Alien Production Timeline October 1978

Leading from

still collating

Sunday 1st October 1978

Monday 2nd October 1978

  1. It comes to a point where they are about to shoot the Alien III imbedded in the wall of the Narcissus and it so happens that the instruction that Ridley Scott gave was completely wrong, so Giger had to come up with an alternative solution to deal with the problem but others are not happy with the solution since it means more work. (See The Creature In The Wall )
  2. This involved shooting the scenes 202, 204, 206, 208 and 210
  3. Sigourney was to be picked at 7:45 in the morning, to be in makup by 8:30 and on set by 9am. while Bolaji was picked up 7:30am, in makup by 8:30 with no actual time for being on set
  4. Dennis Ayling worked on the refinery shots.
Tuesday 3rd October 1978
  1. The filming of the scene numbers 212-219, 223, 225 and 227 in Narcissus were planned in the Narcissus interior (See The Creature In The Wall )
  2. Giger paints the eggs and the spaceship
Wednesday 4th October 1978
  1. Giger paints a new costume for Bolaji. and today the scene in which Bolaji as the alien imbedded in the wall will be filmed. (See The Creature In The Wall )
  2. A stage is being being built up with the egg silo. 
  3. An earlier plan had this day for shooting in the Narcissus interior, which never came to be.
  4. Final revised script from June 1978 up until October 4th 1978 for this day includes script revisions covering scene 175
Thursday 5th October 1978
  1. The final of the scene with the Narcissus has been shot.
  2. An earlier plan had this day for shooting Interior Derelict, scene numbers, 70, 72 ans 74
Friday 6th October 1978
  1. The last day of Bolaji's filming (planned shooting Interior Derelict)
  2. An earlier plan had this day for shooting Interior Derelict, scene numbers, 70, 72 ans 74
Saturday 7th October 1978

Sunday 8th October 1978

Monday 9th October 1978
  1. Eggsilo is filmed with a stuntman for the astronaut representing Kane coming down the wall from the scaffolding, slowly being lowered into the depths, stepping down the ribs as if they were stairs. The astronaut resembled Roy Scammel in the photo shown in Giger's Alien diaries. The astronaut is filmed stepping into the laser beam, being cut in two optically.
  2. And earlier plan had this day for shooting Interior of Airshaft, scene numbers 137 -140, 145, 145b 147, 149, 149b
Tuesday, 10th October 1978
  1. Giger finishes his landscape with derelict painting. (planned shooting Interior of Airshaft)

Wednesday, 11th October 1978
  1. Giger finishes painting "landscape with derelict"

Thursday, 12th October 1978
  1. Ventilation shafts in B stage were being filmed with the egg silo was being dismantled. Peter Beale is breathing down Ridley's neck

Friday, 13th October 1978
  1. Giger finishes his design of the egg silo and revision of the face hugger.

Saturday, 14th October 1978
  1. Giger films footage of filming on B stage
  2. The egg silo at C stage is demolished 
  3. Retake of scene no 197 in the interior of the engine room
  4. Retake of scene 195 in the corridor interior
  5. Retake of scene 200, 212 and 214 in the Narcissus Interior
  6. Sigourney would be picked up 7.15am, in makeup at 8am and then on the set for 8.30am
  7. Sigourney Weaver there playing Ripley, Eddie Powell would be there to perform as the alien while Roy Scammel would be involved as stunt arranger. Liz Mitchel was there to stand in for Sigourney. Props would include cat box, flame thrower and spear gun.  Practical spear gun and spear into alien's chest effect. Depressurising effect and C02.
Monday, 16th October 1978
  1. Filming of interior Narcissus on C stage.
  2. Dress rehearsel of the Alien out "Narcissus" seen after shooting
Tuesday, 17th October 1978
  1. Giger works on the polyester Alien III, replacing the teeth with chrome ones, inserting the tongue and creating the latex face.
  2. Filming of the demise of the alien on the Narcissus is filmed on 'C' stage.
  3. Planned filming of the demise of the alien on the Narcissus is filmed on 'D' stage.
  4. The filming of the demise of the alien on this day involved the projectile hitting the alien's chest and this required a wheelchair to be built for the alien performer which would be dragged backwards by ten men
Wednesday, 18th October 1978
  1. Giger finished two paintings of the alien head as gifts for Scott and Carroll. 
  2. Planned filming of exterior/ interior the Narcissus is filmed on 'D' stage. 
  3. Giger had dinner with Gordon Carroll, Ivor Powell, his wife and others
Thursday, 19th October 1978
  1. The Alien is filmed falling from the Narcissus in D stage
  2. Les Dilley brought Giger a model of the space jockey and silo to paint.
  3. Packing the Alien III to be shipped to Switzerland
  4. Ridley invites Giger to the Casa Romana in Weybridge for dinner.
  5. Ridley wanted Giger as designer on his production "Tristan and Isolde" that was hoped to be filmed in 1979with a budget from Paramount at $20,000
La Casa Romana in Weybridge

Friday, 20th October 1978
  1. Planned filming of the demise of the alien on the Narcissus is filmed on 'D' stage.
  2. Giger and watches the rushes showing the demise of the alien, he sees how it tries to grab the jet engine, surrenders and is thrown into space half dead and feels that it is like a funeral. However he congratulated everyone for their work but finished off with saying to Ridley and others,  "You have killed our son. Can we go home now?"
Saturday, 21st October 1978
  1. Giger returns to Switzerland in the morning


  1. Hi Wmmvrrvrrmm,

    Just checking a couple of details on the timeline re Egg Silo shoot.

    Ridley tells Giger of his intention to utilise the laser as the membrane on July 7th.

    Egg Silo scene shot on October 9th. Was that the ground level shots only? Or was the abseil drop filmed that day too?

    Do you know who did the stunts- both the abseil and the fall from the platform to the egg carpet?

    Am I correct in believing that the Jockey scenes were shot first and concluded before the stage was reset for the silo?

    Anything pertinent I missed out?

    Many thanks in advance.

    1. Well, in Giger's Alien diaries, he just mentioned that on the 9th October, they filmed his egg silo interior. On the 10th, they filmed the astronaut standing in the egg silo touching the egg, and the egg slowly opens. Giger mentions in Giger's Alien for the 9th October that the turntable with the pilot is replaced by a central track and the eggs, so indeed the space jockey was filmed before the eggs. I'm still trying to work out why I thought that John Hurt should have been there on the 9th. But on that day a stuntman is let down into the depths of the egg silo from the scaffolding, using the ribbing on the side as steps. No name given for the stuntman, but in Giger's Alien diaries, it looks very much like Roy Scammel, with his balding head. Giger's Alien Diaries mentions that July the 7th Ridley talked about the lasers. I'm altering my statement now about October 9th because on this page because I can't find where I got the idea that John Hurt was there

    2. What else there should be to know that that day, I am yet to know myself

  2. Thanks for the little extra details.

    Got to say, this timeline you're putting together is a tremendous resource. Piecing together all the various sources into a coherent sequence is some undertaking, but the mosaic which is emerging is incredible.

    I look into your entire blog often and have really enjoyed the expanded content. Always a great read with new thoughts and angles.

    1. Well, do ask me any more questions you like, it might help to make this blog that extra bit coherent and perhaps open up other avenues of coherency that may never have been driven down before