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Ash is a synthetic and Science officer aboard the Nostromo in Alien (film). Portrayed by actor Ian Holm, in the film he breaks quarantine by allowing Kane a member of the crew back aboard after he has been infected by an alien life form.

It is later discovered that Ash is not human at all, as he appears, but is in fact a Hyperdyne Systems 120-A/2 android.

In the film Alien Ash malfunctioned due to a conflict between his internal programming and 'Special order 937' received from Earth.


Reference stats table.


Appearances in the following;

Alien (film)
Alien (1984)
Alien: Isolation


Humanoid android with few emotions.


Alien (film)
The commercial towing spaceship Nostromo is on a return trip from Thedus to Earth, hauling a refinery and twenty million tons of mineral ore, and carrying its seven-member crew in stasis. Upon receiving a transmission of unknown origin from a nearby planetoid, the ship's computer awakens the crew. Acting on standing orders from their corporate employers, the crew detaches the Nostromo from the refinery and lands on the planetoid, resulting in some damage to the ship. Captain Dallas, Executive Officer Kane, and Navigator Lambert set out to investigate the signal's source while Warrant Officer Ripley, Science Officer Ash, and Engineers Brett and Parker stay behind to monitor their progress and make repairs.

Dallas, Kane, and Lambert discover that the signal is coming from a derelict alien spacecraft. Inside it they find the remains of a large alien creature whose ribs appear to have been forced outward from the inside. Meanwhile, the Nostromo's computer partially deciphers the signal transmission, which Ripley determines to be some type of warning. Kane discovers a vast chamber containing numerous eggs, one of which releases a creature that attaches itself to his face. Dallas and Lambert carry the unconscious Kane back to the Nostromo, where Ash allows them inside against Ripley's orders to follow the ship's quarantine protocol. They unsuccessfully attempt to remove the creature from Kane's face, discovering that its blood is an extremely corrosive acid. Eventually the creature detaches on its own and is found dead. With the ship repaired, the crew resume their trip back to Earth. Kane awakens seemingly unharmed, but during a meal before re-entering stasis he begins to choke and convulse until an alien creature bursts from his chest, killing him and escaping into the ship. Lacking conventional weapons, the crew attempt to locate and capture the creature by fashioning motion trackers, electric prods, and flamethrowers. Brett follows the crew's cat into a large room where the now-fully-grown Alien attacks him and disappears with his body into the ship's air shafts. Dallas enters the shafts intending to force the Alien into an airlock where it can be expelled into space, but it ambushes him. Lambert implores the remaining crew members to escape in the ship's shuttle, but Ripley, now in command, explains that the shuttle will not support four people. Accessing the ship's computer, Ripley discovers that Ash has been ordered to return the Alien to the Nostromo's corporate employers even at the expense of the crew's lives. Ash attacks her, but Parker intervenes and decapitates him with a blow from a fire extinguisher, revealing Ash to be an android. Before Parker incinerates him, Ash predicts that the other crew members will not survive. The remaining three crew members plan to arm the Nostromo's self-destruct mechanism and escape in the shuttle, but Parker and Lambert are killed by the Alien while gathering the necessary supplies. Ripley initiates the self-destruct sequence and heads for the shuttle with the cat, but finds the Alien blocking her way. She unsuccessfully attempts to abort the self-destruct, then returns to find the Alien gone and narrowly escapes in the shuttle as the Nostromo explodes. As she prepares to enter stasis, Ripley discovers that the Alien is aboard the shuttle. She puts on a space suit and opens the hatch, causing explosive decompression which forces the Alien to the open doorway. She shoots it with a grappling gun which propels it out, but the gun is yanked from her hands and catches in the closing door, tethering the Alien to the shuttle. It attempts to crawl into one of the engines, but Ripley activates them and blasts the Alien into space. She then puts herself and the cat into stasis for the return trip to Earth.


Alien (film)
The synthetic Ash is a Hyperdyne Systems 120-A/2 android, he malfunctions due to secret orders 'Bring back alien life form, Crew expendable.'
Ash's character is played by Ian Holm.
Ash is killed by Parker who decapitates him with a blow from a fire extinguisher, revealing Ash to be an android before incinerating him. Ripley re-activates Ash's decapitated head before burning him and Ash reveals the secret company's order 'Special order 937'. Ripley then varifies this with the Nostromo mainframe.

Special order 937 stated:
Science Officer eyes only
Emergency Command Override 100375
Nostromo Rerouted
To New Co-Ordinates.
Investigate Life-form. Gather Specimen.
Priority One
Insure Return Of Organism
For Analysis.
All Other Considerations Secondary.
Crew Expendable.

In the film Aliens, Bishop makes a reference to the synthetic Ash from the film Alien as a Hyperdyne model, suggesting that it in some way was an inferior make and any failings by Ash could near happen with a 341-B versions.

James Cameron making a reference to the Terminator film released 2 years earlier also directed by him and the Cyberdyne Systems company appearing in it.

