories of the cleansing of the hive


Mind film from "Quatermass and The Pit" showing genetic memories of the cleansing of the hive

Ridley Scott found the clips of the memories of the aliens from the movie version of "Quatermass And The Pit" very fascinating, and it contributed to the idea of the holographic recordings of the Engineers running through the tunnel in Prometheus.

Perhaps Ridley also knew about The Stone Tapes written by Nigel Kneale as well that explored the idea of the stone in a room containing an electromagnetic recording of a traumatic event that happened in a room that was being seen as a ghost, since this fit in well with what was going on with the holographic recordings in Prometheus


Holographic recording of the Engineers running

However the lead character Elizabeth Shaw reminded me slightly of the Barbara Judd character from the TV series version of Quatermass And The Pit, played by Christine Finn, both of whom are strong minded petite very pretty women with high cheekbones.

Perhaps Shaw is much more empowered as a female character written in the 21st Century, where she is working with her partner Doctor Holloway rather than just serving as an assistant.

However this Doctor Holloway character is seen to be an idiot in comparison to Dr Roney but both die heroically, Holloway giving himself to being burnt to death by a flame thrower having been infected with the black stuff by David, and Roney reduced to ashes when he shorts circuits the power generating the apparition of a devil.

Christine Finn as Barbara Judd and
Cec Linder as Dr Matthew Roney from
Quatermass And The Pit (BBC TV 1958)


Noomi Rapace as Dr Elizabeth Shaw and Logan Marshall-Green as Dr Holloway



In the film, Roney was played by Scottish actor James Donald, and in the TV series  was played by Canadian actor Cec Linder.

Christine Finn also did the voice for Tintin Kyrano from Thunderbirds which was a TV series which special flying vehicles that would inspire the spaceship designers of Alien, Aliens and Prometheus.

The information about the roles she played would have been made very much available on IMDB and also I had created a Wikipedia page for Christine Finn back in the earlier part of 2007 which has since been taken over by the various Wikipedia editors, and had been running a webshrine dedicated to the actress which began as a website Apple closed down their websites for subscribers, has since been replaced by a blog.

The name "Tintin" in this case was a name derived from a Malaysian term for "Sweet".


Christine Finn as  Barbara Judd from Quatermass And The Pit (BBC TV 1958)

 
Noomi Rapace as Elizabeth Shaw in Prometheus

 
Tintin Kyrano from Thunderbirds (voiced by Christine Finn)


b) "Prometheus" and the Tintin stories

Tintin is a curious name to think about because it also is a young man's name in the Tintin comic book stories, where the lead character finds himself involved in adventures around different parts of the planet Earth, and even on the moon.

By process of association, one might wonder if the character Elizabeth Shaw is also sort of a female Tintin.

Tintin himself is often described as essentially a bland, goody-two shoes character, and as it happens, Elizabeth Shaw's character gets described in the same way.

Captain Haddock and Tintin
Elizabeth Shaw and Captain Janek
Elizabeth Shaw and David the Robot
This goody two shoes element might have been boring for some or just the right thing for people who wanted something a bit more closer to home on the European side of the Atlantic where they were dealing with an actual adventurer.

Perhaps one might look at David the android, think that he looked slightly Tintin-esque with his blond air and slight quiff.

If this was the case, then, Captain Haddock who owns the ship named the Sirius becomes Captain Janek of the Prometheus played by Idris Elba.

Meanwhile the characters Millburn and Fifield pair up to briefly become the Thompson Twins.

Perhaps Prometheus seemed also to have elements in common with perhaps the Tintin books.

Tintin was also an artist that Moebius would use as reference in some of his drawings, and so anything that works well with Moebius might have been an acceptable direction of thought for Ridley Scott to work with.

For comparisons between certain Tintin stories and elements of Prometheus, see other links here
Herge's Tintin

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