Alien: Development of the early Alien script via The Adventures of Tintin And the Castafiore Emerald (Collected edition published in 1963) by Hergé



and

 

 

a) Here I'm continuing with the idea that Dan O'Bannon hadn't read an Tintin before he got to Paris to work on Dune, and there he would have found out about it whether he liked it or not since Moebius and Jodorowsky were fans, Salvador Dali too and Hergé's work was a core part of the French Bande Desinée/ comic book scene. However while there are plenty of ideas that could have set Dan O'Bannon off, it's not any easy comic book series to enthusiastically discuss without constantly shoving the pages in front of people's eyes, because what does Tintin do in these adventures?

There aren't many scifi aliens or horror monsters to speak of with interest.

Again, I accept that Dan O'Bannon's widow Diane doesn't acknowledge that Tintin was an influence behind Alien since Dan never mentioned anything about Tintin to her.

Tintin comic books never reached great popularity in the USA perhaps because of their extremely European flavour, but they would have been something that eclectic comic book fans would have been able to find out about and there are signs that Tintin had influenced the American science fiction comic book scene by the 1950s

It is in this Tintin story that I suddenly worked out a secret about the evolution of the Alien story, that Dan appeared to focus on looking for abstract associations, ideas and scenes of behaviour surrounding jewels, as this one had a few that lined up well enough with Aien

 

b.i) Page 1 of The Adventures of Tintin and the Castefiore Emerald p2 (Collected edition published in 1963) by Hergé

Tintin and Captain Haddock walking through a woodlands and by a rubbish tip respond to a cry of distress. 

Perhaps this would be like the crew of the Snark that later becomes the Nostromo responding to a distress call in the depths of space and it comes from a desolate planet.

 

 

b.ii). Early drawing of the pyramid



 

 

c.i) Page 2 of The Adventures of Tintin and the Castefiore Emerald p2 (Collected edition published in 1963) by Hergé

In that story the cry from a young gypsy girl who ends up biting Captain Haddock,

Dan had the idea that the SOS wasn't quite what they thought it was when he wrote the original Memory script, but this might reflect the idea that derelict ship with its SOS like transmission revealed itself as a warning offering danger.

Here it's the scene that might as well be the equivalent of the discovery of the derelict ship that would lead them to the pyramid scene

 

 


 

c.ii) Concept for the derelict by Chris Foss, no 8
 

Concept for the derelict by Chris Foss, no. 8

 

d.i) Page 3 from The Adventures of Tintin and the Castefiore Emerald p3 (Collected edition published in 1963) by Hergé 

Then taking the girl her back to her home at a gypsy camp in the rubbish tip, they are met with a elderly gypsy who reads Captain Haddocks palm which results in a warning to him of a terrible disaster.
 
If Dan was looking for ideas in the story for structure, he might have used this to steer ideas about the crew of the spaceship encountering a distress signal that translates later as a warning and then this leads to encountering the warning in the hieroglyphs of the birth temple in the pyramid left behind by a mysterious primitive civilisation to consider.

 


d.ii) Three panels from page 4 from The Adventures of Tintin and the Castefiore Emerald p3 (Collected edition published in 1963) by Hergé

 
The elderly gypsy woman delivers the fragments of the warning to Captain Haddock reading his palm, and this would be work enough become the hieroglyph warning left behind by a primitive civilisation in the birth temple of the pyramid.
 
There are no warning images to see in the Tintin comic book story of course but it works as a predicament

 
 

 


e.i) Page 39 from The Adventures of Tintin and the Castefiore Emerald p3 (Collected edition published in 1963) by Hergé

Scene from Tintin and the Castafiore Emerald (Collected edition published in 1963) by Hergé, where Madame Castefiore is searching for her jewels, andlooking beneath the cushions, throws a pillow in the face of either Thompson or Thomson/ Duponts or Dupons.

 

 
 

 
 
What this is doing here is that I think that Dan O'Bannon looked through the book and although we know that Ron Shusett came up with the idea for the Facehugger scene in a semi dream state, I'm imagining that Dan worked it into his script via a scene from Tintin comic book stories.  
 
e.ii) Ron Cobb's early illustration of the Face Hugger scene


 
 
 
 
 
f.i) Page 51 from The Adventures of Tintin and the Castefiore Emerald p3 (Collected edition published in 1963) by Hergé 

Referenced by Dan O'Bannon in the script for Alien, because of his need to keep referencing Tintin stories as the spine of his script? 
 
In the Castafiore Emerald story, Tintin hears the piano playing during his exploration of an incident at the Marlinspike mansion, and discovers that it's actually a tape recording left behind by a pianist Mr Wagner  featuring a playback recording of his own scales, while he went off down to the village to telephone his horse bets as he was a gambler
 
In the Alien script they encounter a repeating transmission that seems to be at one point a distress call and then a warning in the depths of space that is a recording from a long time ago, made by the entity commonly known in the production as The Space Jockey. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
g.i) Page 54 from The Adventures of Tintin and the Castefiore Emerald p3 (Collected edition published in 1963) by Hergé
 
Monster hunt in the attic. 
 