In further interpretation and analysis of plot lines from the film including Ash's character, authors including Nicholas Mirzoeff, James H. Kavanagh and Roz Kaveney developed the characters' meaning, persona, interaction and affect integrating amongst the other characters of the film. Each focusing on different aspects and elaborating further on speculative ideas of plot undertones.



Ronald Shusett executive producer for the story with script writer Dan O'Bannon wrote and edited a script that was for an all male cast but were uncertain whether 20th Century Fox would buy the script. Dan O'Bannon originally pitched the film to the studio as 'Jaws in Space'. Wanting that it should be available for a wider audience wrote on the script by the crew, 'The crew are unisex and all parts are interchangeable for men or women'. The crew included at the time of writing;

Chas Standard-Captain
Lee Roby-Executive Officer
Dell Broussand-Navigator
Sandy Helikonis-Communications Tech
Cleave Hunter-Mining Engineer
Jay Faust-Engine Tech

With this crew members allowed for any of the crew to be a woman or a man, Ronald Shusett also speculated that even a woman could play as a commander or captain but also didn't envisage a leading lady playing Ripley's character. Further input by Ridley Scott saw a woman being cast as the leading role. This was mostly due with the rewrites that allowed for a role of a woman, a further female was cast as Lambert the navigator with other characters staying as males but varied in number before the final version. Luckily 20th Century Fox was after a film with spaceships and so green-lighted Alien as their only space orientated film.

With the new characters for their role chosen, casting continued in the US and by Mary Selway casting (UK), the cast being chosen for their ability in the chosen role for each of the characters. Ridley Scott added saying that, 'the cast is very definitive', that it is important that the right characters are chosen for the role and this would follow into the film, making them believable for the role that they are playing.

Ivor Powell associate producer along with Ridley Scott thought of the idea of a more industrial vessel for the Nostromo and 'Truckers In Space', a concept of truck drivers journeying on a long route in space, with this idea areas of the Nostromo would have a more used feel and appearance, worn, sparse and industrial which also followed though to the crew's uniforms, equipment used aboard the spacecraft and the different levels and areas.



An original script for the film Alien was titled Star Beast but O'Bannon disliked this and changed it to Alien after noting the number of times that the word appeared in the script. He and Shusett liked the new script and so took it on to Walter Hill, David Giler, and Gordon Carroll, who had formed a production company called Brandywine with ties to 20th Century Fox. O'Bannon and Shusett signed a deal with Brandywine, but Hill and Giler were not satisfied with the script and made numerous rewrites and revisions to it. Hill and Giler added some substantial elements to the story, O'Bannon felt that adding the android character Ash was an unnecessary subplot but which Shusett later described as "one of the best things in the movie...That whole idea and scenario was theirs." In total Hill and Giler went through eight different drafts of the script, mostly concentrating on the character's Ash subplot but also making the dialogue more natural and trimming some sequences set on the alien planetoid.



For the scene in which Ash is revealed to be an android and is decapitated, a puppet was created of the character's torso and upper body which was operated from underneath by a small puppeteer. In the following scene Ash's head is placed on a table and re-activated, for portions of this scene an animatronic head was made using a face cast of actor Ian Holm. However, the latex of the head shrank while curing and the result was not entirely convincing. So for the bulk of the scene Holm knelt under the table with his head coming up through a hole and milk, caviar, pasta, and glass marbles were used to show the android's inner workings and fluids. The scene then saw Ash incinerated by Parker and left to burn.

Alien: Isolation


With the DLC maps Crew Expendable and Last Survivor for the game Alien: Isolation the characters from the film Alien reappear and some are playable in-game. These are from two scenes from the film; Crew Expendable includes finding the alien and flushing it towards the air lock and Last Survivor includes playing as Ripley and evac from the Nostromo after setting the self-destruct.

Ash's part is from Crew Expendable after the death of Kane, they set up a plan which should flush the alien into the airlock. Like in the film Parker has constructed the four flame throwers as they split into groups and search for the alien. Although unplayable Ash appears along with the rest of the crew, in the film Ash constructed a motion tracker which is used by a playable character in game.


Character detail art and modeling were provided by Jack Perry and Nic Frath, with Calum Watt adding to the character and clothing for each character. Other characters were designed by lead character artist Ranulf Busby and brought to life by lead animator Chris Southall.


He appears in the DLC videos Alien: Isolation Cast Reunite and Alien: Isolation The Cast of. In Alien: Isolation The Cast of trailer he along with all the original cast of the film Alien, but Ash doesn't voice for the character instead Ash is voiced by Dave B. Mitchell.

In game

Ash isn't a selectable crew member in the DLC Crew Expendable but appears along with the crew when selecting Parker, Dallas or Ripley, and plays a part in giving instructions. In game he seals one of the air shaft and gains control of the airlock allowing the alien to be ejected into space.


The film Alien is set in 2122.
The game Alien (1984) was published in 1984 and based on the film Alien.
The game Alien: Isolation is set as a continuing story after the film Alien and before the film Aliens.

See also




Alien (film)
The Beast Within-The making of Alien
Star Beast-Developing the story
Truckers In Space-Casting
Alien: Isolation Cast Reunite
Alien: Isolation The Cast of
Ash (Alien)