Alien: Chestbursting scene references Hergé's "The Adventures of Tintin and the Picaros"

a) Tintin and the Picaros, first three rows from p34
(serialized in Nouveau Tintin N° 19 du 20 January 1976)

After visiting a Mayan step pyramid, and being forced off the road Tintin, Captain Haddock and Professor Calculus encounter the drunken Arumbaya tribe who invite them for a feast.

The adventurers find that the food is not to their liking because Professor Calculus has put something in the food that would make alcohol unpalatable

The characters find the food too spicy and they are disgusted by the wine that they're drinking, because Professor Calculus had put something in the food to make alcohol undrinkable.

It reflects the scene in the Alien script where they discuss their disgust with the food.

b) Tintin and the Picaros, bottom row from p34 and top row from p35
(serialised in Nouveau Tintin magazine,1976)

The chief of the tribe is also reacting to the wine that shows that it's undrinkable.

Captain Haddock has been concussed by a bottle thrown at him by a monkey and starts wandering off in the wrong direction.

Kane in agony

Corresponding sequence from the early Alien script:
Suddenly, unexpectedly, BROUSSARD GRIMACES AND GROANS.

What's wrong?

(his voice straining)
I don't know... I'm getting these

The others stare at him in alarm. Another GROAN is torn from his lips.
He clutches the edge of the table with his hands, his knuckles whitening.

Breathe deeply.


What Dell -- what?

Broussard's face is screwed up into a mask of agony, and he is trembling violently from head to foot.

(incoherent shriek)

c) Tintin and the Picaros, upper two rows from p37 (serialized in the Tintin Nouveau, 1976 and can be pointed down to number 19, from the 20th January)

Captain Haddock , dazed having been hit on the head with a bottle, walks off and steps into a lake where a crocodile fights with a snake before he is rescued by Tintin, He is revived and then mysteriously receives an electric shock making leap into the air.

The chestburster comes through

Because of its place in the Tintin story, perhaps the fusion of the crocodile and the snake fighting in the image also becomes in some way the violent image of the chestburster erupting in Alien. 

Perhaps the feeling of what goes on inside the character that becomes Kane and O'Bannon could relate to it from his experiences with his Crones disease symptoms. 

There were have a creature with a mouth full of teeth shoving its face upwards through the surface of the water.

d) Tintin and the Picaros,  upper two rows from p38
(serialized in Tintin magazine in early 1976)

Out comes the electric eel that's been inside Captain Haddock's jersey. Professor Calculus points out that these things can grow up to a couple of metres long and stun a horse with a single discharge.

So I decided that this might well be the chestburster leaving Kane's body in Alien.

It's an eel, and this comes after a scene where the people are talking, disgusted by their food and drink, as a result of the mysterious pills that Professor Calculus puts in the food, after everyone else's disgust, the chief begins to contort and pull faces. Perhaps Jones the cat's response to the chestburster in this instance is derived from Snowy/Milou the dog. 

The news about how such a small thing could grow into something so large might have been relevant enough for Dan to think about a small creature growing into a dangerous adult

I believe that Dan O'Bannon used elements of Tintin as a spine for his Alien script, and this scene bound with other things from science fiction stories in comic books, films and novels, and knowledge of parasitology, in relation to his own experiences with Crohn's Syndrome becomes the chest burster scene.

This part of the comic book story published in early 1976 comes in time for Dan to have his chestburster idea in response to Ron Shusett's facehugger idea.

The little rascal leaves the table.

1 comment:

  1. "Alien: Chestbursting scene references Tintin and the Picaros" was posted on 12th February 2018