Either Tintin or Snowy/Milou the dog refers to it as a "Monster" but it turns out to be an old owl walking around in the attic

 
 
 


 
 
g.ii) Owl referenced in Ron Cobb's alien monster illustration?
Perhaps it was referenced in a scene in the early Alien script by Dan O'Bannon, and then illustrated by Ron Cobb around 1977, leading to the early depiction of the alien beast having a slightly owl shaped body?
 

http://alienexplorations.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/gorilla-with-bandaged-arm-image-from.html

  
 
 
 
 
h.i) Page 55 from The Adventures of Tintin and the Castefiore Emerald p3 (Collected edition published in 1963) by Hergé

The airlock sequence from Dan O'Bannon's early Alien script (1976), with the idea that he thought about transforming the very compact slapstick sequence generally using the wheelchair as the monster.
 

 

In the Alien script, Faust turns a couple of corners and then comes to an abrupt halt when he notices a door wrenched off its hinges by the alien, and peers into the airlock to find the alien beast squatting in the middle of the floor.
 
Then Faust talks to the rest of the crew through the intercom telling them to blow the lock, Standard pushes the button but the creature hears the whine of the door, leaps out and deals Faust a backhanded blow. He gets caught within the airlock door and is crushed until he's three inches thick.

So Tintin turns a corner as he walks downstairs to find Captain Haddock leaning against the wheelchair, which rolls off down the corridor taking Professor Calculus with it down the stairs and into the car outside the front of the door sending the pianist spinning through to the other side.
 
I think that Dan loosely looked at the comic book panels and translated them into the sequence as described

I also think that the sequence would also make use of elements from a scene from in Tintin In Tibet featuring the characters encountering a yeti.
 
 
h.ii) There is nothing really that recognisable carrying over from it in the production art but Ridley drew the alien beast running down the Nostromo corridor
 


  1. INTERIOR - CORRIDOR OUTSIDE AIR LOCK
     
    Faust quickly turns a couple of corners and then comes to an abrupt halt when he notices that a DOOR 
    LEADING TO THE LOWER DECKS HAS BEEN WRENCHED OFF ITS HINGES.
     
    He hesitates, uncertain what to do, then there is A SOUND FROM THE DIRECTION OF THE AIR LOCK... AND THE INNER LOCK DOOR IS OPEN.
     
    Faust hesitates and peers into the lock.
     
    INTERIOR - AIR LOCK
     
    The creature is squatting in the middle of the floor, gnawing on a bloody thigh bone. It does not see Faust.
     
    INTERIOR - CORRIDOR OUTSIDE AIR LOCK
     
    Stealthfully, dropping back into the shadows, Faust presses the wall intercom and speaks into it.
     
    FAUST
     
    (whispering)
     
    It's in the lock -- blow the main lock.
     
    INTERIOR - BRIDGE
     
    Standard, Roby and Hunter are staring at the pictures. The call from Faust catches Standard in mid-sentence.
     
    STANDARD
    (into intercom)
    What?
     
    INTERIOR - CORRIDOR OUTSIDE AIR LOCK
     
    FAUST
    (whispering)
    It's in the main air lock. Blow the lock.
     
     INTERIOR - BRIDGE
     
    Standard hesitates, starts to frame a reply -- then changes his mind and runs to his console -- and 
     
    THROWS THE SWITCH.
    INTERIOR - AIR LOCK
     
    With a mechanical whine, the inner door starts to close. The creature hears it and INSTANTANEOUSLY 
     
    LEAPS OUT OF THE LOCK.
    INTERIOR - CORRIDOR OUTSIDE AIR LOCK
     
    The creature comes flying out of the lock and DEALS FAUST A BACKHANDED BLOW, KNOCKING HIM ACROSS THE THRESHOLD OF THE AIR LOCK DOOR.
     
    FAUST SCREAMS IN MORTAL AGONY AS THE INNER DOOR CLOSES ON HIS WAIST, crushing him to a thickness of about three inches.
     
    On the wall, a green light goes on:
    "INNER DOOR CLOSED"
    INTERIOR - AIR LOCK
     
    Despite the fact that the inner door is still held open a few inches by Faust's squashed body, THE OUTER DOOR BEGINS TO SLIDE OPEN. IMMEDIATELY, THERE IS A TREMENDOUS SCREAM OF ESCAPING AIR.
     
    EXTERIOR - SHIP - OUTER SPACE
     
    In dead silence, a thick spurt of steam comes out of the open air lock door. This is the ship's atmosphere freezing as it squirts out into the vacuum under pressure.
     
    INTERIOR - BRIDGE
     
    INSTANTLY, A TREMENDOUS WINDSTORM STARTS UP as the ship's air is sucked out toward the lock.
     
    A SIREN BEGINS TO SOUND, AND A RED LIGHT FLASHES:
    "CRITICAL DEPRESSURIZATION"
     
    After a moment of panic and confusion, Roby bolts out of the control room.

 
 
i.i) Page 59 from The Adventures of Tintin and the Castefiore Emerald p3 (Collected edition published in 1963) by Hergé

Referenced in Alien? . 
 
Going by the idea that Dan O'Bannon would have come to find out about Tintin during his time working on Dune, the magpie in the story is another thing that becomes translated as the alien. 
 
The mystery of the disappearance of crew members comes to be solved in the aliens nest, where in essence they're being transformed into new alien spores. 
 
There Robey (who becomes Ripley) finds Standard (who becomes Brett ) half alive. 
 
 



i.ii) In the Alien Directors cut film, Ripley before leaving the Nostromo, suddenly decides to explore the landing leg room downstairs and finds an alien nest



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